On April 18, 1775 British General Thomas Gage in Boston was ordered to seize a cache of arms in Concord, a small town 15 miles away, and if possible, to capture John Hancock and Samuel Adams, two of the more outspoken rebel leaders. To accomplish this, Gage assembled approximately 700 troops commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith.
Maintaining strict secrecy, the troops departed Boston at Midnight on the 19th. However, the garrison was watched closely by the residents of
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commanding, the retreating troops managed to maintain their ranks and the retreat was successful.
While the Americans lost about 90 men, the British endured casualties approaching 20 percent, paying dearly for the march to Concord. But the real cost of the engagement was the resulting siege of Boston, the propaganda that the rebels obtained – prior to the conflict, only a third of the people wanted a break from Britain - and the beginning of the Revolutionary War.