Thursday 11 July 2024

Archeologists Find Musket Balls Fired By Patriots During First Battle Of American Revolution

 Archeologists announced on Tuesday that they had discovered five musket balls in Massachusetts likely fired by Patriot forces at the British during the first battle in America’s war for independence. 

The National Park Service said that the musket balls were found at the North Bridge Battle site in Concord, Massachusetts, part of the Lexington and Concord battlefield. According to the archeologists, the musket balls were fired by members of a colonial militia that had mustered on April 19, 1775, to confront the British who were in Concord to confiscate a colonist ammunition store. 

“It’s incredible that we can stand here and hold what amounts to just a few seconds of history that changed the world almost 250 years ago,” said Minute Man Park Ranger and historic weapons specialist Jarrad Fuoss. “These musket balls can be considered collectively as ‘The Shot Heard Round the World,’ and it is incredible that they have survived this long. It is also a poignant reminder that we are all stewards of this battlefield and are here to preserve and protect our shared history.”

The discovery was made as archeologists made preparations for new improvements and restorations at the Minute Man National Historical Park. According to the National Park Service, the musket balls were found on the side of a river where the British were stationed. The musket balls were fired from the other side of the river where the colonists were coming from, according to analysis from the archeologists. 

“Pulling one of those out of the ground, being able to hold it in your hand knowing the last person to touch this musket ball was ramming it down the barrel of their gun on the morning of April 19, 1775 is incredible,” Fuoss told CBS News.  

On April 19, about 200 British soldiers arrived in Concord looking to confiscate ammunition and artillery pieces they believed to be stored at the home of Col. James Barrett. The British had just come from Lexington where they had fired upon a group of militiamen who had gathered on the town’s green after an unknown person fired the first shot of the war. 


Once in Concord, the British were again challenged by more militiamen after the colonists believed their homes had started being put on fire. The militiamen started marching toward the North Bridge where they were fired upon by the British and returned fire. The skirmish lasted less than three minutes with the gunfire becoming known there as “the shot heard round the world.” Even more British were killed as they retreated away from Concord. 

At the end of the day, 93 Americans and 300 British were dead after what would become recognized as the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War. 

Tourists to Concord will be able to see the musket balls on display on July 13. 

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