Monday, April 20, 2015

Patriot's Day ~ The 225th Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, 19 April 2000

“On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year”
                                From The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The original Battle at Lexington Green took place at dawn on 19 April 1775.  On the 225th anniversary of this battle, we lined up extra early that morning.  It's very cold in New England in April, so we had warm clothes and blankets.  It was still dark when the actors began to assemble. The men of the town militia lined up on the common, and the women and children withdrew to the sidelines, and we could hear the British advancing down the road from Boston toward us... very scary, even though we knew it was a re-enactment!

Here are some old images from our family slides that I digitized.  The quality is poor, but it brings back memories of that event…

The two sides exchanged some words. 
Suddenly, we heard "don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" 
and the battle had begun!

I knew that the first two men to fall in battle were the brother and brother-in-law of my 5th great grandfather, Andrew Munroe (1718 - 1766).  His brother, Robert Munroe (1712 - 1775) and Jonas Parker (married to his sister Lucy Munroe), were in the front lines.  This was a position of honor because they both were veterans from the French and Indian war.  Both were bayoneted.  I was surprised that my reaction to seeing their re-enactors "killed" was to burst into tears.

The Lexington militia withdrew to the woods, and the "dead" remained on the common. 

The women and children ran over to their "dead" family members.

The British fired a last round before marching on to the town of Concord...

My daughter, only 13 years old at the time, covered her ears during the gun fire.

Then, a "miracle" happened!  The dead re-enactors rose up from Lexington Green, with applause from the audience.  We could hear the British marching away to the west towards Concord. 

The actors above and below were portraying Robert Munroe and Jonas Parker.   
Both are my 5x great grand uncles.  They were both the first two men killed in battle. 

I have a previous blog post about this experience (without photos)  at this link…

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Copyright (c) 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. Capt. John Parker's daughter in law was Hannah Stearns Parker, a descendant of Issac Stearns, a passenger on the Arabella, flagship of the Gov. John Winthrop. Rebecca Winthrop shared a kinship with the Saltonstall family. Nathaniel Saltonstall and Lt James Converse, a brother in law by marriage to Capt. James Parker. Capt James Parker's brother was Dea. Thonas Parker b. 1609. Sir Richard Saltonstall, grandfather of Nathaniel Saltonstall, is buried in the Old Burial Ground Cemetery in Woburn, Massachusetts. Dea. Thomas Parker, Sir Richard Saltonstall, and Rev Peter Bulkeley arrived in North American on the Susan and Ellen in 1635. Bulkeley was a father- in -law of Sarah Chauncey, daughter of Rev. Charles Chauncey, second president of Harvard College.