In 1775 you would be standing at a fork on the Groton Road. The east fork, restored by the National Park Service, today leads up the hill to the Visitor Center. The west fork, now traced as a mown path, led to Colonel Barrett's farm over a mile away.General Thomas Gage's orders to Lt. Colonel Francis Smith
120 British soldiers marched down the west fork, determined to seize cannon, muskets, and ammunition known to be hidden at Barrett's farm. Another 96 were left behind to guard the Bridge. Barrett's farm was the furthest point reached by any of the soldiers on that fateful British expedition from Boston.
General Gage, who ordered the march to Concord, believed that seizing stockpiles of weapons was not only a military necessity, but his prerogative as governor of the colony. The Colonists actively disagreed.
"Having received intelligence that a quantity of Ammunition, Provision, Artillery . . . and small arms, have been collected at Concord, for the Avowed Purpose of raising and supporting a rebellion . . . you will march . . . with the utmost expedition and secrecy to Concord, where you will seize and destroy all Military Stores whatever. But you will take care that the Soldiers do not plunder the inhabitants, or hurt private property."