Who fired the first shot at Lexington Green?
The paragraph in bold below is a textbook's account of what happened at the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. The textbook's authors wants you to edit the account of the event so that is it more detailed and includes a more nuanced explanation as to who fired the first shot. They also want you to include evidence from first hand and period accounts as part of your revised textbook entry.

Use the links below to read and evaluate several different primary and secondary accounts from witnesses of and experts on the event and rewrite the paragraph into a more detailed account of the Battle of Lexington. Who fired the first shot at Lexington Green?

Once you have looked at the various accounts and have an idea of what you want to write, click on Edit Page and then proceed to re-write the account. Once you have finished, click on Save . Make sure you include evidence from the accounts to support your version of the story(cite sources, etc.).

1) Amos Doolittle's Etching of the Battle at Lexington Green (circa 1775). What does the image show happening? Why did Mr. Doolittle show it in this way?

2) Account of the days events from Sylvanus Wood, a Massachusett's man who was with Captain Parkers militia that day on Lexington Green. Note when the account was actually recorded. Scroll down and start reading at the "Lay down your arms..." heading.

3) British official reports on the Battles of Lexington and Concord - pay attention to the second account from Major Pitcairn on what he witnessed at Lexington Green. Why did Major Pitcairn report the events in this way? Do you trust what he says?

4) Here is a second hand account from a British woman in Boston, Ann Hulton, to friends back in Britian. Focus on the 2nd paragraph especially and how she describes what happened in Lexington. What impact would her perspective on the events have on the people in Britian?



By the morning of April 19, 1775, the king's troops reached Lexington. As they neared the town, they saw 70 minutemen drawn up in lines of the village green. The British commander ordered the minutemen to leave, and the colonists began to move out without laying down their muskets. Then someone fired, and the British soldiers sent a volley of shots into the departing militia. Eight minutemen were killed and ten more wounded, but only one British soldier was injured. The Battle of Lexington lasted only 15 minutes.


Textbook Account of the the Battle of Lexington, p. 101 (Danzer, et al., 2003, The Americans. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell).




Supplementary sources for further investigating new theories about the starving time:

More Middle School appropriate sources can be found on the HSI site:
http://web.wm.edu/hsi/cases/lexington/lexington_student.html
The "Historic Carper" site also includes further sources on the events at Lexington Green:
http://www.historycarper.com/resources/battles/lexington.htm