North Bridge Questions
What is the name of the river?
How old is the North Bridge?
Are there really bodies buried in the Grave of the British Soldiers? Do we know who they were?
Who wrote the poem on the British gravestone?
Who sculpted the Minute Man Statue?
Does the Statue represent a particular person?
What was the reason for the British expedition to Concord?
General Gage also believed that seizing stockpiles of weapons was not only a militiary necessity, but also his prerogative as governor of the colony. The colonists actively disagreed.
Why were British soldiers guarding the North Bridge?
Securing the bridges was necessary to prevent rebels from slipping across from remote parts of town to threaten the mission. Also, Lt. Colonel Smith sent seven companies across the North Bridge with orders to search for supplies and artillery known to be hidden at Barrett's farm, about a mile west of the bridge.
At that time, the colonists occupied the high ground overlooking the bridge. If they were to swoop down and take the bridge, the British soldiers at Barrett's farm would be cut off. Therefore, the British left three companies (about 96 men) at the bridge to guard it.
Where were the British and Colonial soldiers standing when shots were exchanged across the river?
Sometime after 9:00 a.m. the militiamen, believing the town was being set on fire, marched down upon the bridge. According to one British officer, they did so "in a very military manner."
Hopelessly outnumbered by the advancing militia, the British soldiers pulled back to the east side of the bridge, where the 1836 Obelisk now stands, and hastily organized for defense. According to one British officer, "Captain Laurie made us retire to this side of the bridge, which by the bye he ought to have done at the first for the rebels were so near..."
Whe the shots were fired, the British were on the east side (1836 Obelisk) and the colonists were on the west side (Minute Man Statue).
Did You Know?
Often considered "ragtag" by the British regular army, the Massachusetts colonial militia was actually very well organized. With a few exceptions, able-bodied men between 16 and 60 years of age were required to serve. They were the main line of defense for the colony for nearly 150 years before the Revolution.