1775 May 7. Richard Devans, ALS cy to Committee of the city of Albany; Cambridge [Massachusetts].
Copy of a letter sent from the Committee of Safety of Cambridge to the Committee of Safety, Correspondence, and Inspection in the County of Albany. Devans looks forward to prospect of unanimity among the colonies against the tyranny and oppression of British rule, and pledges to support Albany in the cause of liberty. Letter introduces the following account of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, supported by signed affidavits.
Deposition No. 1: 1775 April 25. Solomon Brown, Jonathan Loving, Elijah Sanderson; Lexington, Massachusetts.
Testifying that all three were on the road between Lexington and Concord at 10pm on April 18 when stopped by British Regular officers and forced to surrender. They were kept captive until 2am and questioned about military supply and guards at Concord. They were then taken back to Lexington, where their horses were turned loose and they were set free. Elijah Sanderson further testifies that he was on the Lexington common on the morning of April 19, and saw a body of Regular Troops fire first upon the Lexington Company.
Deposition No. 2: 1775 April 23. Thomas Rice Willard; Lexington, Massachusetts.
Willard testifies he was in Daniel Harrington’s house in Lexington before sunrise on April 19, when he saw a company of four hundred Regulars come down the road and onto the Common behind the meeting house. There, they charged the Lexington militia (of about one hundred men), who dispersed. The British did not fire until after the militia had dispersed.
Deposition No. 3: 1775 April 25. Simon Winship; Lexington, Massachusetts.
Winship testifies he was stopped by Regular troops at around 4am on the road to Lexington and forced to dismount from his horse. They asked him if he had been warning Minute Men, after which he was forced to March with the troops to Lexington. There, the commanding officer gave the order to fire on the militia on the Commons; Winship is positive that neither side fired until then.
Deposition No. 4: 1775 April 25. John Parker; Lexington, Massachusetts.
Parker, commander of the Militia in Lexington, testifies that at around one o'clock in the morning on April 19, he was informed that Regular officers were riding up and down the road and insulting passers-by. He was also notified that a number of Regular Troops were on the March from Boston. He gathered his men on the Lexington common and ordered them to disperse and not to fire if they were approached by the Regulars. The British "rushed furiously, fired upon and killed eight of our party, without receiving any provocation therefor from us."
Deposition No. 5: 1775 April 25. John Robbins; Lexington, Massachusetts.
Robbins testifies he was with Captain John Parker’s company on the Green Common at Lexington before sunrise on April 19. He was in the front rank when he saw what he thought was about a thousand King’s troops charging them with three officers at the head. One officer called for them to drop their weapons, then ordered the troops to fire. Robbins was wounded and several around him killed, and he believes none of Parker’s men had yet fired.
Deposition No. 6: 1775 April 25. Benjamin Tidd and Joseph Abbot; Lexington Massachusetts.
Tidd and Abbot testify they were on horseback on the Lexington Common around 5am on April 19, and saw Regular Troops March up to the Lexington Company, which was dispersing. Some of the Regulars fired a volley from pistols at the Lexington company, before they had fired any shots.
Deposition No. 7: 1775 April 25. [34 individuals]; Lexington Massachusetts.
All 34 testify that at 1 or 2am April 19, they were informed several British officers had been riding up and down the road, and detaining and insulting passing inhabitants. They also understood that there was a company of Regulars marching from Boston to Concord to take their stores. The testifiers had gathered at the place of their Company's Parade and were dismissed by Captain John Parker, with orders to assemble at the beat of the drum. At 5am, the same company was still assembling on the parade ground when they saw a body of troops marching towards them. Some had already begun to disperse and had turned their backs when they were fired upon. British fire continued until all had either been shot or escaped.
Deposition No. 8: 1775 April 25. [14 individuals]; Lexington Massachusetts.
All 14 testify that at 1 or 2am April 19, they were informed several British officers had been riding up and down the road, and detaining and insulting passing inhabitants. They also understood that there was a company of Regulars marching from Boston to Concord to take their stores. The testifiers had gathered at the place of their Company's parade and were dismissed by Captain John Parker, with orders to assemble at the beat of the drum. At around 5am, the same company was still assembling on the parade ground when they saw a body of troops marching towards them. Some had already begun to disperse and had turned their backs when they were fired upon. British fire continued until all had either been shot or escaped.
Deposition No. 9: 1775 April 25. Timothy Smith; Lexington Massachusetts.
Smith testifies that he was a spectator at Lexington Common on the morning of April 19, and that he saw a body of regular troops advance and fire on the dispersing Lexington Company. He fled when a volley was fired at him, but returned to see that eight Lexington men had been killed and lay at a considerable distance from each other, and that several others were wounded.
Deposition No. 10: 1775 April 25. Levi Mead and Levi Harrington; Lexington, Massachusetts.
Mead and Harrington testify that they were spectators on the Lexington Common the morning of April 19, and saw Regular troops advancing on the dispersing Lexington Company. Several officers fired shots from their pistols, which were followed by several volleys from the Regulars, killing eight men and wounding several others.
Deposition No. 11: 1775 April 25. William Draper; Lexington, Massachusetts.
Draper testifies he was on the Parade about a half hour before sunrise on April 19, where he saw a body of the King’s regular troops appear at the meeting house. Captain Parker’s Company was in the back of the meeting house on the Parade, and, after they had begun to disperse, the British troops’ commanding officer ordered them to fire. They fired "before any of Capt. Parker's Company fired."
Deposition No. 12: 1775 April 23. Thomas Fessenden; Lexington Massachusetts.
Fessenden testifies that he was a in a pasture near the meeting house at Lexington about a half hour before sunrise, when he saw a number of Regular Troops pass towards a company of militia. One of three officers on horseback cried out for the militia to disperse and waved his sword over his head. A second officer pointed his pistol at the militia and fired. The first officer pointed down with his sword and the regular troops fired. Fessenden ran off, and testifies that as soon as the original officer ordered the militia to disperse, they began to do so.
Deposition No. 13: 1775 April 23. John Bateman; Lincoln, [Massachusetts].
Bateman testifies that he belongs to the 52nd Regiment commanded by Colonel Jones, and was present in the party marching on Concord the morning of April 19. They passed by the Lexington meeting house, where Bateman says that he saw a gathering of men and then heard an officer give the order to fire. He saw one of the militiamen dead on the ground, and testifies none of the inhabitants had fired a shot.
Deposition No. 14: 1775 April 23. John Hoar, John Whitehead, Abrah[am] Garfield, Benja[min]Monroe, Isaac Parks, Will[ia]m Hofmer, John Adams, Gregory Stone; Lexington Massachusetts
Eight men testify that they gathered at Concord on the morning on April 19 after hearing a brigade of regular troops were marching towards the town, and had already killed six men in Lexington. About an hour later, they were approached by about twelve hundred troops, and so retreated up a hill. The troops moved towards the north-bridge and were joined by two hundred more men, about a hundred of which remained at the bridge. The men testified that they saw fires in Concord, and, fearing for the houses, marched back towards the bridge. The British troops opened fire on the company from Concord. Following the British fire, they received orders to return fire. On their retreat to Charlestown, the British troops destroyed private property and burnt three houses, one barn, and one shop.
Deposition No. 15: 1775 April 23. [16 individuals]; Lexington, Massachusetts.
The 16 men testify they gathered at Concord on April 19, an hour after sunrise, after hearing that six men had been killed at Lexington. An hour later, they were approached by about twelve hundred troops and so retreated to a hill. The troops were joined by two hundred more at the North Bridge. When the testifiers saw fire in the town, they tried to cross the bridge. The British fired on them first (since they had orders from their commanding officer not to fire until they had been fired upon). Joseph Butler and Ephraim Melvin further testify that the troops shot one, perhaps two people before any men from Concord had fired a shot.
Deposition No. 16: 1775 April 23. Timothy Minot, Jr.; Concord, Massachusetts.
Minot testifies he heard news of what had happened at Lexington and had returned home to secure his family in Concord. Afterwards, when he was returning to his dwelling, he saw that the North Bridge was guarded by Regular troops. The British were stationed on the eastward side of the bridge, while the men from Concord were on the westward side. When the men approached the bridge, the Regular Troops fired several guns before the men on the westward side returned fire.
Deposition No. 17: 1775 April 23. James Barrett; Lexington, Massachusetts.
Barrett, colonel of a regiment of militia in Middlesex, testifies that he was informed of the approach of Regular Troops toward Lexington on April 19 around daybreak. He ordered the militia to March towards the North Bridge where the Regulars had assembled, but told them not to fire unless they had been fired upon. When they advanced near the bridge, the King’s troops fired, killing two men and wounding several others. Barrett’s detachment then returned fire, killing and wounding several troops.
Deposition No. 18: 1775 April 23. Bradbury Robinson, Samuel Spring, Thadeus Bancroft, James Adams; Lexington, Massachusetts.
The four men testify that on the morning of April 19, they saw around one hundred Regular Troops at the North Bridge. When they passed by, they saw that the troops had occupied the bridge. Three hundred militiamen then advanced towards them. The King's troops fired on the militia without saying anything, killing two and wounding several others. The militia returned fire, killing two and wounding several others.
Deposition No. 19: 1775 April 23. James Marr; Concord, Massachusetts.
Marr testifies that on the evening of April 18, he was ordered by George Hutchinson, adjutant of the fourth Regiment of Regular Troops at Boston, to prepare to March to Concord. When they arrived, he was ordered with about one hundred troops to guard a certain bridge. Some people came by in order to cross the bridge, and the Regular Troops fired on them.
Deposition No. 20: 1775 April 25. Edward Thoroton Gould; Medford, Massachusetts.
Gould testifies he is a member of "His Majesty’s Own Regiment of Foot" and that, on the evening of April 18, he was ordered by General Gage to leave with the Light Infantry and Grenadiers of the Line, commanded by Colonel Smith. They landed at Cambridge and marched to Lexington, where they met 60-70 provincial troops. Gould says he cannot tell who fired the first shot, since the King’s troops rushed on, shouting before the firing began. Gould testifies they then went on to Concord, where six companies of Light Infantry were ordered to guard a bridge, over which the provincials had retreated. The militia returned with three or four hundred troops, and the Regular Troops withdrew to the Concord side of the bridge. Gould states that they fired upon the militiamen and both parties continued firing for the rest of the day. Gould was wounded and being cared for by colonists in Medford.
[1775 April]. Document listing the names of killed and wounded men; [Massachusetts].
List of names of the wounded or killed, listed by town, written in the hand of four different people. Accompanied by Jonas Stone's receipt for goods from John Beatton, Concord, [Massachusetts], December 28, 1752.