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[p. 43]

It was at Captain Hall's house that he made his first stop on that night ride. But, in his own language, after leaving Captain Hall's, he gave the alarm at almost every house on the way to Lexington.

It is not recorded at what hour of the night Captain Hall assembled his company of Minute Men. It is certain that from midnight to sunrise, in house after house, the flicker of candle light revealed the household aroused, the flintlock and powder horn passed by hands trembling with excitement to the father or brother who, swinging on his accoutrements, hurried out into the night. Doubtless before sunrise every household knew that the British regulars were moving toward Concord and that the moment of action had come. We may well believe, as the chroniclers relate, that the repeated gun shots, the beating of drums and the ringing of bells echoed through the air a general alarm.

Of the fifty-nine Minute Men who trooped up the road to Menotomy where Paul Revere had passed at midnight, nine bore the name of Tufts and five the name of Hall. The names of the entire company are recorded in ‘A True Record of the Travels and Time of Service of the Company of Medford Under the Command of Isaac Hall in the Late Colonel Gardner's Regiment.’

We leave them, then, for a moment tramping along the road beyond the bridge at the Weirs, alert, determined, grasping their flintlocks in the firm grip of men certain of danger but uncertain at what corner of the road it may face them.

The townspeople left behind did not idly leave the business of the day to the fifty-nine who had marched off. After daybreak the town was almost destitute of men, for unorganized volunteers, singly and in groups, took up their own hurried march, eager to be in the fray. One was Henry Putnam, in 1758 a lieutenant in the Louisburg campaign, and past the age of military service. Seizing his flintlock as his wife asked if he were

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