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April 19, 1775 – The Colonists Stand Their Ground

“Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

On this day, some 241 years ago, John Parker, Captain of Militia, uttered those instructions to his men as they stood on Lexington Green, ready, if need be, to engage 500 British troops set to sieze the militia’s arsenal.

Print available here

What may have begun as a show of force on the side of the militia soon became an active firefight as the British advance guard met a percieved provocation with demands to disperse. The fog of war set in and a firefight soon broke out. The Colonist militia quickly gained the upper hand and drove a British force, which over the course of the day had grown to 1700, all the way back to Charlestown and beyond. This action would ultimately become the siege of Boston, happened over a year before the Declaration of Independence.

Whether they intended to or not, the concept of Liberty became cause as those men stood their ground.

Map: National Park Service

We owe these men our very nation. Their sheer determination in the face of tyranny embodies the American spirit. Please join me in honoring their memory this Patriot’s Day.

22 Responses to “April 19, 1775 – The Colonists Stand Their Ground”

  1. Ed says:

    Let that spirit still persist today in those that know and love what they hold dear, freedom and independence. God bless.

  2. Strike-Hold says:

    Today its not the British in Lexington we have to worry about, its the town council.

  3. Marcus says:

    Many people don’t know that Parker was in poor health that morning, suffering from TB. He was so ill by September, he passed away. But he soldiered on. Nothing could dissuade him from the cause.

    He also regrouped and attacked the British Regulars on their way back to Boston (known as Parker’s Revenge). He not only stayed in the fight, but went on the attack.

    A real American icon.

    Parker’s musket hangs in the Senate Chamber of the Massachusetts State House.

    • Gerard says:

      This is hard to believe but for awhile they actually wanted to put a trigger lock on Parker’s musket to be in accordance with state law. It never happened but its amazing it was even considered.

  4. Chuck says:

    Of all the wonderful actions taken by Americans on our soil and throughout the world, none could speak of the true spirit of Liberty, and the American character more so than the actions taken by those men on that day. It is forever etched in history as the singular moment that defined us as a nation. For that I am grateful. This We’ll Defend.

    • Dellis says:

      Well stated Chuck!

      This line of yours….”It is forever etched in history as the singular moment that defined us as a nation”

      Who’s history I ask myself? What I mean by that is how long will things like this be taught in schools because most schools have very little history, true history courses these days, especially for the middle school kids and that’s a pretty damn sad state to be in.

      If a liberal college kid could be transported back in time to early America they would drop dead from the horrible terrorists that ran the schools, government and stores.

  5. Mick says:


    The gear news is only part of the reason I come here; I also love the occassional guest editorials and historical notes you post… keep it up! They are good reminders about who we are and why we do what we do.

    My daughter read a book about Lexington & Concord recently in school (1st grade) and as a national guard/reservist, I was quite proud to explain to her that I’m a minuteman myself! I am very proud of the heritage/history/ethos of the citizen/soldier, and it’s really neat that you espouse and promote that on your blog.


  6. Craig says:

    Sad that,now, these Men would be considered ‘terrorists’.
    They would be a ‘Terrorist Organization”,and on a watchlist.
    They were Great men. “Thank You” seems like so little.

    Which is why, by and large,Americans have been ‘cowed’ and this sort of thing will never happen again, even though it probably (way past time) needs to.
    Americans are full of righteous indignation and bluster. Everyone ELSE should ‘DO Something.Oh, but not me,”I have……. ,but I would if I could”

    Who to thank?
    TV. McDonald’s.Budweiser.

    • Gerard says:

      Very well put Craig

    • John says:

      In many ways the Militia and Continental Army were treated in exactly that way by a not insignificant number of the colonial population. Although the term “terrorist” had not yet enter the English vernacular. The Revolutionaries were regularly referred to as “insurgents”. Many, both within the British military and the loyalist population (about 15-20% of the white population) viewed them as cowardly and traitorous.

  7. JKifer says:

    Thanks SSD for the info, good men.. our brothers.. may they rest in peace in the halls of Valhalla.. or reincarnate and repeat as necessary

  8. bryanscle says:

    These days you just run from the conflict as a refugee and complain about the country you seek refuge in

  9. SoloDallas says:

    Having grown up in Europe (but born here in the US) I know particularly well what freedom (or lack of thereof) means. So, dear SSD, count me in. Sir.

  10. Maskirovka says:

    Great post, SSD. ‘Murica. Carry on. 🙂

  11. fact275 says:

    Sadly these men fought against taxation that pales in comparison to what the government they eventually set up would levy in future centuries.

  12. DAN III says:


    Review your history. Research “Whiskey Rebellion”. It was only a few short years after the end of RevWar hostilities when Mr. Liberty, George Washington himself, would lead an army of thousands into western Pennsylvania to force compliance upon whiskey distillers, with the newborn fedgov’s taxation diktats.

    The taxation and accompanying fedgov tyranny started almost immediately after the nation was born.

    Freedom ? Hahahahahaha….don’t pay your school/property taxes.

    • JKifer says:

      Yes Sir, you are correct, true freedom in this country didn’t even make it past the first decade.

  13. Seamus says:


    • JKifer says:

      because it would be exemplifying (made that word up I think) homegrown patriotism, the right to bear arms, and the right to exercise due diligence in promoting and maintaining our freedom… AKA: homegrown terror/extremism… Just saying…