This is the spot – “the shot heard round the world”! How many times have we read about it? Just up the hill to the right in the picture is a huge brick mansion. There are fields below and the river running under the bridge made it a good place to farm. It all looked so normal and so it was hard to believe that this is where the revolution started to get really bloody.
This is also the place where we all started to understand the Freedom Trail that we’d done the day before. So the British were marching out from Boston, toward Lexington and Concord. Paul and 2 other men had warned people that “the British were coming”, so the munitions that they were coming for were well hidden. The British had been marching for almost 14 hours by the time they reached this bridge. They were tired and hungry. The Patriots had been camped near the mansion, with more men flooding in to help.
The two groups met on this spot. The Patriot leader said to hold all fire, and to this day, no one is sure who shot first. The Patriots held back until their leader said to shoot back. What mayhem it must have been. Lined up facing each other, the British with their perfect red uniforms and white crosses across their chests making a good target, and the rag-tag Patriots who were fighting for their land and way of life. Farmers, doctors, craftsmen, young and old, fighting for what they believed in. The patriots had less men, but they still turned the British around and as they headed back a very obvious, wide open path back to Boston, the Patriots shot them from every hidden location. It was demoralizing for the British.
We walked the path, saw an incredible 3-D version of the story, and talked about what it would have been like to be part of the shooting. We had spent the morning hiking around Walden Pond, so the difference was immense. From peace to war in one day, whew. So glad we took the detour to see it all. Thanks again, Al!