These are the words of American Captain John Parker, engraved on the stone at Lexington Green where American minutemen and British redcoats came to blows. It was the commencement of the American Revolution and end of the British hold of the colonies.
General Thomas Gage, then Governor of Massachusetts, was secretly ordered by King George III to enforce the Intolerable (or Coercive) Acts, law enacted as response to the Boston Tea Party with the intent to gain control and bestow punitive measures to the colonies. Gage was also ordered to suppress any and all rebellion, using any force necessary.
On April 18, Paul Revere and William Dawes learned of the attack and set out to warn the colonists, especially Samuel Adams and John Hancock who were main targets. A signal of two lanterns meant the troops chose a route “by water.” Revere and Dawes rode out, alerting all members of the militia of the impending attack.
At dawn, about 70 armed colonial minutemen met the British army and pushed the them back to Boston. Captain Parker was well aware that he and his American men were largely outmatched, but they stood their ground. And there it was, in the wee hours of April 19, 1775, the shot heard around the world.
- The American Revolution: a concise history by Robert J. Allison
- The American Revolution, 1774-1783 by Daniel Marston
- The American Revolution by Joseph C. Morton
- American tempest : how the Boston Tea Party sparked a revolution by Harlow Giles Unger
- Enjoy the same liberty : Black Americans and the Revolutionary Era by Edward Countryman
- The unknown American Revolution: the unruly birth of democracy and the struggle to create America by Gary B. Nash
- With fire & sword : the battle of Bunker Hill and the beginning of the American Revolution by James L. Nelson