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Declaration of Independence

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Drafting the Declaration
ABOUT THE SIGNERS
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FASCINATING FACTS
DATES TO REMEMBER
Sons of Liberty
The Case for Revolution
The Five Riders
Two Great Thinkers
Famous Loyalists
The Shot Heard Round the World
THE FOURTH OF JULY
Treaty of Paris
True Copy of Declaration
DECLARATION QUIZ

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The Shot Heard Round the Word:
The Battles of Lexington and Concord

"Concord Hymn" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shot heard round the world - Concord Hymn
Ralph Waldo Emerson
By the 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.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Although in recent history, the term "Shot Heard Round the World" is attached to the game-winning home run by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson to win the National League Pennant in 1951, and synonymous with the shot that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand at the beginning of World War I, Emerson did not write this famous ode to baseball, nor did he live to see the wars of the Twentieth Century. Instead, he penned these few lines about the famous Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first official engagement between Britain and the Colonies in the American Revolutionary War. Specifically, Emerson's poem describes the first shots fired by Patriots at the North Bridge in what is now Charlestown, in northwestern Boston, Massachusetts.

The Revolution Begins

The clash began on April 19, 1775 when more about 700 British soldiers were given what they thought were secret orders to destroy colonial military supplies in Concord, Massachusetts. Fortunately, thanks to a rather elaborate colonial intelligence network, led by the Sons of Liberty, the Patriots were aware that their supplies were at risk, and were able to move them to different locations long before the British began to move. Also, thanks to the daring rides of a few brave men, the colonial militia knew that an engagement with the British Army was imminent.

Hand drawn depiction of the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Siege of Boston, by J. DeCosta July 29, 1775.
Hand drawn depiction of the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Siege of Boston, by J. DeCosta July 29, 1775.

The first shots were fired just after dawn in Lexington, Massachusetts the morning of the 19th, the "Shot Heard Round the World." The colonial militia, a band of 500 men, were outnumbered and initially forced to retreat. The British army was able to press forward to Concord, where they searched for the supplies, only to come up empty handed.

While the British were searching, the American militia was able to reform, and they met the enemy at the North Bridge in Concord, and they were successful this time in driving the British back. As more American reinforcements arrived, they forced the British army south to Boston, and the militias blockaded the narrow land accesses to Charlestown and Boston, starting the Siege of Boston.

The American War for Independence was now in full swing.





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