Battles Of Lexington And Concord Essay

1544 words - 7 pages

Introduction
The Battles of Lexington and Concord occurred on 19 April 1775 between the British Regulars and the Patriot Militia, also known today as Americans, in the Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord. “The Battles of Lexington and Concord is often referred to as the “Shot Heard Around the World” and the beginning of the American Revolutionary War” (Fischer, 1994). The Battles of Lexington and Concord consisted of in four events: the skirmish in Lexington between the British Regulars and the Lexington Training Band, the search and seizure of arms, munitions and military stores in Concord, the battles between the Regulars and the militias during the march of the Regulars back to ...view middle of the document...

On 14 April 1775, General Gage received orders from Secretary of State William Legge, the Earl of Dartmouth, to disarm the Americans and to detain leaders of the uprising, in particular Samuel Adams and John Hancock. General Gage understood that detaining the key leaders would not prove fruitful and therefore changed the mission to strictly searching for and seizing arms, munitions, supplies, and military stores. General Gage gave this mission to Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith with very discreet orders to not brief his soldiers as to what the exact mission would be. General Gage also appointed Major John Pitcairn as the Executive Officer for the mission. “The initial mission would consist of approximately 700 British Regulars, who were pulled from 11 of General Gage’s 13 infantry regiments. Major Pitcairn would command 10 elite infantry companies and Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Bernard would command 11 grenadier companies. Of the 700 Regulars assigned to conduct the mission, 350 were from the grenadier companies: 4th (King’s Own), 5th, 10th, 18th (Royal Irish), 23rd, 38th, 43rd, 47th, 52nd and 59th Regiments of Foot as well as the 1st battalion of the 1st Battalion of His Majesty’s Marine Forces. There was approximately 320 light infantry assigned the role of protecting the grenadier units. These light infantry Regulars were from the 4th, 5th, 10th, 23rd, 38th, 43rd, 47th, 52nd and 59th Regiments and the 1st Battalion of the Marines” (Fischer, 1994). The 700 Regulars were to move from Boston to Concord through a two phase mission, first by naval transport out of Boston to land at Cambridge and then marching from Cambridge to Concord.
The British use of intelligence in preparation
General Thomas Gage was a man who had a keen mind for the intelligence preparation of the battlefield. General Gage used his subordinates and loyalists, also known as Tories at the time, to collect information for the Empire. His soldiers were sent throughout the countryside of Massachusetts to collect information on the population and their daily activities. As a result, General Gage was able to ascertain who the key leaders of the American Revolution were; John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. General Gage used his soldiers and the loyalists to conduct ground surveillance to build sketches of the towns Lexington and Concord as well as their surrounding areas. General Gage was the key point of the analytical process to build the British picture. General Gage operated as the sole analyst of all the information that his subordinates collected. In the preparation for the upcoming mission to cease the arms, munitions, powder, and military stores of the Americans, General Gage sent two officers in plain clothes to scope out the landscape for the mission. The two officers surveyed the routes to and from Boston and the possible amphibious landing by the Regulars. Even though General Gage’s reasoning for sending out his officers in plain clothes had its benefits, they...

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