urged the inhabitants to perfect themselves in the military art, that recommendation had been anticipated in Medford
Indeed, almost a century and a half before 1775 the townspeople had taken steps to that end, for in 1630 the first tax levied on Medford
inhabitants was one of three pounds to provide for the payment of instructors in military tactics.
It was John Brooks
, later Dr. John Brooks
of Reading, and later Governor Brooks
, who in the years previous to the Revolution drilled the Medford
youths into a company of militia.
Of that company, in 1775, Isaac Hall was captain.
The Minute Men of Medford
, while Hancock
were sleeping in Lexington
on the evening of Tuesday, the eighteenth of April, had dispersed to their homes.
But their flintlocks were within reach, for rumors were rife that action was at hand.
waited for the day that was to follow.
In the late evening of April eighteenth the waning moon cast a phantasy of light and shadow over the sleeping town.
Down from the hills to the north, almost to the river bottom, spread the dark forest, the Charlestown
wood lots of earlier years, with Pine hill
rising in their midst.
Along the Mystic
ran the way to the Weirs.
From the cross roads near Cradock
's bridge ran the road to Charlestown
, and from the same point, later the market place, led the road to Salem
Between the two lay the river road.
From the road to the Weirs, at some distance from Mystic pond
, ran the road around the woods.
Opposite Rock hill the Woburn
road branched off to the towns on the north, reached also by the Stoneham
road, leading from the Salem
highway, up past the great brickyards, where it was lost in the darkness of the wood lots, disturbed only by the lonely howl of a skulking wolf.
Along these highways were gathered most of the houses, but little over a hundred in number, where dwelt less than a thousand townspeople.
Up the road to Menotomy
the moonlight fell upon the steeple