J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Aftermath

From William Diamond’s Drum, by Arthur Bernon Tourtellot:

Later on the morning of April nineteenth. Captain [John] Parker reassembled his Lexington minutemen, to march toward Concord. Some of the wounded, now bandaged, formed in awkward but determined lines. Among them was Jedediah Munroe, the old man who had fallen on the Common before he could shoot and who had brought along the old Scotch claymore as an extra weapon. William Diamond beat his drum again. The little company marched off toward Concord, the beat of the drum and the thin music of the fife echoing briefly after them. And this was perhaps Lexington’s saddest and most triumphant moment of the whole day—the sun now high in the sky, the smell of British gunpowder still in the air, their dead brothers lying on the Common behind, and the company of minutemen, knowing now what they faced, marching off to meet the enemy again.

(Photograph from Joanne Rath’s coverage of the reenactment at Lexington yesterday for the Boston Globe. Pictured are Quinn, Peter, and Joleen Ricci of Bedford.)

4 comments:

G. Lovely said...

Thank you. In a day filled with much senseless noise, you've struck the appropriate note.

J. L. Bell said...

Thank you. Back in 2011, when C.B.S. broadcast the 911 documentary about the firehouse in New York City, the sight of the firefighters riding back to the World Trade Center ruins reminded me of this passage, which I had recently read. I went looking for it again yesterday for reassurance about human resilience.

Anonymous said...

This. This is why I keep reading your blog. Excellent words. I saw a tweet the other day that went along the lines of, "The last time someone messed with Boston, the British Empire lost most of its North American holdings." I like that, but your quote is better. Anyone can be angry. It takes something deeper to have resolve.
Hope you and yours are all safe, JL.

Anonymous said...

Wow. -- Joe Bauman