The morning follow Paul Revere’s famous ride, Revere left Lexington, hiding important documents. As he was fleeing, he passed the gathering militia. What followed as the Battle at Lexington and Concord.
The British intended this to be a secret plot, where they would capture Sam Adams and John Hancock in Lexington, then travel to Concord, where they would seize the Patriots’ gunpowder. However, thanks to Revere and the Sons of Liberty, Patriots were warned in time.
Word that the Regulars were coming spread quickly, so that the American militia were ready, at dawn, on April 19, when 700 British troops descended upon 77 militiamen on the town green.
No one knows exactly where the first shot came from. What we do know, though, is that the Regulars quickly responded with a volley of fires into the militia troops. Before order could be returned to the ranks, eight militiamen were killed and nine more were wounded. Only one Regular was injured in the melee.
Following this, the Regulars continued on through Concord, searching mostly for arms. Thanks to the forewarning, though, the militiamen were able to hide most of their weapons. In retaliation, the Regulars (and some Loyalists) set fires to what gun carriages they did find. Meanwhile, the militiamen took up positions on a hill across from the Old North Bridge. During this time, the Concord militia was mercifully joined by the militias from neighboring towns.
By this time, they began to notice smoke. Moving closer to the bridge, the militia saw some 90-95 British troops advancing across the river. With an army now up to 400 men, the militia engaged with the British at the Old North Bridge.
What followed is what is commonly remembered as “the shot heard round the world.” The British fired upon the Americans and then retreated. The Minute Men advance, firing volleys of fire upon the British. Three Regulars were killed and nine more wounded before the British retreated back into town.
The Regulars finally decided to flee back to Boston, but once again, the Minute Men were ready for them. The Regulars ran into 2,000 militiamen, with more backup pouring in all the time. Another round of fighting broke out, with the militia hiding behind stone walls or inside houses. Eventually, the British reached Lexington, where they met their own backup forces. By the time all was said and done, The Regulars lost 73 men and the Patriots lost 49 men.