April 18 & 19, 1775

Having been warned by Dr. Prescott, Concord militia and minutemen gathered and Colonel James Barrett directed them to hide what arms had not already been moved, and to prepare for conflict if necessary.

As Captain Parker’s men faced the British regulars and shots were exchanged, militia groups from around the region began arriving in Concord – from Acton, Lincoln, and Bedford. The militiamen, despite being reinforced by surrounding communities were outnumbered considerably, as the British troops were seven hundred strong.

The British soldiers had orders to capture the North and the South Bridges, and the force that took control over the North Bridge sent several companies to Barrett’s Farm, about a mile away, where they suspected that the colonists hid arms and armaments. However, the arms had already been relocated, and the soldiers found nothing.

There was a standoff by the North Bridge – until colonists noticed smoke rising from the town. As the militia advanced, Minutemen at the lead, the British fired. A small skirmish ensued, with light losses on both sides. 

...I proposed destroying the Bridge, but before we got one plank of(sic) they got so near as to begin their Fire, which was a very heavy one…

Journal of Ensign Jeremy Lister of The British Army p27

Both sides regrouped, and the militias withdrew to a hillside, allowing the soldiers to return from Barrett’s farm and rejoin the main body of British soldiers. It took about an hour to prepare the British soldiers to return to Boston, and as they prepared, more militia groups arrived, strengthening colonial numbers and shrinking the difference between the two forces.