Bedford Minutemen Follow Tradition on Patriots’ Day


Members of the Bedford Minuteman Company had breakfast on Monday at the Fitch Tavern before heading to march in the Concord Patriots’ Day parade. Courtesy photo

Submitted by the Bedford Minuteman Company

The Bedford Minuteman Company had breakfast in the historic Fitch Tavern at 5:30 a.m. on Patriots’ Day and then proceeded to march the original five-mile route to Concord to join the other minuteman companies to celebrate the 249th anniversary of the start of the American Revolution.

The day follows the tradition of the original Bedford patriots. On the morning of April 19, 1775, they met early for breakfast at the Fitch Tavern, where, as Bedford Town Historian and author Sharon McDonald retells in her book “Bedford History for Kids,” Captain Jonathan Willson was quoted as saying, “It’s a cold breakfast, boys, but we’ll give the British a hot dinner – we’ll have every dog of them before night.”  

The men grabbed their muskets and gathered at the old oak tree (this is now Willson Park, where Bedford’s annual Liberty Pole Capping event is held). More than 70 men, including minutemen, militia, boys, and farmers marched to Concord with Cornet Nathanial Page carrying the Bedford Flag. 

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Captain Willson commanded them at the North Bridge, and, with them, rained musket shot on the British Regulars all along the Battle Road. But he did not live to see the evening. In the thick fighting on the road through Lincoln, Captain Willson was shot and killed.

The Bedford Minutemen march to Concord on Patriots’ Day, following the original line of march of the original local patriots. Courtesy photo
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