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Protest

June 19, 2007

 

This was my Memorial Day protest – still flying outside my NH home.  Note the Betsy Ross flag.

I’m reading Paul Revere’s Ride, by David Hackett Fischer – a pretty good summary of the events of the outbreak of the Am. Rev.

A quote from his description of the battle at the North Bridge at Concord, April 19, 1775:

Below them [the New England militia], the British soldiers were ordered to fall back across the bridge.  Several began to pull up the wooden planking.  Major John Buttrick shouted a warning to leave the bridge alone.  This was their bridge!  Buttrick’s home was just behind him.  Standing on his own land that had belonged to his family since 1638, he turned to his minutemen and said, “if we were all of his mind he would drive them away from the bridge, they should not tear that up,” Amos Barrett remembered, “We all said we would go.”  The New England men were thus consulted – not commanded – on the great question before them.

[…]

The Regulars by the bridge turned and looked up the hill in amazement at the men coming toward them.  They never imagined that these “country people” would dare to march against the King’s troops in formation, and were astonished by their order and discipline.  One British soldier wrote that the Yankee militia “advanced with the greatest regularity”…. Slowly the British Regulars began to understand that this was no rural rabble confronting them.

Caught in a trap between two long files of militiamen who were relentlessly firing their muskets,

[T]he Regulars suddenly turned and ran for their lives.  It was a rare spectacle in military history.  A picked force of British infantry, famed for its indomitable courage on many a field of battle, was broken by a band of American militia.  British Ensign Lister wrote candidly, “The weight of their fire was such that we was obliged to give way, then run with the greatest precipitance.”

The British light infantry fled pell-mell back toward Concord center, defying their officers and abandoning their wounded, who were left to drag themselves painfully away.

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