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[p. 46] There began their midnight march to Lexington through Cambridge, both to capture Hancock and Adams and to destroy the Provincial stores. The expedition was intended to be secret. To prevent his movements from becoming known, General Gage sent out ten or more sergeants, posted along the highways in Cambridge and toward Concord. It was while the troops at rest on the Cambridge shore were receiving a day's rations and thirty-six rounds of ammunition that Revere started from the Charlestown shore, mounted on Deacon Larkin's best horse. He had gone beyond Charlestown Neck, along the Cambridge road to the point where Crescent street now joins Washington street in Somerville, when he caught sight of two British officers halted in the shadows by the roadside. Wheeling his horse, he dashed back along the road to the Neck and turned into the Mystic road, now Broadway and Main street in Somerville, and Main street in Medford. It was the two British officers who intercepted Revere on his intended route to Cambridge that caused him to make the detour through Medford. It is because of those unknown soldiers of the night, lurking in the shadows of the road, that in Medford and at the house of Isaac Hall was sounded the first alarm on that ride.

It was one o'clock before the British column left the Charles river behind them. By that time Revere was in Lexington, and one hour earlier than that Medford had the news that the British were moving. By two o'clock the King's men were in the present Union square, Somerville. By three o'clock, coming up the Lexington and Concord road, now Massachusetts avenue, they had halted at the present Arlington center. Indeed, the Sons of Liberty were aware of the intended march even before the troops themselves. In more than one house along the route, as the steady tramp of the advancing column awakened the householders, they peered out upon the strange sight of the passing red coats. Signal guns and alarm bells rapidly spread the

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