Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Shot Heard Round the World

"Disperse you rebels; damn you, throw down your arms and disperse!" --Major John Pitcairn, British Marine

"Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." --Captain John Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19th 1775

"I'm not afraid to go, and I haven't a man that's afraid to go." --Captain Isaac Davis on his willingness to defend a town that was not his own.

"Fire, For God's sake fire!" --Major John Buttrick on seeing Captain Isaac Davis fall at the North Bridge

"..on the Return of the Troops they were attacked from all Quarters where any Cover was to be found, from whence it was practicable to annoy them, and they were so fatigued with their March that it was with Difficulty they could keep out their Flanking Partys to remove the Enemy to a Distance, so that they were at length a good deal pressed." --From General Thomas Gage's report on the battle

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,---
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
From Longfellow's "Paul Revere's Ride"

"What a glorious morning this is!" -- Samuel Adams, Comment to John Hancock at the Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775