|Concord's Old North Bridge|
|On the morning of April 19, 1775, Concord's Old North Bridge was the site of the first American victory in the Revolutionary War.|
At dawn on the morning of April 19th, 1775, the Lexington Minutemen, far outnumbered, exchanged shots with British regulars on Lexington Green. Minutemen fell wounded and dead, and the British advance toward Concord and Colonel Barrett's farm, said to hold an illegal arms cache, continued.
The Concord Fight
As a British task force returned from Colonel Barrett's farm over the North Bridge (map) next to the Old Manse, they were met by Minuteman companies from Concord and the neighboring towns of Acton, Bedford and Lincoln. Shots rang out, the Minutemen advanced, the British retreated and, victorious, the Minutemen harrassed the king's redcoats all the way back to Boston. More...
Visiting the Bridge
Concord's Old North Bridge (photos), now part of Minuteman National Historical Park, is an easy 6/10-mile (1-km), 10-minute walk from Monument Square along Monument Street, one of the town's prettiest streets (map), and past the Old Manse.
Every visitor to Concord makes the patriotic pilgrimage to the Old North Bridge, walking from the parking lot 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:
Beyond the statue, follow the gravel path uphill through the meadow to the Buttrick Mansion, now a National Park visitor center and shop.
Old Manse & Barrett's Farm
Right next to Old North Bridge is the Old Manse, historic home to the Emerson clan and, for a short time, to author newlywed Nathaniel Hawthorne and his bride, Sophia. More...
About two miles to the west along Barrett's Mill Road is Colonel Barrett's Farm, the goal of the British redcoats on that fateful day. More...
Caesar Robbins House
At the far edge of the Old North Bridge parking lot is the restored Caesar Robbins House, now Concord's African-American and Abolitionist History Center. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan