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As the British were the prime movers in the affray, their official return of the action will first claim our attention. We copy therefrom, as follows:

General Gage having received intelligence of a large quantity of military stores being collected at Concord, for the avowed purpose of supplying a body of troops to act in opposition to his majesty's government, detached on the 18th of April, at night, the grenadiers of his army and the light infantry under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Smith of the 10th regiment, and Major Pitcairne of the marines, with orders to destroy the said stores; and the next morning eight companies of the 4th, the same number of the 23d and 47th, and some marines, marched under the command of Lord Percy to support the other detachment. Lt. Col. Smith finding after he had advanced some miles on his march that the country had been alarmed by the firing of guns and ringing of bells, despatched six companies of light infantry, in order to secure two bridges on different roads beyond Concord, who, upon their arrival at Lexington, found a body of the country people drawn up under arms on a green, close to the road; and upon the King's troops marching up to them, in order to inquire the reason of their being so assembled, they went off in great confusion, and several guns were fired upon the King's troops from behind a stone wall, and also from the meeting-house and other houses, by which one man was wounded, and Major Pitcairne's horse shot in two places. In consequence of this attack by the Rebels, the troops returned the fire, and killed several of them; after which the detachment marched on to Concord, without anything further happening, where they effected the purpose for which they were sent, having knocked off the trunnions of three pieces of iron ordnance, burnt some new gun carriages, and a great number of carriage-wheels, and thrown into the river a considerable quantity of flour, gunpowder, musket-balls and other articles. Whilst this service was performing, great numbers of the Rebels assembled in many parts, and a considerable body of them attacked the light infantry posted at one of the bridges, on which an action ensued, and some few were killed and wounded. On the return of the troops from Concord, they were very much annoyed, and had several men killed and wounded by the Rebels firing from behind walls, ditches, trees and other ambushes; but the brigade under the command of Lord Percy having joined them at Lexington, with two pieces of cannon, the Rebels were for a while dispersed; but as soon as the troops resumed their march, they began again to fire upon them from behind stone-walls and houses, and kept up in that manner a scattering fire during the whole of their march of 15 miles, by which means several were killed and wounded; and such was the cruelty and barbarity of the rebels, that they scalped and cut off the ears of some of the wounded men, who fell into their hands.1

1 This story arose from the act of a young man at Concord Bridge, who killed one of the British wounded with a hatchet, as the soldier was attempting to get up.—Frothingham. Zechariah Brown and Thomas Davis, Jr., testified, Concord, May 11, 1775, that they (two) buried the dead bodies of the King's troops that were killed at the North Bridge in Concord on the nineteenth day of April, 1775, and that neither of those persons were scalped, nor their ears cut off, as has been represented.—Journals of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts.

Gordon, Hist. Am. Rev., i. 311, says the real fact was, ‘one of the British wounded, who was left behind, attempting to get up, was assaulted by a young fellow, going after the pursuers to join them, who, not being under the feelings of humanity, barbarously broke his skull with a small hatchet, and let out his brains, but neither scalped him nor cut off his ears. * * * * The poor object languished for an hour or two before he expired.’ Could this be the same individual who attempted to kill Lieutenant Gould?—See pages beyond.

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