The date is April 19, 1775 and the Revolutionary War has begun. Nevertheless, there is already another controversy. Who fired first at Lexington and Concord? An illustration of the Battle at Lexington and affidavits from American and British men can help solve this question.
The British fired first at Lexington because American troops were told to disperse and not have any sort of contact or fight with the British when they were sighted, Commander Parker’s and Lieutenant Gould’s affidavits are credible as they match with each other, and Sam Winship identified an officer who fired the first shot engaging Americans and British in warfare whereas John Barker’s affidavit of what happened in Lexington claims that Americans shot first but he could not identify who they actually were.
According to John Parker, an American soldier, and his affidavit he ordered his troops to not be discovered by British troops and to not in any way converse with them if they approached. If they in anyway insulted or harassed the soldiers, Parker stated that his troops should just run away and to not engage in battle. He concluded with saying that while at Lexington, there were British troops that rushed furiously, fired upon, and killed 8 of his men without Parker or his troops even provoking them.
Edward Gould, a British soldier, and his affidavit can help strengthen the fact that the British fired first at Lexington. Although Gould did say that he didn’t know who shot first, he did say that at Lexington, his troops sighted Americans and rushed toward them previous to the firing. These two affidavits imply that Gould’s troops had sighted Parker’s troops at Lexington. British fired first at Lexington while the American soldiers were told to disperse and the British ran after them to shoot them.
Lexington and Concord
by Rachel Horn
In the book, Paul Revere's Ride, the author, David Hackett Fischer, gives a detailed account of the battle of Lexington and Concord, including the events leading up to and following the battle. The British were tyrannizing over the Americans, and the Americans were getting angry, so when General Gage sends his men out to take away the Americans' weapons of war in Concord, the Americans prepared to fight them. This battle was a very important battle, so we should know who really got the victory at this battlefield, because both sides said they did.
One would first start with who won the first part of the battle, which is the battle of Lexington. The British were ordered to start marching on the evening of April 18, 1775, but they were not told where they were going, or why. They reached Lexington early in the morning of the nineteenth, with about 250 men, who were commanded by Major John Pitcairn. The Americans who were gathered at Lexington had between 60 and 70 men, commanded by Captain Parker. Both sides were told by their commanders not to fire unless they were fired upon, so after the first shot was fired, the British infantry just started firing without orders. They did not fire for very long however, before they recklessly charged the Americans. Most of the Americans did not fire, because they did not have orders, and because things were happening very quickly. The Americans were told by their commander to disperse, but many did not hear, and some of those who did were shot. The British had conquered the Americans, because the Americans had retreated out of the city. The Americans had lost more men than the British also, and they knew they were defeated. They were not totally discouraged however, and they started marching to Concord to fight the British again.
The Americans were preparing for the British to arrive. The Americans withdrew out of the city to wait for more men, who were quickly arriving. They now had about 500 men, and the British had about 115. The British followed the Americans, and did pretty much no harm to the undefended city. The Americans had crossed the North Bridge, just outside of Concord, and when the British crossed it the British started to destroy it. The Americans marched down to stop the destruction, and the British fired a couple times, then fled into the city. The Americans were surprised at how quickly they fled. During this battle, Colonel Smith was sent to for reinforcements. While his men were marching, they met the rest of their soldiers running down the road, away from the Americans. The Americans then marched toward the town, and took a defensive position behind a stone wall, and waited for the British to come up. The British came up, but they did not get very close until they halted, and stayed where they were for a few minutes, and then marched back to the town. While marching back, the british went under the fire of the Americans, and lost some more men. The Americans began to move over the hills, threatening to cut off the road from Concord to Boston. Colonel Smith sent some men to keep the line of retreat open. The Americans were on the hills surrounding the road, and they were ready to shoot at the British. The Americans made a circle around the British column, and kept shooting until the British made a camp to stop in for the night. The British had sent for more troops, and those started marching from Boston on the morning of the twentieth, and they reached the battle too late to be of much help. The Americans soon made them retreat with the other British. The British were under incessant fire, and by the time they reached the safety of Charlestown, they had lost most of their men.
We now see how the British won the battle of Lexington, and how the Americans won the battle of Concord. The Americans forced the British to retreat into safety, and they lost most of their men at Concord, so we say they won. So, even though the British had won Lexington, and both sides said they won the battle, the Americans really won because they had the final victory.
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