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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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  #31  
Old 30 Jul 09, 15:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minuteman21 View Post
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
I just have to weigh in on this one. To reiterate, it remains undetermined who fired the first shot. Best guesses suggest that it may have been some patriot firing from one of the buildings or from the woods, but no one knows, or will know, for sure. Pitcairn tried repeatedly to halt the firing, but to no avail. And so the powder keg went off and Sam Adams had his ripe fruit.
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  #32  
Old 30 Jul 09, 22:07
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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.
The position of the squaddies in Boston just prior to the Concord expedition is an intriguing one, insofar as it contributed to the near-massacre at Lexington. John Shy inToward Lexington paints a picture of bored, drunken soldiers encouraged by the Bostonians to desert and deeply resentful of Gage's preferential treatment to civilians, and subject to verbal and physical abuse from the same civilians, without redress. Its possible this clear lack of morale among the British forces contributed to the breakdown of discipline on the battlefield. Indeed, one lieutenant feigned sickness as the troops assembled at Boston Common as an excuse not to go on the Concord expedition. There was, too, a clear awareness among the troops that the militia had been training (and probably spoiling) for a fight.
OTOH, there had been several expeditions into the Boston countryside (though not in the middle of the night) that elicited nothing but grumbling from the Massachusetts 'peasants', to use Lt. Colonel Smith's phrase. So, there could have been an expectation from the British soldiery, once their objective was revealed - destroying rebel munitions, cannon etc at Concord - as little more than just another more complicated powder raid, that they would be met only by angry abuse, and perhaps threats of violence, but little more. Hence the British shock at armed resistance at Lexington, and the panicked response of green troops. This was, of course, exacerbated by the defeat at North Bridge and the alleged scalping of a wounded infantryman after the British rout there. By that time, I would suggest, all bets were off. From then on, all hell broke loose.

Last edited by Paul Burns; 30 Jul 09 at 22:11..
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  #33  
Old 31 Jul 09, 15:39
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I believe one of the expeditions you may be refering to is the Powder Alarm of 1774. Which essentially was a precursor to Lexington and Concord just without the loss of life. Agrument could be made this was the beginning of the end of British rule outside of Boston within the Massachusetts border.
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  #34  
Old 31 Jul 09, 21:24
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Originally Posted by Minuteman21 View Post
I believe one of the expeditions you may be refering to is the Powder Alarm of 1774. Which essentially was a precursor to Lexington and Concord just without the loss of life. Agrument could be made this was the beginning of the end of British rule outside of Boston within the Massachusetts border.
Minuteman21,
yeah. You're right. (Though the New Hampshire raid came close to erupting into violence.)
I was also thinking of Gage's habit of sending out a couple of hundred troops to march around the Boston environs for a day or half a day. Apparently he did this to get the locals used to seeing soldiers on the roads, so when the big moment came ie Concord, the locals wouldn't take any notice. It didn't work.
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  #35  
Old 08 Aug 09, 16:38
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I agree we should honor the minutemen. I saw the re-enactment on Lexington Green at dawn many times when younger and always found it exciting, especially as you could hear the drumming getting louder and louder as "The Redcoats" approached.
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  #36  
Old 08 Aug 09, 22:52
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I agree we should honor the minutemen. I saw the re-enactment on Lexington Green at dawn many times when younger and always found it exciting, especially as you could hear the drumming getting louder and louder as "The Redcoats" approached.
lakechampainer,
If I ever get to the US, that's one thing I'm definitely going to go and see. I've watched it on YouTube, but that'd be nothing like the real thing.
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  #37  
Old 10 Aug 09, 22:34
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I've just finished reading Allen French's Day of Concord and Lexington first published in 1925. In it he notes about the Unknown British Soldier hatcheted by a young militia man near the North Bridge, that "He lies today where alien hands buried him. But yearly in the spring come British veterans to decorate his grave, and Americans fire a salute above him."
This was eighty four years ago. Can anybody tell me if this ceremony still happens?
(It may be common knowledge in the US that it takes place, but over here in Oz, its something I hadn't heard of till reading French.)
Just curious.
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  #38  
Old 15 Aug 09, 17:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Burns View Post
I've just finished reading Allen French's Day of Concord and Lexington first published in 1925. In it he notes about the Unknown British Soldier hatcheted by a young militia man near the North Bridge, that "He lies today where alien hands buried him. But yearly in the spring come British veterans to decorate his grave, and Americans fire a salute above him."
This was eighty four years ago. Can anybody tell me if this ceremony still happens?
(It may be common knowledge in the US that it takes place, but over here in Oz, its something I hadn't heard of till reading French.)
Just curious.
Thats one eof those little differences between American English and British English. They say hatcheted we say scalped.

Seriously, though I dont know for sure but there are other britsh wargraves in the US that are tended by the locals so I dont see any reason why this one should be any different.
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  #39  
Old 15 Aug 09, 21:56
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Originally Posted by DARKPLACE View Post
Thats one eof those little differences between American English and British English. They say hatcheted we say scalped.

Seriously, though I dont know for sure but there are other britsh wargraves in the US that are tended by the locals so I dont see any reason why this one should be any different.
DARKPLACE,
Since I posted my query I've actually seen a photo of the grave at Concord (which apparently contains 2 soldiers.) Unfortunately I can't post a copy because it was somewhere else on somebody else's computer, and I don't have the computer expertise, and I can't find the site again.
Thanks, anyway.

Last edited by Paul Burns; 15 Aug 09 at 21:58..
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  #40  
Old 15 Aug 09, 22:40
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This is the grave of two soldiers near the North Bridge.

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  #41  
Old 15 Aug 09, 22:52
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this is the grave of two soldiers near the North Bridge.

Thanks, HiredGoon. much appreciated. I see they have a couple of pretty new looking Union Jacks there, so it looks like somebody is tending the grave regulalry.
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  #42  
Old 17 Aug 09, 07:47
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Originally Posted by Paul Burns View Post
this is the grave of two soldiers near the North Bridge.

Thanks, HiredGoon. much appreciated. I see they have a couple of pretty new looking Union Jacks there, so it looks like somebody is tending the grave regulalry.

Doesnt suprise me. Theres a grave of a british sailor from world war two on an unoccupied island off the coast of South Carolina. One of the local fishermen takes his lawn mower across every once in a while and gives the grass a trim. He's not paid for it, he just does it because it seems right to him.

Good on who evers maintaining it.
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  #43  
Old 29 Aug 09, 14:03
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this is the grave of two soldiers near the North Bridge.

Thanks, HiredGoon. much appreciated. I see they have a couple of pretty new looking Union Jacks there, so it looks like somebody is tending the grave regulalry.
I have been to the April 19th Patriot's Day Old North Bridge Reinactment several times. Wreaths are laid as well at the British graves. So they are remembered and honored.
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  #44  
Old 29 Aug 09, 22:04
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I have been to the April 19th Patriot's Day Old North Bridge Reinactment several times. Wreaths are laid as well at the British graves. So they are remembered and honored.
Thanks, Jannie. That's really good to hear.
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  #45  
Old 29 Sep 09, 02:57
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Does anybody know if Widow Brown's Tavern on the way to Barrett's farm is still standing. If so, where could I get a picture of it.
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