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Who Were the Minutemen?

Although the terms militia and minutemen are sometimes used interchangeably today, in the 18th century there was a decided difference between the two. Militia were men in arms formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion and ravages of war. Minutemen were a small hand-picked elite force which were required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly. Minutemen were selected from militia muster rolls by their commanding officers. Typically 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. Usually about one quarter of the militia served as Minutemen, performing additional duties as such. The Minutemen were the first armed militia to arrive or await a battle. Although today Minutemen are thought of as connected to the Revolutionary War in America, their existence was conceived in Massachusetts during the mid-seventeenth century. As early as 1645, men were selected from the militia ranks to be dressed with matchlocks or pikes and accoutrements within half an hour of being warned. In 1689 another type of Minuteman company came into existence. Called Snowshoemen, each was to "provide himself with a good pair of snowshoes, one pair of moggisons, and one hatchet" and to be ready to march on a moment's warning. Minutemen also played a role in the French and Indian War in the 1750's. A journal entry from Samuel Thompson, a Massachusetts militia officer, states, "...but when our men were gone, they sent eleven more at one minute's warning, with 3 days provision..." By the time of the Revolution, Minutemen had been a well-trained force for six generations in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Every town had maintained its 'training band'. The adversity that this region faced-Native-American uprisings, war with France, and potential for local insurrections, social unrest, and rioting-provided ample reason to adhere to a sound militia organization. In his recent book, perhaps David Hackett Fischer puts it best, "The muster of the Minutemen in 1775 was the product of many years of institutional was also the result of careful planning and collective effort." (p. 151). By the time of the Revolution, Massachusetts had been training, drilling, and improving their militia for well over a hundred years. Unfortunately, one thing the Minutemen lacked was central leadership. This disadvantage would lead to their dissolution. In February of 1775 Concord was one of the first towns to comply with the order to create Minutemen companies out of the militia. Of approximately 400 militia from Concord's muster rolls, one hundred would also serve as Minutemen. When a battle took place Minutemen companies from several towns combined their units. An officer from the 43rd Regiment of Foot was sent to the North Bridge in Concord with a number of light infantry. Minutemen from Concord, Acton, Littleton, and other towns combined forces. After a few volleys were fired, the British light infantry retreated back to the Concord Common area. Lacking central command, with each company of Minutemen loyal to their own town, they did not pursue the redcoats. In the running battle that ensued fifteen miles back to Boston the Massachusetts militia would see their last action as Minutemen in history. The militia would go on to form an army, surrounding Boston and inflicting heavy casualties on the British army at Bunker and Breed's Hill. Thus, although lacking central command, the Minutemen were still better organized and battle-tested than any other part-time military. They were a vital and necessary force, playing a crucial role in not only the Revolutionary War, but in earlier conflicts. Without these "ready in a minute" men, our history may have been written in a very different way.

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โˆ™ 2010-12-22 01:28:22
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Q: Who were the minutemen and what did they do in the American Revolution?
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Related questions

What did minutemen do before the American Revolution?

The minutemen weren't formed until during the American Revolution.

Minutemen American revolution?

Minutemen were patriots who could be ready to fight at a minutes notice.

What war did the minutemen prepared to fight?

the American Revolution

What was the nickname given to the colonial soldiers in the american revolution?

The nickname given to the Colonial Soldiers in the American Revolution was Minutemen. They were called this because they were to go to fight in a minutes notice.

What war did the fighting between the redcoats and the minutemen occur?

The American Revolution

Name given to those who fought against Britain in the American Revolution?

Patriots minutemen

Why was British soldiers and minutemen fighting so important?

It officially started the American Revolution.

What did American soldiers call themselves during the revolution?

Revolutionaries or Minutemen(supposedly because they were ready in a minute)

What is another name for the name Minutemen?

American militia. The minute men were American militia that would be ready to fight on a minutes notice during the American Revolution.

Why did minutemen lead to revultion in the colonies?

minutemen didn't lead to the revolution, salutary neglect of the colonies did, the minutemen won the revolutionary war for the USA among other factors.

What is the nickname given to the militiamen that fought in the revolution?

That is the 'Minutemen'

Did the American minutemen forced the british redcoats to retreat from concord Massachusetts?

Yes the American minutemen did force the British to retreat from Concord, Mass.

Who sided with the minutemen?

The minutemen were American colonists who were formed for the cause of fighting in the Revolutionary War. The Americans sided with them.

Where did the minutemen fight back?

They fought in the colonies against the British in the revolution.

What is the first 3 major battles of The American Revolution?

The first 3 battles were in Lexington, Concord, and Boston. The British first tried comming to Lexington to sieze the minutemen, but They were ready. The British had to retreat to Concord, and then Boston leaving them with the first 3 battles of the American Revolution.

Where were the two places the British and American colonists engaged in battle for the first time?

Lexington and Concord, where minutemen began fighting early in the American Revolution and inspired many patriots.

Were minutemen the same thing as patriots?

While Patriots could be anyone who wanted the American colonies to be liberated from British subjugation and desired independence., Minutemen, though patriotic as well, were part if a well prepared military group. They had high mobility and responded to any aggression quickly. They were among to first to actually fight in the American Revolution.

Why did the colonists win the revolution?

Because the minutemen and the leaders worked well together.

Why were certain Continental Army called minutemen?

Minutemenwere members of teams of select men from the American colonial partisan militia during the American revolutionary war. They provided a highly mobile, rapidly deployed force that allowed the colonies to respond immediately to war threats.The minutemen were among the first people to fight in the American Revolution. Their teams constituted about a quarter of the entire militia. Generally younger and more mobile, they served as part of a network for early response.

American hero who warned the minutemen?

paul revere

American hero who warned minutemen?

William Dawes

What happened on April 19 1775?

The US colonial militia (Minutemen) fought the British Army in Lexington and Concord, beginning the American Revolution (Revolutionary War, 1775-1783).

What was the significance of Lexington and Concord?

When minutemen began fighting early in the American Revolution. Their efforts at Lexington and Concord inspired many patriots to take up arms against Britain.

How was the life of minutemen during the revolution?

Not the best since some of them didn't even have boots to wear during the war. Still the belif in freedom led the american soilders to victory.

What were the colonial soldiers that were ready to fight at moment's notice?

These soldiers of the American Revolution were known as minutemen, because, as the story goes, they were expected to be ready to fight within one minute.

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