Tuesday, April 18, 1775

At 10:00 pm, April 18th, 1775, seven hundred troops are awakened with orders from General Gage. They will be led by Lt. Col. Smith on a secret mission to Concord, some 18 miles from Boston. There they will search out and confiscate weapons and supplies in the possession of the Colonists. If they capture Samuel Adams and John Hancock on the way, so much the better. 

Earlier in the day, Gage sent out  men under the command of Major Mitchell  to intercept messengers who might be out on horseback trying to warn the Colonists. 

10:30 PM

By 10:30pm the Rebel Alliance has gone into action: Dr. Joseph Warren of Boston has alerted his team to get the word out, William Dawes heads out via the Boston Neck (the land route) and Paul Revere by the “sea” route across the Charles River to Charleston. The British troops are assembling on the Boston Common and will soon embark on boats to cross the back bay to Cambridge. Sexton Robert Newman signals the Patriots in Charleston by holding two lanterns in the steeple of the Old North Church – just in case Dawes and Revere are unsuccessful.

11 PM

Around 11:00 pm, Revere arrives in Charleston. There he’s loaned a horse and rides toward Lexington spreading the alarm. He slows at many predetermined spots along the way engaging the system of communications that had already been set up.


Wednesday, April 19, 1775


At Midnight, Revere arrives at the parsonage in Lexington, home of Rev. Jonas Clarke where Sam Adams and John Hancock are staying. Dawes arrives shortly thereafter. The alarm bells on the Lexington Common are sounded and Captain John Parker’s Militia begins to assemble. One Hundred Thirty Minutemen.

Revere and Dawes are joined by Dr. Samuel Prescott as they ride to Concord to spread the alarm.

12:30 AM

When the British troops do not appear right away, Captain Parker dismisses his men, telling them to stay within “drum” distance. Some who lived close by went home, others went to the Buckman Tavern, right across the road from the Common, to wait.

1 AM

At around 1:00 am, Mitchells patrol captures Revere near Lincoln. Dawes escapes but is thrown from his horse, so he walks back to Lexington. Prescott gets away cleanly.

2 AM

At 2:00 am, Prescott makes it to Concord and the town alarm bell is sounded. The Concord Militia and Minutemen gather at Wright Tavern. The alert riders continue on to surrounding towns. In Acton, Captain Isaac Davis and his Minutemen company are awakened. Davis leaves his wife and four sick children to march his men to defend Concord.

At just after 2:00 am, Smith’s Redcoat troops are finally assembled again after crossing the Bay and begin their march toward Concord, by way of Lexington.

2:30 AM

At 2:30 am, Mitchell releases Revere, but they keep his horse. Revere heads back to Lexington and finds that Hancock and Adams are still at the parsonage. He urges them to flee. The talk a bit more and then depart.

4:30 AM

It’s between first light and sunrise and the Redcoats are spotted at the top of Munroe Hill. The drum beat begins and the Seventy-Seven gather on the Lexington Common with their leader Captain John Parker.

5 AM

Faceoff. Captain Parkers’ militia face to face with the Redcoat Army. Officers screaming orders. A single shot. Then the British soldiers open fire. Eight of the Rebel Alliance are killed and ten wounded. Colonel Smith gets control of his Army, they fire a victory volley and shout three Huzzahs.

5:30 AM

The Redcoat Army continues it’s march to Concord, leaving death in its wake.

7 AM

As the sun glints off hundreds of Redcoat bayonets in the center of Concord, the Rebel Alliance withdraws to Punkatasset Hill. Lt Col. Smith orders some of his forces to the North Bridge, some to the South Bridge and some to Provincial Colonel Barrett’s farm to search for weapons.


8 AM

The three companies sent to guard the North Bridge arrive to find that the Militia and Minutemen of Concord and surrounding towns have gathered on Punkatasset Hill. The Redcoats cross over the Concord River and take up positions on the West side.

8:30 AM

Meanwhile, in town, the Redcoats search for any implements of war, which they pile in the middle of town. Setting fire to the pile also sets the townhouse on fire.

9 AM

When smoke begins to rise from the center of Concord, the troops on Punkatasset Hill become more agitated. They believe that the Redcoats are burning the town. Young Lt. Joseph Hosmer asks Major John Buttrick if they are going to stand by while their town is burned. The Militia begins to move toward the North Bridge. The Redcoats retreat over the bridge to the east side of the river.

9:30 AM

Redcoats at the North Bridge fire on the Rebel Alliance. Captain Isaac Davis and Abner Hosmer, both of the Acton Militia, are killed. Major Buttrick commands his men to fire as fast as they can. Seeing their officers wounded, the Redcoats turn tail and run.

11 AM

At Wright’s Tavern in Concord, the Redcoats gather, tend their wounded, have a bite to eat, and reformulate their plans. About noon, they begin the fast march back to Boston.

12:30 AM

At Miriam’s corner, the retreating Redcoat Army is slowed by a narrowing of the road. By now, thousands of Militia are bearing down on the retreating army. As they’re held up, the Redcoat flankers turn to aim at the oncoming Rebels. Unwilling to see their men fired on yet again, the Rebels, for the first time, open fire on the Redcoats without orders to do so.

1:30 PM

Rebel Alliance soldiers lay in wait in Lincoln as the Redcoat Army flees. From behind stone walls and from the cover of the trees, Rebel forces kill more British soldiers at the “bloody angle.”

2 PM

Near Lexington, Captain John Parker’s men take their revenge for their dead and wounded, ambushing the Redcoats as they beat a hasty retreat.

3 PM

At Munroe Tavern, just east of Lexington, reinforcements from Boston, a thousand strong, meet with the Redcoats who are in complete disarray, exhausted, frightened and completely unprepared for this running skirmish. The cannons are fired, holding off the approaching Rebel Alliance, giving the fleeing men time to reassemble and rest.

The Redcoats take over Munroe Tavern, using it as a field hospital. They become violent, kill the crippled man left in charge of the tavern, and attempt to burn it down. Surrounding houses and shops are burned to the ground as the Redcoats leave Lexington.

5:30 PM

In Menotomy, more intense fighting occurs. Nearly half of the casualties from this day are here.

7 PM

By nightfall, the Redcoat Army is back in Charleston and under “cover” from the big guns of His Majesty’s Ship Somerset which Revere passed by nearly twenty-four hours before.

The Rebel Alliance, who had woken that morning to the bells of alarm as British citizens, retire now as traitors of the Crown. Many homes are gone, burned to the ground. The wounded may recover or may linger for months. Families are fractured by death.

In all that day:

73 Redcoat soldiers are killed, 174 wounded, 26 missing.

49 Colonial soldiers are killed, 41 wounded and 5 are missing.

Thus the birth of the most famous Rebel Alliance ever known. The Revolutionary War has begun.