Friday, October 11, 2013

Byfield Minutemen

And the shot heard ’round the world
Was the start of the Revolution
The Minutemen were ready, on the move
                                    -School House Rock


       From very early in our education, most Americans have heard about the minutemen, fighting for our independence at Lexington and Concord.  Did any of you know that Byfield had its own corps of minutemen?  Massachusetts was a hotbed of patriot activity and Byfield was no exception.  The archives contains a small notebook dated January 31, 1775 and labeled, “A List of Soldiers in the Training Band belonging to Byfield Company.”  The handwritten list includes the names of approximately eighty men.  One of the interesting details about this list is the time of its formation, almost three months prior to the first battles at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775 and more than a year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence!  For a small town, it was a trendsetter in its day.

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