Portrait of Francis Smith.

British Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Smith commanded British troops at the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

Battle of Concord

April 19, 1775

The Battle of Concord took place on April 19, 1775 in the village of Concord, Massachusetts, west of Boston. It was one of the opening battles of the American Revolution.



Massachusetts was a hotbed of sedition in the spring of 1775. In February, the British Parliament declared the colony to be in open rebellion and authorized British troops to kill rebels who resisted the authority of the Crown. The troops were also ordered to destroy all stores of ammunition, rifles, or other arms. On the evening of April 18, 1775, British troops left Boston to advance on the village of Concord with the objective of confiscating a cache of arms and ammunition. American spies led by Joseph Warren learned of the British plan and sent Paul Revere and William Dawes on horseback to warn the people between Boston and Concord that “The regulars are coming.”

Following a brief skirmish with Massachusetts militiamen at Lexington, on the morning of April 19, British troops proceeded to Concord where they began searching homes and destroying munitions. As the British awaited the arrival of expected reinforcements, an American force of about 400 militiamen assembled and began moving toward the village. During the advance, a brief firefight at the Old North Bridge resulted in two American deaths. When reinforcements did not arrive as expected, the British decided to evacuate Concord, and make their way back toward Boston.

On the return march back to Boston, the British were harassed and ambushed by sniping militiamen, resulting in casualties of 73 killed, 174 wounded, and 23 missing soldiers. American losses were 49 killed, 39 wounded and five missing. While not a major victory in military terms, the overall success of the events on April 19, 1775 embarrassed the British army and provided a significant morale boost for Americans as they entered the contest for liberty.

When the British reached Boston, the American militia forces stopped their pursuit, took defensive positions, and began the Siege of Boston.

Lexington and Concord: In Four Minutes

Suggested Reading

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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Battle of Concord
  • Coverage April 19, 1775
  • Author
  • Keywords battle of concord
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date December 5, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update December 1, 2021
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