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Lexington Minute Mencaptain@lexingtonminutemen.com |
The Lexington Minute Men are dedicated to honoring those brave Patriots who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our Nation’s freedom. From those who first fell on Lexington Green, to the heroes of today, we hope to continue telling the story of American Independence. The members of the Lexington Minute Men are required to research and portray one of the original members of the brave unit which faced the King’s soldiers. To do so requires poring over documents, letters, books, and manuscripts, searching for more on the identity of those heroes. As Lexington Minute Men it is our duty to honor their memory, so future generations will understand that it was more than a mere battle. It was more than just a military confrontation. It was also more than just “the shot heard “round the world.”
The Lexington Training Band is composed of over dozen members of the Lexington Minute Men and is dedicated to accurately portraying the men of the Lexington militia as they appeared on April 18th and 19th, 1775.
Despite popular belief, the Village of Lexington on the eve of the American Revolution did not have a minute man company. Instead, the men from that town were enlisted in a single militia company known as “The Training Band”.
The term training band can be traced back to the reign of England’s Edward I, when parliament enacted legislation decreeing that every freeman between the ages of 15 and 60 years was to be available to preserve the peace within his own county or shire. When Lexington established its militia, it retained the ancient English title of training band.
The flintlock musket was the weapon of the era and under the 1764 Crown Manual, a soldier would follow thirteen motions to load it. A British authority writing on the military muskets of the period indicated that it was an inaccurate weapon and only had an effective range of approximately eighty yards.
On the evening before the Battle of Lexington, Lieutenant Benjamin Tidd assembled a portion of the band on the village green to drill in preparation for the inevitable conflict. On October 29, 1774, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress ordered that “it be recommended to the inhabitants of this Province that in order to their perfecting themselves in the Military Art, they proceed in the method ordered by his Majesty in the year 1764, it being, in the opinion of this Congress, best calculated for appearance and defence.”
The Training Band performs this drill. The purpose of this drill was to compensate for the limitations of the inaccurate muskets of the time. Men were concentrated in close ranks, shoulder to shoulder, to fire in unison and only upon command and to reload as rapidly as possible. With bayonets fixed, the attacking force would advance to the beat of a drum until they reached a point of eighty yards away from their enemy.
After a volley, the force would advance to fifty yards. A second and perhaps a third volley would be fired. At the moment of impact, the attacking force turned to the bayonet. In this manner of warfare, rate of fire became more valuable than accuracy; speed and precision had to be combined with iron discipline, factors necessary for the soldiers to continue loading and firing despite casualties around them.
The Training Band demonstrates methods of field maneuvers utilized during the American Revolution.
Parades and Ceremonial Activities
In addition to numerous benefit activities, school and educational living-history presentations, and our re-enactments, the Lexington Minute Men have marched in the inaugural parades of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. They have also served as Honor Guard for numerous Massachusetts Governors. The Bi-centennial visits of President Gerald Ford and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip provided the opportunity for the Company to serve as their honor guard. The Bi-centennial re-enactment of 1976 was attended by over 18,000 people.
The Lexington Minute Men have conducted opening ceremonies for numerous events. The Minute Men took part in the Rededication of the Battle Green during Patriots’ Day weekend of 2000 and are seen here marching proudly past Buckman Tavern, the meeting place of the militia on April 19, 1775.
Lexington Minute Men Patriots’ Day Schedule:
Use this schedule if you are interested in following the activities of the Company of Lexington Minute Men from the Saturday just before the official Patriots’ Day Monday observance, thru the following Wednesday.
Full Colonial Battle Kit
Squads assemble St Brigid’s, Buckman Tavern (2), and Hancock Church/Belfry
9:00AM - Park at St B’s
9:45AM - Squads Arrive on the Common
10:00AM - Scenario on the Common begins
10:30AM - Depart from the Common for Fiske Hill (police escort)
10:45AM - Stop for lunch, please pack a “colonial” style lunch
11:15AM - Depart Fiske Hill
11:30PM – Registration Visitors Center
12:00PM - Arrive at the Parker’s Revenge site
12:30PM - Musket inspection by the National Park Service
1:00PM - Wreath laying ceremony and musket volleys
Battle Road National Park Reenactment
In place by 1:00
2:00PM – Battle Road……at Parker's Revenge Site
2:30PM - Depart Parker’s Revenge for Old Mass Avenue Parking Site
2:45PM - Board buses to Munroe Tavern for the Tower Park event
Battle Road at Tower Park for Reenactment
In place by 3:30
3:30PM – Assemble at Monroe Tavern (light sandwiches)
4:00PM - Tower Park Battle begins
Old North Church, Boston, MA
By invitation only: 12 tickets available, (Invitation only!)
Ceremony to be held at 8:00PM, Plan to be at the Church by 7:00PM
Paul Revere’s Ride Reenactment
Hancock/Clarke House, Hancock Street, Lexington, MA
10:30PM – Crowd Control Pickets report to Hancock/Clarke House
11:00PM – Sergeant Munroe’s Squad reports to Buckman’s Tavern
11:30PM – Ringing of the bell, Old Belfry, Lt. Fenn
11:30PM – Reenactment begins
12:15AM – Reenactment ends on the Common
3:00AM – Posting of first picket guard on Common
3:00AM – Breakfast served at St. Brigid’s by the Boy Scouts
4:00AM – Posting of second picket guard on Common
Second picket guard will be inspected & receive powder before going on duty
4:30AM – Inspection and Powder distribution (Lt. Kemper)
5:15AM – Women and children check in with (Henry Liu)
5:30AM – Old Belfry, Ringing of the Bell, Lex Historical
5:30AM – All Minute Men to be at assigned posts
6:00AM – Reenactment
6:45AM – Olde Burial Ground Ceremonies with British Consulate / French Consol
7:00AM – 2 Buses to transport Lexington Minute Men and William Diamond Jr. Corps from St. Brigid’s to Muzzey Soccer Field
7:30AM – Lexington Sunrise Youth Parade steps off from Muzzey
8:15AM – Parade arrives on Common for Ceremonies
All LMM back to St. B’s by 9:00
10:00AM – Lexington Lion’s Club Five Mile Road Race starts at Common
(Need 3-4 LMM, Hang out only, Lt Kemper)
10:15AM – LMM and DAR Memorial Ceremonies (need 6-8 muskets) followed by lunch at St. Brigid’s PCC’S and officers escort DAR members to lunch and join them at tables
11:00AM – U.S.S. Lexington Ceremony – Captain and musket squad
(Need 6-8 muskets)
1:00PM – Paul Revere arrives – Captain, Adjutant, Chief, 1st Lt.
2:00PM – Patriots’ Day Afternoon Parade
Show your fortitude and love for history with annual march from Sudbury to Old North Bridge!