The New Student's Reference Work/Lexington (Massachusetts)

Lexington, a village of Massachusetts, ten miles from Boston, where the first battle of the Revolution was fought on the 19th of April, 1775. On the night previous Paul Revere, escaped from Boston, brought word to Lexington that a detachment of British troops were preparing to march to Concord, to seize the provincial stores and cannon at that place. About midnight the call to arms was sounded, and the militia turned out and remained under arms until morning, when the English under Major Pitcairn were seen approaching the common adjoining the village. The militia being drawn up here, Pitcairn advanced upon them with a largely superior force. As the militia refused to obey his command to disperse, he ordered his men to fire. A discharge of musketry followed, with the result that four of the militia were killed and nine wounded. The British then moved on to Concord; and on their return were attacked by the militia in the western part of Lexington, and a sharp contest took place in which several men were killed. The British force would probably have been totally destroyed, if re-enforcements had not arrived from Boston under Lord Percy. A monument was erected in 1799 to commemorate this battle. Population 4,979.