The Revolutionary War, also known as the American War of Independence, began on April 19, 1775, with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The former began with a skirmish on the village green of Lexington, Massachusetts.
The British army units involved, consisting of 700 men, were en route to Concord, Massachusetts, to disarm rebels there. After exchanging fire in Lexington, killing several of the revolutionary Minutemen, the British troops continued on to Concord. They were engaged several times along the way by larger rebel forces. After sustaining significant casualties, the British began retreating towards Boston. Along the route of the retreat, they were attacked by several thousand militiamen. British reinforcements near Boston intervened to prevent a complete rout. Militia units converged on the city over the next several months.