To concord by the lexington road the spring of 1775

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TO CONCORD, BY THE LEXINGTON ROAD The spring of 1775 was a cold one in New England. Because of the long winter frosts, food was scarce. General Gage had been forced to put his army on strict rations, and British morale was low. Around the same time, Gage became concerned about reports brought to him concerning large amounts of arms and munitions hidden outside of Boston. In March, Gage sent agents toward Concord, a town outside of Boston reported to be the site of one of the stockpiles. The agents returned with maps detailing where arms were rumored to be stored in barns, empty buildings, and private homes. The agents also told that John Hancock and Samuel Adams, per- haps the two most prominent leaders of resistance to British authority, were stay- ing in Lexington, a smaller community about five miles east of Concord. As the snows melted and the roads cleared, Gage drew up orders for his men to march along the Lexington Road to Concord, where they would seize and destroy all munitions that they could find. “THE REGULARS ARE COMING!” As General Gage began to ready his troops quartered in Boston, minutemen were watching. Rumors were that a strike by British troops against resistance activities would come soon, although no one knew exactly when, nor did they know which towns would be targeted. With Hancock and Adams in hiding, much of the leadership of resistance activity in Boston fell to a prominent young physician named Joseph Warren. Sometime during the afternoon of April 18, Doctor Warren consulted a confiden- tial source close to the British high command. The source informed him that Gage intended to march on Concord by way of Lexington, seize Adams and Hancock, and destroy all hidden munitions. Warren immediately sent for Paul Revere, a member of the Sons of Liberty, and told him to warn Adams and Hancock as well as the townspeople along the way. Revere began to organize a network of riders who would spread the alarm. E On the night of April 18, Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott rode out to spread word that 700 British Regulars, or army soldiers, were headed Summarizing E What did Warren order Paul Revere to do? 100 C HAPTER 4
SKILLBUILDER Interpreting Charts In what ways did colonial reaction to British rule intensify between 1765 and 1775? 1774 INTOLERABLE ACTS 1775 LEXINGTON AND CONCORD British Action General Gage orders troops to march to Concord, Massachusetts, and seize colonial weapons. Colonial Reaction Minutemen inter- cept the British and engage in battle— first at Lexington, and then at Concord. British Action King George III tightens control over Massachusetts by closing Boston Harbor and quartering troops. Colonial Reaction Colonial leaders form the First Continental Congress and draw up a declaration of colonial rights.

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