Minuteman , in U. The first minutemen were organized in Worcester county, Massachusetts, in September , when revolutionary leaders sought to eliminate Tories from the old militia by requiring the resignation of all officers and reconstituting the men into seven regiments with new officers. The first great test of the minutemen was at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, On July 18, , the Continental Congress recommended that other colonies organize units of minutemen; Maryland, New Hampshire , and Connecticut are known to have complied.
The Minute Men
Although the terms militia and minutemen are sometimes used interchangeably today, in the 18th century there was a decided difference between the two. Militia were men in arms formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion and ravages of war. Minutemen were a small hand-picked elite force which were required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly. Minutemen were selected from militia muster rolls by their commanding officers. Typically 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. Usually about one quarter of the militia served as Minutemen, performing additional duties as such. The Minutemen were the first armed militia to arrive or await a battle. Although today Minutemen are thought of as connected to the Revolutionary War in America, their existence was conceived in Massachusetts during the mid-seventeenth century. As early as , men were selected from the militia ranks to be dressed with matchlocks or pikes and accoutrements within half an hour of being warned. In another type of Minuteman company came into existence.
Frequently bought together
The Minutemen and Their World , first published in , is reissued now in a twenty-fifth anniversary edition with a new Foreword by Alan Taylor and a new Afterword by the author. The "shot heard round the world" catapulted this sleepy New England town into the midst of revolutionary fervor, and Concord went on to become the intellectual capital of the new republic. The town--future home to Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne--soon came to symbolize devotion to liberty, intellectual freedom, and the stubborn integrity of rural life. In The Minutemen and Their World , Robert Gross has written a remarkably subtle and detailed reconstruction of the lives and community of this special place, and a compelling interpretation of the American Revolution as a social movement.
Armed American civilians who were active in the Revolutionary War and in the period just preceding the war. They were named Minutemen because they were ready to fight alongside regular soldiers at a moment's notice. The Minutemen of Massachusetts were especially well known. See Battle of Lexington and Concord.