Includes accounts of the fighting written by witnesses and soldiers.
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On April 19, 1775, the "shot heard 'round the world" was fired at Lexington, officially starting the Revolutionary War between the colonists and the British Empire. Though Lexington and Concord were the scenes of the first fighting, contingency plans had been made on both sides for war, and immediately after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the colonial militia men who had poured in from across the countryside converged on Boston, which at the time was a peninsula with a small neck attaching it to the rest of Massachusetts. With the Charles River surrounding it on three sides, Boston was an ideal city to lay siege to.
Initially, the militias blocked off the land approaches to Boston, but when 4,500 more British soldiers arrived by sea, the American forces fell back to adjacent hills on the Charlestown Peninsula, Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill. At this time, the colonists and colonial forces were still unclear of their ultimate goals; the Second Continental Congress would not formally declare independence for another year.
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