- "If they mean to have a war... then let it begin here!"
- ―John Parker, shortly before the opening shots of the war, 1775.[src]
The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first skirmishes of the American Revolutionary War. Fought on 19 April 1775, British Regulars marched from Boston to destroy Patriot weapons and supplies.
However, the Patriots learned of this plot and sent several riders, including Paul Revere and William Dawes, to warn local militia, who then fought against the Regulars to win the first battle of the Revolutionary War.
The Patriots have gathered intelligence that John Pitcairn was readying an assault on Lexington, where Samuel Adams and John Hancock were sheltered, and afterward planned on destroying the weapons and supplies at Concord. Paul Revere invited the Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton to help and he accepted due to Pitcairn's involvement.
Revere revealed his plan to cross the Charles River and warn the militia, while William Dawes would do the same on an overland route and Robert Newman would to light the lantern at Christ Church to indicate whether the British would come by land or by sea.
After completing their mission, managing to only be confronted by the British once, Connor and Revere came to Lexington to warn Hancock and Adams that Pitcairn intended to kill them. Hancock and Adams left Lexington and Revere and Dawes traveled to Concord. Connor stayed in Lexington to help John Parker organize the militia's defense. By morning, the British, and Pitcairn, had arrived in Lexington and the two forces stood off.
At the beginning of the battle, Parker tried to keep his men in position, but many of them fled at the first shots, causing Parker to send Connor to Concord with a letter to James Barrett. After a short engagement, the Patriots retreated to Concord to meet up with the rest of the militia, with the British marching behind them.
The two forces fought again at Concord, with the Patriots under Connor's command holding Old North Bridge until the Regulars retreated. The Patriots followed, inflicting major losses along the road back to Boston.
As a result of the conflict, the Patriots – while defeated at Lexington – had won the first engagement of the Revolutionary War. At the news of the battle, the militia started to grow as the colonies sent men and supplies to the Second Continental Congress.
Adams swelled support by spreading rumors that the British troops fired first, although no one knew for sure who started the battle.