Someone once asked how many men were needed to start a revolution.
Apparently, 77 is enough to get the ball rolling.
"Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." - Captain John Parker, Lexington militia
"Throw down your arms, you damned rebels!" - British officer, 4th Regiment of Foot, on Lexington CommonAnd then the F**k-Up Fairy landed, someone pulled a trigger, and the genie was out of the bottle.
Tally at the end of the day:
The British troops, formed of disparate clumps of men and officers from a dozen regiments (which made command and control even more tenuous throughout the day) after brushing aside what was always intended as token resistance at Lexington (the colonial militia was on the common, not blocking the road at all, and made no move to impede the far superior British forces, all the colonial leaders and stores of weapons having been removed or hidden long before the Redcoats' arrival), marched on to Concord bridge, where they searched the town for weapons until noon, mostly to no great effect, but upon their attempted return to Boston got a much different greeting than at Lexington, and then began an all-day long fighting retreat that left every British officer from the original expedition injured or wounded and unhorsed, all of them exhausted, nearly out of ammunition, and all but surrounded and captured as they straggled back to the safety of Boston city limits. The British in Boston were subsequently surrounded and besieged by tens of thousands of enraged colonial militiamen, which troops then formed the seed of what became the Continental Army.
And with blood shed in strength by both sides, no way any longer to put back the cork to the genie's bottle.
Lesser lights in modern times, agitating for both gun control and confiscations, and shilling for an open conflict in the midst of civil society, should learn a lesson or three about being careful for what you wish.