Capt. Man Parker was dying of usage when the led 70 militiamen against 700 brothers regulars throughout the battle of Lexington.

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Capt. Man Parker, Detroit posting Co., courtesy Library of Congress

Born July 13, 1729, in Lexington, Mass., he had actually lived 45 years and didn’t have one much more left. However his army experience made the a natural choice to command the regional militia. He had combated in the French and Indian War, then resolved down together a farmer, mechanic and town officer. He and also his wife, Lydia Moore Parker, had seven children.

His grandson, Theodore Parker, described him as “a great, high man, through a big head, and a high, vast brow.”

On April 18, 1775, locals had actually seen redcoats in the area, including placed officers. That night, Paul Revere and other to express riders swarmed the countryside, spreading the alarm.

A messenger had roused Parker from his sickbed come tell the the brothers regulars had left Boston and were headed towards Concord.

John Parker left his home in the wee hrs of April 19 and also walked 2 miles to the Lexington Green. There, 30 militiamen — farmers mostly — waited in the dark because that the arrival of brothers troops. Parker sent two males to enlightenment the British. One returned saying he’d checked out nothing. At the cracked of dawn the other scout come galloping increase the roadway shouting the regulars were just a mile behind him.

Parker notified the drummer come beat a contact to arms. He lined up his 77 militiamen in 2 lines on the Lexington green. Then he referred to as the roll, and also told them to load their firearms with powder and ball.

The British

Lt. Col. Francis Smith, command of the expedition to Concord, had his very own scouts. Indigenous them he learned the militia might shot to oppose his troops on your march come Concord. That ordered a detachment of light infantry come march ahead under the command that Maj. Man Pitcairn.

As the redcoats came right into view, part heard Parker say, “Stand her ground. Nothing fire unless fired upon, but if they average to have actually a war, permit it begin here.” Paul Revere, off to the side, heard that say, “Let the soldiers pass by. Carry out not molest them without they begin first.”

A brothers officer, probably Pitcairn, then yelled, “Throw down your arms! Ye villains, ye rebels!”

Parker ordered his guys to disperse, however they didn’t all hear him, perhaps due to the fact that his disease left him v a raspy voice. Part men had turned their backs when the well known shot go off. The redcoats fired at the militiamen and then charged through bayonets. Col. Francis Smith then arrived through the key body and saw brothers soldiers running amok. That ordered his drummer come play “Down Arms,” again and also again. Ultimately the troops went back to their ranks.

John Parker saw his cousin, Jonas Parker, lie on the ground, bayoneted come death. Seven other Americans died, eight to be wounded. Col. Smith ordered the guys to march on come Concord to seize arms and ammunition. The british fired a success volley and marched the end of Lexington.


Line of the Minutemen Memorial, courtesy Library of Congress

In Concord, 500 militiamen required the brothers troops come retreat–back with Lexington.

Parker’s Revenge

Parker rallied his men, once they’d acquired over their shock and also bandaged their wounds. Castle reformed follow me the roadway the British would certainly take on their way back come Boston. As soon as the redcoats appeared, Parker’s males fired top top them native behind rocks and also trees in an strike called “Parker’s Revenge.” One musket ball hit Lt. Col. Smith in the thigh and also knocked him from his horse.

Archaeologists in 2017 located and mapped Parker’s Revenge. Lock concluded that the British were ordered to heat up near the bottom the a granite outcrop. Parker’s men fired one volley, climate turned and also ran end the hill, planning to intercept the redcoats again. The brother troops climate fired a single time and also ran after the militiamen, bayonets fixed. (Watch the video here.)

Colonial forces repeated those tactics as the brother retreated, inflicting hefty casualties. They eliminated 79 brothers soldiers and wounded 174, shedding 49 themselves over the course of the day.


John Parker participated in the Siege the Boston, which started as soon as the british returned. However his tuberculosis evolved to the allude that he couldn’t join in the battle of Bunker Hill. He passed away on Sept. 17, 1775.

His grandson, abolitionist Theodore Parker, aided keep his memory alive. Parker inherited his eloquence, motivating some of the most renowned speeches through Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. In the 19th century, Parker gave two of john Parker’s muskets to the commonwealth of Massachusetts. They hung in the Senate room in the Statehouse till a remodeling in 2018.

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The frostbite The Lexington Minuteman, put up in 1900, is stated to it is in modeled ~ above Capt. Man Parker, despite there room no known likenesses that him.