In the early dawn hours of April 19th, 1775, an alarm rider galloped his way throughout the town of
Acton, warning of the British advance out of Boston. The objective of the march was Concord,
where the British General, Thomas Gage, had heard there were stores of weapons, ammunition,
and supplies for a protracted military campaign. As such, when the alarm came to Captain Isaac
Davis, the leader of the Acton Minute Company, he sounded the alarm shots to rally his men to
come to his house and prepare to head off for Concord, a journey of about 7 miles.
Davis had said that when 30 men had arrived at his house, he would depart for Concord. As his
men arrived, Isaac's wife Hannah, who had been taking care of their four sick children, made the
men breakfast and helped them to powder their wigs. Then they formed up in two long columns
and headed out. They had only marched a few paces, when Davis halted them, walked back to
Hannah as if to say something profound to her, and said only "Take good care of the children".
Those would be the last words she would ever hear him say, for the Acton Minutemen marched off
to Concord, met the British head-on at the North Bridge, and Davis was shot and killed. He would
go down in history as the first commissioned officer to die in the service of the new young Republic.
Each year, on the Monday of Patriots' Day weekend, the Acton Minutemen recreate that famous
march to Concord over the remnants of the original trail that Isaac Davis and his men traveled on
that fateful day, referred to by stone markers labeled "Line of March, April 19, 1775".
We start off at the Isaac Davis homestead at 39 Hayward Rd. in Acton at 5:50am, where we hold a
short ceremony of remembrance. From there, we head to Acton Center, arriving about 6:20am at
the monument where Isaac Davis, Abner Hosmer, and James Hayward are buried, and have
another short remembrance ceremony. From there we march to Concord over the original route
(as closely as possible), arriving at the Old North Bridge about 9:00, where we will reenact the
original battle that took place there, along with the 10th and 4th Regiment of Foot. We will also lay
a wreath at the base of the Minuteman statue (which was sculpted in Isaac Davis's likeness) and fire
a volley from amid the bridge in honor of those who fell there from Acton's ranks.
The public is encouraged to join us as we march the trail from Acton to Concord. It is an experience
that you and your family will never forget. Join in the history, in the fun, and in the tradition. Make
this event a regular tradition in your family and keep the "life" in living history!!
Join us on Monday, April 17th for this year's Isaac Davis Trailmarch
Link to Google map of the route
Acton Minutemen Homepage
|The Isaac Davis Trailmarch