Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
War - The American Revolution
Lexington and Concord
Racing across the Massachusetts countryside, Paul Revere (1-yellow) and William Dawes (2-blue) warn their countrymen that the redcoats are coming. The British force of about 700 men hoped to surprise Concord (3) and seize colonial ammunition. But, on the night of April 18, patriots found out about the plan and dispatched the two riders to alert the militia.
At Lexington, Dr. Samuel Prescott (4-purple) joined Revere and Dawes. Near Concord, a British patrol stopped them and took Revere prisoner. Dawes fled on foot, but Prescott continued. He jumped his horse over a stone wall and galloped on to Concord to spread the news. By the time 180 of the redcoats had reached Lexington (5), about 70 militiamen had lined up on the village green to meet them. Although badly outnumbered, patriot John Parker urged his men to stand firm.
No one knows who fired the first shot, but when the volleys stopped, eight Minutemen were dead. The redcoats marched on to Concord, where more than 300 of the militia were waiting. The British destroyed some ammunition and food supplies in town and then confronted angry militiamen at North Bridge (6). With more Minutemen arriving, the Brits turned around and marched back to Boston.
Later, Paul Revere tried to sue the state to reimburse him for the costs incurred during his ride. The British were to destroy gunpowder stores and arrest patriots, Sam Adams and John Hancock.
Battle of Bunker Hill
At first the well-ordered redcoat columns "advanced with confidence," one officer recalled. The patriots, low on ammunition, waited with grim resolve from their position on Breed's Hill, just below Bunker Hill.
"Don't fire until
you see the whites of their eyes,"
The British troops did ultimately take the hill, but not without a staggering loss of life. On the third assault, the redcoats took the hill as the militiamen ran out of gunpowder and retreated. With more than 1000 British killed or wounded, General Henry Clinton called the battle: "A dear bought victory. Another such would have ruined us."
The Continental Army
George Washington lamented that the Continental Army had "very little discipline, order or government" at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. As the war progressed, his soldiers learned European military drill, and combined it with their determination and frontier know-how to defeat the redcoats, one of the world's best-trained and best-equiped armies.
The rifle took a long time to load, compared to the musket. By the time a soldier forced his rifle ball down the barrel, the enemy could get him with a bayonet. Their rifles had no bayonet, a necessity for fighting at close range, or in damp weather when wet flints and gunpowder made firearms useless. Because of these disadvantages, the musket remained the primary weapon used during the Revolutionary War.
England had good soldiers and lots of money. But, they didn't care, and England was fighting several other wars at the same time. (There was a Palm tree fort in Charleston. The English stopped several times when they got close to ending it, crossing the Delaware to attack drunk Hessians.)
Problems and War in Colonial America
The American Revolution
Historical Periods of
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Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Modern European History | Advanced Placement European History | Rise of England | World History |
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