Where’s Our Line of Minutemen?
Have you heard the sounds of battle in the distance? Have you heard the call to arms? Listen! The cry has sounded to confiscate arms even as it did in 1770’s. But where are the Minutemen? They should be ready! Armed and ready!
“Although the terms militia and minutemen are sometimes used interchangeably today, in the 18th century there was a decided difference between the two. Militia were men in arms formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion and ravages of war. Minutemen were a small hand-picked elite force which were required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly. Minutemen were selected from militia muster rolls by their commanding officers. Typically 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. Usually about one quarter of the militia served as Minutemen, performing additional duties as such. The Minutemen were the first armed militia to arrive or await a battle.”
The “mission” of the Minutemen was evident in their selection. They were the elite, the best trained of all the militia. “Militia were men in arms formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion and ravages of war. Minutemen were a small hand-picked elite force which were required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly. Minutemen were selected from militia muster rolls by their commanding officers. Typically 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. Usually about one quarter of the militia served as Minutemen, performing additional duties as such. The Minutemen were the first armed militia to arrive or await a battle.”
By the time the Revolutionary War began, these Minutemen had several years experience. During the French and Indian War and other local conflicts, these ready-in-a-minute soldiers played a crucial role.
“On the morning of April 19, 1775, Captain John Parker was 46 years old as he stood beside 76 other colonists and opposed 700 British Regulars. At the time he was terminally sick with tuberculosis. His illness forced him to bed early the night before (April 18, 1975). It was around 1:00AM when a messenger arrived informing him that the Regulars were marching to Concord. Parker and his men assembled on the Lexington Green and around 5:30AM three advance companies of British Regulars burst on the scene commanded by Major Pitcairn.
“Many, many times historians have debated how the events unfolded that morning, but several things are indisputable… Parker lined his men in two ranks, a proud stance for freedom challenging the world’s most dominant superpower… and the captain and his brave men weren’t looking for fight that morning, but they weren’t going to back down if one came …and it did.
“Here is the text of Captain John Parker’s actual deposition given several days after the battle:
Lexington, April 25, 1775.
I, John Parker, of lawful age, and commander of the Militia in Lexington, do testify and declare, that on the nineteenth instant, in the morning, about one of the clock, being informed that there were a number of Regular Officers riding up and down the road, stopping and insulting people as they passed the road, and was also informed that a number of Regular Troops were on their march from Boston, in order to take the Province Stores at Concord, ordered our Militia to meet on the common in said Lexington, to consult what to do, and concluded not to be discovered, nor meddle or make with said Regular Troops (if they should approach) unless they should insult us; and upon their sudden approach, I immediately ordered our Militia to disperse and not to fire. Immediately said Troops made their appearance, and rushed furiously, fired upon and killed eight of our party, without receiving any provocation therefor from us.
The Colonies in the 1770’s were ruled by King George III from Britain. All was fine until he started to see the PEOPLE of the Colonies as a source of INCOME. He raised taxes and treatment of the Colonial people declined.
While there were many causes for the war, the events listed here are agreed as the most volatile issues that sparked the flame of Revolt!
- 1765 – Stamp Act Congress – In 1765, 27 delegates from nine colonies met in New York City and drew up a statement of rights and grievances thereby bringing colonies together in opposition to Britain.
- Sons and Daughters of Liberty (1765) – Colonists tried to fight back by imposing non-importation agreements. The Sons of Liberty often took the law into their own hands enforcing these ‘agreements’ by methods such as tar and feathering.
Boston Tea Party – In 1773, a group of colonists disguised as Indians dumped tea overboard from three ships in Boston Harbor.
In the end, the American Revolution grew out of increasing restrictions placed upon the colonies by the British. One interesting side note: It is estimated that only one-third of the colonists were in favor of rebellion. One-third continued to side with the British. The last third were neutral concerning the rebellion and break from Great Britain.
Any of these reasons strike a cord of similarity to where we are today?