On April 19, 1775, British General Thomas Gage dispatched 700 British troops commanded by Lt. Col. Francis Smith to Concord, Massachusettes, 16 miles northwest of Boston, to seize munitions that the Patriots had been stockpiling. Word of the British departure from Boston was quickly spread by Paul Revere in his famous ride, and by the time the British reached the village green at Lexington, through which they had to pass, they found 70 Minutemen waiting for them under the command of Capt. John Parker . When ordered by the British to disperse, “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” was fired and the American Revolution was begun. The British then fired upon the Minutemen, killing 8 and wounding 10. The British suffered 1 wounded.
The British continued the 6 miles to Concord and the Americans retreated to the North Bridge just outside the town. While the main body of soldiers accomplished their mission of seizing the gunpowder, a small contingent of British troops skirmished again with the colonists, now numbering several hundred. 3 British soldiers and 2 Americans were killed in this battle. As they returned to Boston, the British were under constant assault from Massachusettes militiamen, who inflicted 273 casualties.