In 1775, American colonists defeated the British army in the Battle of Concord, an early skirmish of the American Revolutionary War. The British were holding the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, when American minutemen descended and pushed them back. The British retreated to Boston, 18 miles away.
The British originally were looking for arms to confiscate. They searched Concord but found little in the four hours they spent in the town. They then decided to burn any of the arms they had found in an effort to keep weapons away from the colonists. However, the American minutemen soldiers mistook the British action as an effort to burn the entire town down, leading to the small battle.