The Shot Heard Around the World

THE FAMOUS RIDE of Paul Revere

British troops were planning a march to Lexington to arrest John Hancock and Sam Adams, then on to Concord to seize colonial arms and ammunitions. At nightfall on April 18, Paul Revere hung a two-lantern signal in the steeple of Old North Church, alerting his comrades that the Redcoats were crossing the harbor. Revere then galloped to Lexington and pressed on to Concord, where he was captured by a British patrol. Questioned at gunpoint, Revere was released after divulging nothing but misinformation.

THE SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

More than 700 Redcoats (British regular army) marched through the night of April 18, 1775, reaching Lexington near dawn. Awaiting them were 77 Minutemen – farmers and laborers trained to be “ready in a minute.” Then one musket went off. Historians still debate which side fired the first shot, but within seconds, eight colonists lay dead on Lexington Green.

At Concord, 400 Minutemen exchanged gunfire with 120 Redcoats at the North Bridge. Pealing church bells spread the alarm and colonial numbers grew to 5,000. The British would have been massacred, but reinforcements arrived as they fled back to Boston. April 19, 1775 … the war had begun!

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