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Transcript of Continental Congress
In September 1774, all the colonies except Georgia sent delegates to Philadelphia to organize the Continental Congress.
These included Sam and John Adams, John Jay, Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, and George Washington.
The congress decided a number of things on their first meeting.
The first was to boycott all British goods.
The second was to endorse the Suffolk Resolves, which were resolutions ordering everyone to join militias.
The colonists had managed to gather a large amount of weapons and ammunition- this was hidden in stockpiles, including one in Concord, near Boston.
British General Thomas Gage, in command at Boston, sent a few thousand soldiers to take it.
Paul Revere's Ride
Paul Revere and William Dawes saw the soldiers leaving Boston at night and rushed to alert the militias in the country.
They cried "The regulars are out!" Samuel Adams, upon hearing the news, proclaimed "What a glorious morning it is!"
At dawn, the redcoats were met by 77 militia. They exchanged shots and eight militia were killed.
It was "the shot heard round the world."
Concord and Back
When the British arrive at Concord, they find that the arms have already been moved.
Worse, a much larger force of militia has gathered. Using guerilla tactics, they fired on the British all the way back to Boston, inflicting about 250 casualties.
The call goes out
All over New England, people are worked up.
20,000 men rally around Boston and begin a seige, waiting for the British to make their next move.
Battle of Bunker Hill
On June 16, 1775, 1,200 militia set up fortifications on Breed's Hill, across the harbor from Boston.
The next day the redcoats attacked, charging up the hill with bayonets.
The Americans fired upon them until they ran out of ammunition and had to retreat- they inflicted 1,000 British casualties and did something even more unthinkable- they fired at officers.
The British were shocked that their men had taken so many casualties. It was what we call a phyrric victory.
One British officer wrote in his diary: "A dear bought victory. Another such would have ruined us."
Americans were now choosing sides- either to become a patriot and support the war or a loyalist and support the British.