Danvers and the Battles of Lexington and Concord

April 18–19, 1775

Danvers, Massachusetts was one of the towns that mobilized its militia forces in response to the Lexington Alarm. The Danvers Militia responded to the Lexington Alarm and participated in the Battle of Menotomy.

Lexington and Concord, 1775, Danvers Militia

The Minuteman statue at Concord. Image Source: National Park Service.

Danvers Militia and the Battles of Lexington and Concord

The following account of the Danvers Militia and their role in the Battles of Lexington and Concord is taken from Chronicles of Danvers (Old Salem Village), written by Harriet Sylvester Tapley and published in 1923.

Please note that we have made minor text corrections and edits to the text, but have not changed the meaning. Spacing, section headings, and notes have been added to help readers scan and understand the text.

Facts About Danvers and the Battles of Lexington and Concord

  1. Danvers is roughly 22 miles northeast north of Boston, Massachusetts.
  2. The Lexington Alarm reached Danvers around 9:00 a.m. on April 19, when an unidentified horseman rode into town, shouting, “There’s a battle at Lexington! We have met the British! Hurry to help!”
  3. According to official records, eight militia companies from Danvers responded to the Lexington Alarm. They were commanded by Captain Samuel Epes, Captain Samuel Flint, Captain Israel Hutchinson, Captain David Lowe, Captain Jeremiah Page, Captain Asa Prince, Captain Edmund Putnam, and Captain John Putnam.
  4. All eight companies engaged the British at the Battle of Menotomy.
  5. Seven men from Danvers were killed during the fight at the Jason Russell House.
  6. Only Lexington had more men killed during the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
  7. Gideon Foster and his men fired on the British from behind a stone wall during the Battle of Menotomy.
  8. Jotham Webb had only been married a few weeks when he was killed.
  9. The residents of Danvers and some of the smaller towns gathered new New Mills, where they waited for news of the day’s events.
  10. The Danvers men who were killed during the battle were returned on April 20 and buried on April 21.

Danvers and Events Leading to the Lexington Alarm and the Battles of Lexington and Concord

Two months after the repulse at North Bridge, the British instituted a similar search for stores supposed to be concealed at Concord. This was the eighteenth of April. Early on the morning of the nineteenth, they were met by the patriot yeomen of Lexington and Concord and forced to retreat. 

AHC Note — The “repulse at the North Bridge” refers to the event known as “Leslie’s Retreat.”

The Lexington Alarm

The news of a battle had reached Danvers early on that warm April morning. About nine o’clock the hurried hoof-beats of a messenger’s horse were heard in the streets. The man did not dismount, but called in a loud voice, as he galloped along: “There’s a battle at Lexington! We have met the British! Hurry to help!” 

The companies of Danvers did not wait for a second call.

Swift as the summons came they left 
The plow, ‘mid furrow, standing still. 
The half-ground corn grist in the mill, 
The spade in earth, the axe in clift.

They went where duty seemed to call. 
They scarcely asked the reason why; 
They only knew they could but die.
And death was not the worst of all.

Battle of Lexington, 1775, Doolittle, Plate 1 Detail, NYPL
This engraving by Amos Doolittle was made in 1775 and depicts the Battle of Lexington. Image Source: New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Danvers Militia Companies

Captain Samuel Flint and Captain Asa Prince with their men from the Village, Captain Samuel Eppes, Captain Gideon Foster, and Captain Caleb Lowe and their companies from the south part of the town, Captain Jeremiah Page and his minute men from the Plains, Captain Israel Hutchinson with the “New Mills” and Beverly men, and Deacon Edmund Putnam and his Putnamville and Beaver Brook men, 303 in all, old and young alike, ran sixteen miles and more to the scene of carnage. 

AHC Note — Tapley’s list of commanding officers differs from the official records.

Battle of Menotomy

Over fences, through fields, scaling stone walls, and then marching on the highway, they hastened on. They started about 10 o’clock; they reached Menotomy (now Arlington) at about two in the afternoon The British were said to be on the retreat into Charlestown. 

Fight at the Jason Russell House

The Danvers men with others stationed themselves in the yard of Jason Russell, in the center of Menotomy, where bundles of shingles served as a barricade, and awaited the approach of the enemy. 

Rumor had deceived the men as to the force of the British. It was their expectation to here intercept their retreat. But suddenly and unexpectedly the enemy came in sight, descending the hill nearby in solid column on their right, while on the left a large flank guard was rapidly advancing. The Danvers men were caught in a trap, but they fought desperately and gallantly. 

The British, too, were desperate. Enraged at their defeat and harassed by the Provincials, who had fired upon them from behind stone walls and trees on their retreat, they now saw a chance for revenge. 

Battle of Menotomy, Jason Russell House, HMDB
This marker indicates the location of the Jason Russell House in present-day Arlington, Massachusetts. It reads, “Built by Martha, widow of William Russell, about 1680. Occupied until 1890 by her descendants, of whom Jason Russell lost his life in the conflict of April 19, 1775.” Image Source: Historical Marker Database.

Some of the Americans were driven into a cellar nearby, where horrible deeds were committed, and here and in the yard seven of Danvers’ young men fell, and two more were wounded. 

AHC Note — See Beverly Militia for more details about the Battle of Menotomy and the Fight at the Jason Russell House.

Danvers Casualties

The dead were: Benjamin Daland, Jr., Henry Jacobs, Jr., George Southwick, Jr., Samuel Cook, Jr., Eben Goldthwait, Perley Putnam, and Jotham Webb. Danvers lost more men than any other town except Lexington.

Foster Leads an Attack

Captain Foster, with some of his men on the side of the hill, finding themselves nearly surrounded, made an effort to gain the pond. They crossed directly in front of the British column. On the north side of the road, they took position behind a ditch wall. From this redoubt, they fired upon the enemy so long as any of them were within range of their muskets. Some of them fired eleven times, with two bullets at each discharge.

Jotham Webb

Jotham Webb, one of the killed, had been married only a few weeks. When the call came, he put on his wedding clothes, saying, “If I die, I will die in my best clothes.”

A gallant hero, too, was Webb, 
Nor deemed his nuptial suit too fine 
In which to act a soldier’s part 
And pour his gifts at Freedom’s shrine;

But donned his best, and kissed his bride, 
And sped to make the sacrifice — 
The wedding garb his glory shroud, 
The fatal ball his pearl of price.

The house in which Webb lived is still standing, off Merrill Street, having been removed from Water Street.

People of Danvers Wait for News

It was a sorrowful group that congregated that night in Colonel Hutchinson’s house at New Mills, to wait for the news from the battle. There were women whose husbands had seen many a bloody battlefield in the old wars, who knew full well what a dreadful battle meant; there were young women, born and bred in an atmosphere of peace; and there were little children clinging to the older ones with childish trust, feeling that some awful thing was about to happen. Only one man was left at New Mills that night, illness alone preventing him from joining the company. 

The Dead Returned to Their Homes

On the evening of the 20th, several men on horseback drove up to the house, escorting a horse-cart, which bore a precious burden. On the kitchen floor of that house, the dead were unrolled from the bloody sheets, and the next morning were taken away for burial. Such was Danvers’ part in the first battle of the Revolution.

Keeping Watch in Danvers

After the battle, the town of Danvers voted to establish two watches of thirteen men each, whose duty it was to guard the town every night. A penalty awaited anyone who refused to do duty in this direction. Strict rules were laid down against the firing of any guns except in cases of alarm or actual engagement. The watches were discontinued in July, when Congress provided a guard for seaport towns.

Bunker Hill, the American Revolutionary War, and the Sons of Danvers

The expectation of an outbreak was realized on the memorable 17th of June, when the battle of Bunker Hill was fought, in which a large number of Danvers men participated. During the following terrible eight years’ struggle for independence, the men of this town bore an honorable and important part. Money was raised and the services of hundreds of its citizens were freely given, so it was truthfully said that:

On every field where victory was won, 
The sons of Danvers stood by Washington.

AHC Note — The biographies that follow provide some interesting insight into men from Danvers and their roles in the American Revolutionary War and beyond.

Amos Putnam

Doctor Amos Putnam was one of the most influential citizens of the town at this time. He was born in Danvers, on October 11, 1722. He studied medicine and practiced in this town until the opening of the French and Indian War, when he entered the Colonial service as a surgeon, serving six months. During the Revolution, he was a member of the Committee of Safety and was always a firm and outspoken patriot. He practiced in Danvers for over half a century, and died on July 26, 1807, and was buried in a family lot in the rear of the “Lindens.”

General Israel Putnam

A Revolutionary hero of whom Danvers will always be proud was General Israel Putnam, whose biography is really a matter of national history. In the house now standing at the corner of Newbury and Maple Streets, he first saw the light on January 7, 1718, in a back room which is still preserved with all its ancient furnishings. 

The old part of the house was built probably about 1641 by Lieutenant Thomas Putnam, his grandfather, and came into possession of the General’s father, Joseph Putnam. His boyhood was distinguished by strength and courage, and with hard work on the farm and plenty of athletic exercise he laid the foundation of a vigorous constitution. 

Israel Putnam, General
Israel Putnam. Image Source: Library of Congress.

At the age of twenty-one he married Hannah Pope, and soon removed to Pomfret, Connecticut., in the vicinity of which he made his home ever after. It was there that he had the famous encounter with the wolf in her den. The neighborhood had been greatly excited at the meanderings of the wolf, but no one had the courage to attack her. Putnam, with his usual fearlessness, came to their rescue, entered the cave, and shot the wolf, much to the relief of the people.

His first service for his country was in the French and Indian War. He commanded a company at Ticonderoga, where he attracted much attention on account of his undaunted courage. 

When the Revolution broke out he had risen to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Upon receiving the news of the Battle of Lexington, in his Connecticut home, he left his plow in the furrow, and seizing his coat from a tree where it hung, turned his horse loose, and hastened to the scene of the conflict.

AHC Note — The story of Putnam in his field, dropping everything, and riding off to Boston is one of the most famous legends of the American Revolutionary War.

Commissioned a Major General by George Washington, who had been appointed Commander-in-chief of the armies, he commanded the American forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Here, as elsewhere, he displayed the utmost bravery and calmness. It was at this time that he gave the famous command to his men: “Don’t fire until you can see the whites of their eyes,” the wisdom of which was realized when it was seen how great had been the destruction of the enemy. 

AHC Note — Putnam’s commission was from the Second Continental Congress, not Washington. Further, Putnam likely did not give the order to the Americans to hold their fire. If anyone actually said it, it would have been William Prescott, who was actually in the redoubt on Breed’s Hill. Putnam was on Bunker Hill at the time. See Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775).

Through all the years of the war, he distinguished himself. “He dared to lead where any dared to follow.” His courage was sometimes of a reckless type, as when (1778) on horseback he plunged down the hundred stone steps at Horseneck, Conn., to escape death at the hands of the British, a feat which would have been sure death to anyone but Putnam. 

He was not a man of learning; his education had been such as could be obtained occasionally winters in the district school, but he had a large amount of good judgment, common-sense and love of country that completely eclipsed all consideration of his ignorance of books. Washington was his friend, and all the great generals and leaders of his time were loud in their praise of “Old Put,” as his devoted soldiers loved to call him. George Washington wrote General Putnam, on June 2, 1783:

“Your favor of the 20th of May I received with much pleasure. For I can assure you that among the many worthy and meritorious officers with whom I have had the happiness to be connected in service through the course of this war, and from whose cheerful assistance in the various and trying vicissitudes of a complicated contest, the name of a Putnam is not forgotten, nor will be but with that stroke of time which shall obliterate from my mind the remembrance of all those toils and fatigues through which we have struggled for the preservation and establishment of the rights, liberties and independence of our country. Your congratulations on the happy prospects of peace and independent security, with their attendant blessings to the United States, I receive with great satisfaction, and beg that you will accept a return of my gratulations to you on this auspicious event, an event in which you have a right to participate largely, from the distinguished part you have contributed toward its attainment.”

General Putnam died on May 19, 1790, at his home in Brooklyn, Conn., and was buried with military honors. His monument bears this inscription:

“Passenger — If thou art a soldier drop a tear over the dust of a hero who, ever attentive to the lives and happiness of his men, dared to lead where any dared to follow. If a patriot, remember the distinguished and gallant services rendered thy country by the patriot who sleeps beneath this marble. If thou art honest, generous, and worthy, render a cheerful tribute of respect to a man whose generosity was singular, whose honesty was proverbial, who raised himself to universal esteem and offices of eminent distinction by personal worth and a useful life.”

General Moses Porter

Forty-seven years in the service of his country — that is the record of Genernal Moses Porter, who was born in a house on Locust Street, at Porter’s Hill, on March 26, 1736. This house, which was demolished in 1902, when the Watts residence was erected, was built early in the 18th century. It was the home of Zerubbabel Rea, later the home of Doctor Caleb Rea, whose sister married Benjamin Porter, the father of the General. 

When but eighteen years of age, he caught the patriotic enthusiasm of the times, hastened to Marblehead, and enlisted in an artillery company for the fight at Bunker Hill. Here he was the last to leave the guns. He was at the Siege of Boston, the campaign on Long Island and at New York, and at White Plains, doing valiant service under Generals Washington and Knox. He crossed the Delaware with Washington, took part in the battles of Trenton and the Brandywine, was wounded at Fort Mifflin, and then helped to strengthen and hold West Point.

At the close of the Revolution, he was ordered to the northwestern frontier to fight the Indians. His long service there was remarkable for great achievements. In his capacity of engineer, he was of inestimable value to the country. 

At Fort Detroit, he was the first to unfurl the stars and stripes over Michigan soil. Then he commanded the forces at Fort Mackinaw, later Fort Niagara, and leading his men down through western Pennsylvania to the Red River region, kept at bay the threatening forces of Spaniards and Mexicans. He then pushed on to New Orleans through a great trackless wilderness.

Just at this time (1812) the country was threatened with another war with England, and he was called to civilization once more to put the Atlantic coast in a state of defense. He built new forts and stationed batteries all the way from New York to Maine, and when the struggle finally came, he was sent again to Fort Niagara to take command of the frontier against the English, with the rank of Brigadier-General. 

AHC Note — See War of 1812 (1812–1815).

Finally, he was placed in command at Fort Norfolk, Va. This was the great event of his life. All eyes were turned to Norfolk, and for long, anxious months the great and proud naval squadrons of England moved back and forth, in and out the bays, ready to pounce upon their prey. But Porter was there. He so fortified the main points and increased his forces and kept them well drilled and ready for attack, having at last 10,000 men under him, and yet thousands of them sick, that the enemy did not dare make him a visit, and finally put to sea. Again he was retained in service after peace was declared, and when the country was divided into great geographical departments, at the head of which was placed some old distinguished veteran, General Porter was made successively commander, first of the 1st in Northern New York, with his headquarters at Greenbush; then of the 3d, with his headquarters at New York City; then of the 4th, with his headquarters at Philadelphia, and finally of the 2d, with headquarters at Boston, near the scene of his youthful glory. 

Establishing his headquarters afterwards in Watertown and Cambridge, he died in April, 1822, and was first buried with public honors on the ground of the old Stone Chapel, Boston, the stores of the city being closed and a great military pageant taking place in his honor. His old war-horse was led in the long procession which followed his remains and in which were celebrated generals and colonels and naval commanders who, like himself, had been defenders of the country in many a notable campaign. His remains were later removed to Walnut Grove Cemetery, Danvers.

General Porter was an able as well as a brave man, but his modesty prevented him from taking any credit to himself. Quiet and unassuming, he served his country faithfully to the end of a long life. He was unmarried. A large tray taken from the English by General Porter, silver drinking cups, and other trophies of the Revolution, have been handed down in the Porter family.

General Gideon Foster

This worthy Revolutionary hero was born in that part of the old town of Danvers, now Peabody, on February 24, 1749. In his early days, he improved the limited opportunities for an education, so that he became an excellent draughtsman, a fine penman, and a skillful surveyor. He had considerable mechanical genius, having planned and constructed all the machinery used in his mills.

Gideon Foster organized a company of “Minutemen,” when the colonies were threatened by English oppression, who were at the North Bridge encounter at Salem, and later at the Battle of Lexington. 

After this engagement, he was stationed at Brighton and was at the scene of the Battle of Bunker Hill, although he did not participate in it. Being ordered to escort a load of ammunition to Charlestown, he met the Americans on the retreat after the fight. Their ammunition was gone, and Captain Foster and his men, with their hands and dippers, filled the troops’ horns, pockets hats, and whatever else they had that would hold powder. At the same time, the enemy’s shot were constantly whistling by, but they worked on, wholly unmindful of the danger.

In the State militia, during times of peace, he rendered good service, advancing step by step, until, in 1801, he was elected Major General by the Legislature. “He was chosen commander of a company of ‘exempts’ during the War of 1812, and he never lost his military ardor, but to the last the sound of the drum was music to his ear. He was nurtured in that school of patriotism which taught that opposition to tyrants is obedience to God. Liberty and love of country were his early and abiding passions.” 

General Foster was honored by his fellow citizens with many town offices, and he also served in the State Legislature. He lived to be ninety-six years of age, the last commissioned officer of the Revolution. He died Nov. 1, 1845, and was given a military funeral.

Colonel Israel Hutchinson

Israel Hutchinson was born in 1727 in an old house on Centre Street, near where it crosses Newbury. Little is known of his early life, but when he reached manhood, he is mentioned as a member of a scouting party penetrating the wilderness of Maine in perilous Indian warfare. 

The next position of prominence was when, as Captain, he fought so nobly at the Heights of Abraham in the capture of Quebec. Hutchinson had gained valuable experience at Lake George and Ticonderoga. The English had been trying to take Quebec, the stronghold of the French, for three months, but had failed. It seemed next to impossible to get into a position to reduce the fortress, situated as it was on such an elevation. Finally, there was discovered a narrow bridle path leading upwards through the woods to the summit. This was the only chance the English had.

AHC Note — See French and Indian War, Jeffrey Amherst, and James Wolfe for more information on the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

In the early morning of the 13th of September, 1759, Captain Hutchinson and his men, with others, floated down the St. Lawrence River, without the use of oars, for silence must be preserved. They touched at a little cove and the sentinels who guarded this secret path, were overpowered. 

Hutchinson and his men pulled themselves up by catching roots, branches, and stones, and digging out steps in the mountainside as they advanced. By daylight, they had reached the summit. The French could not believe their eyes when they beheld this band of Englishmen on the Plains of Abraham. A terrific battle took place, as a result of which Quebec became an English possession. Captain Israel Hutchinson, then thirty-two years of age, escaped uninjured from the awful conflict.

Sixteen years later, Captain Hutchinson with his company of minute men marched from his home at Danversport to Lexington, on the 19th of April, 1775. For his meritorious conduct here he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 19th Massachusetts Regiment, with headquarters at Cambridge. 

At sunset of June 16, 1775, Lieutenant Colonel Hutchinson marched from Cambridge Common to Bunker Hill. At midnight they began to throw up a redoubt, and by sunrise of the following day, they disclosed to the astonished British a fort that rose out of the night as if by magic. 

All that morning, in the terrible heat, exhausted and famished, without food or water, that handful of men waited for the attack of the British. And when it came, with what determination both sides fought is recorded in history. Hutchinson was rewarded after the battle by appointment as Colonel of the 27th Regiment of the Army of the United Colonies.

On the night of the famous retreat from Long Island (Aug. 29, 1776) to the mainland, Hutchinson and his men helped save Washington and his forces from capture and possible destruction. Washington had been caught like a rat in a trap, and his only means of escape was by transports to the mainland. He ordered every transport that could be found to set out at once, adding “they must be manned by some of Col. Hutchinson’s men.” 

A heavy easterly storm was raging. At 8 in the evening, the boats were ready, manned by Hutchinson’s Danvers and Salem men, but for three hours they waited before the tempest abated sufficiently to embark. Fortunately, a heavy fog settled down, which concealed the doings of Hutchinson, until the army was removed to a place of safety. 

At Newark and Trenton, the name of Colonel Hutchinson is found, but Christmas night of 1776 is second to none of the other great events in his life. With Washington, he crossed the Delaware to attack the Hessians at Trenton. The men were ragged and half-fed. It was a bitter winter night. The wind howled from the northeast and by midnight a driving snow storm was raging. Undaunted, they struggled on through the ice in the river, and at four the next morning they appeared before the enemy, surprised them, and forced them to surrender. Such was the military life of Colonel Hutchinson.

In 1777, and for nineteen years thereafter, Colonel Hutchinson represented Danvers in the General Court, and for two years he was a member of the Governor’s Council.

In personal appearance, he was of medium height, quick in his movements, while dignified and courteous in his manner. He was affable, social, and generous. After his long public service, he spent his declining years in the quiet of his home, attending to his mill. His life of activity was a blessing to the people among whom he lived; a leader of men, he inspired others to noble action. His industry was one of his most noticeable qualities, to the extent that his neighbors used it as a byword and predicted that he would sooner or later lose his life in his mill. The prediction proved true, for in March, 1811, at the age of eighty-four years, while removing ice from the water-wheel, he received injuries which caused his death on the 15th of that month. He was buried in High Street cemetery.

Colonel Jeremiah Page

About the middle of the 18th century a man named Andrews, who lived in Putnamville, needed some bricks to build a chimney and went to Medford to get them. Andrews told the brickmaker that there was good clay in Danvers, and asked him to send someone to commence working it. 

Accordingly, his son, then twenty-one years of age, came to Danvers, boarded in Andrews’ family, married one of his daughters, and commenced the manufacture of bricks. This young man was Jeremiah Page.

He built the house on Elm Street — now removed to Page Street by the Danvers Historical Society — soon after his settlement in town, and with his own hands brought from the woods nearby the elm trees which grew to such enormous proportions and surrounded the old house. 

He was a staunch patriot and was captain of a militia company before the Revolution. While General Gage was stationed in Danvers, he occupied the front room of the house as an office, from the windows of which, it is said, there was an uninterrupted view of Salem harbor. At the breaking out of the Revolution, he led a company of minute men to Lexington from the door of his house, which was the assembly place agreed upon. 

He was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the Eighth Essex Regiment in 1776. The same year he performed duty at Horseneck, being among those drafted for the relief of New York. He was in the famous Battle of White Plains, Oct. 18, 1776. A year later he resigned and spent the remainder of his days at home, taking an active part in town affairs. He died June 8, 1806, and was buried in High Street cemetery.

Colonel Enoch Putnam

Another distinguished son of Danvers was Col. Enoch Putnam. Born Feb. 18, 1732, in the old Putnam homestead near “Oak Knoll,” he followed the occupation of farmer during his early years. He served in a militia company before the Revolution, and at the breaking out of the war, hastened to Lexington as second lieutenant in Capt. Israel Hutchinson’s company. The following month (May, 1775) he received a Captain’s commission. In 1778 he is found as Lieutenant Colonel in command of the Eighth Essex Regiment, serving in this rank until 1780. The next year he was in command of regulars raised for three months, at West Point, and on the 14th of November, 1782, he was appointed a full Colonel.

After his retirement from the army, he served the town in many important capacities. He died in 1796, and was probably buried in Wadsworth cemetery, although no stone marks his grave.

Reverend Benjamin Balch

Rev. Benjamin Balch, who resided in New Mills from 1774-1784, was a character who figured in some of the most thrilling events of the Revolution. He graduated from Harvard in 1763, and while preaching in Machias met his future wife, a pretty Irish girl and a member of his congregation, the daughter of Morris O’Brien. 

Her brother, Col. Jeremiah O’Brien, has been credited with winning the first naval victory of the war, while another brother, Capt. John O’Brien, was a noted shipowner of Newburyport, Boston, and New York, from which family, curiously enough, the Rev. Jeremiah Chaplin, pastor of the Baptist Church at New Mills, in a later generation, took his bride. The O’Briens were most ardently devoted to the cause of the colonies.

Benjamin Balch was chosen, in 1775, lieutenant of the New Mills Alarm company that marched to the Battle of Lexington. From that time his patriotic services were continuous, serving as Chaplain in the army until 1778, when he was appointed Chaplain of the frigate Boston, on which two of his sons were serving. 

In 1781 he was assigned to the famous frigate Alliance, Capt. James Barry, built in Salisbury, and said to have been the first frigate built for the Continental Congress, and his services in that year were marked by interesting events consequent upon the activity of that vessel under her gallant commander, and the leadership of John Paul Jones. 

Balch earned the designation of the “Fighting Parson,” when in a perilous engagement with two British vessels he armed himself and fought with the others in a desperate and successful struggle in which the Alliance captured both vessels. At the close of the war, he resumed preaching, and died in Barrington, N. H., in 1815.

Others High on the Roll of Honor

There were many other Danvers men on the roll of honor during the war. 

Major Caleb Low served in the Indian wars and in the Revolution under Washington; 

Major Sylvester Osborne, who, at sixteen years of age, rushed to the Lexington fight; 

Capt. Samuel Eppes, who hurried to Lexington in advance of his regiment; 

Capt. Samuel Flint, the only commissioned officer from Danvers killed in the Revolution, which occurred at Stillwater in 1777, the hero of the French wars, who, when asked where he could be found on a certain day, replied, “Where the enemy is, there you will find me”; 

Capt. Samuel Page, son of Col. Jeremiah Page, who served all through the Revolution; 

Capt. Dennison Wallis, who, when nineteen years old, received twelve bullet wounds in the fight at Lexington 

Capt. Jeremiah Putnam, a faithful officer to the end of the war; 

Capt. Asa Prince, who, in attempting to escape from the hands of the British on June 17th, 1775, dislocated his ankle, and courageously thrust the bone back into the socket and renewed his flight; 

Capt. Levi Preston and Capt. Johnson Proctor, worthy sons of the south part of the town; and Capt. Edmund Putnam, the “fighting deacon,” who, at the head of his company of minute men, marched to Lexington; 

Seth Richardson of “New Mills,” afterwards a well-known sea captain, who enlisted at sixteen and saw some of the hardest service at Valley Forge, Monmouth, and Hubbardton, under Captain Page — these and many more grandly fought for the freedom of America.

God give us grace to know full well, 
Who sowed the seed that we might reap; 
And, while eternal harvests grow, 
Let memory her jewels keep.

Documenting April 18–19, 1775

The events that took place on April 18 and 19, 1775 include some of the most historic — and legendary — moments in American History. Many of the details about the events are found in the letters and depositions written at the time and have been used by many historians as the basis for articles and books about the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

However, what is often lost are interesting details that can be found in the histories of the towns that responded to the Midnight Riders and the Lexington Alarm. Militia forces from approximately 27 towns, including Danvers, fought the British from Lexington to Concord, and then from Concord back to Boston. Many of those men stayed there and participated in the Siege of Boston.

Although these local histories are sometimes embellished and border on folklore, they still provide valuable insight into the pride towns felt over standing up against the British forces who fired on the King’s subjects at Lexington and Concord.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Danvers and the Battles of Lexington and Concord
  • Date April 18–19, 1775
  • Author
  • Keywords Danvers, Danvers Militia, Lexington Alarm, Concord Fight, Battles of Lexington and Concord
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date May 30, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 16, 2024

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