In early 1775, after declaring the colonies in a state of rebellion, the Crown ordered General Gage, the commander-in-chief of British forces in North America and military governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, to use a “vigorous exertion” of that force and “seize the principal actors and evaders” as well as disarm the Americans.
Smith detached six companies of his elite light infantry and Marines, led by Major John Pitcairn, to march ahead of the column and secure two bridges that led into Concord.
Another American heard a British officer shout, “Ye villains, ye rebels, disperse, damn you, disperse!” The Redcoats shouted “huzza!
In and around the grounds of Jason Russell’s house a dozen Americans, including its owner, were killed defending the home.
The Americans would not yield, and the Redcoats ran into many a man like 78-year-old Captain Samuel Whittemore who protected his home as he hid behind a stone wall killing a soldier and firing his pistol to slay another.