Eyewitness to the Revolution
Whoever these lines come before may depend on the fact that I, Sylvanus Wood, was born in Woburn, but in that part now called Burlington, Middlesex County, Massachusets, twelve miles from Boston, and there I learned to make boots and shoes. There I joined a minute company, disciplined with activity by a man who was in the fight on the Abrahams Plains with the brave General Wolfe, and in fifteen months hostilities commenced. I was then established in my trade two miles east of Lexington meetinghouse, on west border of Woburn, and on the nineteenth morn of April, 1775, Robert Douglass and myself heard Lexington bell about one hour before day. We concluded that trouble was near.
We waited for no man but hastened and joined Captain Parker’s company at the breaking of the day. Douglass and myself stood together in the center of said comapany when the enemy first fired. The English soon were on their march for Concord. I helped carry six dead into the meetinghouse and then set out after the enemy and had not an armed man to go with me, but before I arrived at Concord I see one of the grenadiers standing sentinel. I cocked my piece and run up to him, seized his gun with my left hand. He surrendered his armor, one gun and bayonet, a large cutlash [cutlass] and brass fender, one box over the shoulder with twenty-two rounds, one box round the waist with eighteen rounds. This was the first prisoner that was known to be taken that day.
Excerpted from The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence edited by John C. Dann.