We arrive at Concord late in the day – but we have just enough time to go and have a quick look around North Bridge. This is a very important place during the American Revolution since this marked the destination of the regular army advancing on Concord to seize a weapon storage held by locals who were no longer loyal to the crown.
We have a quick look at the museum which is located in an old building at is run by the National Park Service. Entrance is fortunately free so we don’t need to worry about the price of admission. The museum give a good explanation about the battle and what went on – when the regular army left Boston marching out here to Concord to seize the weapons of the British rebels. Interesting the regular army wasn’t considered the British army at this stage and the rebels were not considered Americans. This was still just a British civil war about the rights of the people in the British colonies. This hasn’t yet turned out to a fight for independence since the battle here took place on April 19 1775 more than a year before the declaration of independence on July 4 1776.
When we walk out of the museum we meet an old retired history professor who is apparently running for the US senate in less than a month. I guess is Education First party is a bit of a one man show and he probably doesn’t have high hopes of his chances of success otherwise he would be campaigning instead of telling tourist about the history of the place. He do give us his card and ask us to spread the word – not that it will do him much good if we tell about him back home in Denmark. And then we walk down along a small path with some information to a wooden bridge.
Down at this recreated bridge is where the battle took place. This bridge is where the first battle took place. The regular army was outnumbered and retreated back across the bridge. The local rebels major ordered the troops not to fire unless fired upon first. The bridge was narrow and the British regular army tried to set up in formation behind the bridge – there was a bit of panic and the area was overcrowded – and suddenly a shot was fired. It was most likely a warning shot fired by a member of the regular army in panic – and this shot was immediately followed by two more from the regular army – all shot just went into the river. But by now the other men in the army thought the order to fire had been given and a full volley across the small river. By now the rebels got the order to respond to the fire and the battle was a reality.
Several men were killed and the regular army decided to retreat back towards Boston in a running battle trying to escape from the crowing number of rebel troops following them closely.