Massachusetts Historical Society
America's oldest historical society, founded 1791.

Back to Lexington and Concord

A Bloody Butchery, by the British Troops; or the Runaway Fight of the Regulars

A Bloody Butchery, by the British Troops; or the Runaway Fight of the Regulars Broadside

Page Viewing Options NOTE

Jump:
overview | small | large | transcription HELP

Request this image

Bloody Butchery
Around noon, the Regulars retreat under fierce fire from the opposition. Several hundred colonists, Concord's militia augmented by alarmed militia from surrounding towns, dog the withdrawing soldiers. A mile later, at Meriam's Corner, British troops pile into a narrow pass; from behind trees, fences, and buildings, colonial snipers take aim and shoot. A few hours later, at Menotomy, the provincials are reinforced by fresh militia and converge on the retreating Regulars. Frustrated English soldiers burn and pillage the countryside and attack civilians. In brutal hand-to-hand combat, colonials match hatchets and clubs against British bayonets. It is nearly sundown by the time the Regulars reach safety in Charlestown. Of their number, 65 will be reported dead, 180 wounded, and 27 missing; 50 colonists will have lost their lives, with 39 wounded and 5 missing.

Questions to Consider

1. According to this broadside, how many colonists were killed on 19 April?

2. Which towns are represented on the broadside's list of killed and wounded? Locate them on a 1775 map of Massachusetts.

3. Who requested that this broadside be published? For what purpose?

Further Exploration

4. Using the description provided in this broadside, make a timeline of the events of 19 April.

5. Imagine that one of your friends has been killed at the skirmish at the North Bridge in Concord. Write an elegy to your friend (see the bottom of the broadside for an example of an elegy).

6. Imagine that you witness the skirmish on Lexington Green from your bedroom window. Draw a picture of the scene.

7. The scene in Menotomy is chaotic. Your friend, a minuteman, has not returned home, and you are afraid. There is a knock on your door. A severely wounded British infantryman asks for your help. What will you do?