As a result of the Boston Tea Party, the Parliament had passed a series of laws in 1773 to bring the colonies under control. These laws were called "The Coercive Acts" and did exactly what they meant, to coerce the colonies into submission.The colonists didn't hear about the Coercive Act until 1774 and by then started referring to them as the "Intolerable Acts".
The Coercive Acts banned free speech. Troops raided newspapers and smashed or confiscated printing presses.They did away with local control of towns, cities, counties and colonies. It removed local judges. A person could now be held without warrant and sent back to England to be judged for any crime the crown could think up.
Under the Coercive Acts, militias were banned as was military type training. Importation of black powder and muskets was stopped.
In December of 1774, General Thomas Gage, commander of all British forces in north America and military governor of Massachusetts ordered another raid. This time the plan was to send a ship load of troops up to New Hampshire to secure the powder and weapons stored at an outpost called Fort William and Mary. The fort was manned by an officer and a small number of regulars.
Paul Revere's intelligence network, called "The Mechanics" because the were all tradesmen, notified him and he made the long ride to the fort in a snowstorm. He contacted the local militia, which was now outlawed and they gathered 250 men and stormed the fort. Shots were fired, people were wounded but no one was killed. The fort was taken and the militia relieved the fort of powder, muskets and small artillery pieces. The militia melted back into the country side.
The governor of New Hampshire was outraged. He sent a message to Gen. Gage telling him of the armed insurrection. The ship load of soldiers had been delayed because of a snow squall and didn't make it for another day. To add insult to injury the ship was run aground by the harbor pilot.
The score was now the Regulars 1, Colonists 1. The next raid wouldn't be tried for another couple months.
Revolutionary War Veterans Association presents Project Appleseed-Marksmanship and History www.appleseedinfo.org
Last edited by mac66; 01-31-2013 at 09:23..