Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Under orders from London to initiate action against a Massachusetts, indeed an entire region, perilously close to open rebellion, General Thomas Gage was forced to act. Trapped in his Boston base, planned for a sortie in the direction of Concord to capture arms and ammunition and possibly, but not likely, capture the leaders of the Provincial Congress. He created a special unit made up of grenadiers, who were chosen because they were tall and strong, and swift-moving light infantry. He placed Colonel Francis Smith in overall command and Major John Pitcairn over the light infantry. In his choice of leaders and men Gage stumbled badly. He was combining units that did not know each other or their tactical behavior with leaders who did not know their men. A marine, there was no way Pitcairn did could know Army tactics.

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