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Having received Intelligence, that a Quantity of Ammunition, Provision, Artillery, Tents and small Arms, have been collected at Concord, for the Avowed Purpose of raising and supporting a Rebellion against His Majesty, you will March with the Corps of Grenadiers and Light Infantry, put under your Command, with utmost expedition and Secrecy to Concord, where you will seize and destroy all Artillery, Ammunition, Provisions, Tents, Small Arms, and all Military Stores whatever - Per Order of General Gage to Lt. Colonel F. Smith, of the Kings Troops
What a glorious morning this is!--Samuel Adams, to John Hancock April 19th 1775
Throw down your arms, ye villains, ye Rebels, Disperse!
Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!
"God wills us free; man wills us slaves: I will as God wills; God's will be done."
The Americans seemed to drop from the clouds and we were totally surrounded with such an incessant fire as it is impossible to conceive. -British officer
For half and hour, the enemy, by their continuous marches, discovered great fickleness and inconstancy of mind; till at length they quitted the town, and retreated by the way they came. In the meantime a party of our men took the back way, through the Great Fields, into the east quarter, and had placed themselves to advantage, lying in ambush behind walls, fences and buildings, ready to fire upon the enemy on their retreat.
The Sword is now drawn, and God knows when it will be sheathed.
That blood stain, on the vernal sword,
Hallowed to freedom all the shore;
In fragments fell the yoke abhorred---
The footsteps of a foreign lord
Profaned the soil no more.
By rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord, 1837
originally posted by: lifeisgreat
This should have been read at every school in the country yesterday. a reply to: UxoriousMagnus
The Concord River is remarkable for the gentleness of its current, which is scarcely perceptible, and some have referred to its influence the proverbial moderation of the inhabitants of Concord, as exhibited in the Revolution, and on later occasions.
You shall see men you never heard of before, whose names you don't know, going away down through the meadows with long guns, wading through the fowl-meadow grass, on bleak, wintry, distant shores, with guns at half-cock, and they shall see teal, blue-winged, green-winged, shelldrakes, whistlers, black ducks, ospreys, and many other wild and noble sights before night, such as they who sit in parlors never dream of.
You shall see rude and sturdy, experienced and wise men, keeping their castles, or teaming up their summer's wood, or chopping alone in the woods, men fuller of talk and rare adventure in the sun and wind and rain, than a chestnut is of meat; who were out not only in '75 and 1812, but have been out every day of their lives; greater men than Homer, or Chaucer, or Shakespeare, only they never got time to say so; they never took to the way of writing. Look at their fields, and imagine what they might write, if ever they should put pen to paper.
-Henry D. Thoreau 1839
Rifled firearms saw their first major combat usage in the American colonies during the Seven Years war, and later the American Revolution in the eighteenth century.
The longrifle is an early example of a firearm using rifling, (spiral grooves in the bore). This gave the projectile, commonly a round lead ball, a spiraling motion, increasing the stability of the trajectory. A more stable trajectory meant dramatically improved accuracy over the more commonly available smooth bore muskets also used in the period.
Until the development of the Minié ball in the middle of the 19th century, the main disadvantages of a rifle compared to a musket were a slower reload time due to the use of a tighter fitting lead ball and greater susceptibility to the fouling of the bore after prolonged usage - such fouling would eventually prevent loading altogether, rendering the weapon useless until thoroughly cleaned.