Our Visit to Lexington Green
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
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."