Sunday, April 15, 2018

CC3 (part 2) - Barrett's Farm, Ground Zero for the American Revolution

Paul Revere's Ride/

Patriot's Day

It's observed to remember the Battle of Lexington and Concord, near Boston, the start of the American Revolution in 1775.

Maine and Massachusetts have marked the third Monday in April as a state holiday, but Wisconsin sticks to the actual date of April 19th. { reference: Patriot's Day in the United States }

On the evening of April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren of Boston summoned an express rider Paul Revere to bring news to Lexington, Massachusetts that British regular troops were about to march into the countryside northwest of Boston.

It seemed these troops had planned to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were staying in Lexington. Then continue on to Concord. { reference: The Real Story of Revere's Ride }

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalizes Paul Revere and these events, as shown below in the reading of this poem:

There was some artistic license in this account. For the rest of the story about Paul Revere's Ride:  Longfellow's Poem, "Paul Revere's Ride"

What brought the British regulars to Lexington and Concord?

It seemed British spies had gleaned that illegal arms and other military contraband were hidden on Colonel James Barrett's Farm, which was three miles northwest of Concord. In fact, Colonel Barrett, commander of the Middlesex Minutemen, directed the stashing of arms and supplies and having them stored on his farm.

So on April 19, 1775, the Redcoats crossed the North Bridge over the Concord River. But musket fire from 6000 Minutemen under the command of Colonel Barrett turned them back.  
This was the first American victory of the Revolutionary War , now celebrated each April on Patriots Day.  { reference: Barrett Farm, Concord, Massachusetts }

Hence, Barrett's Farm is a key catalyst for the American Revolution: James Barrett's Farm

*  *  *

In the series, The Commander and the Chief,  the Commander is Reginald Barrett of Her Majesty's Royal Navy. But Book 3 reveals he had some revolting American cousins, who colonized across the pond a few hundred years ago.

In the following scene, the Commander's best friend, Colonel Jack Sheffield of the British Army Reserve, is engaged to former US Navy Lieutenant Charlotte "Charlie" Dickerson. The venue of their marriage? Peacemaker Chapel on the Chief's ranch in Wyoming.

But  Charlie and Jack swing by Nevada first to visit Colonel Frank Dickerson, retired. A patriot himself, Frank did some research on his future son-in-law's best man, Commander Barrett.

Frank discusses the upcoming wedding, after running Charlie and Jack through the Assault and Prepper Course near Devil's Basin, Nevada:

Frank grew a wide grin. “You know guests come from all over the world. Pay good money for this, Jacko.”
“Right-o.” Jack skewed his mustache. “Like that old American story. White Washing the Fence.”
“Good old Tom Sawyer.” Frank punched Jack on the arm. “Mark Twain, he was on to something. And this course, it ain’t cheap. Consider it one of my wedding presents.”
Charlie finished her drink. “I thought we’re going to do this course on our honeymoon, Dad.” 
Jack raised his blond eyebrows. “And I can think of other things I’d rather be doing with you on our honeymoon.” 
“So Charlie told you, Jacko?” Frank asked while Charlie was mouthing – No, Dad.
“Tell me what?”
“During your honeymoon.” Frank slapped Jack on the back. “The Appleseed Shoot.”
“You mean like shooting apples from heads? As in William Tell?” 
“Of course you wouldn’t know. You’re British. But I guarantee you’re gonna like this.”
Charlie pulled down her eyebrows. “Maybe not the last part, Dad.”
“Tell me, Frank.” Jack squinted at him. “I’m in your circle of trust.”
Frank thought they’d cap off the wedding celebration in Wyoming with an Appleseed Shoot. A few days after the kids tied the knot. It was scheduled for April 19. Patriots Day. The very date that marked the start of the American Revolution in 1775.
Each exercise in this shoot came with a lesson in American history. Like Paul Revere’s midnight ride, warning the patriots that the British were coming. 
One, if by land. Two, if by sea. … Yada yada yada. 
“And the course ends,” Frank said, “with us patriots shooting paper targets of British Red Coats.” 
Jack snapped open his eyes. “Now that’s not very nice. You know I’m a Red Coat…in the British Army Reserve.”
“It’s all right, son,” Frank said. “You’ve patched things up with us in the last 200 years. And don’t forget we saved your ass in World War One. And World War Two.”
Frank continued with the history lesson of the shot heard around the world in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. And Barrett’s Farm was Ground Zero. The storage site for the Concord Militia’s arms.
“Even back then, the goddam government was grabbing guns from patriots,” Frank said. 
“So when the Crown lost the colonies.” Jack chuckled. “It all started in this row over arms on Barrett’s Farm? Why does that name sound familiar to me?”
“Glad you asked. You see, I’ve done some research on your good buddy, the Commander. Who bears the same surname as our patriots. Such as the great Colonel James Barrett, who owned Barrett’s Farm.” 
“So? Reg is British. In Her Majesty’s Royal Navy. A son of a duke.”
“But ah-hah! Some of the Commander’s distant cousins were American colonists. Sided with the Continentals during the War. And some of them were the Barretts who owned Barrett’s Farm. Where the Revolution started in 1775. By that shot heard around the world.
“In fact, it was the Minute Men, the militia under the command of Colonel Barrett, that fired their muskets at the Red Coats. As they crossed the North Bridge over the Concord River. Turned back the British Army. It was the first American victory in the Revolutionary War. And April 19th has been known as Patriots Day ever since.”
Charlie looked worried. “Dad? Don’t’ tell me—”
“My present to the Commander. A certificate that he’s a bona fide member of SAR.”
“S.A—what?” Jack asked. 
Sons of the American Revolution.” Frank grinned. “The Chief sure knows how to pick her men.”
“Right-o.” Jack rolled his eyes. “Reg is going to love this.”

From Part 6: Land of Nye; Chapter 2, Assault and Prepper

*  *  *
The Sons of the Revolution, SAR, even have their own website:

Likewise, the Appleseed Shoot, a real event: Project Appleseed

And from the Project Appleseed about page:

Why “Appleseed?” “Appleseed” comes from Johnny Appleseed, the American folk hero who toured the country, planting appleseeds so that future generations would benefit. Project Appleseed is designed to ensure that future generations of Americans will learn and benefit from the lessons of our colonial past. 

Such as School House Rock did as shown here:

And to think if the British had won, we'd all be speaking English!

Back to the series:
* * *

During the wedding reception in Wyoming, Jack has some words about his best man.

“Just one more thing,” Jack added. “To remind this crowd of Americans and Brits. America’s England’s fault.”
“Not only that.” Jack put his arm about Reggie. “I learned through my new father-in-law, it’s the fault of my best man. Commander Reginald Barrett. As the American Revolution started in a row over arms on Barrett’s Farm. Owned by one of the Commander’s ancestors. Colonel James Barrett of the Massachusetts Colonial Militia.”
“And I have here,” Frank spoke up waving a paper, “a certificate that the Commander’s a bona fide member of SAR. Sons of the American Revolution.”
Reggie was expecting this and took a bow. “So the secrets out, everyone. America’s my fault.”

From Part 9: Sapphire Mountain Ranch; Chapter 8, America's England's Fault

And shortly after this toast, all hell breaks loose.

But you have to read it. So....

Buy the book:

* amazon (paperback or kindle)

* Barnes & Noble (paperback or Nook)

And remember, everyone...
America's England's fault!

Happy Patriot's Day!


Peacemaker, Book Three:

CC3 (part 1) - Peacemaker  (2017)


Photo: Paul Revere's Ride/

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