Lexington, battle of

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Lexington, battle of, 1775. The first serious encounter in the American conflict occurred when General Gage, surveying the drift towards war, dispatched on 18 April a force of 700 men from Boston to Concord, some 20 miles, to recover arms and ammunition. To effect surprise, the troops set off on a night march. Just over half-way, at Lexington, they clashed with a small force of rebel militia. By the time they reached Concord to conduct a search, the Americans were in arms and heavier fighting took place. On the retreat back to Lexington, the British forces were harassed by snipers, but were met in the town by a sizeable relief party under Lord Algernon Percy. They had suffered well over 200 casualties and tasted a new kind of warfare.

J. A. Cannon

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