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Timdraft # 2 (1 Viewer)

Country Music Songs

Most of the songs selected could be in a real top 10 country music song list. A lower ranking does not mean the song is not a great song or a great choice...

8 -

- Written by Bobby Braddock & Curly Putman, and performed by George Jones aka Possum.He said I'll love you 'til I die...she told him you'll forget in time...as the years went slowly by...she still preyed upon his mind

He kept her picture on his wall...went half crazy now and then...he still loved her through it all...hoping she'd come back again

Kept some letters by his bed...dated 1962...he had underlined in red...every single I love you

I went to see him just today...oh but I didn't see no tears...all dressed up to go away...first time I'd seen him smile in years

He stopped loving her today...they placed a wreath upon his door...and soon they'll carry him away...He stopped loving her today

This 1980 song tops my list for best country music song. It has the painful lyrics, the sad harmonica, and the legendary country voice of George Jones. This song was a #1 hit for Jones, and the song won him a grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. It was awarded Song of the Year and Single of the Year by ACM, and won Song of the Year two years in a row by the CMA. Jones was well known for his alcoholism, and during the recording of "He Stopped Loving Her Today" he was in bad shape with his drinking and health. He didn't like the song, and thought it was too depressing, and it took a long time to get the song fully recorded. Once the song was finally finished the last thing he said about the song is "Nobody'll buy that morbid son of a #####". Obviously Jones was wrong, but I think his state during the recording adds an authenticity to the painfullness in the song. I think Possum is sober these days.

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Best Country Music Song

20 - He Stopped Loving Her Today

19 - Your Cheatin' Heart

18 - Stand By Your Man

17 - Crazy

16 - I Walk The Line

15 - Coal Miner's Daughter

14 - Ring of Fire

13 - Behind Closed Doors

12 - The Dance

11 - Always On My Mind

10 - Folsom Prison Blues

09 - Friends In Low Places

08 - King of the Road

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We've had two jazz album judges bail on us, so it falls on me to do it. However, I know nothing about jazz. Therefore, I have decided to use the rankings at DigitalDreamDoor:


Based on their rankings of the top 200 albums, our rankings are as follows:

20 pts- Kind of Blue

19 pts- A Love Supreme

18 pts- Mingus Ah Um

17 pts- Brilliant Corners

16 pts- Time Out

15 pts- #####es Brew

14 pts- Bird and Diz

13 pts- Blue Train

12 pts- Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

11 pts- (tie) Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Massey Hall, Mu, Gurus Jazzmatazz

The final 4 are tied because they didn't show up on the list.

Rankings (after 24 categories)

382 wbaaoz

357 timschochet

345 BobbyLayne

344 DougB

344 Mister CIA

343 Usual21

341 rikishiboy

337 Tremendous Upside

334 jwb

330 Mrs. Rannous

308 DC Thunder

308 tish156

295 AcerFC

6 categories left to judge:

70s sports star, Athlete born in Africa: DougB

American Military Defeat, American Military Victory, Choreographer- BobbyLayne

American poem: Krista4

Are you guys still going to do this, and if so when?

Best Country Music Song

20 - He Stopped Loving Her Today

19 - Your Cheatin' Heart

18 - Stand By Your Man

17 - Crazy

16 - I Walk The Line

15 - Coal Miner's Daughter

14 - Ring of Fire

13 - Behind Closed Doors

12 - The Dance

11 - Always On My Mind

10 - Folsom Prison Blues

09 - Friends In Low Places

08 - King of the Road
Nice work. I'm with you (+- 3)on your rankings. Ranking Johnny Cash on indivdual songs is tough. You definitely got #1 right. Had I ranked the picks, and had somebody picked it,
might have ranked #2.
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We've had two jazz album judges bail on us, so it falls on me to do it. However, I know nothing about jazz. Therefore, I have decided to use the rankings at DigitalDreamDoor:


Based on their rankings of the top 200 albums, our rankings are as follows:

20 pts- Kind of Blue

19 pts- A Love Supreme

18 pts- Mingus Ah Um

17 pts- Brilliant Corners

16 pts- Time Out

15 pts- #####es Brew

14 pts- Bird and Diz

13 pts- Blue Train

12 pts- Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

11 pts- (tie) Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Massey Hall, Mu, Gurus Jazzmatazz

The final 4 are tied because they didn't show up on the list.
Wow. That may actually be the worst judging ever. Why'd you bother?
We've had two jazz album judges bail on us, so it falls on me to do it. However, I know nothing about jazz. Therefore, I have decided to use the rankings at DigitalDreamDoor:


Based on their rankings of the top 200 albums, our rankings are as follows:

20 pts- Kind of Blue

19 pts- A Love Supreme

18 pts- Mingus Ah Um

17 pts- Brilliant Corners

16 pts- Time Out

15 pts- #####es Brew

14 pts- Bird and Diz

13 pts- Blue Train

12 pts- Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

11 pts- (tie) Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Massey Hall, Mu, Gurus Jazzmatazz

The final 4 are tied because they didn't show up on the list.
Wow. That may actually be the worst judging ever. Why'd you bother?
Because nobody else did?
We've had two jazz album judges bail on us, so it falls on me to do it. However, I know nothing about jazz. Therefore, I have decided to use the rankings at DigitalDreamDoor:


Based on their rankings of the top 200 albums, our rankings are as follows:

20 pts- Kind of Blue

19 pts- A Love Supreme

18 pts- Mingus Ah Um

17 pts- Brilliant Corners

16 pts- Time Out

15 pts- #####es Brew

14 pts- Bird and Diz

13 pts- Blue Train

12 pts- Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

11 pts- (tie) Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Massey Hall, Mu, Gurus Jazzmatazz

The final 4 are tied because they didn't show up on the list.
Wow. That may actually be the worst judging ever. Why'd you bother?
Because nobody else did?
Nothing would have been an improvement.
The remaining judges have not come through. I made a promise to all the drafters that this draft would be completed, even if I had to judge the remaining 6 categories myself, and I intend to keep that. So beginning next week, I will be judging the remaining 6 categories. If in the meantime one of the previous judges wants to step up, great. Otherwise, look forward to my rankings coming up as soon as I find time to do them.

I can find time for some down-and-dirty judging of American poem now, but it will not be detailed. Up to you--let me know.

Listening to Will Shortz do the puzzle feature on Weekend Edition. He shares my birtday! (10 years apart) I just found that out last Sunday. I met him at a film festival screening of Wordplay six or seven years ago.

Sorry, I just feel like a threatening bump is about as interesting as a Facebook status update. Nobody really cares, but sometimes I hit the like button to let the person know I like them as a friend, in spite of themselves.

I, too, can publish lists ranking my three categories, with point values assigned and minimal writeup.

K4 - I never did a writeup about Howl. Please don't be offended or think I'm being disrespectful of you personally or your criteria. I've just had a busy, fun summer.

I like the pacing of Howl. It's one of the most masculine poems I know. It's in your face and unrelenting. I can't listen to it without imaging an accompaniment of a slow bass line and a drummer brushing symbols. I love the New York centric themes, how every borough and numerous landmarks are referenced, yet in an abstract way that makes it seem less provincial. I love that the best minds of the beat generation lost became the best minds of the civil rights and hippie generation lost only to become the best minds lost of any generation. When Ginsberg says "I'm with you in Rockland Carl Solomon" we say it back and we're with him in the psycho ward as well. I love the base repetitions of who in the first part and Moloch in the 2nd part; it signals the end of the long line and launches another, and no matter how many times you've heard or read this poem, there is this sense you're not quite sure where the next line is going, but you can't wait to get there. The Holy Holy Holy footnote concludes the Fifth International is yet to come, and I feel so pent up by then I want to run up to the roof and throw my watch to cast my ballot with eternity outside of time.

It's ####### awesome.

ETA: I will try to post rankings today, but it likely will be tomorrow as I have a lot of family commitments this weekend.

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Drafted Picks for the three categories I am judging:

American Military Defeat1. Pearl Harbor2. Battle of Bladensburg3. St. Claire's Defeat4. Little Big Horn5. Battle of Antietam6. Battle of Bataan7. First Bull Run8. Battle of Kasserine Pass9. The Tet Offensive10. Battle of Chosin Reservoir11. Chicamauga12. Siege of Khe San13. Clark Air BaseAmerican Military Victory1. Battle of Saratoga2. Battle of Midway3. Battle of Yorktown4. Gettysburg5. Invasion of Normandy6. Battle of New Orleans7. Battle of the Bulge8. Battle of Iwo Jima9. Guadalcanal10. Lexington and Concord11. Battle of Okinawa12. Belleau Wood13. Missionary RidgeChoreographer1. Martha Graham2. Alvin Ailey3. Paul Taylor4. Katherine Dunham5. Bob Fosse6. Hanya Holm7. Jose Limon8. Agnes de Mille9. Hermes Pan10. Twyla Tharp11. Gene Kelly12. Shane Sparks13. Jerome Robbins
13th - Battle of Antietam - 8 points

The battle was a draw. It was the bloodiest single-day in American history, with about 23,000 casualties on both sides.

12th - Clark Air Base - 9 points

The base was overrun by Japanese forces in early January 1942. The base then became a major center for staging Japanese air operations.

11th - First Bull Run - 10 points

The Northern public was shocked at the unexpected defeat of their army when an easy victory had been widely anticipated.

10th - Battle of Chickamauga - 11 points

The most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and involved the second highest number of casualties in the war following the Battle of Gettysburg.

9th - Battle of Bladensburg - 12 points

The defeat of the American forces allowed the British to capture and burn the public buildings of Washington, D.C.

8th - Battle of Kasserine Pass - 13 points

Significant as the first large-scale meeting of American and German forces in World War II, the relatively untested and poorly-led American troops suffered heavy casualties and were pushed back over 50 mi from their positions west of Faid Pass in the initial days of the battle.

7th - Battle of Bataan - 14 points

The largest surrender in American and Filipino military history, and was the largest United States surrender since the Civil War's Battle of Harper's Ferry.

6th - Siege of Khe Sanh - 15 points

During a series of desperate actions that lasted 77 days, Khe Sanh Combat Base (KSCB) and the hilltop outposts around it were under constant North Vietnamese ground, artillery, mortar, and rocket attacks.

5th - The Tet Offensive - 16 points

The initial attacks stunned the US and South Vietnamese armies and took them by surprise, but most were quickly contained and beaten back, inflicting massive casualties on communist forces. During the Battle of Hue intense fighting lasted for a month and the NLF executed thousands of residents in the Massacre at Huế. Around the US combat base at Khe Sanh fighting continued for two more months. Although the offensive was a military defeat for the communists, it had a profound effect on the US government and shocked the US public, which had been led to believe by its political and military leaders that the communists were, due to previous defeats, incapable of launching such a massive effort.

4th - Battle of Chosin Reservoir - 17 points

The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was a decisive battle in the Korean War. Shortly after the People's Republic of China entered the conflict, the People's Volunteer Army 9th Army infiltrated the northeastern part of North Korea and surprised the US X Corps at the Chosin Reservoir area. A brutal 17 day battle in freezing weather soon followed. In the period between 27 November and 13 December 1950, 30,000 United Nations (UN) troops (nicknamed "The Chosin Few") under the command of Major General Edward Almond were encircled by approximately 67,000 Chinese troops under the command of Song Shi-Lun. Although Chinese troops managed to surround and outnumber the UN forces, the UN forces broke out of the encirclement while inflicting crippling losses on the Chinese. The evacuation of the X Corps from the port of Hungnam marked the complete withdrawal of UN troops from North Korea.

3rd - St. Clair's Defeat - 18 points

It was a major American Indian victory and remains the greatest defeat of the United States Army by American Indians.

The American Indians were led by Little Turtle of the Miamis, Blue Jacket of the Shawnees and Buckongahelas of the Delawares (Lenape). The war party numbered more than one thousand warriors, including a large number of Potawatomis from eastern Michigan and the Saint Joseph. The opposing force of about 1,000 Americans was led by General Arthur St. Clair, who had proved to be an able commander during the American Revolutionary War. The American Indian confederacy was overwhelmingly victorious. In proportional terms of losses to strength, it was the worst defeat that United States forces have ever suffered in battle—of the 1,000 officers and men that St. Clair led into battle, only 48 escaped unharmed. As a result, President George Washington forced St. Clair to resign his post and Congress initiated its first investigation of the executive branch.

2nd - Battle of Little Big Horn - 19 points

he Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer's Last Stand and, by the Native Americans involved, as the Battle of the Greasy Grass, was an armed engagement between combined forces of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho people against the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The battle, which occurred on June 25 and 26, 1876 near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory, was the most prominent action of the Great Sioux War of 1876. It was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Gall, inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull (Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake). The U.S. Seventh Cavalry, including the Custer Battalion, a force of 700 men led by George Armstrong Custer, suffered a severe defeat. Five of the Seventh Cavalry's companies were annihilated; Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew, and a brother-in-law. The total U.S. casualty count, including scouts, was 268 dead and 55 injured.

1st - Attack on Pearl Harbor - 20 points

The attack on Pearl Harbor (called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters (Operation Z in planning) and the Battle of Pearl Harbor) was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States.

The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. Of these eight damaged, two were raised, and with four repaired, six battleships returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.

The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8), the United States declared war on Japan. Domestic support for non-interventionism, which had been strong, disappeared. Clandestine support of Britain (for example the Neutrality Patrol) was replaced by active alliance. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.

There were numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action by Japan. However, the lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy".


1. Attack on Pearl Harbor - 20 points

2. Battle of Little Big Horn - 19 points

3. St. Clair's Defeat - 18 points

4. Battle of Chosin Reservoir - 17 points

5. The Tet Offensive - 16 points

6. Siege of Khe Sanh - 15 points

7. Battle of Bataan - 14 points

8. Battle of Kasserine Pass - 13 points

9. Battle of Bladensburg - 12 points

10. Battle of Chickamauga - 11 points

11. First Bull Run - 10 points

12. Clark Air Base - 9 points

13. Battle of Antietam - 8 points

TimSummary:1. Attack on Pearl Harbor - 20 points2. Battle of Little Big Horn - 19 points3. St. Clair's Defeat - 18 points4. Battle of Chosin Reservoir - 17 points5. The Tet Offensive - 16 points6. Siege of Khe Sanh - 15 points7. Battle of Bataan - 14 points8. Battle of Kasserine Pass - 13 points9. Battle of Bladensburg - 12 points10. Battle of Chickamauga - 11 points11. First Bull Run - 10 points12. Clark Air Base - 9 points13. Battle of Antietam - 8 points
:thumbup: It's good to have closure - even late. Thanks for judging.
American Military Victory

13th Place - Battle of Guadalcanal - 8 Points

The Battle of Guadalcanal took place in 1942 when the US Marines landed on August 7th. The landing at Guadalcanal was unopposed - but it took the Americans six months to defeat the Japanese in what was to turn into a classic battle of attrition.

American Military Victory

12th Place - Battle of Iwo Jima - 9 Points

Iwo Jima is an eight-square mile spec of a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean, about 760 miles - only four hours flying time - to Tokyo. Japan fortified Iwo Jima with miles of underground tunnels, caves, pill boxes and over 20,000 troops. The United States wanted the island for use as air base to launch fighter plans and to serve as an emergency landing strip for damaged bombers returned from their bombing run on Japan.

The battle for Iwo Jima started on February 19, 1945 with naval bombardment to "soften" the Japanese positions on the island. Because of the hardened fortifications, the bombardment did not have the desired results - the Japanese were fully capable of mounting an effective defense.

The more than 21,000 Japanese defenders, under the command of Lieutenant General Kuribayashi Tadamichi fought ferociously. During the intense battles, Japanese kamikaze counterattacks sank the American light carrier Bismark Sea and other American ships were damaged. On the island, the Japanese fired upon Americans from the underground garrisons, caves, and "pill boxes", fortified positions of steel and concrete. The Marines had to fight and "dig them out" one position at a time, using grenades, flame throwers, and rifle fire.

The taking of Mount Suribachi on the south end of the island on February 23 did not end the fighting. In fact, the island was not declared secure for American forces until March 16, 1945.

Over the sevarl weeks after the battle began, the United States incurred more than 28,000 casualties, over 6,800 deaths. Nearly all 21,000 the Japanese defenders were killed. Only about 212 were captured alive. They had survived by raiding American supplies.

American Military Victory

11th Place - Battle of Okinawa - 10 Points

The Battle of Okinawa is distinguished among battles, yet often unrecognized when referring to the great battles of the Second World War. Over 250,000 people lost their lives. Approximately 150,000 Okinawans, about a third of the population, perished. At the battle's end, somewhere between a third and half of all surviving civilians were wounded. No battle during the Second World War, except Stalingrad, had as massive a loss of civilian life. The stakes were high. The Japanese, determined to fight to the last man, almost achieved their objective, but in defeat 100,000 Japanese combatants died rather than surrender. In the end, fewer than 10,000 of General Mitsuri Ushijimas's Thirty-Second Army were taken prisoner.

United States loss of life was staggering as well. The United States Navy sustained the largest loss of ships in its history with thirty-six lost and 368 damaged. The Navy also sustained the largest loss of life in a single battle with almost 5,000 killed and an equal number wounded. At Okinawa, the United States Tenth Army would incur its greatest losses in any campaign against the Japanese. The Tenth Army, which initially was made up of 183,000 army, navy, and marine personnel. During those eighty-two days, the Tenth Army would lose 7,613 men and over 30,000 men would be evacuated from the front lines for a minimum of a week due to wounds. Moreover, the largest numbers of U.S. combat fatigue cases ever recorded would occur on Okinawa.

American Military Victory

10th Place - Battle of Belleau Wood - 11 Points

The victory from which the term Devil Dog originated (though it was likely an invention of the American media, and not used by the Germans in any dispatch, as is widely believed).

Comprising two related actions, firstly at Chateau-Thierry from 3-4 June and then at Belleau Wood itself from 6-26 June, the Battle of Belleau Wood saw the re-capture by U.S. forces of the wood on the Metz-Paris road taken at the end of May by German Seventh Army forces arriving at the Marne River around Chateau-Thierry and held by four divisions as part of the German Aisne offensive.

Chateau-Thierry formed the tip of the German advance towards Paris, some 50 miles south-west. Defended by U.S. Second and Third Divisions dispatched at the behest of the French by AEF Commander-in-Chief Jack Pershing, the Americans launched a counter-attack on 3-4 June with the assistance of the French Tenth Colonial Division; in a spirited action together they succeeded in pushing the Germans back across the Marne to Jaulgonne.

Rejuvenated by success first at Cantigny (at the end of May) and now at Chateau-Thierry, General Bundy's Second Division forces followed up Chateau-Thierry two days later with the difficult exercise of capturing Belleau Wood.

Second Division's Marine Corps, under James Harbord, were tasked with the taking of the wood. This perilous venture involved a murderous trek across an open wheat field, swept from end to end by German machine gun fire, a fact that continues to generate controversy today among some historians.

As a consequence of the open nature of the advance on the wood, casualties on the first day, 6 June, were the highest in Marine Corps history (a dubious record which remained until the capture of Japanese-held Tarawa in November 1943).

Fiercely defended by the Germans, the wood was first taken by the Marines (and Third Infantry Brigade), then ceded back to the Germans - and again taken by the U.S. forces a total of six times before the Germans were finally expelled. Also captured were the nearby villages of Vaux and Bouresche.

The battle ran from 6-26 June and by its end saw U.S. forces suffer 9,777 casualties, of which 1,811 were fatal. The number of German casualties is not known, although some 1,600 troops were taken prisoner. More critically, the combined Chateau-Thierry/Belleau Wood action brought to an end the last major German offensive of the war.

The French name for the wood, Bois Belleau, was subsequently officially renamed Bois de la Brigade de Marine, in honour of the Marine Corps's tenacity in its re-taking.

American Military Victory

9th Place - Missionary Ridge - 12 Points

Braxton Bragg had a strong natural position on Missionary Ridge. His right, or "strategic," flank was held by 14 brigades in Hardee's corps. Breckinridge had nine brigades with which to cover a twoand-a-half-mile front opposite Grant's center. Three parallel lines of entrenchments had been laid out and partially completed. One line was along the base of the ridge; another had been started about half-way up the slope; and a third was along the crest.

Ulysses S. Grant established his headquarters on Orchard Knob 24 Nov., and about midnight sent word to Sherman to resume his attack at dawn. Hooker was ordered to continue his advance to Rossville Gap.

Ewing's division(of Sherman's force) attacked south; the brigade of Corse, reinforced by a regiment of Lightburn, spearheaded the advance, while the brigades of Cockerill, Alexander, and Lightburn were initially to hold the hill taken the day before. Morgan Smith's division advanced along the eastern slope, maintaining contact with Corse on his right. Along the western slope the brigade of Loomis was to advance with two brigades from John Smith's division in support.

Corse moved out under heavy fire and took some high ground about 80 yards from the enemy's main position. From this base he launched repeated assaults for over an hour without success. The forces on his left and right gained ground, thereby relieving some pressure, but were not able to achieve any permanent lodgment. Federal batteries did what they could to support the infantry, but the terrain and the close fighting were such that they could not render effective assistance. Corse was severely wounded about 10 A.M. The fighting on this flank continued with varying results until about 3 P.m.

Meanwhile, Hooker's advance had been delayed four or five hours in rebuilding the bridge the Confederates had destroyed over the Chattanooga and in removing other obstructions. It was late afternoon before he was in a position to threaten Bragg's left flank. Bragg, in the meantime, had reinforced his right with the divisions of Cheatham and Stevenson.

Showing outstanding generalship, Grant did not make the error of throwing troops from his center into the planned frontal attack before some decisive results had been achieved on the flanks. Sherman's situation, however, was critical, and the original plan had to be modified. At 10 o'clock he made Howard's two divisions (XI) available to reinforce Sherman's left. A new Federal attack gained some ground, but was driven back by a counterattack which routed the brigades of John Smith (on the right). The brigades of Corse and Loomis then drove the Confederates back into their original positions.

Continuing to reinforce the left, Grant at 12 o'clock ordered Baird's division to move from the right of Indian Hill to reinforce Sherman. Baird arrived behind Sherman's position, was told he was not needed, and then moved to a position on Wood's left. He formed in line at 2:30.

Hooker, in the meantime, had started attacking the Confederate left. The 27th Mo. (1, 1, XV), deployed as skirmishers, rushed into the gap at Rossville. The rest of Wood's brigade headed for high ground on the right of the gap, and WilIiamson's (2, 1, XV) moved up on the left. The Confederates withdrew, leaving a considerable quantity of supplies. By this time the bridge was completed and the rest of Hooker's forces reinforced the leading brigades. Hooker sent Crufts division along the ridge and Geary and Osterhaus on his left and right, respectively. The 9th and 36th Ind. (3, 1, IV) spearheaded an assault that started crushing Bragg's left flank.

Grant now saw that even though Sherman's envelopment had failed he must make a final effort before dark. Between 3 and 4 P.m. the long-awaited six cannon shots signaled the assault. The divisions of Baird (XIV), Wood, and Sheridan (both IV), and Johnson (XIV) were on line from left to right.

"I felt no fear for the result," wrote a Confederate brigade commander later, "even though the arrangements to repel the attack were not such as I liked.... I think, however, that I noticed some nervousness among my men as they beheld this grand military spectacle, and I heard remarks which showed that some uneasiness existed, and that they magnified the host in their view to at least double their number."

Grant had intended that the troops halt after taking the first line, and reorganize. Much to his consternation, Grant saw the troops capture the first line and then press on immediately for the summit. The attackers had found out that lingering in the initial position would subject them to murderous fire from the crest, and that the safest thing was to charge up the hill. This they did on their own initiative, turning it into a "SOLDIERS' BATTLE." Grant is reported to have asked Thomas and Granger: "Who ordered those men up the hill?" Unable to find the answer he said: "Someone will suffer for it, if it turns out badly." The commanders actually tried to stop this advance. Turchin's brigade (1, 3, XIV) was halted; Wagner's brigade (2, 2, IV) was called back from an advanced position.

Bragg had made several mistakes in his defensive dispositions. He had split his forces, putting half at the bottom of the hill with secret orders to fire a volley when the enemy got to within 200 yards, and then to withdraw up the slopes. Many men apparently were not informed of this plan, and defended the first line even when others had pulled back. A Confederate engineer had taken his instructions literally when told to put the final line on the highest ground. This line was along the geographic or topographic crest instead of the "military crest" (the highest place from which you can see and fire on an approaching enemy). The attackers, therefore, found "dead space" through which they could advance under cover, and came forward in about six separate lines of approach. Footholds were established at various places, and enfilade fire from these penetrations destroyed the Confederate strong points that had been able to resist the frontal assault. As for which regiment reached the crest first, it would be difficult to find a regimental historian who recorded that his own unit was the second. ". . . there is no room to doubt that General Wood's division first reached the summit," writes Van Horne. Sheridan was the only division commander who maintained enough cohesion in his unit to pursue; he took a large number of guns and prisoners, and came very close to capturing Bragg, Breckinridge, and a number of other high-ranking officers. The final assault had lasted about an hour; 37 guns and 2,000 prisoners were taken.

Hooker, meanwhile, was rolling up the left. Many Confederate units panicked, but Grant was unable to pursue effectively. The Confederates rallied on a ridge about 500 yards to the rear. Cleburne continued to hold Sherman after the firing had died out along the rest of the line. Bragg withdrew that night toward Dalton, while Hardee's corps covered the rear.

The loss of Chattanooga was a severe blow to the dying Confederate cause. A vital line of lateral communications was lost, and the stage was set for Sherman's move to split the Confederacy further by his Atlanta campaign and march to the sea.

Numbers and losses at Chattanooga, 23-25 Nov. '63 (Livermore):

Union Confederate

Effectives 56,359 64,165

Killed 753 361

Wounded 4,722 2,160

Missing 349 4,146

Total Losses 5,824(10%) 6,667(14%)

American Military Victory

8th Place - Battle of Saratoga - 13 Points

The Revolutionary War is enshrined in American memory as the beginning of a new nation born in freedom. In this memory the conflict was quick and easy, the adversaries are little more than cartoon-like tin soldiers whose brightly colored uniforms make them ideal targets for straight-shooting American frontiersmen.

In actuality, the very year of Independence was a time of many military disasters for the fledgling republic; the first year of its existence was almost its last. New York was the stage for much of the drama that unfolded.

During the summer of 1776, a powerful army under British General Sir William Howe invaded the New York City area. His professional troops defeated and outmaneuvered General George Washington’s less trained forces. An ill advised American invasion of Canada had come to an appalling end, its once confident regiments reduced to a barely disciplined mob beset by smallpox and pursuing British troops through the Lake Champlain Valley.

As 1776 ended, the cause for American Independence seemed all but lost. It was true that Washington’s successful gamble at the battles of Trenton and Princeton kept hopes alive, but the British were still holding the initiative. Royal Garrisons held New York and its immediate environs, Newport, Rhode Island and Canada. Additionally the Royal Navy allowed the British to strike at will almost anywhere along the eastern seaboard.

In hopes of crushing the American rebellion before foreign powers might intervene, the British concocted a plan to invade New York from their base in Canada in 1777. Essentially, two armies would follow waterways into the Rebel territory, unite and capture Albany, New York. Once the town was in their possession, these British forces would open communications to the City of New York, and continue the campaign as ordered. It was believed that by capturing the Hudson River’s head of navigation (Albany) and already holding its mouth (the City of New York), the British could establish their control of the entire river. Control of the Hudson could sever New England-the hot bed of the rebellion-from the rest of the colonies.

The architect of the plan, General John Burgoyne, commanded the main thrust through the Lake Champlain valley. Although the invasion had some initial success with the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, the realities of untamed terrain soon slowed the British triumphant advance into an agonizing crawl. Worse for the British, a major column en route to seek supplies in Vermont was overrun, costing Burgoyne almost irreplaceable 1000 men. Hard on the heels of this disaster, Burgoyne’s contingent of Native Americans decided to leave, word came from the west that the second British column was stalled by the American controlled Fort Stanwix and that the main British army would not be operating near the city of New York. Although his plans were unraveling, Burgoyne refused to change his plans and collected enough supplies for a dash to Albany.

For the Americans, the British delays and defeats had bought them enough time to re-organize and reinforce their army. Under a new commander, General Horatio Gates, the American army established itself at a defensive position along the Hudson River called Bemis Heights. With fortifications on the flood plain and cannon on the heights, the position dominated all movement through the river valley. Burgoyne’s army was entirely dependent upon the river to haul their supplies, and the American defenses were an unavoidable and dangerous obstacle.

Learning of the Rebels’ position, Burgoyne attempted to move part of his army inland to avoid the danger posed by the American fortifications. On September 19th 1777, his columns collided with part of General Gates’ army near the abandoned farm of Loyalist John Freeman. During the long afternoon, the British were unable to maintain any initiative or momentum. Pinned in place, they suffered galling American gunfire as they strove to hold their lines. Late in the day, reinforcements of German auxiliary troops turned the tide for Burgoyne’s beleaguered forces. Although driven from the battlefield, the British had suffered heavy casualties and Gates’ army still blocked his move south to Albany.

General Burgoyne elected to hold what ground he had and fortify his encampment, hoping for assistance from the City of New York. On October 7th, with supplies running dangerously low and options running out, Burgoyne attempted another flanking move. The expedition was noticed by the Rebels who fell upon Burgoyne’s column. Through the fierce fighting the British and their allies were routed and driven back to their fortifications. At dusk, one position held by German troops, was overwhelmed by attacking Americans. Burgoyne had to withdraw to his inner works near the river and the following day tried to withdraw northward toward safety. Hampered by bad roads made worse by frigid downpours, the British retreat made only eight miles in two days to a small hamlet called Saratoga; Gates’ army followed and surrounded Burgoyne and his army. With no other option Burgoyne capitulated on 17 October 1777.

The American victory at Saratoga was a major turning point in the war for Independence, heartening the supporters of independence and convincing France to enter in the war as an ally of the fledgling United States. It would be French military assistance that would keep the rebel cause from collapse and tip the balance at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781 – winning America its ultimate victory as a free and independent nation. The war also would reach to nearly every quarter of the globe as Spain and the Netherlands would become involved. But more importantly ideals of the rebel Americans would be exported as well, inspiring people throughout the world with the hope of liberties and freedom.

American Military Victory

7th Place - Battle of Yorktown - 14 Points

In August 1781, General George Washington learned that Lieutenant General Lord Charles Cornwallis' army was encamped near Yorktown, VA. After discussing options with his French ally, Lieutenant General Jean-Baptiste Ponton de Rochambeau, Washington decided to quietly move his army away from New York City with the goal of crushing Cornwallis' isolated force. Departing on August 21, the Franco-American army began marching south. As any success would be dependent upon the French navy's ability to prevent Cornwallis being resupplied, this movement was supported by the fleet of Rear Admiral Comte de Grasse.

Arriving in the Chesapeake, de Grasse's ships assumed a blockading position. On September 5, a British fleet led by Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Graves arrived and engaged the French. In the resulting Battle of the Chesapeake, de Grasse succeeded in defeating the British and leading them away from the bay. Disengaging, the French returned to the Chesapeake and resumed blockading Cornwallis' army. Arriving at Williamsburg, Washington met with de Grasse aboard his flagship Ville de Paris on September 17. After securing the admiral's promise to remain in the bay, Washington focused on concentrating his forces.

As troops from New York reached Williamsburg, they joined with the forces of the Marquis de Lafayette who had been shadowing Cornwallis' movements. With the army assembled, Washington and Rochambeau began the march to Yorktown on September 28. Arriving outside the town later that day, the two commanders deployed their forces with the Americans on the right and the French on the left. A mixed Franco-American force, led by the Comte de Choissey, was dispatched across the York River to oppose the British position on Gloucester Point.

In Yorktown, Cornwallis held out hope that a promised relief force of 5,000 men would arrive from New York. Outnumbered more than 2-to-1, he ordered his men to abandon the outer works around the town and fall back to the main line of fortifications. This was later criticized as it would have taken the allies several weeks to reduce these positions by regular siege methods. On the night of October 5/6, the French and Americans began construction of the first siege line. By dawn, a 2,000-yard long trench opposed the southeast side of the British works. Two days later, Washington personally fired the first gun.

For the next three days, French and American guns pounded the British lines around the clock. Feeling his position collapsing, Cornwallis wrote to Lieutenant General Henry Clinton on October 10 calling for aid. The British situation was made worse by a smallpox outbreak within the town. On the night of October 11, Washington's men began work on a second parallel, just 250 yards from the British lines. Progress on this work was impeded by two British fortifications, Redoubts #9 and #10, which prevented the line from reaching the river.

The capture of these positions was assigned to General Count William Deux-Ponts and Colonel Alexander Hamilton. After extensive planning, the attack moved forward on the night of October 14, with Deux-Pont's French troops seizing #9, while Hamilton's Americans captured #10. Immediately after the redoubts were captured, American sappers began extending the siege lines. With the enemy growing nearer, Cornwallis again wrote to Clinton for help and described his situation as "very critical." As the bombardment continued, Cornwallis was pressured into launching an attack against the allied lines on October 16.

Led by Colonel Robert Abercrombie the attack succeeded in taking some prisoners and spiking six guns, but was unable to breakthrough. That night, Cornwallis shifted 1,000 men and his wounded to Gloucester Point with the goal of transferring his army across the river and breaking out to the north. As the boats returned to Yorktown, they were scattered by a storm. Out of ammunition for his guns and unable to shift his army, Cornwallis decided to open negotiations with Washington. At 9:00 AM on October 17, a single drummer mounted the British works and beat the long roll as a lieutenant waved a white flag.


The fighting at Yorktown cost the allies 72 killed and 180 wounded. British losses were higher and included 156 killed, 326 wounded. In addition, Cornwallis' remaining 7,018 men were taken prisoner. Meeting at the nearby Moore House, Cornwallis attempted to obtain the same favorable terms of surrender that Major General John Burgoyne had received at Saratoga. This was refused by Washington who imposed the same harsh conditions that the British had demanded of Major General Benjamin Lincoln the year before at Charleston.

With no other choice, Cornwallis complied and the final surrender documents were signed on October 19. At noon the French and American armies lined up to await the British surrender. Two hours later the British marched out with flags furled and their bands playing "The World Turned Upside Down." Claiming he was ill, Cornwallis sent Brigadier General Charles O'Hara in his stead. Approaching the allied leadership, O'Hara attempted to surrender to Rochambeau but was instructed by the Frenchman to approach the Americans. As Cornwallis was not present, Washington directed O'Hara to surrender to Lincoln, who was now serving as his second-in-command.

With the surrender complete, Cornwallis' army was taken into custody rather than paroled. Shortly thereafter, Cornwallis was exchanged for Henry Laurens, the former President of the Continental Congress. The victory at Yorktown was the last major engagement of the American Revolution and effectively ended the conflict in the American's favor.

I don't even remember which of those I drafted
:goodposting: Me neither. I have a vague recollection I drafted a Revolutionary Battle, but I honestly didn't remember, and I didn't look it up.Hope I did OK in my own judging. :lmao: Had to think about it, but pretty sure I took Chickamauga in the other category.
American Military Victory

6th Place - Battle of New Orleans - 15 Points

On January 8, 1815, American forces commanded by General Jackson, decisively defeated the British forces as they tried to capture New Orleans. The battle, which took place after the Treaty of Ghent had been signed, effectively ended the war.

The British chose New Orleans as their last possible objective. They ruled out a water assault on New Orleans and instead chose to mount a ground assault. They anchored their ships at Pea River in the mouth of the Mississippi. Guarding the entry to the River were five American gunboats. Their 29 guns and 145 were no match for the 45 British barges manned by 1200 men with 43 guns. The American ships gave General Jackson, the commander of American forces in New Orleans, additional time to prepare the defenses of the city. The British forces went ashore at the mouth of the Bayou Bienvenu unopposed. An advance guard of 1500 men moved forward and captured the Viillere plantation. One of the American officers managed to escape and get to New Orleans to warn Jackson. Jackson ordered an attack on the British positions. He sent a 14-gun schooner downriver to bombard the British positions, while at the same time ordered General John Caffee to attack the British and try to halt their soldiers on the river. The Americans had some initial success, but ultimately the British lines held. Jackson called off the attack and his men withdrew to defensive positions along the Rodriguez Canal. This ended the first part of the battle.

The two sides then spent two weeks preparing their positions for future battle. The British received a new commander Lieutenant General Sir Edward Pakenham. Pakenham was not happy with lack of British progress. He developed a complicated plan that involved an attack on both banks of the river; however, crossing the river was more difficult than initially envisioned. It was not until January 8, that a force could dispatch. In the meantime General Pakenham prepared for a direct assault on the center of Americans lines. General Jackson and his men were ready with well-prepared defensive positions of 4,000 men and well position cannons.

At the last minute Jackson positioned his reserve troops at the exact spot the British were planning to aim their assault. As dawn broke, the British began their assault. The British soldiers gallantly attacked, but the Americans were too prepared and their artillery wreaked havoc on the advancing British. General Pakenham tried to rally his men and continue the assault despite the fact that two horses were shot out from under him and he was wounded. Eventually he was mortally wounded and died on the battlefield. Within an hour the battle was over.

Three British generals and eight colonels were among the 251 British killed. 1,259 were wounded and 484 were missing in the battle. The Americans lost a total of 11 men and 23 wounded. It was the greatest American victory of the war and it was against the finest of the British army. The tragedy of the battle is that it took place after a peace treaty had ended the war.

American Military Victory

5th Place - Battle of Midway - 16 Points

The Battle of Midway, fought in June 1942, must be considered one of the most decisive battles of World War Two. The Battle of Midway effectively destroyed Japan’s naval strength when the Americans destroyed four of its aircraft carriers. Japan’s navy never recovered from its mauling at Midway and it was on the defensive after this battle.


US Navy

Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet

Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, Task Force 17 (senior tactical commander)

Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance, Task Force 16

Imperial Japanese Navy

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief, Combined Fleet

Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, First Air Fleet

The Battle of Midway was predominently fought on June 4, 1942, though operations did continue until June 7.

Battle of Midway - Yamamoto's Plan:

Following the strategic defeat at the Battle of Coral Sea (May 4-8), the commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, devised a plan to draw the remaining ships of the US Pacific Fleet into a battle where they could be destroyed. To accomplish this, he planned to invade the island of Midway, 1,300 miles northwest of Hawaii. A key to Pearl Harbor's defense, Yamamoto knew the Americans would send their remaining aircraft carriers to protect the island. Believing the US to only have two carriers operational, he sailed with four, plus a large fleet of battleships and cruisers.

Battle of Midway - Nimitz's Response:

At Pearl Harbor, Admiral Chester Nimitz was made aware of the impending attack by his team of cryptanalysts led by Lt. Commander Joseph Rochefort. Having successfully broken the Japanese JN-25 naval code, Rochefort was able to provide an outline of the Japanese plan of attack as well as the forces involved. To meet this threat, Nimitz dispatched Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance with the carriers USS Enterprise and USS Hornet to Midway hoping to surprise the Japanese. The carrier USS Yorktown, with Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, followed two days later after damage received at Coral Sea was hastily repaired.

Battle of Midway - Attack on Midway:

At 04:30 on June 4, Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, commanding the Japanese carriers, launched 108 planes to attack Midway Island, as well as seven scout planes to locate the American fleet. Brushing aside the island's small force of fighters, the Japanese planes pounded Midway's installations. While returning to the carriers, the strike leaders recommended a second attack. In response, Nagumo ordered his reserve aircraft, which had been armed with torpedoes, to be rearmed with bombs. After this process had commenced, a scout plane from the cruiser Tone reported locating the American fleet.

Battle of Midway - The Americans Arrive:

Upon receiving this news, Nagumo reversed his rearmament order. As a result, the hangar decks of the Japanese carriers were full of bombs, torpedoes, and fuel lines as ground crews scrambled to reequip the aircraft. As Nagumo vacillated, the first of Fletcher's planes arrived over the Japanese fleet. Armed with sighting reports from scout planes, Fletcher had begun launching his aircraft at 07:00. The first squadrons to arrive were the TBD Devastator torpedo bombers from Hornet (VT-8) and Enterprise (VT-6). Attacking at low level, they failed to score a hit and suffered heavy casualties.

Battle of Midway - Dive Bombers Strike the Japanese:

Though VT-8 and VT-6 did not do any damage, their attack, coupled with the late arrival of VT-3, pulled the Japanese combat air patrol out of position, leaving the fleet vulnerable. At 10:22, American SBD Dauntless dive bombers approaching from the southwest and northeast struck the carriers Kaga, Soryu, and Akagi. In less than six minutes they reduced the Japanese ships to burning wrecks. In response, the remaining Japanese carrier, Hiryu, launched a counterstrike. Arriving in two waves, its planes twice disabled Yorktown. Later that afternoon, American dive bombers located Hiryu and sank it, completing the victory.

Battle of Midway - Aftermath:

On the night of June 4th, both sides retired to plan their next move. By 02:55, Yamamoto ordered his fleet to return to base. In the following days, American aircraft sunk the cruiser Mikuma, while the Japanese submarine I-168 torpedoed and sank the disabled Yorktown. The defeat at Midway broke the back of the Japanese carrier fleet and resulted in the loss of invaluable air crews. It also marked the end of major Japanese offensive operations as the initiative passed to the Americans. That August, US Marines landed on Guadalcanal and began the long march to Tokyo.

Battle of Midway - Casualties:

US Pacific Fleet Losses

340 killed

Aircraft Carrier USS Yorktown

Destroyer USS Hammann

145 aircraft

Imperial Japanese Navy Losses

3,057 killed

Aircraft Carrier Akagi

Aircraft Carrier Kaga

Aircraft Carrier Soryu

Aircraft Carrier Hiryu

Heavy Cruiser Mikuma

228 aircraft

Despite having broken the Japanese codes and knowing what was on the way, we still only won Midway by accident. Lost planes arriving late just so happened to stumble upon the Japanese carriers in a small window while they were re-arming and re-fueling and unable to defend. Those six minutes changed history, and had those lost planes arrived ten minutes earlier or ten minutes later, we'd have a different world today.

This is almost surely overrating the battle, but you cannot overstate the impact and historical significance.

American Military Victory

4th Place - Lexington and Concord - 17 Points

Date Wednesday, April 19, 1775

Weather ~55-65`F, winds calm

Location Lexington and Concord Massachusetts

Great Britain

Commanders Lieutenant-General Hugh Percy, Major John Pitcairn, Major-General Francis Smith

Casualties Force: 1500

Killed: 73

Wounded: 174

Captured: 53

The American Colonies

Colonel James Barrett, Colonel John Buttrick, Dr. Joseph Warren, John Parker, William Heath

Force: 3800

Killed: 49

Wounded: 39

Captured: 0


The Battles of Lexington and Concord were actually the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. They 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, near Boston. The battles marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in the mainland of British North America.

About 700 British Army regulars, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, were ordered to capture and destroy military supplies that were reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. Dr. Joseph Warren alerted the colonists of this. The Patriot colonists had received intelligence weeks before the expedition which warned of an impending British search, and had moved much, but not all, of the supplies to safety. They had also received details about British plans on the night before the battle, and information was rapidly supplied to the militia.

The first shots were fired just as the sun was rising at Lexington. The militia were outnumbered and fell back. Other British colonists, hours later at the North Bridge in Concord, fought and defeated three companies of the king's troops. The outnumbered soldiers of the British Army fell back from the Minutemen after a pitched battle in open territory.

More Minutemen arrived soon thereafter and inflicted heavy damage on the British regulars as they marched back towards Boston. Upon returning to Lexington, Smith's expedition was rescued by reinforcements under Hugh, Earl Percy. A combined force of fewer than 1,700 men marched back to Boston under heavy fire in a tactical withdrawal and eventually reached the safety of Charlestown.

The British failed to maintain the secrecy and speed required to conduct a successful strike into hostile territory, yet they did destroy some weapons and supplies. Most British regulars returned to Boston. The occupation of surrounding areas by the Massachusetts Militia that evening marked the beginning of the Siege of Boston.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his Concord Hymn described the first shot fired by the Patriots at the North Bridge as the "shot heard 'round the world".


The British Army's infantry, nicknamed "redcoats" (but dubbed "lobsterbacks" and sometimes devils by the colonists), had occupied Boston since 1768 and had been augmented by naval forces and marines to enforce the Intolerable Acts. General Thomas Gage, the military governor and commander-in-chief, still had no control over Massachusetts outside of Boston, where the Massachusetts Government Act had increased tensions between the Patriot (Whig) majority, and the Loyalist (Tory) minority. Gage's plan was to avoid conflict by removing military supplies from the Whig militias using small, secret and rapid strikes. This struggle for supplies led to one British success and then to several Patriot successes in a series of nearly bloodless conflicts known as the Powder Alarms. Gage considered himself to be a friend of liberty and attempted to separate his duties as Governor of the colony and as General of an occupying force. Edmund Burke described Gage's conflicted relationship with Massachusetts by saying in Parliament, "An Englishman is the unfittest person on Earth to argue another Englishman into slavery."

The colonists had been forming militias of various sorts since the 17th century, at first primarily for defense against local native attacks. These forces were also called to action in the French and Indian War in the 1750s and 1760s. They were generally local militias, but there was communication and some coordination at the provincial level. When the political situation began to deteriorate, these existing connections were put to use by the colonists for the purpose of resistance to the military threat.

This battle is generally described as the opening battle(s) of the American Revolutionary War.

Dartmouth's instructions and Gage's orders

On April 14, 1775, Gage received instructions from Secretary of State William Legge, the Earl of Dartmouth to disarm the rebels, who had supposedly hidden weapons in Concord, and to imprison the rebellion's leaders. Dartmouth gave Gage considerable discretion in his commands.

On the morning of April 18, Gage ordered a mounted patrol of about 20 men under the command of Major Mitchell of the 5th Regiment into the surrounding country to intercept messengers who might be out on horseback.This patrol behaved differently from patrols sent out from Boston in the past, staying out after dark and asking travelers about the location of Samuel Adams and John Hancock. This had the unintended effect of alarming many residents and increasing their preparedness. The Lexington Militia in particular began to muster early that evening, hours before receiving any word from Boston. A well known story alleges that after nightfall one farmer, Josiah Nelson, mistook the British patrol for the colonists and asked them, "Have you heard anything about when the regulars are coming out?", upon which he was slashed on his scalp with a sword. However, the story of this outrageous incident was not published until over a century later, which suggests that it may be little more than a family myth.

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith received orders from Gage on the afternoon of April 18 with instructions that he was not to read them until his troops were underway. They were to proceed from Boston "with utmost expedition and secrecy to Concord, where you will seize and destroy… all Military stores… But you will take care that the soldiers do not plunder the inhabitants or hurt private property."Gage used his discretion and did not issue written orders for the arrest of rebel leaders.

Successful Colonial intelligence

The rebellion's ringleaders – with the exception of Paul Revere and Joseph Warren – had all left Boston by April 8. They had received word of Dartmouth's secret instructions to General Gage from sources in London long before they had reached Gage himself. Samuel Adams and John Hancock had fled Boston to the Hancock-Clarke House, home of one of Hancock's relatives in Lexington where they thought they would be safe.

The Massachusetts Militia had indeed been gathering a stock of weapons, powder, and supplies at Concord, as well as an even greater amount much further west in Worcester, but word reached the Colonists that British officers had been observed examining the roads to Concord. On April 8, they instructed people of the town to remove the stores and distribute them among other towns nearby.

Margaret Kemble Gage, who may have given the leaders of the rebellion military intelligenceThe Colonists were also aware of the upcoming mission on April 19, despite it having been hidden from all the British rank and file and even from all the officers on the mission. There is reasonable speculation, although not proven, that the confidential source of this intelligence was Margaret Gage, General Gage's New Jersey-born wife, who had sympathies with the Colonial cause and a friendly relationship with Warren.

Between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m on the night of April 18, 1775, Joseph Warren told William Dawes and Paul Revere that the King's troops were about to embark in boats from Boston bound for Cambridge and the road to Lexington and Concord. Warren's intelligence suggested that the most likely objectives of the British Army's movements later that night would be the capture of Samuel Adams and John Hancock. They worried less about the possibility of regulars marching to Concord. The supplies at Concord were safe, after all, but they thought their leaders in Lexington were unaware of the potential danger that night. Revere and Dawes were sent out to warn them and alert Colonists in nearby towns.

Militia Warned

Dawes covered the southern land route by horseback across Boston Neck and over the Great Bridge to Lexington. Revere first gave instructions to send a signal to Charlestown and then he traveled the northern water route. He crossed the Charles River by rowboat, slipping past the British warship HMS Somerset at anchor. Crossings were banned at that hour, but Revere safely landed in Charlestown and rode to Lexington, avoiding the British patrol and later warning almost every house along the route. The warned men and the Charlestown colonists dispatched additional riders to the north.

After they arrived in Lexington, Revere, Dawes, Hancock, and Adams discussed the situation with the militia assembling there. They believed that the forces leaving the city were too large for the sole task of arresting two men and that Concord was the main target. The Lexington men dispatched riders in all directions (except south to Waltham for unknown reasons), and Revere and Dawes continued along the road to Concord. They met Samuel Prescott at about 1:00 a.m. In Lincoln, these three ran into a British patrol led by Major Mitchell of the 5th Regiment and only Prescott managed to warn Concord. Additional riders were sent out from Concord.

Revere and Dawes, as well as many other alarm riders, triggered a flexible system of "alarm and muster" that had been carefully developed months before, in reaction to the British colonists' impotent response to the Powder Alarm. "Alarm and muster" was an improved version of an old network of widespread notification and fast deployment of local militia forces in times of emergency. The colonists had periodically used this system all the way back to the early years of Indian wars in the colony, before it fell into disuse in the French & Indian War. In addition to other express riders delivering their message, bells, drums, alarm guns, bonfires and a trumpet were used for rapid communication from town to town, notifying the rebels in dozens of eastern Massachusetts villages that they should muster their militias because the regulars in numbers greater than 500 were leaving Boston, with possible hostile intentions. These early warnings played a crucial role in assembling a sufficient number of British colonial militia to inflict heavy damage on the British regular army later in the day. Samuel Adams and John Hancock were eventually moved to safety, first to what is now Burlington and later to Billerica.

British Army and Marines Move Out

Around dusk, General Gage called a meeting of all of the senior officers of his army at the Province House. He informed them that orders from Lord Dartmouth had arrived, ordering him to take action against the colonials. He also told them that the senior colonel of his regiments, Lieutenant Colonel Smith, would command, with Major John Pitcairn as his executive officer. The meeting adjourned around 8:30 p.m. After the meeting, Percy mingled with town folk on Boston Common. According to one account, the discussion among persons there turned to the unusual movement of the British soldiers in the town. When Percy questioned one man further, the man replied, "Well, the regulars will miss their aim", "What aim?" asked Percy, "Why, the cannon at Concord" was the reply. Upon hearing this, Percy quickly returned to Province House and relayed this information to General Gage. Stunned, Gage issued orders to have the entire 1st Brigade under arms, and ready to march at 4 a.m.

The British regulars, around 700 strong, were led by Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith. They were drawn from 11 of Gage's 13 occupying infantry regiments. For this expedition, Major John Pitcairn commanded 10 elite light infantry companies, and Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Bernard commanded 11 grenadier companies.

Of the companies, Smith had about 350 men from the grenadier companies (specialist assault troops) drawn from the 4th (King's Own), 5th, 10th, 18th (Royal Irish), 23rd, 38th, 43rd, 47th, 52nd, 59th Regiments of Foot (infantry regiments); and the 1st Battalion of His Majesty's Marine Forces (the Marines).

Protecting them were the light companies (fast moving flankers, skirmishers and reconnaissance troops), around 320 men, from the 4th (King's Own), 5th, 10th, 23rd, 38th, 43rd, 47th, 52nd, 59th Regiments of Foot, and the 1st Battalion, Marines. The companies each had their own lieutenant, but the majority of the captains commanding them were volunteers attached to them at the last minute, from all of the regiments stationed in Boston.

The British began to awaken their troops at 9 p.m. on the night of April 18 and assembled them on the water's edge on the western end of Boston Common by 10 p.m. The British march to and from Concord was a terribly disorganized experience from start to finish. The boats used were naval barges that were packed so tightly that there was no room to sit down. When they disembarked at Phipps Farm in present day Cambridge, it was into waist-deep water at midnight. After a lengthy halt to unload their gear, the approximately 700 regulars began their 17 mile (27 km) march to Concord at about 2 a.m. During the wait they were provided with extra ammunition, cold salt pork, and hard sea biscuits. They did not carry knapsacks, since they would not be encamped. They carried their haversacks (food bags), canteens, muskets, and accoutrements, and found themselves in wet, muddy shoes and soggy uniforms. As they marched through Menotomy (modern Arlington), sounds of the colonial alarms throughout the countryside caused the few officers who were aware of their mission to realize that they had lost the element of surprise. One of the regulars recorded in his journal,

“We got all over the bay and landed on the opposite shore betwixt twelve and one OClock and was on our March by one, which was at first through some swamps and slips of the Sea till we got into the Road leading to Lexington soon after which the Country people begun to fire their alarm guns light their Beacons, to raise the Country. . . . To the best of my recollection about 4 oClock in the morning being the 19th of April the 5 front Compys. was ordered to Load which we did.”

About 3 a.m., Colonel Smith sent Major Pitcairn ahead with the latter's ten companies of light infantry and ordered him to quick march to Concord. At about 4 a.m., he made the wise but belated decision to send word back to Boston asking for reinforcements.


As the British Army's advance guard under Pitcairn entered Lexington at sunrise on April 19, 1775, 77 Lexington militiamen, led by Captain John Parker, emerged from Buckman Tavern and stood in ranks on the village common watching them, and spectators (somewhere between 40 and 100) watched from along the side of the road. Of these militiamen, nine had the surname Harrington, seven Munroe, four Parker, three Tidd, three Locke, and three Reed. This group of militiamen was part of Lexington's "training band", a way of organizing local militias dating back to the Puritans, and not what was styled a minuteman company.

Parker was later supposed to have made a statement that is now engraved in stone at the site of the battle: "Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." He instead told his men to stand fast, not to molest the King's troops, and to let them pass, according to his sworn deposition in 1775 after the fight:

“I, John Parker, of lawful Age, and Commander of the Militia in Lexington, do testify and declare, that on the 19th Instant in the Morning, about one of the Clock, being informed that there were a Number of Regular Officers, riding up and down the Road, stopping and insulting People as they passed the Road; and also was informed that a Number of Regular Troops were on their March from Boston in order to take the Province Stores at Concord, ordered our Militia to meet on the Common in said Lexington to consult what to do, and concluded not to be discovered, nor meddle or make with said Regular Troops (if they should approach) unless they should insult or molest us; and, upon their sudden Approach, I immediately ordered our Militia to disperse, and not to fire:—Immediately said Troops made their appearance and rushed furiously, fired upon, and killed eight of our Party without receiving any Provocation therefor from us.”

A veteran of Indian wars, now slowly dying of tuberculosis, he knew not to let his men be wasted in such a one-sided affair.

Rather than turn left towards Concord, Marine Lieutenant Jesse Adair, at the head of the advance guard of light infantry companies from the 4th, 5th and 10th Regiments of Foot, decided on his own to protect the flank of his troops by first turning right and then leading the companies down the common itself in a confused effort to surround and disarm the militia. These men ran towards the Lexington militia loudly crying "Huzzah!" to rouse themselves and to confuse the militia, as they formed a battle line on the common. Major Pitcairn arrived from the rear of the advance force and led his three companies to the left and halted them. The remaining companies lay behind the village meeting house on the road back towards Boston.

First Shot

A British officer (probably Pitcairn, but accounts are uncertain) then apparently rode forward, waving his sword, and called out for the assembled throng to disperse, and may also have ordered them to "lay down your arms, you damned rebels!"Captain Parker told his men instead to disperse and go home, but, because of the confusion, the yelling all around, and due to the raspiness of Parker's tubercular voice, some did not hear him, some left very slowly, and none laid down arms. Both Parker and Pitcairn ordered their men to hold fire, but suddenly a shot was fired from a still unknown source.

”At 2 o’clock we began our march by wading through a very long ford up to the middles; after going a few miles we took three or four people who were going off to give intelligence; about five miles on this side of a town called Lexington, which lay in our road, we heard there were some hundreds of people collected together intending to oppose us and stop our going on; at 5 o’clock we arrived there, and saw a number of people, I believe between 200 and 300, formed in a common in the middle of town; we still continued advancing, keeping prepared against an attack through without intending to attack them; but on our coming near them they fired on us two shots, upon which our men without any orders, rushed upon them, fired and put them to flight; several of them were killed, we could not tell how many, because they were behind walls and into the woods. We had a man of the 10th light Infantry wounded, nobody else was hurt. We then formed on the Common, but with some difficulty, the men were so wild they could hear no orders; we waited a considerable time there, and at length proceeded our way to Concord.”

Some witnesses among the regulars reported the first shot was fired by a colonial onlooker from behind a hedge or around the corner of a tavern. Some observers reported a mounted British officer firing first. Both sides generally agreed that the initial shot did not come from the men on the ground immediately facing each other.Speculation arose later in Lexington that a man named Solomon Brown fired the first shot from inside the tavern or from behind a wall. Unsubstantiated allegations also arose that the British were ordered to fire a "warning volley" that startled the Lexington troops into firing. Recent speculation has focused on the possibility of a negligent discharge or of multiple, possibly unrelated "first shots" from both sides.

In truth, nobody knew then, nor knows today, who fired the first shot of the American Revolution.

Amos Doolittle visited the battle sites and interviewed soldiers and witnesses. Contains controversial elements, possibly inaccuracies. Fire from the militia may have occurred but is not depicted.Witnesses at the scene described several intermittent shots fired from both sides before the lines of regulars began to fire volleys without receiving orders to do so. A few of the militiamen believed at first that the regulars were only firing powder with no ball, but then they realized the truth, and few, if any, in the militia managed to load and return fire. The rest wisely ran for their lives.

“We Nathaniel Mulliken, Philip Russell, and 32 other men, All of lawful age, and inhabitants of Lexington, in the County of Middlesex…do testify and declare, that on the nineteenth in the morning, being informed that…a body of regulars were marching from Boston towards Concord…we were alarmed and having met at the place of our company’s parade, were dismissed by our Captain, John Parker, for the present, with orders to be ready to attend at the beat of the drum. We further testify and declare that about five o’clock in the morning, hearing our drum beat, we proceeded towards the parade, and soon found that a large body of troops were marching towards us, some of our company were coming to the parade, and others had reached it, at which time, the company began to disperse, whilst our backs were turned on the troops, we were fired on by them, and a number of our men were instantly killed and wounded, not a gun was fired by any person in our company on the regulars to our knowledge before they fired on us, and continued firing until we had all made our escape.”

The regulars charged forward with bayonets. Captain Parker witnessed his cousin Jonas run through. Eight Massachusetts men were killed and ten were wounded against only one British soldier of the 10th Foot wounded (his name was Johnson, according to Ensign Jeremy Lister of that regiment). The eight British colonists killed, the first to die in the Revolutionary War, were John Brown, Samuel Hadley, Caleb Harrington, Jonathon Harrington, Robert Munroe, Isaac Muzzey, Asahel Porter, and Jonas Parker. Jonathon Harrington, fatally wounded by a British musket ball, managed to crawl back to his home, and died upon his doorstep. One wounded man, Prince Estabrook, was a black slave who served in the town's militia.

The light infantry companies under Pitcairn at the common got beyond their officers' control, in part because they were unaware of the actual purpose of the day's mission. They were firing in different directions and preparing to enter private homes. Upon hearing the sounds of muskets, Colonel Smith rode forward from the grenadier column. He quickly found a drummer and ordered him to beat assembly. The grenadiers arrived shortly thereafter, and, once they were rounded up, the light infantry were then permitted to fire a victory volley, after which the column was reformed and marched towards Concord.


The militiamen of Concord and Lincoln, in response to the raised alarm, had mustered in Concord. They received reports of firing at Lexington (but did not know if it was live shot or merely powder), and were not sure whether to wait until they could be reinforced by troops from towns nearby, or to stay and defend the town, or to move east and greet the British Army from superior terrain. A column of militia marched down the road toward Lexington to meet the British, traveling about 1.5 miles (2 km) until they met the approaching column of regulars. As the regulars numbered about 700 and the militia at this time only numbered about 250, the militia column turned about, and marched back into Concord, preceding the regulars by a distance of about 500 yards (457 m). The militia retreated to a ridge overlooking the town and the command discussed what to do next. Caution prevailed, and Colonel James Barrett surrendered the town of Concord and led the men across the North Bridge to a hill about a mile north of town, where they could continue to watch the troop movements of the British and the activities in the center of town. This step proved fortuitous, as the ranks of the militia continued to grow as minuteman companies arriving from the western towns were able to join them there.

The search for militia supplies

Smith divided his troops to fulfill Gage's orders. The 10th Regiment's company of grenadiers secured South Bridge under Captain Mundy Pole, while seven companies of light infantry under Captain Parsons, numbering about 100, secured the North Bridge near Barrett's force. Captain Parsons took four of these companies (from the 5th, 23rd, 38th and 52nd Regiments of Foot), up the road 2 miles (3.2 km) past the bridge to search Barrett's Farm. two companies (from the 4th and 10th Regiments of Foot) were stationed to guard their return route, and one company (from the 43rd Regiment of Foot) remained guarding the bridge itself. These companies, which were under relatively inexperienced command, were aware that they were significantly outnumbered by the 400-plus militia men that were only 200 yards (183 m) away, and their leader, Captain Walter Laurie, sent a messenger to Smith requesting reinforcements.

Using detailed information provided by Loyalist spies, the grenadier companies searched the small town for military supplies. When the grenadiers arrived at Ephraim Jones's tavern, by the jail on the South Bridge road, they found the door barred shut, and Jones refused them entry. According to reports provided by local Tories, Pitcairn knew cannon had been buried on the property, so, holding the tavern keeper at gunpoint, he ordered him to show him where the guns were buried. These turned out to be three massive pieces, firing 24-pound shot, much too heavy to use defensively, but very effective against fortifications, and capable of bombarding the island city of Boston from the mainland (the source of these formidable weapons remains a tantalising mystery). The grenadiers smashed the trunnions of these three guns so they could not be mounted. They also burned some gun carriages found in the village meetinghouse, and when the fire spread to the meetinghouse itself, local resident Martha Moulton persuaded the soldiers to help in a bucket brigade to save the building. Nearly a hundred barrels of flour and salted food, and 550 pounds of musket balls, were thrown into the millpond. Only improvised repairs were possible for the cannon, but all the shot was recovered. During the search, the regulars were generally scrupulous in their treatment of the locals, including insisting on paying for food and drink consumed. This excessive politeness was used to advantage by the locals, who were able to misdirect searches from several caches of militia supplies.

Barrett's Farm had been an arsenal weeks before but few weapons remained now, and these were, according to family legend, quickly buried in furrows to look like a crop had been planted.

The North Bridge

Colonel Barrett's troops, upon seeing smoke rising from the village square, and seeing only a few companies directly below them, decided to march back toward the town from their vantage point on Punkatasset Hill to a lower, closer flat hilltop about 300 yards (274 m) from the North Bridge over the Concord River. This land belonged to Major John Buttrick, who led the Minuteman units under Barrett, and also served as their muster (training) field. As the militia advanced, the two British companies from the 4th and 10th that held the position near the road, retreated to the bridge and yielded the hill to Barrett's men.

At this time, five full companies of Minutemen and five of militia from Acton, Concord, Bedford and Lincoln occupied this hill along with groups of other men streaming in, totaling at least 400 against the light infantry companies from the 4th, 10th, and 43rd Regiments of Foot under Captain Laurie, a force totaling about 90–95 men. Barrett ordered the Massachusetts men to form one long line two deep on the highway leading down to the bridge, and then he called for another consultation. While overlooking North Bridge from the top of the hill (which would after 1793 have a road built on it called Liberty Street), Barrett and the other Captains discussed possible courses of action. Captain Isaac Davis of Acton, whose troops had arrived late, declared his willingness to defend a town not their own by saying, "I'm not afraid to go, and I haven't a man that's afraid to go."

Barrett ordered the men to load their weapons but not to fire unless fired upon, and then ordered them to advance. The British companies guarding the bridge were ordered to retreat across it, and one officer then tried to pull up the loose planks of the bridge to impede the colonial advance. Major Buttrick began to yell at the regulars to stop harming the bridge. The Minutemen and militia advanced in column formation on the light infantry, keeping to the highway only, since the highway was surrounded by the spring floodwaters of the Concord River.

There was no music, no flags on either side, even though many years later one old man who had been on the colonial side suddenly remembered out of the blue that their fifer played "The White Cockade", a popular Jacobite tune, in opposition to the Hanoverian King George III. This is apocryphal at best, and few of the British troops would have understood the meaning of "The White Cockade" anyway, since the Scottish rebellion had been thirty years before. In truth, neither side ever mentioned any flags or music at the bridge that day in any sworn depositions at the time. British flank companies carried no colors, and the militiamen and minutemen did not mention using them at all.

The inexperienced Captain Walter Laurie of the 43rd Regiment of Foot, in nominal command of this little detachment, then made a poor tactical maneuver. When his summons for help to the grenadiers in the town produced no results, he ordered his men to form positions for "street firing" behind the bridge in a column running perpendicular to the river. This formation was appropriate for sending a large volume of fire into a narrow alley between the buildings of a city, but not for an open path behind a bridge. Confusion reigned as regulars retreating over the bridge tried to form up in the street-firing position of the other troops. Lieutenant William Sutherland, who was in the rear of the formation, saw Laurie's mistake and ordered flankers to be sent out. But he was from a company different from the men under his command, and only three soldiers obeyed him. The remainder tried as best they could in the confusion to follow the orders of the superior officer.

A shot rang out, and this time there is certainty from depositions taken from men on both sides afterwards that it came from the British Army's ranks. It was likely a warning shot, fired by a panicked, exhausted British soldier from the 43rd, according to Laurie's letter to his commander after the fight. Two other regulars then fired immediately after that, shots splashing in the river, and then the narrow group up front, possibly thinking the order to fire had been given, fired a ragged volley before Laurie could stop them.

Two of the Acton Minutemen, private Abner Hosmer and Captain Isaac Davis, at the head of the line marching to the bridge, were hit and killed instantly. Four more men were wounded, but the militia only halted when Major Buttrick yelled the order, "Fire, for God's sake, fellow soldiers, fire!", when the lines were separated by the Concord River, the bridge, and only 50 yards (45 m). The few front rows of colonists, bound by the road, and blocked from forming a line of fire, managed to fire over each others' heads and shoulders at the regulars. The musket balls plunged down out of the sky down into the mass of regular troops. Four of the eight British officers and sergeants at the bridge, leading from the front of their troops as officers did in this era, were wounded by the volley of musketry coming from the British colonists. At least three privates (Thomas Smith, Patrick Gray and James Hall, all from the 4th) were killed or mortally wounded, and nine were wounded.

The regulars found themselves trapped in a situation where they were both outnumbered and outmaneuvered. Lacking effective leadership, terrified at the superior numbers of the enemy, their spirit broken, and never having experienced combat before, they abandoned their wounded, and fled to the safety of the approaching grenadier companies coming from the town center, leaving Captain Parsons and the companies searching for arms at Barrett's Farm isolated.

After the Fight

The colonists were stunned by their success. No one had actually believed either side would shoot to kill the other. Some advanced; many more retreated; and some went home to see to the safety of their homes and families. Colonel Barrett eventually began to recover control and chose to divide his forces. He moved the militia back to the hilltop 300 yards (274 m) away and sent Major Buttrick with the Minutemen across the bridge to a defensive position on a hill behind a stone wall.

Smith, leader of the British expedition, heard the exchange of fire from his position in the town moments after he had received the request for reinforcements from Laurie. Smith assembled two companies of grenadiers to lead towards the North Bridge himself. As these troops marched, they met the shattered remnants of the three light infantry companies running towards them. Smith was concerned about the four companies which had been at Barrett's. Their route to return safely was now gone. When he saw the Minutemen in the distance behind their wall, he halted his two companies and moved forward with only his officers to take a closer look.

In the written words of a Minuteman behind that wall: "If we had fired, I believe we could have killed all most every officer there was in the front, but we had no orders to fire and there wasn't a gun fired." During this tense standoff of about 10 minutes, a mentally ill local man named Elias Brown wandered through both sides selling hard cider.

At this point, the detachment of regulars sent to Barrett's farm marched back from their fruitless search of that area. They passed through the now mostly-deserted battlefield, and saw dead and wounded comrades lying on the bridge. There was one who looked to them as if he had been scalped, which angered and shocked the British soldiers. They crossed the bridge and returned to the town by 11:30 a.m, under the watchful eyes of the Minutemen, who maintained their defensive positions. Even after a small skirmish, and with superior numbers, the British colonists, wary of reprisals by the force still in the town, remained alert, refusing to fire, and the regulars did nothing further to provoke them. The regulars continued to search for and destroy colonial military supplies in the town, ate lunch, reassembled for marching, and left Concord after noon. This delay gave the colonial militiamen from outlying towns additional time to arrive and participate in the running battles that occurred during the regulars' march back to Boston.

Return march - Concord to Lexington

Lieutenant Colonel Smith, concerned about the safety of his men, sent flankers to follow a ridge and protect his forces from the roughly 1,000 colonials in the field, as they marched east out of Concord. This ridge ended near Meriam's Corner, a crossroads and a small bridge about a mile (2 km) outside the village of Concord. To cross the narrow bridge, the army column had to stop, dress its line, and close its rank to a mere three soldiers apiece. Colonial militia companies arriving from the north and east had converged at this point, and presented a clear numerical advantage over the regulars. As the last of the army column marched over the bridge, colonial militiamen from the Reading militia fired, the regulars turned and fired a volley, and the colonists returned fire. Two regulars were killed and perhaps six wounded with no colonial casualties. Smith sent out his flanking troops again after crossing the small bridge.

Nearly 500 militiamen from Chelmsford had assembled in the woods on Brooks Hill about a mile (2 km) past Meriam's Corner. Smith's leading forces charged up the hill to drive them off, but the colonials did not withdraw, and inflicted significant casualties on the attackers. Meanwhile the bulk of Smith's force proceeded along the road to Brooks Tavern where they engaged a single militia company from Framingham, killing and wounding several of them. Smith withdrew his men from Brooks Hill and moved across another small bridge into Lincoln.

Soon they were greeted at a bend in the road ("The Bloody Curve", now known since the 19th century as the "Bloody Angle") by 200 men, mostly from the towns of Bedford and Lincoln, who had positioned themselves on an incline in one of the few areas in Massachusetts that had not been cleared since the mid-1600s of trees and made into an open field. They stood behind trees and walls in a rocky, tree-filled pasture for an ambush. Additional militia joined in from the other side of the road, catching the British in a crossfire in a wooded swamp, and the Concord militia arrived and attacked from the rear. Thirty soldiers and four colonial militia were killed. The regular army soldiers escaped by breaking into a trot, a pace that the colonials could not maintain through the woods and swamps next to this spot in the road. Colonial forces on the road itself behind the British were too densely packed and disorganized to mount an attack.

Militia forces at this time numbered about 2,000, and Smith sent out flankers again. When three companies of militia ambushed the head of his main force near either Ephraim Hartwell's or (more likely) Joseph Mason's Farm, the flankers closed in and trapped the militia from behind. Flankers also trapped the Bedford militia after a successful ambush near the Lincoln-Lexington border, but British casualties were mounting from these engagements and from persistent long-range fire, and the exhausted British were running out of ammunition.

On the Lexington side of the border, Captain Parker, according to only one uncorroborated source (Ebenezer Munroe's memoir of 1824), waited on a hill with the reassembled Lexington Training Band (militia), some of them bandaged up from the first fighting of the day. These men, according to this account written only many years later, did not begin the ambush until Colonel Smith himself came into view. Smith was wounded in the thigh sometime on the way back to Lexington, and the entire British column was halted in this ambush supposedly known as "Parker's Revenge". Major Pitcairn sent light infantry companies up the hill to clear out any militia sniping at them.

The light infantry cleared two additional hills—"The Bluff" and "Fiske Hill"— and took casualties from ambushes. Pitcairn fell from his horse, which was injured from firing from Fiske Hill. Now the two principal leaders of the Concord expedition were both injured or unhorsed. Their men were tired, thirsty, and running low on ammunition. A few surrendered; most now broke and ran forward in a mob. Their organized, planned withdrawal had turned into a rout. "Concord Hill" remained before Lexington Center, and a few uninjured officers turned around and supposedly threatened their own men with their swords if they would not reform in good order.

The British colonists had fought where possible in large ordered formations (using short-range, smoothbore muskets only) at least eight times from Concord to Lexington, contrary to the myth of scattered individuals firing with longer-ranged rifles from behind walls and fences—although scattered fire had also occurred, and would be a useful American tactic later in the war. Nobody at Lexington or Concord—indeed, anywhere along the Battle Road or later at Bunker Hill—had a rifle, according to the historical records.

Only one British officer remained uninjured in the leading three companies. He was considering surrendering his men when he heard them up ahead cheering. A full brigade with artillery of about 1,000 men under the command of Hugh, Earl Percy had arrived to rescue them. It was about 2:30 p.m.

Percy's Rescue

General Gage had left orders for reinforcements to assemble in Boston at 4 a.m., but in his obsession for secrecy, he had sent only one copy of the orders to the adjutant of the 1st Brigade whose servant left the envelope on a table. At about 5 a.m., Smith's request for reinforcements arrived, and orders were sent for 1st Brigade consisting of the line companies of infantry (the 4th, 23rd, and 47th) and a battalion of British Marines to assemble. Unfortunately, once again only one copy of the orders were sent to each commander, and the order for the Marines was delivered to the desk of Major Pitcairn, who was on Lexington Common at the time. After these delays, Percy's brigade left Boston at about 8:45 a.m. His troops marched out toward Lexington. Along the way they marched to the tune of "Yankee Doodle" to taunt the inhabitants of the area. By the Battle of Bunker Hill less than two months later, the song had become a popular anthem for the colonial forces.

Percy took the land route across Boston Neck and over the Great Bridge, which some enterprising colonials had stripped of its planking to delay their way. His men then came upon an absent-minded tutor at Harvard College and asked him which road would take them to Lexington. The Harvard man, apparently oblivious to the reality of what was happening around him, showed him the proper road without thinking, and was later compelled to leave the country for inadvertently supporting the enemy. Percy's troops arrived at Lexington at about 2:00 p.m. They could hear gunfire in the distance as they set up their cannon and lines of regulars on high ground with commanding views of Lexington. Colonel Smith's men approached like a fleeing mob with the full regiment of colonial Militia in close formation pursuing them. Percy ordered his artillery to open fire at extreme range, and the colonial militiamen dispersed in terror. Smith's men collapsed with exhaustion once they reached safety behind friendly lines.

Against the advice of his Master of Ordnance, Percy had left Boston without spare ammunition for his men or for the two artillery pieces they brought with them, thinking the extra wagons would slow him down. After Percy had left the city, Gage directed two ammunition wagons guarded by one officer and thirteen men to follow. This convoy was intercepted by a small party of older, former militiamen, still on the "alarm list" who could not join their militia companies because they were well over 60. These men rose up in ambush and demanded the surrender of the wagons, but the regulars ignored them and drove their horses on. The old men opened fire, shot the lead horses, killed two sergeants, and wounded the officer. The survivors ran, and six of them threw their weapons into a pond before they surrendered. Each man in Percy's brigade now had only 36 rounds, and each artillery piece only contained a few rounds in side-boxes.

Lexington to Menotomy

Percy's return to Charlestown (detail from 1775 map of the battle).Percy regained control of the combined forces of about 1,900 men and let them rest, eat, drink, and have their wounds tended at field headquarters (Munroe Tavern) before their final march of the day. They set out from Lexington at about 3:30 p.m., in a formation that emphasized defense along the sides and rear of the column.

Brigadier General William Heath took command of the Massachusetts forces at Lexington. Earlier in the day, he had traveled first to Watertown to discuss tactics with Joseph Warren (who had left Boston that morning) and other members of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety. Heath and Warren reacted to Percy's artillery and flankers by ordering the militias to avoid close formations which would attract cannon fire. Instead, they surrounded Percy's marching square with a moving ring of skirmishers at a distance in order to inflict maximum casualties at minimum risk to individual militiamen.

A few mounted militiamen on the road would dismount, fire muskets at the approaching regulars, then remount and gallop ahead to repeat the tactic. Unmounted militia would often fire from long range, in the hope of hitting somebody in the main column of soldiers on the road and surviving, since both British and colonials used muskets with an effective combat range of fifty yards. The hunting rifle of a typical American farmer was a better long range weapon than the British musket for this purpose, but no direct evidence exists that rifles were present on either side in this particular battle. (All surviving weapons from the battle on both sides were smoothbore muskets.) Hitting the dispersed British flankers was difficult, however.

Once a militia unit had fired its ammunition at the swiftly retreating Regular Army troops, they left, went home, and turned the job over to the militiamen of the next town along the road.

Wounded regulars rode on the cannon and were forced to hop off when they were periodically fired at gathered militia. Percy's men were often surrounded, but they had the tactical advantage of interior lines. Percy could shift his units more easily to where they were needed, while the colonial militia were required to move around the outside of his formation. Percy gave orders that Smith's men would form the middle of the column, while the 23rd Regiment's line companies were given the task of being the column's rear guard. Because of information provided by Smith and Pitcairn about how the Americans were attacking, Percy gave orders for the rear guard to be rotated every mile or so, to allow some of his troops to rest briefly. Flanking companies were sent to both sides of the road, and a powerful force of Marines acted as the vanguard to clear the road ahead.

Percy wrote of the colonial tactics: "...the rebels attacked us in a very scattered, irregular manner, but with perseverance and resolution, nor did they ever dare to form into any regular body. Indeed, they knew too well what was proper, to do so. Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob, will find himself very much mistaken." Nonetheless, the main advantage the colonists enjoyed was in numbers. Heath attempted to maintain a moving circle of intentionally scattered forces by directing company-level officers in the field and sending orders to distant units marching towards them, but, since the Massachusetts Army of Observation (as it was properly known) had not yet formed a unified command structure, most disregarded him, and went on with the same tactics anyway, with or without him. Heath and Warren did lead skirmishers in small actions into battle themselves, though. This stage of the battle has often been correctly described as having a chaotic colonial command structure.

The fighting grew more intense as Percy's forces crossed from Lexington into Menotomy (modern Arlington). Fresh militia poured gunfire into the British ranks from a distance, and individual homeowners began to fight from their own property. Some homes were also used as sniper positions. It now turned into a soldier's nightmare: house-to-house fighting. Jason Russell pleaded for his friends to fight alongside him to defend his house by saying, "An Englishman's home is his castle." He stayed and was killed in his doorway. His friends, depending on which account is to be believed either hid in the cellar, or died in the house from bullets and bayonets after shooting at the soldiers who followed them in. The Jason Russell House still stands and contains bullet holes from this fight. A militia unit that attempted an ambush from Russell's orchard was caught by flankers, and eleven men were killed, some allegedly after they had surrendered.

Percy lost control of his men, and British soldiers began to commit atrocities to repay for the purported scalping at the North Bridge and for their own casualties at the hands of a distant, often unseen enemy. Based on the word of Pitcairn and other wounded officers from Smith's command, Percy learned that the Minutemen were using stone walls, trees and buildings in these more thickly settled towns closer to Boston to hide behind and shoot at the column. Percy proceeded to give orders to the flank companies to clear these colonial militiamen out of such places.

Many of the junior officers in the flank parties had difficulty stopping their exhausted, enraged men from killing everyone they found inside these buildings. For example, two innocent drunks who refused to hide in the basement of a tavern in Menotomy were killed, because they were suspected of being involved with the day's events. Although many of the accounts of ransacking and burnings were exaggerated later by the colonists for propaganda value (and to get financial compensation from the colonial government), it is certainly true that taverns along the Bay Road were ransacked and the liquor stolen by the troops, who in some cases became drunk themselves. The church's communion silver was stolen but was later recovered after it was sold in Boston. Aged Menotomy resident Samuel Whittemore killed three regulars before he was attacked by a British contingent and left for dead. (He recovered from his wounds and died at 96.) All told, far more blood was shed in Menotomy (now known as Arlington) than in any other town. The colonial rebels lost 25 men killed and nine wounded there, and the British lost 40 killed and 80 wounded, with The 47th Regiment of Foot and the Marines suffering the highest casualties. Each was about half of the day's fatalities.

Menotomy to Charlestown

The British troops crossed the Menotomy River (today's Alewife Brook) into Cambridge, and the fight grew more intense. Fresh militia arrived in close array instead of in a scattered formation, and Percy used his two artillery pieces and flankers at a crossroads called Watson's Corner to inflict heavy damage on them.

Earlier in the day, Heath had ordered the Great Bridge to be dismantled. Percy's brigade was about to approach this broken-down bridge and a riverbank filled with militia when Percy directed his troops down a narrow track (near modern-day Porter Square) and onto the road to Charlestown. The militia (numbering about 4,000) were unprepared for this movement, and the circle of fire was broken. An American force moved to occupy Prospect Hill (in modern-day Somerville) which dominated the road, but Percy moved his cannon to the front and dispersed them with his last rounds of ammunition.

A large militia force arrived from Salem and Marblehead. They might have cut off Percy's route to Charlestown, but these men halted on nearby Winter Hill and allowed the British to escape. Some accused the commander of this force, Colonel Timothy Pickering, of permitting the troops to pass because he still hoped to avoid war by preventing a total defeat for the regulars. Pickering later claimed that he had stopped on Heath's orders, but Heath denied this. It was nearly dark when Pitcairn's Marines defended a final attack on Percy's rear as they entered Charlestown. The regulars took up strong positions on the hills of Charlestown. Some of them had been without sleep for two days and had marched 40 miles (65 km) in 21 hours, eight hours of which had been spent under fire. But now they held high ground at sunset while supported by heavy guns from the HMS Somerset. Gage quickly sent over line companies of two fresh regiments—the 10th and 64th—to occupy the high ground in Charlestown and build fortifications. Although they were begun, the fortifications were never completed and would later be a starting point for the militia works built two months later in June before the Battle of Bunker Hill. General Heath studied the position of the British Army and decided to withdraw the militia to Cambridge.


In the morning, Gage awoke to find Boston besieged by a huge militia army, numbering 20,000, which had marched from throughout New England. This time, unlike during the Powder Alarm, the rumors of spilled blood were true, and the Revolutionary War had begun. The militia army continued to grow as surrounding colonies sent men and supplies. The Continental Congress would adopt and sponsor these men into the beginnings of the Continental Army. Even now, after open warfare had started, Gage still refused to impose martial law in Boston. He persuaded the town's selectmen to surrender all private weapons in return for promising that any inhabitant could leave town.

In terms of accomplishments and casualties this was not a major battle. However, in terms of supporting the political strategy behind the Intolerable Acts and the military strategy behind the Powder Alarms, the battle was a significant British failure because the expedition contributed to the fighting it was intended to prevent and because few weapons were seized.

The actual fighting was followed by a war for British political opinion. Within four days of the battle, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress had collected scores of sworn testimonies from militiamen and from British prisoners. When word leaked out one week after the battle that Gage was sending his official description of events to London, the Provincial Congress sent over 100 of these detailed depositions on a faster ship. They were presented to a sympathetic official and printed by the London newspapers two weeks before Gage's report arrived. Gage's official report was too vague on particulars to influence anyone's opinion. George Germaine, no friend of the colonists, wrote, "…the Bostonians are in the right to make the King's troops the aggressors and claim a victory." Politicians in London tended to blame Gage for the conflict instead of their own policies and instructions. The British troops in Boston also often blamed Gage for Lexington and Concord.

John Adams left his home in Braintree to ride along the battlefields on the day after the fighting. He became convinced that "the Die was cast, the Rubicon crossed." Thomas Paine in Philadelphia had previously thought of the argument between the colonies and the Home Country as "a kind of law-suit", but after news of the battle reached him, he "rejected the hardened, sullen-tempered Pharaoh of England forever." George Washington received the news at Mount Vernon and wrote to a friend, "…the once-happy and peaceful plains of America are either to be drenched in blood or inhabited by slaves. Sad alternative! But can a virtuous man hesitate in his choice?" A group of hunters on the frontier named their campsite Lexington when they heard news of the battle in June. Their campsite eventually became the city of Lexington, Kentucky.


It was important to the early American government that an image of British fault and American innocence be maintained for this first battle of the war. The history of Patriot preparations, intelligence, warning signals, and uncertainty about the first shot was rarely discussed in the public sphere for decades. The story of the wounded British soldier at the North Bridge, hors de combat, struck down on the head by a Minuteman using a hatchet, the purported "scalping", was strongly suppressed. Depositions mentioning these activities were not published and were returned to the participants. Paintings portrayed the Lexington fight as an unjustified slaughter.

The issue of which side was to blame grew during the early nineteenth century. For example, older participants' testimony in later life about Lexington and Concord differed greatly from their depositions taken under oath in 1775. All now said the British fired first at Lexington, whereas fifty or so years before, they weren't sure. All now said they fired back, but in 1775, they said few were able to. The "Battle" took on an almost mythical quality in the American consciousness. Legend became more important than truth. A complete shift occurred, and the Patriots were portrayed as actively fighting for their cause, rather than as suffering innocents. Paintings of the Lexington skirmish began to portray the militia standing and fighting back in defiance.

In 1837, in his Concord Hymn, Ralph Waldo Emerson immortalized the events at Old North Bridge:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;

Here once the embattled farmers stood;

And fired the shot heard round the world.

What he wrote was not meant to disparage the events at Lexington Common (which would not be dubbed the more romantic Lexington Battle Green until the 1850s) hours before, but rather to acknowledge that only at Concord were the colonists first able to fire back at the regular army, under orders of their own commanders. The shot is not one you can hear, but rather an idea, which so many all over the world took as inspiration for their own struggles of liberation.

As for the "flag to April's breeze unfurled," there are no contemporary accounts mentioning flags at the North Bridge on April 19, 1775. No accounts even mention the famed Bedford flag being used anywhere that day. There had been a liberty cap and unknown flag on a flagpole on a hill near the town, but it had been quickly chopped down by the British when they entered the town about an hour before.

After 1860, several generations of schoolchildren memorized Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's Ride. Historically it is inaccurate (Despite what the poem says, Paul Revere never made it to Concord, for example), but it captures the idea that an individual can change the course of history.

Anglophilia in the United States after the turn of the twentieth century led to more balanced approaches to the history of the battle. During World War I, a film about Paul Revere's ride was seized under the Espionage Act of 1917 for promoting discord between the United States and Britain.

The tactics of the British Army at Lexington and Concord have often been compared, albeit wrongly, to those of American troops in the Vietnam War. During the Cold War, the right-wing in the United States portrayed the Minutemen as symbols of free enterprise, while the left-wing portrayed them as anti-imperialists. Today, the battle is often cited by those on both sides of gun control and Second Amendment issues in the United States.

In 1961, novelist Howard Fast published April Morning, an account of the battle from a fictional 15-year-old's perspective, and the book has been frequently assigned in secondary schools. A film version was produced for television in 1987, starring Chad Lowe and Tommy Lee Jones.

Patriots' Day is celebrated in honor of the battle in Massachusetts, Maine, and Wisconsin on the third Monday of April. Annual re-enactments of Paul Revere's ride are staged annually, as are the battle on the Lexington Green, and ceremonies and firings are held at the North Bridge in Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord.

Centennial commemoration

Daniel Chester French's Minute ManOn April 19, 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant and members of his cabinet joined 50,000 persons to mark the 100th anniversary of the battles. The sculpture by Daniel Chester French, The Minute Man, located at the North Bridge, was unveiled on that day. A formal Ball took place in the evening at the Agricultural Hall in Concord.

Bicentennial commemoration

The Town of Concord invited 700 prominent U.S. citizens and leaders from the worlds of government, the military, the diplomatic corps, the arts, sciences, and humanities to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battles. On April 19, 1975, as a crowd estimated at 110,000 gathered to view a parade and celebrate the Bicentennial in Concord, President Gerald Ford delivered a major speech near the North Bridge, televised to the nation. He said, in part,

Freedom was nourished in American soil because the principles of the Declaration of Independence flourished in our land. These principles, when enunciated 200 years ago, were a dream, not a reality. Today, they are real. Equality has matured in America. Our inalienable rights have become even more sacred. There is no government in our land without consent of the governed. Many other lands have freely accepted the principles of liberty and freedom in the Declaration of Independence and fashioned their own independent republics. It is these principles, freely taken and freely shared, that have revolutionized the world. The volley fired here at Concord two centuries ago, 'the shot heard round the world,' still echoes today on this anniversary.

President Ford laid a wreath at the base of The Minute Man statue and then respectfully observed as Sir Peter Ramsbotham, the British Ambassador to the United States, laid a wreath at the grave of British soldiers killed in the battle. Mr. Ford then rode in his presidential limousine to Lexington, where he delivered brief remarks before 50,000. The President departed nearby Hanscom Air Force Base aboard Air Force One, with his aircraft passing low over Concord before heading south to Washington, D.C.

The Bicentennial commemoration of the battles included the issue of a U.S. postage stamp featuring a painting by artist Henry Sandham (1842–1912) and a Franklin Mint coin. Several musical pieces were commissioned to be written and performed for the Bicentennial events, such as Norman Dello Joio's "Satiric Dances", Joyce MeKeel's "Toward the Source", as well as David Fielding Smith's award-winning play, A Flurry of Birds.

American Military Victory

3rd Place - Battle of the Bulge - 18 Points

Everyone loves a come from behind victory.

December 16, 1944-January 28, 1945

In December 1944, in an all-out gamble to compel the Allies to sue for peace, Adolf Hitler ordered the only major German counteroffensive of the war in northwest Europe. Its objective was to split the Allied armies by means of a surprise blitzkrieg thrust through the Ardennes to Antwerp, marking a repeat of what the Germans had done three times previously--in September 1870, August 1914, and May 1940. Despite Germany's historical penchant for mounting counteroffensives when things looked darkest, the Allies' leadership miscalculated and left the Ardennes lightly defended by only two inexperienced and two battered American divisions.

On December 16, three German armies (more than a quarter-million troops) launched the deadliest and most desperate battle of the war in the west in the poorly roaded, rugged, heavily forested Ardennes. The once-quiet region became bedlam as American units were caught flat-footed and fought desperate battles to stem the German advance at St.-Vith, Elsenborn Ridge, Houffalize and, later, Bastogne, which was defended by the 101st Airborne Division. The inexperienced U.S. 106th Division was nearly annihilated, but even in defeat helped buy time for Brigadier General Bruce C. Clarke's brilliant defense of St.-Vith. As the German armies drove deeper into the Ardennes in an attempt to secure vital bridgeheads west of the River Meuse quickly, the line defining the Allied front took on the appearance of a large protrusion or bulge, the name by which the battle would forever be known.

A crucial German shortage of fuel and the gallantry of American troops fighting in the frozen forests of the Ardennes proved fatal to Hitler's ambition to snatch, if not victory, at least a draw with the Allies in the west. Lieutenant General George S. Patton's remarkable feat of turning the Third Army ninety degrees from Lorraine to relieve the besieged town of Bastogne was the key to thwarting the German counteroffensive. The Battle of the Bulge was the costliest action ever fought by the U.S. Army.

Casualty estimates from the battle vary widely. The official U.S. account lists 80,987 American casualties, while other estimates range from 70,000 to 108,000. According to the U.S. Department of Defense the American forces suffered 89,500 casualties including 19,000 killed, 47,500 wounded and 23,000 missing. An official report by the United States Department of the Army lists some 108,347 casualties, including 19,246 killed, 62,489 wounded and 26,612 captured and missing. The Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest of the battles that U.S. forces experienced in World War II; the 19,000 American dead were unsurpassed by those of any other engagement. British losses totaled 1,400. The German High Command's official figure for the campaign was 84,834 casualties, and other estimates range between 60,000 and 100,000.

American Military Victory

2nd Place - Invasion of Normandy - 19 Points

Historians try to make it seem like this was a near thing that barely succeeded, and only by sheer grit and determination and a little ole fashioned luck did we grab a toehold. Do you realize it was 156,000 vrs 10,000? Still, helluva a logistical accomplishment.

On 6 June 1944 the Western Allies landed in northern France, opening the long-awaited "Second Front" against Adolf Hitler's Germany. Though they had been fighting in mainland Italy for some nine months, the Normandy invasion was in a strategically more important region, setting the stage to drive the Germans from France and ultimately destroy the National Socialist regime.

It had been four long years since France had been overrun and the British compelled to leave continental Europe, three since Hitler had attacked the Soviet Union and two and a half since the United States had formally entered the struggle. After an often seemingly hopeless fight, beginning in late 1942 the Germans had been stopped and forced into slow retreat in eastern Europe, defeated in North Africa and confronted in Italy. U.S. and British bombers had visited ruin on the enemy's industrial cities. Allied navies had contained the German submarine threat, making possible an immense buildup of ground, sea and air power in the British Isles.

Schemes for a return to France, long in preparation, were now feasible. Detailed operation plans were in hand. Troops were well-trained, vast numbers of ships accumulated, and local German forces battered from the air. Clever deceptions had confused the enemy about just when, and especially where, the blow would fall.

Commanded by U.S. Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Normandy assault phase, code-named "Neptune" (the entire operation was "Overlord"), was launched when weather reports predicted satisfactory conditions on 6 June. Hundreds of amphibious ships and craft, supported by combatant warships, crossed the English Channel behind dozens of minesweepers. They arrived off the beaches before dawn. Three divisions of paratroopers (two American, one British) had already been dropped inland. Following a brief bombardment by ships' guns, Soldiers of six divisions (three American, two British and one Canadian) stormed ashore in five main landing areas, named "Utah", "Omaha", "Gold", "Juno" and "Sword". After hard fighting, especially on "Omaha" Beach, by day's end a foothold was well established.

As German counterattacks were thwarted, the Allies poured men and materiel into France. By late July these reinforcements, and constant combat, made possible a break out from the Normandy perimeter. Another landing, in southern France in August, facilitated that nation's liberation. With the Soviets advancing from the east, Hitler's armies were shoved, sometimes haltingly and always bloodily, back toward their homeland. The Second World War had entered its climactic phase.

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