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  • Lexington, despite what you’ve always heard, had NO minute men on the Green, technically. Not one. They were all militia, including all our illustrious Lexington Munroes. Lexington declined to subdivide its militia, as other towns were doing and as the Provincial Congress had ordered in October 1774. John Parker, although ailing, was all the Captain they wanted. Towns had a lot of autonomy, in those days.

  • Our cousin (1C8R) Lieutenant James Russell commanded Carlisle’s contingent of twenty-one Minute Men at the Bridge. His troops included:

    • 6GGF Pvt. Nathan Munroe, at 58 Carlisle’s oldest Minute Man;

    • 6GU Pvt. Aaron Munroe, Nathan’s 20-year-old son, who would serve later at White Plains; and

    • 1C7R Pvt. Jonas Munroe, Carlisle’s 18-year-old drummer and the youngest of her Minute Men.

  • Oliver Wheeler II, our 5GGF and the second of three consecutive Olivers in our direct line, was a member of the Acton Militia and wore a sword that was displayed at the centennial festivities in 1875. Though called “of Acton,” Oliver Wheeler is listed among the Concord Minute Men. Nobody by that name appears among those of Carlisle.
Ruth Wilkins1 notes:
“One further comment might to [sic] made about the Carlisle Minutemen of 1775. It has been suggested in some histories that the Minutemen in the Revolutionary War were ‘mostly enthusiastic youths who were attracted by dangerous service.’. [punctuation sic] This was not apparently the case in Carlisle. Here, two of the Minutemen were 19, five were in their twenties, five in their thirties, two in their forties, one was 54, and one, 59. They were unquestionably enthusiastic in the defense of lives and liberties, but the majority of them were presumably not motivated by the recklessness of youth…”

1Ruth Chamberlin Wilkins, Carlisle, Its History and Heritage. The Carlisle Historical Society, Inc. (Carlisle:1976), pp. 68-69.

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