The commander of the British forces in North America,
General , led 700 soldiers to Concord, Massachusetts to seize all arms and gunpowder. Two friends, a silversmith and a shoemaker William Dawes, raced on horseback to Lexington and Concord ahead of the British to warn the minutemen. About 70 militia fought British in Lexington.
The Conflict Spreads
The colonial won the battle at and the British attempt to seize all weapons in was unsuccessful. Inspired by Patrick Henry's oration, "Give me liberty or give me death," the House of Burgesses voted to break with Great Britain. The British supply post, , was taken without bloodshed. Bunker Hill, however, was a costly British .
Patriots and Loyalists
Not all colonists were ready to break from Britain. Many colonists still had family in England. Others had grown accustomed to trading with England. Colonists were divided into three ways of thinking. remained loyal to Britain. Others wanted . A third group included who were against war and would not take sides.