The Reenactment of the Rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes
The 237th Reenactment of the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes
Every year on Patriot's Day, the National Lancers reenact the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes.
The reenactments begin Sunday night before Patriot's day with a service at the Old North Church.
Monday morning Revere leaves from the North End, Boston and Dawes leaves from John Elliot Square, 10 Putnam St., Roxbury, warning the people while on their way to Lexington.
Paul Revere: North End to Medford, Massachusetts (map)
10:00 am - Leave from Hanover Street, Boston, North End
10:20 am - Arrive in Charlestown, City Square
10:50 am - Arrive in Somerville Foss Park
11:30 pm - Arrive in Medford, Route 60 Gaffery's Funeral Home
1:00 pm - Arrive in Lexington Green, Mass Ave
* SGT Christopher Tobin as Paul Revere
* SGT Elaine Corda as Outrider
Medford, Ma. to Lexington, Ma.
* SFC Matthew Johnson, as Paul Revere
* PFC Eric Gallant as Outrider
William Dawes: Roxbury to Arlington (map)
10:30 am - Leave John Eliot Square, Roxbury
10:20 am - Arrive Mission Hill, Roxbury
11:00 am - Arrive Devotion School, Brookline
11:30 am - Arrive Harvard Square, Cambridge
11:\55 pm - Arrive Arlington Town Hall
1:25 pm - Arrive Lexington Green
* MAJ James DiCarlo As William Dawes
* PFC Christine Sturniolo as Outrider
Arlington to Lexington
* COL Richard Reale, Jr. As William Dawes
* PFC ina Lebouef as Outrider
The History of Paul Revere's Ride
Paul Revere's Midnight Ride into Lexington
Contrary to popular belief, Paul Revere did not set out on the night of April 18th, 1775 to alert the countryside to the impending British march. His specific goal was to ride to Lexington to warn two prominent Colonial leaders, Samuel Adams and John Hancock, that their lives might be in danger. Having departed Boston by boat across the Back Bay, and narrowly averting notice by the H.M.S Somerset anchored there, he procured a strong, quick Yankee horse and rode west toward Lexington.
He avoided British patrols by taking a detour north through the village of Mystic (today's Medford). It was near midnight by the time he arrived in Lexington at the home of minister Jonas Clarke, where Adams and Hancock were staying. After alerting the household, it was decided that the approaching British force, by all accounts a large one, must have an object other than the capture of two prominent Yankee Whigs. They decided that they must be after the stores of munitions located farther to the west, in Concord. Revere again rose into the saddle. Accompanied this time by another rider, William Dawes, he set off to warn the citizens of Concord.
Paul Revere's Capture in Lincoln
Shortly after departing from the Clarke house, Revere and Dawes met another patriot on the road, Dr. Samuel Prescott. He joined the pair of riders and the three men agreed to stop at every house they passed on the way to Concord and warn the inhabitants of the British advance. Their luck ran out just over the Lexington-Lincoln town line. While the others were warning some families at a small cluster of farms, Revere ran straight into a British ambush. At first, he saw only two soldiers and called to his friends to help him overpower them.
As Dawes and Prescott arrived, the British held the three riders at gunpoint and herded them into a nearby field. Before they could question them however, Prescott suddenly turned his horse and galloped away into the dark woods. Revere turned in the opposite direction and also tried to escape, but was chased down by more British soldiers joining the initial ambush party. While the British focused on Revere, Dawes managed to get away. The understandably irate British soldiers questioned Revere for a short time. He informed them that the entire countryside was being warned of the approaching British force.
The reconnaissance troops took Revere with them as far as Lexington, where it became clear that he had indeed been telling the truth - the countryside was beginning to take up arms. Here in Lexington, they released him and rode east, as fast as they could, to warn the main force already on the march from Boston.
Lexington Battle Green
In the murky dawn of April 19th, 1775, a British expeditionary force, on the orders of General Thomas Gage and led by Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, approached the small town of Lexington, Massachusetts. The soldiers, numbering between 800 and 900 men in 21 companies, had departed from Boston the night before.
Their mission: to find and capture Yankee munitions that were stored in Concord. By the time they reached Lexington however, they found themselves faced down by a growing number of local militiamen arrayed on the town Common. Major John Pitcairn's British light infantry was deployed on the Common directly opposite the band of minutemen led by Captain John Parker. "Stand your ground," Parker said to his apprehensive troops. "Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."
No one knows for sure who fired the first shot of the first battle of the War for Independence. All that is certain is that a heavy toll was extracted from the defiant American militiamen. In the wild, undisciplined firing followed the first mysterious shot and two Lexington men fell dead on the line where they stood. Other militiamen briefly returned fire and then joined their comrades in a confused, smoke-shrouded retreat.
The British soldiers continued firing into the fleeing crowds, killing more Americans as they tried to escape back into their homes. Only when Colonel Smith himself arrived on the Common were the soldiers commanded to cease fire and form up. As the families of Lexington nursed their wounded and mourned their dead, the British column continued their march toward Concord.