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From Bryan Fitzmartin: Paul Revere’s Ride from the American Battlefield Trust

December 28, 2019

This is another great video by the American Battlefield Trust. I have said many times that I am a big fan of their work, and this video is no exception. One myth that I personally try to dispel (independent of the video) when I talk about the Revolutionary War has directly to do with Paul Revere, and this video touches on it. When Paul Revere put a lantern up in the Old Boston Church (one if by land, two if by sea, as the poem goes), he did it as part of an actual military maneuver to warn the Patriot forces about the coming British operation against the town of Concord in Massachusetts (the original military intention of which by the British was to seize an arms store, these arms and munitions were very directly important to the Patriot cause, especially since gunpowder was in extremely short supply). But this isn’t really what school-children are taught, they’re taught to tend to think of the Paul Revere story as a bit of an American “fairy-tale” but this is not what it was, it certainly was what is now known in modern times as an “intelligence” operation, that had an absolute definable, and important military goal, and therefore was part of a military operation. The class poem, which is read in the video, overshadows a very important part of American history (and again the video says that, which is great). The video also correctly points out that there was more than one rider, and mentions that history might be very different if William Dawes (another rider that night), had been mentioned in the classic poem, and not Paul Revere. Check out the video below.

Article by Bryan Fitzmartin

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