Lexington Concord Staff Ride Preliminary Study Phase

Historical References

Subject Matter Experts
The National Park Historian for the Battle Road National Park is Mrs. Terri Wallace +1-508-371-2687.

Historical Library

American Antiquarian Society
The American Antiquarian Society offers a wealth of historical resources, housing 2/3 of all American primary source materials printed between 1640 and 1821. Their collections serve a worldwide community of students, teachers, historians, biographers, genealogists, and authors.

American Antiquarian Society
185 Sallisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609-1634


David Hacket Fischer and GEN John R. Galvin have each produced books that have tremendous detail about the battle of Lexington and Concord. Not only do they cover the events of the day, but the events that lead up to it as well. These two sources are the best there are, both in detail of the battle and in covering the events that started the United States.

Fischer, David, Hackett

"Paul Revere's Ride" Oxford University Press, New York, 1994. Available in the WPI's Gordon Library.

Galvin, General John R.

"The Minute Men, The First Fight: Myths & Realtiies of The American Revolution" Pergamon-Brassey's International Defense Publishers, Inc. New York, 1989.

Kehoe, Vincent J-R.

"We Were There!" April 19th 1775."The British Regulars" 1975,
"We Were There!" April 19th 1775. "The American Rebels" 1975
Vincent Kehoe has produced two books entitled "We Were There!" Each compile the first hand occounts of the battle from both the British or the Americans. It is an invaluable tool to determine the mindset of the time, and the general reaction to the conflict.

Some other sources which proved to be useful in the development of the on-line staff ride are listed below:

Boatner, COL Mark M. III;

"Encyclopedia of ther American Revolution;" David McKay Co., New York, 1966.
-This encyclopedia provides a detailed yet concise account of the battle as well as Smith's expedition. It serves as an excellent foundation upon which to pursue further research.

Tourtellot, Arthur B.

"William Diamond's Drum;" W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1959.
-This was the work on the battle that inspired Gavin to right his own book. It has several good vignettes, but has some personal opinions of the author which would have been better left unsaid.

Cullen, Maurice

"Battle Road, Birthplace of the American Revolution" The Chatham Press Inc., Old Greenwich Connecticut, 1970. This book shows the entirety of the battleroad, and explains the action on every stop along the road. It has faults in that it does not have exact figures, and propagates some myths of the individual american fighting hordes of British.

For additional references concerning various aspects of the battle, consult the following sources.

Alden, John Richard

"General Gage in America"; Louisiana Sate University Press, Baton Rouge, 1948.

Birnbaum, Louis

"Red Dawn at Lexington"; Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1986

Cullen, Maurice

"Battle Road, Birthplace of the American Revolution" The Chatham Press Inc., Old Greenwich Connecticut, 1970.

Dupuy, Ernest & Trevor

"Outline History of the American Revolution" Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1975.

French, Allen

"Historic Concord and Lexington Fight" Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Ma. 1992

French, Allen

"General Gage's Informers" Greenwood Press, Publishers, New York, 1968

Frothingham, Richard

"Life and Times of Joseph Warren"; Little, Brown, and Co., Boston, 1865.

Gluckman, Arcadi

"U. S. Muskets, Rifles and Carbines" Otto L. Ulbrich Co., Buffalo, 1948.

Lancaster, Bruce

"From Lexington to Liberty" Country Life Press, Garden City, N.Y. 1955

Stember, Sol

"The Bicentenial guide to the American Revolution, Volume I The Northern Colonies" Saturday Review Press, New York, 1974.

Suggested Study Format

  1. Biographies of Key Individuals with Bibliography
  2. Key Events
    1. British and Americans exchange fire on Lexington Green.
    2. Americans repell British forces at Concord North Bridge.
    3. Effective use of flanking fire by Americans as British retreated destroyed British morale and control.
    4. Percy leads relief column, and saves Smith's column.
  3. Time frame for study
    Two months from scheduled date of departure for cadet study, 2-3 weeks for Cadre advance reconnoiter, 1-2 weeks for in-progress study; all time frames per METT.

Battle Analysis Summary

  1. Objectives
    1. British: Destruction of Military Stores at Concord
    2. American: Protection of Supplies, and Defense of the Towns
  2. Comparison of Troops
    1. Training Levels: Americans were farmers and craftsmen led by commanders Who had experience in the British Army during the French and Indian War. British soldiers were considered the finest in the world, although the troops under Smith's command had no actual combat experience. Percy's collumn did have combat experience.
    2. Leadership: British Infantry and Marine Units were led by unorganized echelons of command due to the motley collection of troops and commanders ordered together by Gage. The troops he organized were the elite in his command. Believeing that he had to strike fast and moveout quickly he ordered his flankning companies together under one leader.
      The American defenders, by contrast, were in loose company sized groups, often changing units on a whim. After the conflict started the Militia commanders had a difficult time controlling their troops because the men who could keep up with the collumn and engage them constantly were doing so while other men in the company would fall behind after their company's initial encounter with the British column.
    3. Equipment: Americans and British were using Muskets. The British also carried heavy field packs, containing, among other things, three days of rations. Their rucks limited their mobility in combat, and slowed their movements upon their retreat.
  3. Initial Schemes of Maneuver
    1. British Marching to Concord with 650 -900 men with intent of destroying Military Stores, to postpone or destroy the colonists resistance movement.
    2. Americans Responded to British Column with gathering of Minutemen and Militia to protect their towns and Military supplies.
  4. Starting Locations of Forces
    Map of The Battle - This Map shows the starting points of British Forces. It also shows all the major engagements on the British retreat.
  5. Action
    The British Soldiers attacked Lexington Minutemen and Militia on Lexington Green, and then moved on to Concord. They were then repelled at the Concord North Bridge by American Militia. When The British attempted to retreat to Cambridge, the real battle began. The American Militia, continuing to gather in strength, attacked them from the flanks with unconventional warfare techniques. They hid behind trees, barns, fences, whatever and shot directly into the retreating column. This type of warfare was unheard of to the British, and they were ill prepared to handle the attack. For the twenty mile retreat the militia troops attacked all sides of the British Column inflicting heavy losses until the British returned to Cambridge.
  6. Outcome
    The British were forced to retreat before destroying significant military stores. The British sustained surprisingly heavy casualties. The revolution begins with The Shot Heard Round the World.
  7. Lessons Learned
    The American troops used small squad tactics and flanking maneuvers to attack the British. It was impossible for the retreating collumn to defend itself against this style of attack. The British found the men of America to be capable of ammassing great numbers in a short time, and that they were a significant fighting force with capabilities of repelling a British assault. The American men determined the British, although considered the best soldiers in the world, were defeatable.

Logistic Support

Lexington Concord Staff Ride

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