More fundamentally mistaken notions


From   A Primary History: Stories of Heroism By William Harrison Mace

Here is the text with my comments in red.  (Keeping in mind that I am NOT an expert on the subject.  But I am working on it.)

The Battle at Lexington and at Concord Bridge.

As the British soldiers reached Lexington at sunrise, April 19, 1775, the captain of the minutemen gave the command:  "Stand your ground.  Don’t fire unless fired upon.  But if they mean to have war, let it begin here!"  A bold speech for a captain of only about sixty men when facing as brave soldiers as Europe had ever seen! [Hold the presses!  Right here I pretty much knew that we were going to have issues.  Yes, the British Army was the most formidable army on earth at the time.  But, the vast majority of the soldiers that were stationed in Boston in 1775 either had seen very little actual battle action or had seen none.  They were not seasoned soldiers.] The minutemen stood their ground till seven were killed and nine wounded–nearly one-third of their number.  Then they retreated.  [This is wrong.  The militia (actually Lexington had a training band, they were not officially a militia – but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll call them the Lexington Militia) on the Green that day numbered most likely 77 men.  When Captain John Parker saw the numbers arrayed in battle formation before him, he simply told his men to disburse.  It was as they walked away that the shot was fired.  Then, the Army opened fire on them, and after several volleys, lowered their bayonets and charged.]

The British pushed on to Concord.  But the minutemen, now coming from every direction, made a stand at Concord Bridge.  Their musket fire was so deadly that the British started back, running at times to escape with their lives.  At Lexington they fell upon the ground, tired out with the chase the minutemen gave them, and were met by fresh troops from Boston.

Soon the British soldiers were forced to run again, for minutemen by the hundreds were gathering, and they seldom missed their aim.  From behind rocks, trees, fences, and houses they cut down the tired redcoats.  Nearly three hundred British soldiers were killed or wounded before Boston was reached that night.


*** Hat tip to JL Bell at Boston 1775 Blog for the term "fundamentally mistaken notions."   I highly recommend his blog.