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The first shots starting the revolution were fired at Lexington, Massachusetts. On April 18, 1775, British General Thomas Gage sent 700 soldiers to destroy guns and ammunition the colonists had stored in the town of Concord, just outside of Boston. They also planned to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, two of the key leaders of the patriot movement.
On the evening of April 18th, the British troops were ferried across the Boston Harbor to start their march on Lexington. Paul Revere hung two lanterns in the church steeple. Then Paul Revere, William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott rode to warn the colonists that the British were coming.
Paul Revere rode to Lexington and alerted Samual Adams and John Hancock. By the time the British soldiers reached Lexington, Samual Adams and John Hancock had escaped.
Minute Man Memorial, Concord, Massachusetts
The colonists had been expecting a fight with the British. They had organized a group of militia, called the Minutemen. They were called Minutemen because they needed to be prepared to fight on a minutes notice. When the British soldiers reached Lexington, Captain Jonas Parker and 75 armed Minutemen were there to meet them. The Minutemen were greatly outnumbered. The British soldiers fired, killing 8 Minutemen and injuring 10 others. Although Paul Revere was captured by British scouts before reaching Concord, other messengers managed to get through and warn the people. While the British soldiers continued on their way to Concord, the men and women of Concord were busy moving the arms and ammunition to new hiding places in surrounding towns. When the soldiers arrived they were only able to destroy part of the supplies.