ebel leaders knowing they did not have anything like a consensus amongst the colonists for them to seize control, started organising
gangs of thugs to intimidate isolated government officials and royalists, particularly in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Intimidation quickly turned to persecution, which included all sorts of
torture, one form widely used was 'smokingí (leaving someone tied up in a sealed room overnight with a fire and a blocked chimney) only
letting them out if they resigned their posts or signed a pledge opposing British authority.
British soldiers were sent to protect citizens, but there were nowhere near enough of them to stop the rebel's random attacks, even
staunch Loyalist areas became unsafe. In response various groups tried to organise a defence, but not being the malicious ruffians
employed by the rebels they were nearly always met with overwhelming savagery, this caused a steady stream of families arriving in Boston,
to the point of overcrowding, which then drove out the rebel supporters.
The majority of the colonists did not want the breakdown of law and order these gangs and their leaders would bring, so determined
Loyalists covertly supplied the British with good intelligence, including that rebels were amassing small arms and cannon at Concord.
Lt General Gage commander of British forces who thought with good reason that the rebels were sly, artful, hypocritical, and cruel, knew
that any wrong move would spark a civil war, so wishing to avoid bloodshed, devised a counter revolutionary plan to confiscate
the rebelís stockpile of gunpowder, musket balls and cannons.
The redcoats didnít expect any hostilities and were confident of success so only took 35 rounds each, but Gageís wife Margaret, an American,
had conflicting allegiance (indicated by a lament to a friend 'Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose') so deliberately or unwittingly
informed the rebels of the plan.
Folklore has credited Paul Revere with alerting Concord of the approaching regulars, but his horse was taken at Lexington by a British
patrol and it was Samuel Prescott who managed to get through to set off their warning system of other riders, (who Loyalists called
Ďminutemení) which enabled them to assemble approx. 3600 armed men from all over New England.
On arrival at Lexington the redcoats who were only 900 strong, confronted Parkerís militia and convinced them to disperse,
but just as doing so, shots were fired at both sides from behind a wall (most probably by wealthy smuggler Hancock and rebel leader Samuel
Adams, who were known to be there at the time) this started both sides firing at each other in which several Militiamen were killed.
Although heavily outnumbered the British pressed onto Concord, not knowing they had been betrayed obviously found
nothing left at Barrettís Farm, so started searching the surrounding area and colonist's homes. They did find 3 buried cannons that they
knocked the trunnions off and a large number of musket balls
It was this that the rebels used to enrage other colonists to get them to attack the redcoats. Then under attack the redcoats
were quickly out of ammunition, but just as seriously they were also out of water, forcing them to withdraw.
But on returning along the only road, they were like half dead fish in a barrel and were being decimated, wounded redcoats were set
upon to barbarically break their skulls, so they would live for an hour or so before expiring.
At Arlington redcoat discipline had broken down and anyone caught sniping at them from house windows (mainly women) were either
bayoneted or had their homes burnt down.
The Rebels planned aggression had killed/murdered 273 redcoats, but would have killed even more had Gage not been informed and able
to send out a relief column under the command of Gen. Percy who deployed flankers that kept the rebelís rolling sniper tactics at bay.
Having provoked the conflict they wanted, wealthy rebels then chartered Quero, a fast schooner to race across the Atlantic empty
and deliver their version of events blaming the British to English newspapers before Gageís official report to ministers could arrive on a
heavily laden merchant ship two weeks later.
The rebel propaganda had started its devious mudding of the water which confused the British response, so when Generals: Howe, Clinton
and Burgoyne (already on their way) arrived in Boston on May 25th they didnít know what they were dealing with, resulting in them losing
many men at the battle of Breedís (Bunker) hill on June 17th, becoming surrounded, beleaguered, eventually
having to vacate the city and with so very many Loyalists losing their property, the thieves had triumphed.