“The Battle of Lexington,” William Barnes Wollen, oil, 1910. — April 19, 1775. In an attempt to disarm rebellious Americans, British General Thomas Gage ordered 700 soldiers to seize the colonists’ armory in Concord, some 20 miles west of Boston. At Lexington green, about 70 colonists confronted the British column. After a violent skirmish, the soldiers continued to Concord where they were again challenged by armed farmers and tradesmen, some 400 Americans. Instead of lining up rank and file on open ground, the Americans attacked the British from covered positions, forcing their retreat. The colonists pursued, sniping and harassing them all the way back along Bay Road to Boston. 49 colonists were killed that day, 39 wounded. For the British, 73 were killed, 174 wounded. The revolution had begun.