Where Freedom Lies
True revolution begins in the heart.
By Julie Williams
Historical or Fiction: The Truth
Discover the truth and learn a little bit more about this important chapter of America’s history.
Chapter 1: Lexington, Massachusetts, 1775
- Paul Revere and William Dawes shouted, “The British are coming!” when they rode out to warn the colonial militia of the British Regulars’ impending march. Fiction: The colonials considered themselves British. Revere and Dawes would have referred to the British army as regulars or redcoats. In a sense, the war we know as the Revolution was really a civil war. (The phrase "The British are coming!" first appeared in the Washington Post newspaper in 1904.)
- Not all colonial militiamen were minutemen. Historical: All able bodied men in the colonies between 16 and 60 years of age were required to enlist in their local militia. Minutemen belonged to an elite group; they were generally single and 25 years of age or younger. They went through additional training and responded to the call of duty at a minute’s notice.
- The British Regulars and Massachusetts Militia had been at odds with each other since as far back as the French and Indian War. Historical: During the French and Indian War, the British Regulars housed themselves in Boston and threatened martial law when the colonists complained. The regular army considered the local militias inferior and did not allow them to join the battle. After a year of fighting, the regulars realized they would need reinforcements and called up the Massachusetts Militia. When the army still did not have enough able-bodied men, they conscripted men off the streets. The British Regulars spent a good deal of effort trying to keeping these colonists for deserting.
- The British Regulars made a raid on the stores of gunpowder in Charlestown and Cambridge prior to their march to Concord. Historical: On September 1, 1774, General Gage led troops to Charlestown to seize the gunpowder from the largest supply owned by the local militias. They took the munitions without incident or interference. As the majority of the troops carried their spoils back to Boston, a small contingency marched into Cambridge and confiscated their supplies as well.
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Chapter 2: Boston, Massachusetts, 1775
- The British Regulars didn't know about their mission to Concord until they were called out that night. Historical: The officers were briefed only hours before the mission and the enlisted men were waken that night without any previous knowledge of the plan. Imagine their surprise to find the colonial militia knew more about their destination than they did.
- The army made a soggy march to Lexington, because the barges couldn't get all the way to shore. Historical: As depicted in my novel, the barges were overloaded with supplies. The soldiers had to stand while being ferried across the Charles River, then had to wade to shore.
- When the daughter of a British Regular turned sixteen, she was turned out of the encampment. Fiction: I do not know the age at which a daughter was turned out from the Regiment encampment. At fourteen, a son had to choose to join the military for life, or be banned from the encampment. If he followed in his father's footsteps, he joined the drum corps until he was fully grown, then served as a soldier.
Facts from subsequent chapters will be available upon publication of this novel.