April 21st, 2014
The 237th Reenactment of the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes
No. End to Medford, Ma.
* SGT Christopher Tobin as Paul Revere
* SGT Elaine Corda as Outrider
Medford, Ma. to Lexington, Ma.
* SFC Matthew Johnson, as Paul Revere
* PFC Eric Gallant as Outrider
Roxbury to Arlington
* MAJ James DiCarlo As William Dawes
* PFC Christine Sturniolo as Outrider
Arlington to Lexington
* COL Richard Reale, Jr. As William Dawes
* PFC Tina Lebouef as Outrider
* - All members of the National Lancers
Patriot's Day Events
Every year on Patriot's Day, the National Lancers reenact the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes. Check Routes
and Times for information on where and when you see watch Revere and Dawes.
The reenactments begin Sunday night before Patriot's day with a service at the Old North Church.
Monday morning Revere leaves from the North End, Boston and Dawes leaves from John Elliot Square, 10 Putnam St., Roxbury,
warning the people while on their way to Lexington.
History of Paul Revere's Ride
Paul Revere's Midnight Ride into Lexington
Contrary to popular belief, Paul Revere did not set out on the night of
April 18th, 1775 to alert the countryside to the impending British march.
His specific goal was to ride to Lexington to warn two prominent Colonial
leaders, Samuel Adams and John Hancock, that their lives might be in danger.
Having departed Boston by boat across the Back Bay, and narrowly averting
notice by the H.M.S Somerset anchored there; he procured a strong, quick
Yankee horse and rode west toward Lexington.
He avoided British patrols by taking a detour north through the village
of Mystic (today's Medford). It was near midnight by the time he arrived
in Lexington at the home of minister Jonas Clarke, where Adams and Hancock
were staying. After alerting the household, it was decided that the approaching
British force, by all accounts a large one, must have an object other
than the capture of two prominent Yankee Whigs. They decided that they
must be after the stores of munitions located farther to the west, in
Concord. Revere again rose into the saddle. Accompanied this time by another
rider, William Dawes, he set off to warn the citizens of Concord.
Paul Revere's Capture in Lincoln
Shortly after departing from the Clarke house, Revere and Dawes met another
patriot on the road, Dr. Samuel Prescott. He joined the pair of riders
and the three men agreed to stop at every house they passed on the way
to Concord and warn the inhabitants of the British advance. Their luck
ran out just over the Lexington-Lincoln town line. While the others were
warning some families at a small cluster of farms, Revere ran straight
into a British ambush. At first, he saw only two soldiers and called to
his friends to help him overpower them.
As Dawes and Prescott arrived, the British held the three riders at gunpoint
and herded them into a nearby field. Before they could question them however,
Prescott suddenly turned his horse and galloped away into the dark woods.
Revere turned in the opposite direction and also tried to escape, but
was chased down by more British soldiers joining the initial ambush party.
While the British focused on Revere, Dawes managed to get away. The understandably
irate British soldiers questioned Revere for a short time. He informed
them that the entire countryside was being warned of the approaching British
The reconnaissance troops took Revere with them as far as Lexington, where
it became clear that he had indeed been telling the truth - the countryside
was beginning to take up arms. Here in Lexington, they released him and
rode east, as fast as they could, to warn the main force already on the
march from Boston.
Lexington Battle Green
In the murky dawn of April 19th, 1775, a British expeditionary force,
on the orders of General Thomas Gage and led by Lieutenant Colonel Francis
Smith, approached the small town of Lexington, Massachusetts. The soldiers,
numbering between 800 and 900 men in 21 companies, had departed from Boston
the night before.
Their mission: to find and capture Yankee munitions that were stored in
Concord. By the time they reached Lexington however, they found themselves
faced down by a growing number of local militiamen arrayed on the town
Common. Major John Pitcairn's British light infantry was deployed on the
Common directly opposite the band of minutemen led by Captain John Parker.
"Stand your ground," Parker said to his apprehensive troops.
"Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let
it begin here."
No one knows for sure who fired the first shot of the first battle of
the War for Independence. All that is certain is that a heavy toll was
extracted from the defiant American militiamen. In the wild, undisciplined
firing followed the first mysterious shot and two Lexington men fell dead
on the line where they stood. Other militiamen briefly returned fire and
then joined their comrades in a confused, smoke-shrouded retreat.
The British soldiers continued firing into the fleeing crowds, killing
more Americans as they tried to escape back into their homes. Only when
Colonel Smith himself arrived on the Common were the soldiers commanded
to cease fire and form up. As the families of Lexington nursed their wounded
and mourned their dead, the British column continued their march toward
more information about Paul Revere, check our links page.