3 July 16

The Shot “Heard Around the World!”

19 Apr 1775 (Wed) at the Bridge at Lexington and Concord, MA

By April of 1775, just over a year after the “Boston Tea Party,” the entire Massachusetts Colony (outside of Boston) was finally declared by the British Crown to be in an open “State of Rebellion.”

Thus, a battalion of British regulars, under Lt/Col Francis smith, were sent out into the countryside by British General Thomas Gage to confront the rebels. They marched all night from Boston in an effort to surprise local militias in Concord. Their orders were to brush-aside all resistance and forcibly seize military supplies, including privately-owned small arms, rifles, muskets, and pistols.

The British Advanced Guard, composed of British Marines under the command of Major John Pitcaren, lead the column.

The intended “surprise” of their mission had been compromised, via the Colonists’ skillful spy network. Everyone knew they were coming, and their route.

Both sides were nervous, but hesitant to shoot.

They were confronted, just at sunrise, at the Concord Bridge, by a hastily-collected group of Colonial Militiamen, under the command of Captain John Parker. Parker was forty-six, and a veteran of fighting during the French and Indian Wars. He was a competent and experienced officer, but in poor health. His voice was weak, and his orders were difficult to understand, which probably accounts for the Militiamen’s confused and indecisive response to British well-orchestrated aggression. Most ultimately broke and ran.

The single shot that precipitated the subsequent lopsided British (initial) victory was probably an ND! Pitcaren, on horseback, had a pistol (single-shot, flintlock) in his hand, with his finger probably on the trigger. British small-arms training in those days was no better than it is today!

News of this initial hot contact spread at the speed of sound! Militiaman began to assemble and gravitate to the area. Everyone knew, and had for some time, that armed conflict was inevitable!

In subsequent hot contacts, the British didn’t fare nearly so well!

In fact, Smith and his troops were literally run-out of the area by well-organized armed Colonists, and chased all the way back to Boston, with significant casualties.

The American Revolutionary War had well and truly begun, and there was now no possibility of a “negotiated settlement!”

Open hostilities would continue, well past the Paris Treaty of 1783, which the British never had any intention of observing anyway.

The Northwest Wars, between British-incited Indians and newly-independent Americans, continued through the War of 1812 (which officially ended in February of 1815, after Jackson’s stunning victory over the British during the Battle of New Orleans on 18 Jan of the same year).

What are generally consider the last casualties of the American Revolutionary War were two British nationals arrested in Florida in 1818 as they were inciting local Seminoles. Andrew Jackson executed both (one was shot, the other hanged).

The War, which officially began forty-five years earlier at Lexington and Concord, was finally over!

Thus, the entire American Revolution, of which we are the modern inheritors, was fought over “gun control,” and started via an ND.

How appropriate!