Lexington & Concord | British Retreat | Apr 18-19, 1775
By the time the British arrived at the North Bridge, a force of almost 400 colonial militiamen from Concord and the surrounding area had gathered on the high ground across the Concord River. The Minute Men formed up and advanced on the British, who responded by retreating back across the bridge and taking up a defensive position. When the British troops opened fire, the Minute Men responded with a volley of their own, killing three British soldiers and wounding nine others. The British troops fell back to the town.
The British, realizing their vulnerability, decided to return to Boston. Their retreat turned into a rout, however, as thousands of militiamen attacked the British column from all sides. Shooting from behind trees, rocks, and buildings, the Patriots inflicted heavy casualties on the retreating Redcoats.
By the time the fighting stopped, the British had lost 73 men killed and many more wounded, compared to the Patriots’ loss of 49 men killed.