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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Revolution

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American Revolution 1763-1789 The birth of a new nation - to commence at the Proclaimation of 1763 to the end of the Articles of Confederation.

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  #16  
Old 26 Jul 09, 08:42
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Paul: It's ll about having great discussions. I am quite interested in your ms. What is the title? Do you have a publisher and date of release? I have some farily good, very old references on the Gaspee, many of which include primary sources. I'll send them if you are in need of them. I can understand your literary isolation here, as if I were to write from Montana about George Monk at Dunbar. Interesting co-mingling of odd details between Monk and Benedict Arnold, but that is another thread. Check your PM.
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Old 26 Jul 09, 12:02
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PB and Gideon,

I'm glad to see that the ACG forums are doing their part to bring like minds from half way around the world together.................
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  #18  
Old 26 Jul 09, 16:04
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Quote:
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PB and Gideon,

I'm glad to see that the ACG forums are doing their part to bring like minds from half way around the world together.................
Thanks Lance, but include yourself in our group. We enjoy your insight.
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  #19  
Old 28 Jul 09, 11:58
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"The brutality of the British response at Lexington was probably mostly due to the troops being mostly green. They had never been in battle before. Their officers lost control of them. And it took the experienced Smith some doing to get them under control when he arrived. "

Paul, about this statement, couldn't it be said that with the rumors of scalping was also making their way through the British ranks after Concord. Ensign Lister in his diary, noted that during the battle at Concord, he "saw" scalped British soldiers. (these reports were later to reported as false) But as the British troops were making their way back to Boston, don't you think that having the knowledge (true or untrue about scalping) the British acted accordingly. Thinking "these rebels are savages, scalping our troops, we may as well burn their homes."
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Old 28 Jul 09, 14:52
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From the other side of the coin: In the autumn of 1773, the official word finally came down to all the British Forts on the Great Lakes that the 10th Regiment of Foote, who had garrisoned all of those posts in company sized or smaller sized units, was going to be relieved and returned to England after 10 years of service spent on the frontier. There, they would be stood down and the infirm or overaged members of the regiment would be released from the King's service.

Ten years on the far friinges of civilization was considered hardship duty for the British regular soldiers. Sickness and disease was a common occurance, bad or spoiled rations considered the norm. While a number of soldiers had sickened and died over the years, leaving their mates behind to grieve, many other soldiers had struck up relationships with the local females or Indian women native to the region and started their own families. Come the spring, any women not appearing on the company rolls were to be left behind.

In the spring of 1774, after the winter ice break-up, the King's 8th Regiment of Foote set out to relieve these far-flung posts along the Great Lakes. It took them most of the year to achieve this task and the last companies of the 10th Regiment of Foote didn't march into Boston until the late autumn of the year. It was considered too late in the shipping season for the 10th Regiment to be sent back to England, so they were forced to spend a final winter in garrison in Boston.

The men of the 10th quickly learned of the powder keg that they were now placed in the middle of. Rumors of rebellion and war were rife and the behaviour of the common citizenry grew more ugly with each passing day. With the coming spring of April 1775, the orders came down for a punitive expedition to be mounted against rebel militia arms and gunpowder stores in the towns of Lexington and Concord. The 10th Regiment formed up and marched off with the other British units of Boston to destroy the rebel militia stores and the rest was history.
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Old 28 Jul 09, 21:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minuteman21 View Post
"The brutality of the British response at Lexington was probably mostly due to the troops being mostly green. They had never been in battle before. Their officers lost control of them. And it took the experienced Smith some doing to get them under control when he arrived. "

Paul, about this statement, couldn't it be said that with the rumors of scalping was also making their way through the British ranks after Concord. Ensign Lister in his diary, noted that during the battle at Concord, he "saw" scalped British soldiers. (these reports were later to reported as false) But as the British troops were making their way back to Boston, don't you think that having the knowledge (true or untrue about scalping) the British acted accordingly. Thinking "these rebels are savages, scalping our troops, we may as well burn their homes."
Minuteman21,
The out of control behaviour by British troops at Lexington occurred before the British arrived at Concord, and indeed was partly responsible for the militia gathering at Concord.
The American "scalping' of a British soldier on the Concord North Bridge, (there was only one soldier so far as I can ascertain) did, however result in serious British atrocities at Metonomy on the way back to Boston, namely execution of American prisoners, brutal invasions and burnings of American homes where it was thought rebels might be, etc.
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Old 28 Jul 09, 21:05
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johnbryan@20,
Know anything about the 52nd. Lt. Infantry? (I think they arrived in Boston from Canada in March 1775.)
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  #23  
Old 29 Jul 09, 00:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Burns View Post
johnbryan@20,
Know anything about the 52nd. Lt. Infantry? (I think they arrived in Boston from Canada in March 1775.)
I found some information here:

http://www.britishbattles.com/concord-lexington.htm
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  #24  
Old 29 Jul 09, 00:07
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Here's a little more from another site:

"The American War of Independence (1774-82)
The 43rd returned to England after the peace of 1763 but crossed the Atlantic again eleven years later and was engaged throughout the American War of Independence. The 52nd, which had waited twenty years for its first taste of active service, joined them at Boston and the two regiments fought side-by-side at Lexington and Bunker Hill, both battles won at the cost of heavy casualties. There followed a series of successful actions around New York in which the Americans were regularly defeated and the 52nd returned home in 1778. But the intervention of France in support of the rebellion started the turn of the tide; the 43rd was sent to Virginia to reinforce Lord Cornwallis and was therefore present at the siege and final surrender at Yorktown in 1781 which brought the war to an end"
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Old 29 Jul 09, 00:10
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And yet, a little more:

"1774 - Boston, Lexington, Bunker Hill

Boston

American troops besieged the town from April 20, 1775, until the British, dominated by enemy artillery from heights, evacuated it on March 17, 1776.

Lexington and Concord

The British commander-in-chief in North America, General Gage, sent 700 troops (Lieutenant-Colonel F. Smith) to destroy an American militia depot at Concord, near Boston. At Lexington, April 19, the British encountered 70 armed minutemen (militia) under Captain John Parker. No official command was given, but the British opened fire, killing eight and wounding ten Americans. This combat started the war. At Concord a British platoon was attacked, suffering 14 casualties. That afternoon the British column was harassed throughout its return march to Boston. Casualties: British, 99 killed, 174 wounded; American, 100 killed, 41 wounded.

Bunker Hill

The Americans were holding Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill on the outskirts of Boston. The 2,000 British finally dislodged the Americans but lost 800 men. The battle polarized the conflict and established "sides." In 'Redcoats and Rebels, The War for America, 1770-1781' by Christopher Hibbert it states on page 53 - "General Howe, leading the main assault in person as he had promised to do and supported by Brigadier Robert Pigot with the 43rd and 52nd foot, found himself on three occasions quite alone, all the staff around him lying dead or wounded."


1776-78 - New York

1778 - England
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Old 29 Jul 09, 01:06
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johnbryan
Much appreciated. Thanks, heaps. Great help, especially #24. Will keep digging.
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  #27  
Old 29 Jul 09, 06:50
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[QUOTE=johnbryan;1270393]And yet, a little more:

Lexington and Concord

The British commander-in-chief in North America, General Gage, sent 700 troops (Lieutenant-Colonel F. Smith) to destroy an American militia depot at Concord, near Boston. At Lexington, April 19, the British encountered 70 armed minutemen (militia) under Captain John Parker. No official command was given, but the British opened fire, killing eight and wounding ten Americans. This combat started the war. At Concord a British platoon was attacked, suffering 14 casualties. That afternoon the British column was harassed throughout its return march to Boston. Casualties: British, 99 killed, 174 wounded; American, 100 killed, 41 wounded.

just a quick query, I thought that no one knew definetely who opened fire first? I know the British sources say they received fire before returning it and that the American sources say the oposite. I didnt realise it had been settled?
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Old 29 Jul 09, 20:33
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DARKPLACE,
As to who fired the first shot as far as I know, it hasn't been settled. The militia were under definite instructions both at Lexington and Concord not to fire first, so the blame for starting the conflict could be sheeted home to the British. It would seem battle nerves overcame both sides at Lexington and the Brits and Americans fired their muskets virtually simultaneously. That seems to be the accepted historical position, once you cut through the propaganda from both sides.
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Old 30 Jul 09, 06:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Burns View Post
DARKPLACE,
As to who fired the first shot as far as I know, it hasn't been settled. The militia were under definite instructions both at Lexington and Concord not to fire first, so the blame for starting the conflict could be sheeted home to the British. It would seem battle nerves overcame both sides at Lexington and the Brits and Americans fired their muskets virtually simultaneously. That seems to be the accepted historical position, once you cut through the propaganda from both sides.

Cheers mate, So its still a toss up. Did a quick bit of a read up last night and couldnt find a simple yes or no to it. Having said that, given the way the squaddies were being treated in Boston in the run up to this I wouldnt be suprised that some of them took the first oppurtunity to even the score as soon as they came across "rebels" in arms.
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Old 30 Jul 09, 11:20
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I think we are placing too much of an emphasis on the British being green and nervous which conditions allowed for them to fire first.

Maj. Pitcairn fired his pistol as a warning, and my guess is, a farmer who was not on the green, but hiding near Buckhman Tavern or the stone wall around there, probably took the first shot, which erupted in the British firing back
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