Digging up the past

I continue to work on the Hannah Davis story.  My goal is to finish it this month as my NANOWRIMO goal.  For those of you who just went "tilt" – NANO is held every November.  National Novel Writing Month.  Writers around the world write madly on new projects and some on old projects trying to finish a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  Hannah’s story is already started, but I really want to get it finished.

And so I’m fleshing out secondary characters.  The men who marched off early on the morning of April 19th, and the community that waited at home.  I needed a list of the men who marched with Hannah’s husband that day.  Simple enough, right.  I mean, this is the age of the Internet.

Ahem.  Two problems.  The initial problem was that so many of the historical groups do not take good care of their websites.  Broken links abound.  Then, after digging and digging to find this list, I come to the realization that it’s not out there – at least not in the way the Lexington lists are.  I finally found "A" list hidden in a book that was online.  Thank goodness for small favors. 

There, I bumped into the second problem.  This list was made up years after the fact by the aged survivors of the battle.  Apparently, it was dangerous to make such lists. 

Why didn’t I think of that?

Probably because, try as we might, we just can’t quite get back into 1775 without taking our 21st-Century selves along for the ride. 

Hannah Davis did not have a Facebook Page.  Neither did the Acton Minutemen. 

This list will have to do.

And now for something a little different. . .

 

I’m a day late, here.  Had some issues getting this thing put together and online.  I hope it was worth the wait.

Last week, I was privileged to tell the overview of April 19th, 1775 to the local Kiwanis Club.  Now, mind you, I can tell this story in about an hour and a half.  We had 30 minutes and had a few other stories to tell.  The gauntlet thrown down, I picked up the challenge and here is a "short" version of this inspiring story.  Enjoy. 

 

Captain David Brown – Concord

4S Capt David Brown

Captain David Brown was the leader of the Concord Minutemen.  He had trained and drilled his company (about forty men) within sight of the North Bridge.  His home was very nearby.

Captain Brown and his wife Abigail Munroe (no doubt related to Will Munroe of Munroe Tavern, Lexington) had nine children on April 19th, the youngest was two.  They would have another child in ’76.

When they were gathered on Punkatasset Hill, overlooking the North Bridge, Brown’s men had taken up their position on the left of the front line.  This arrangement would have put Isaac Davis and his Minute Men in the rear as the line went down the hill.

Colonel Barrett asked Captain Brown if he would lead the attack.  Brown said he would rather not.  So Barrett asked the same question of Captain Isaac Davis.  His response rings in history:  “I have not a man who is afraid to go.” http://s4.evcdn.com/images/block200/I0-001/003/258/907-5.gif_/captain-david-browns-concord-minute-company-07.gif

Now, to be fair, Davis’s company was better equipped than Brown’s.  Each of Davis’s men had a bayonet affixed to his musket.  They were exceptionally well trained.  And we won’t ever know why Brown hesitated.  But  knowing how the charge turned out for Captain Davis, is it any wonder that Brown was never able to cross that bridge again without thinking of that day?  (See In a Nutshell)

Captain Brown went on from that day to lead an exemplary career in the Continental Army.  As a member of the Committee of Correspondence for Concord, he was a delegate to the state conventions in ’79.  He ran for state senate in ’89 but lost the election.  He is buried in the Old Hill Burying Ground Cemetery next to two of his sons.  His home, that witnessed the days events was torn down in 1865.