The battles were fought on April 19, 1775 in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge.

It’s right and proper that we recall them on this anniversary of that day and that fight. (Lexington Green).

It was relatively easy for the British Army to cut through the King’s subjects on the way to the arms cache at Concord. The retreat to Boston was considerably more difficult for them.

Continental Warfare (from the movie Barry Lindon). While it’s true that the British retreat from Concord to Boston turned into a route, and that British subjects from surrounding towns came with their firearms to snipe from cover, most battles during the revolution took place in the Continental pattern.

The portrayal of the use of bayonets is often misused. Once fixed, the soldiers had only the loaded round to fire. Reloading a muzzle loading musket while a bayonet is fixed is cumbersome. Defending infantry would fix bayonets at the last moment to either receive cavalry or to defend against an infantry charge (different formation).

 

11 COMMENTS

    • It was the primary weapon (a spear). Today it’s essentially a tool that can be fixed on a rifle in the event of extreme trouble.

  1. At least with those bayonets, one had one shot; there was one type of bayonet that one end was shoved into the barrel of the musket. Although, I suppose that on occasion someone fired their weapon and the bayonet became a spear ( or it blew up the barrel ).

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    • I’ve seen photos of those socket spears that fit in the muzzle of a Brown Bess or Charleville musket, and they’re plain dangerous. But somebody, sometime thought they were a good idea.

    • A lot of them ran – a lot – during the early days of the war. The British also had light cannon that terrified civilians with a fowling piece or maybe just a fire sharpened branch. But that changed at Valley Forge and Morristown and an army emerged.

      It’s also useful to remember that the war would have dragged on much longer had it not been for the French Army, the French Navy and French gold that paid the Continentals. The defeat at Yorktown was a combined forces effort with a French fleet off shore to keep the British Navy from evacuating the besieged army and forcing its surrender. The architect of that effort was Benjamin Franklin, and his face is on the $100 bill.

      • True the French were a key player but they had their own agenda with the British. A more contemporary example might be the USA support for the Northern Alliance in the early days of the Afghanistan debacle.

        • I don’t see it quite that way, WSF. The Northern Alliance (Rabbani and Massoud) were ethnic Tajiks, fighting against the Pashtun (backed by Pakistan). The US never fully committed to that proxy war and Pakistan was all in. After 9/11, things changed but Massoud had been assassinated and the wheels were off the trolly. The US financially backed the anti Pashtun Uzbeks and used them but the Northern Alliance was busted open to a very great degree.

          The Americans were never cat’s paws of the French in the American Revolution and the British were not using proxies. They had Hessians and “Loyal American” regiments in the field, but were fighing a revolution on what was then British soil.

          The Taliban was a fiction created by Pakistani Inter-Service-Intelligence to generate a movement that would get the six million Pushtun out of the Northwest Frontier Province and back into Afghanistan. They would do this with direct support from the Pakistani army (mainly artillery, but also infantry in mufti) and air force.

          I don’t see the argument that there was a strong parallel but if the argument is one of funding I get it. The USA backed the Tajiks in Kabul and the Pakistanis backed the Pushtun (Talib/student movement). However at the time, the US and Pakistan were allied nations. Britain and France were not. A lot of differences.

  2. Thanks for the history. Some people think the conflict was English Civil War 2.0 — there might be some truth in that. And if the “lockdown” goes on much longer we might see another phase.

    Good France point. Dam French. Well, we got ’em back a few decades later…

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