To counteract the impressions conveyed by the British
, or Ministerial account, the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts
published a narrative of the excursion and ravages of the King
's Troops, under the command of General Gage
, on the nineteenth of April, 1775, to which were appended many depositions of eye-witnesses, and which was transmitted to England
and to the Continental Congress, and otherwise extensively circulated.
The opening paragraph was as follows: ‘On the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, a day to be remembered by all Americans
of the present generation, and which ought and doubtless will be handed down to ages yet unborn, the troops of Britain, unprovoked, shed the blood of sundry of the loyal American subjects of the British
king in the field of Lexington
. * * * * The engagement lasted through the day.’ * * * *
We will now turn to an account by a British eye-witness.
April 19, 1775.
Extracts from the Diary of a British Officer in 1775, in the Atlantic Monthly for April, 1877, showing the features of the general action, beginning with the previous evening:—
18th, between 10 and 11 P. M., all the grenadiers and light infantry of the army embarked and landed on the opposite shore on Cambridge marsh.
After getting over the Marsh, where they were wet to the knees, they were halted in a dirty road, and stood there till 2 A. M., waiting for provisions to be brought from the boats and divided—an unnecessary procedure.
At 2 A. M., began their march by wading through a very long ford up to their middles.
At 5 A. M., arrived