to meet the foe. Some Medford minute-men soon joined the ranks of their neighbors from Reading, who had volunteered already, under the command of their gallant young physician, John Brooks. The Medford Company, fifty-nine in all, were out early on their march to the scene of danger, and, for five days, were in active service. The maxim at Medford was this: “Every citizen a soldier, every soldier a patriot.” A Medford farmer, at the West End, as soon as he heard of the march of the British towards Lexington, ran to his house, seized his gun, and made ready for departure. Dinner was on the table, but he would not stop. His wife exclaimed, “Why, husband, you are not going without your dinner!” “Yes, I am,” he replied; “I am going to take powder and balls for my dinner to-day, or to give them some.” These were times when men had reasons shorter than logic. Their minds glowed like the burning furnace; and to put a stop to British oppression they were resolved. God and freedom now became watchwords. They felt that every true American was their ally; and they knew that the first shot fired at their neighbors at Lexington would convert every citizen in the Colony to a minute-man and a soldier. These ancestors of ours were men; they have the right to be called men; and, with such men, liberty is safe. How faintly, at this day, can we conceive of the electric enthusiasm of the 19th of April! It seemed
As if the very earth againThe number belonging to Medford who were killed on that day is not known. A worthy old man told us that lie knew of four who fell: William Polly and Henry Putnam, at Concord; and a man named Smith, and another named Francis, in West Cambridge. The two last mentioned were killed by the flank guard of the British, on the retreat to Boston. William Polly was brought to Medford alive, but died of his wounds April 25. The Medford men followed the retreating British from Lexington woods to Charlestown ferry, and shot their last ball during the embarkation.
Grew quick with God's creating breath;
And, from the sods of grove and glen,
Rose ranks of lion-hearted men
To battle to the death.