Ill always remember April 19, 1775, as the most tiring and frightening day of my lifeand
as the most important. You see, that was the day I fought with the Minutemen at Lexington
and Concord, the battles that started the American Revolution.
Before I go on, allow me to introduce myself. My name is James Hall, and Im a blacksmith
here in Lexington, Massachusetts, where I live with my wife, Elizabeth. I joined the Minutemen
because the British Parliament was taxing the colonies without the consent of our elected
colonial assemblies. The right to govern yourself and make your own choices is a right worth
It was just past midnight on that fateful day when I was suddenly awakened by an alarming
cry from outside my window. "The British are coming! The British are coming!"
I couldnt believe my ears. Could it be true? I quickly dressed, grabbed my musket, and ran
to the town square just in time to see at least 300 British soldiers lining up across from our
forces. Only about half of our 130 Minutemen had arrived when I heard a terrifying sound
that of a single gunshot. That shot was later called "the shot heard round the world" because
it was the first one of the Revolution. Before I knew what was happening, the sounds of
many more shots filled the air, and the British forces charged us. Moments later, just as
quickly as the fighting had started, it stopped. I saw about 10 of my fellow Minutemen lying
dead or injured on the ground.
Shocked and scared, I hurried on to Concord to help the local militia there. The size of the
British forces had grown since the fighting in Lexington, but the number of Minutemen had
grown as well. Several hundred of us charged three British companies as soon as we saw
them, and the firing began immediately. After some hard fighting, we saw the British begin
to retreat. Victorious, we yelled with joy!
The rest of the Redcoats got in formation and started marching along the road back to
Boston. We Minutemen followed through the woods beside them, firing our guns whenever
we could get a clear shot. Some of our men fell to British gunfire, but we shot far more of
them than they did of us. We frustrated and stalled the Redcoats so much by the time they
finally reached Boston on the night of April 19, 1775, that they knew without a doubt they
had been in a fight.