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Our Visit to Lexington Green

 

Massachusetts Colony was a hotbed of sedition in the spring of 1775. Preparations for conflict with the Royal authority had been underway throughout the winter with the production of arms and munitions, the training of militia (including the minutemen), and the organization of defenses. In April, General Thomas Gage, military governor of Massachusetts decided to counter these moves by sending a force out of Boston to confiscate weapons stored in the village of Concord and capture patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock reported to be staying in the village of Lexington.

The atmosphere was tense, word of General Gage's intentions spread through Boston prompting the patriots to set up a messaging system to alert the countryside of any advance of British troops. Paul Revere arranged for a signal to be sent by lantern from the steeple of North Church - one if by land, two if by sea. On the night of April 18, 1775 the lantern's alarm sent Revere, William Dawes and other riders on the road to spread the news. The messengers cried out the alarm, awakening every house, warning of the British column making its way towards Lexington. In the rider's wake there erupted the peeling of church bells, the beating of drums and the roar of gun shots - all announcing the danger and calling the local militias to action.

In the predawn light of April 19, the beating drums and peeling bells summoned between 50 and 70 militiamen to the town green at Lexington. As they lined up in battle formation the distant sound of marching feet and shouted orders alerted them of the Redcoats' approach. Soon the British column emerged through the morning fog and the confrontation that would launch a nation began.

 

The site of the Old Belfry, Lexington, Massachusetts, USA.

Originally built on its present site in 1762, the Old Belfry was moved to the Battle Green in 1768. From there the bell summoned people to worship, warned them of danger, tolled on their deaths, and sounded the alarm of April 19, 1775. This exact reproduction was built in 1910 on the Belfry’s original site on Belfry Hill.

The Lexington Battle Green, known before the 1850s as Lexington Common, is the site of the opening shots of the American Revolution in 1775. It is located near the center of Lexington, Massachusetts, and serves as the main staging area for the annual reenactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. A statue of Capt. John Parker, of the Lexington Training Band (militia), stands at the eastern edge of the Green. It was erected in 1899 at the bequest of Francis Brown Hayes.

 

Completed on July 4, 1799, on what was originally the site of the Town’s first schoolhouse, this first monument of the Revolution is the oldest war memorial in the country. The remains of the colonists slain in the Battle of Lexington were moved here in 1835 from their common grave in the Old Burying Ground.

"The remains of those who fell in the Battle of Lexington, were brought here from the Old Cemetery, April 20, 1835, and buried within the railing in the front  of this monument."

 

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