“News from the Hut”
for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham
As the Post Historian I am pleased to put that hat on today for this report. I have been watching a new show on the American Movie channel (AMC) called TURN. It is the story of the beginnings of the Patriots struggle for freedom, from the Crown of England and the first use of spies. I found it interesting that the series began in this week. Having been in Boston I gained a real sense of that history. I had lunch in Paul Revere’s Tavern, and the Green Dragon Tavern. The Green Dragon was the popular hangout for British officers to drink and discuss strategies while Patriot spies lay under the floor boards taking notes.
On 19 April 1775, (at about 5 a.m.) 700 British troop marched with a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal. They marched into Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse and after a moments hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green.
When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had started. By 1775, tensions between the American colonies and the British government approached the breaking point especially in Massachusetts. In the spring of 1775, General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, issued orders to seize all of weapons and gunpowder accessible to the American insurgents.
On April 18, he ordered British troops to march against the Patriot arsenal at Concord and capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock known to be hiding at Lexington. The Boston Patriots had been preparing for such a military action by the British for some time and upon learning of the British plan Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes were ordered to set out to rouse the militiamen and warn Adams and Hancock. When the British troops arrived at a group of militiamen were waiting. The Patriots were routed within minutes but warfare had begun leading to calls to arms across the Massachusetts countryside. When the British troops reached Concord at about 7 a.m., they found themselves encircled by hundreds of armed Patriots. They were soon advanced against by the minutemen who inflicted numerous casualties.
Lieutenant Colonel Frances Smith was the overall commander of the British force. He ordered his men to return to Boston. As the British retraced their 16-mile journey their lines were constantly beset by Patriot marksmen firing at them Indian-style from behind trees, rocks, and stone walls.
At Lexington, Captain Parker’s militia had its revenge killing several British soldiers as the Red Coats hastily marched through his town. By the time the British finally reached the safety of Boston nearly 300 British soldiers had been killed, wounded, or were missing in action. The Patriots suffered fewer than 100 casualties. The battles of Lexington and Concord were the first battles of the American Revolution. This conflict would escalate from a colonial uprising into a world war that seven years later would give birth to the independent United States of America.
Be sure to remember the $1 raffle ticket for $100 in beef from Wild Country. If you see donation jars around town please buy a ticket. And when you eat at Wild Country tell them to thank Chris for being a patriot by supporting ours. The drawing will be the Monday morning after Easter Sunday on 21 April during our weekly breakfast gathering. Grilling time approaches!
The next Thursday meeting is April 17th. Jerry Sebert announced that a dinner of cornbread, beans and ham would be prepared for Legion members for the meeting. The meal will start at 6:00pm.
Commander “Doc” O’Leary reminds us that Post elections will take place next month in May. Any member can run for any of the elected Post positions. He also wanted us to remember that Medal of Honor Day is approaching; the Ceremony honoring MOH awardees will take place in Tulsa at Veterans Park [21st and Boulder] 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday April 26th. This year the guest of honor will be SFC Melvin Morris, USA [Ret] a former Special Forces [E-7] from the Vietnam War. Doc encourages all Legion members and family attend this event.
Our regular meetings are the first and third Thursday Chow at 1800 hrs and meeting at 1900 hrs (April 17th) if weather does not present a challenge. Our Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings for April are still up and running starting around 0700 till about 0900 if weather is above freezing and hospitable. Eli and Jerry usually have things set up where we can catch up on each others mischief and story telling. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print!