By Joseph E. Stevens

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Trying to rally the bloody shambles of his command after the second charge, Howe nearly lost heart, but the galling thought of being beaten by a colonial rabble, and the arrival of reinforcements from Boston, revived his fighting spirit. He ordered his soldiers to prepare for yet another attempt. This time the heavy packs would be left behind, and the entire force would bypass the rail fence and concentrate on the breastwork and redoubt on top of Breed's Hill. Artillery fire from the Boston batteries had set Charlestown aflame, and plumes of dark smoke swirled around Howe's sweating, powder-grimed soldiers as they dressed their ranks for the third assault of the afternoon.

The rooms in this casemate served as officers' quarters. Stop 4. Northeast Bastion. The diamond-shaped protrusions at the corners of the fort were called bastions. Each one had six embrasures for cannon, the embrasures angled so as to create a cross-fire pattern. During the siege, the fort had only eleven cannon. Stop 5. East Barracks. The smaller rooms on either end of the barracks were officers' quarters, while the two larger rooms housed soldiers. During the siege, both the east and west barracks were evacuated because they offered little protection from artillery fire.

North Bridge and the Minuteman statue arc accessible via a hard-packed earth path. Inquire at Visitor Center about accessibility of other park areas. Small, sedate, and quiet, the town of Lexington, Massachusetts, seems a most unlikely site for a battlefield. It was in this sleepy village, however, shortly after sunup on April 19, 1775, that a column of British regulars, marching toward Concord six miles to the west, fired on a straggling line of seventy-seven American militiamen and began the War of the American Revolution.

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