The Men and Boys of Winter

   The Massachusetts Colony was a hotbed of sedition in 1775.  Preparations for conflict with the British had been underway throughout the winter.  In April, British General Thomas Gage decided to counter these moves by sending a force out of Boston to confiscate weapons stored in the village of Concord and capture patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock.  

   On the evening of April 18, 1775 Adams and Hancock, along with other visitors, met at the home of the local militia leader Jonas Clark, who was the pastor of a Lexington, Mass. church.  Someone asked Reverend Clark if the people of Lexington would fight if necessary. The Reverend replied, “I have trained them for this very hour!”  

   The atmosphere was tense, word of General Gage’s intentions spread through Boston prompting the patriots to set up a system to alert the countryside of the advance of British troops. Paul Revere arranged for a signal to be sent by lantern from the steeple of North Church -- one if by land, two if by sea.  At midnight, on April 18, the lantern’s alarm sent Revere, William Dawes and other riders on the road to spread the news.  

   Riding through the countryside, Revere warned patriots along his route - many of whom set out on horseback to deliver warnings of their own. By the end of the night there were as many as 40 riders ca ...

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