Who Fired At Lexington? Who fired first at Lexington? This question seems to remain a mystery until now, but after much research, and answer has been decided. After scouring through many affidavits, maps, paintings, and such, I have learned that the most logical answer is that the King’s troops, or the British, were the ones who opened fire unto the colonial troops. There is credible testimony as well as a piece of art that leads to this conclusion.
To begin with, there are two witnesses to the Battle at Lexington and Concord that openly admit to the British being the ones to first open fire.
John Parker, the commander of the militia in Lexington, accounts that upon hearing that the British troops were approaching he gave orders to his men to “disperse and not to fire”. He then also recalls that his men were rushed by the British troops who opened fire and killed eight of their party without receiving any provoking from the militia in Lexington. Another man, Simon Winship gives account of his experience on the night of the Battle at Lexington and Concord.
He states that he was riding his horse on the public road in Lexington, unarmed, when he was approached by the British troops and ordered to dismount his horse. When he asked why, he was removed from his horse by force from the British commanders. The commanding men ordered Winship to march with the troops. He refused, but somehow ended up marching with them for half of a quarter of a mile. The troops were told to halt, prime and load their weapons. The troops then marched on until they came into contact with Captain Parker’s militia.
He then recounts that an officer at the head of the said British troops, “flourished his sword, and with a loud voice, giving the word fire, fire, which was instantly followed by a discharge of arms from said troops”. Winship accounts that he is positive that there was no discharge of arms from either side until the word fire was given by the said officer. A painting also gave credible representation of the events that occurred that night. The painting clearly displays the King’s regiment, marching into the space that was occupied by the colonists.
The Colonial troops, dispersed and held their ground without provoking the red coats to attack. The commander of the British troops, is shown atop his horse waving his sword in the air as to commence the attack on the Colonial troops. It is obvious as demonstrated by the evidence, that the King’s troops were the offending party which opened fire on the Colonial troops. Even though there was testimony accounting that the Colonial troops were the ones to open fire, they were discounted as credible due to their biased position.