small party of the inhabitants so far from being disposed
to commit hostilities against the troops of their sovereign,
that unless attacked were determined to be peaceable spec-
tators of this extraordinary movement ; immediately on the
approach of Colonel Smith with the detachment under
his command they dispersed ; but the detachment, seeming
to thirst for BLOOD, wantonly rushed on, and first began
the hostile scene by firing on this small party, in which
they killed eight men on the spot and wounded several o-
thers before any guns were fired upon the troops by our
men. Not contented with this effusion of blood, as if
malice had occupied their whole soul, they continued the
fire, until all this small party who escaped the dismal car-
nage, were out of the reach of their fire : Colonel Smith
with the detachment then proceeded to Concord, where a
part of this detachment again made the first fire upon some
of the inhabitants of Concord and the adjacent towns,
who were collected at a bridge upon this just alarm, and
killed two of them and wounded several others, before any
of the Provincials there had done one hostile act : Then
the Provincials (roused with zeal for the liberties of their
country, finding life and every thing dear and valuable at
stake) assumed their native valour and returned the fire,
and the engagement on both sides began : Soon after which
the British troops retreated towards Charlestown (having
first committed violence and waste on public and private
property) and on their retreat were joined by another de-
tachment of General Gage's troops, consisting of about a
thousand men, under the command of Earl Percy, who
continued the retreat, the engagement lasted through the
day, many were killed and wounded on each side, though
the loss on the part of the British troops far exceeded that
of the provincials : the devastation committed by the
British troops on their retreat, the whole of the way from
Concord to Charlestown, is almost beyond description, such
as plundering and burning of dwelling houses and other
buildings, driving into the street women in child-bed, kil-
ling old men in their houses unarmed : Such scenes of
desolation would be a reproach to the perpetrators, even
if committed by the most barbarous nations, how much
more when done by Britons famed for humanity and ten-
derness : And all this because these colonies will not sub-
mit to the iron yoke of arbitrary power.