Sons of Liberty – Lexington Green – Part 2

In a nutshell (because this is a blog post, not a book) here’s what really happened.  As the Redcoats marched down the road (review the map again), unless steered differently, they would have simply kept on marching right past the Lexington meetinghouse, kept on going and never engaged the men who stood on the far north part of the Green.  But they were steered.  At this point in the march, they were being led by a young, brash Irish lieutenant named Jesse Adair.  When Lt. Adair saw them men way over on the green (hard to see, it was just dawning), he turned the column and marched them onto the Green.

There to make a show. . .

The men of Lexington – about 70 of them – were there to make a show.  And to make sure that Adams and Hancock were not accosted.  They were led not by some friend of Adams named Kelly but by their elected Captain.  It was Captain John Parker who led them, who gave them their orders before dawn on April 19th.

“Men,” he said, “do not fire unless fired upon.  But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”  Parker didn’t want a war.  As he looked around at those 70 men, he saw his friends, neighbors, uncles, cousins — you get the picture.  The only thing he wanted more than their safety that morning was to stand for the Liberty they were due as British citizens.  Because British Citizens they were. 

And as Lt. Adair and Maj. Pitcairn rode back and forth before the Lexington troops – with at least 200 of their own on the Green and 600 more on the road – screaming at Parker’s men to lay down their arms and disburse – Parker realized that his men were completely outnumbered.

Go home boys. . .

So, he turned to his men and ordered them to go home.  “Don’t lay down your arms, boys,” he told them, “but go on home.”

That’s exactly what they did (except for two or three).  They turned and began to walk from the Green. 

A shot rang out. 

And the Redcoats opened fire.

Into the backs of the retreating Lexington men.  One volley.  Then another.  Then, the soldiers did what they did best, they lowered their muskets and charged with fixed bayonets.

In less time than it’s taken you to read this far, eight men lay dead.  More wounded.  Five pairs of fathers and sons are separated by death.  Jonathan Harrington (see his house up there above the Green), dispersing as he was told to, shot in the back, crawled up to his front porch and died in his wife’s arms.

It’s just wrong.  End of story. . .

HISTORY Channel’s version just gets it wrong.  Apparently the real heroes don’t matter.  Apparently the truth doesn’t matter.  Apparently, HISTORY doesn’t matter. 

And maybe Brian Williams was there.

Am I ticked at this portrayal?  Very.  And you should be too.