A Revolution begins – A Nation is born. (Pls view large)
On the morning of April 19, 1775, Concord’s Old North Bridge was the site of the first American victory in the Revolutionary War.
Earlier that morning the Lexington Minutemen, far outnumbered, exchanged shots with British regulars on Lexington Green, but did not stop the British advance toward Concord and Colonel Barrett’s farm, said to hold an illegal arms cache.
At the North Bridge (map), minutemen from Concord and the neighboring towns of Acton, Bedford and Lincoln stopped the British advance and turned it back toward Boston.
The bridge, now part of Minuteman National Historic Park, is an easy 6/10-mile (1 km), 10-minute walk from Concord’s Monument Square along Monument Street, one of the town’s prettiest streets.
Every visitor to Concord makes the patriotic pilgrimage to the Old North Bridge, walking down the tree-shaded earthen road to the small obelisk at the near end of the bridge, dedicated on July 4, 1837. Look to the left: in the stone wall is a memorial stone for the British soldiers killed and wounded in the fight here.
Cross the bridge over the Concord River to the far side to see Daniel Chester French’s first important statue: The Minute Man. (French later sculpted the “Seated Lincoln” for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.)
On the statue’s plinth is the first stanza of Emerson’s famous Concord Hymn:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard ’round the world.
Follow the gravel path uphill through the meadow to the Buttrick Mansion, now a National Park visitor center and shop.
Very near Old North Bridge is the Old Manse, historic home to the Emerson clan and, for a short time, to author Nathaniel Hawthorne and his bride, Sophia.
About two miles to the west is Colonel Barrett’s Farm, the goal of the British Redcoats on that fateful day.
Nikon D300, Photomatix and finished in Picasa (1 raw image), 200 ISO, handheld, 70×300 Nikon Lens. Taken 10/3/10 in Concord, Massachusetts USA.