America’s early Minutemen were men who were ready for military duties “at a minute’s warning.”
When these men rallied, they became a militia, citizens with limited military training who could grab their arms immediately and fight in an emergency to defend their local area.
The first Minutemen were in Massachusetts, and they saw their first action at the battles of Lexington and Concord. They certainly surprised the British, whose leader reported,
“Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob will be much mistaken.”
It was one of those Minutemen who “fired the shot heard round the world,” on April 19, 1775, commencing America’s open rebellion.
Minutemen militia groups were formed in other colonies, including the Culpeper Minutemen of Virginia. The importance of the American militia was later enshrined in the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. The Minutemen are also forever remembered in such poems as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn.”
Every year we celebrate the anniversary of that “shot heard round the world,” on April 19th, the day we know as Patriots Day.
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