Editor's Note: This article was reprinted from the February 1997 Edition of the "The Liberty Tree and Valley Compatriot" Newsletter
It can be argued that April 19th, 1775 is the most important date in American history. The Battle of Lexington, Concord and Battle Road was the opening engagement of the American Revolution. And, it is not surprising that after two hundred and twenty-two years, some of the details are still the subject of some debate. Since our readership is very familiar with the battle, we will only present an overview of the battle as background to our biography.
NOTES AND COMMENTS:
1. Lieutenant General Thomas Gage, (1719?-1787) Commander-in-Chief of all British forces in North America. He was relieved of his command by General William Howe October 10th, 1775.
2. Colonel Francis Smith (1723-1791), commanding officer of the 10th Regiment of Foot. In 1787 he was promoted to Lieutenant General and Aide-de-Camp to King George III.
3. In the 18th Century a British Regiment was comprised of ten Companies, each between 35 and 50 men. One Company was light Infantry and one Company were Grenadiers (wearing the famed tall bearskin cap) and eight companies of the line. When the Regiment was formed up, the Light Infantry and Grenadiers were at either end of the formation, hence the term "flank companies".
4. Major John Pitcairn (1722-1775) of the Royal Marines He led the final charge at Bunker's Hill, with the cry "Now, for the glory of the Marines" and was struck by what was probably the last volley from the American redoubt. He died in his son's arms (a Marine Lieutenant). He was survived by his eleven children.
5. Captain John Parker (1729-1775) commanding the Lexington Minutemen had served in the French and Indian Wars and was probably one of Roger's Rangers. He died of Tuberculosis on September 17th, 1775.
6. General Hugh Percy (1742-1817) was known as Earl Percy. In 1793 he was promoted to full General, but achieved no further distinctions, other than his successful retreat from Lexington.
7. Sam's position was at present day Mystic Street near the corner Chestnut Street and his marked by a plaque that reads: "Near this spot Samuel Whittemore, then 80 years old, killed three British Soldiers April 19, 1775. He was shot, bayoneted, beaten and left for dead, but recovered and lived to be 98 years of age. "
"THE HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF ARLINGTON "
by Benjamin & William Cutler- - Boston Clapp 1880
"WEST CAMBRIDGE ON THE NINETEENTH OF APRIL 1775"
by Samuel A. Smith - Boston, Mudge 1864
"THE MINUTEMAN", by Maj. John R. Galvin, Hawthorn Books - 1967
"ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION", by Mark Boatner - - David McKay Company 1974
"RED DAWN AT LEXINGTON", by Louis Birnbaum - Houghton Miffin Company 1986
"LETTERS OF HUGH, EARL PERCY 1774 -1776". Edited by Charles K. Bolton - - Goodspeeds 1902
"A BRITISH FUSILIER IN REVOLUTIONARY BOSTON", by Frederick McKenzie, Edited by Allen French Cambridge, Harvard, 1926
"MILITARY HISTORY MAGAZINE", June 1996