During the Civil War,Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized this famous event of l775 in his magnificent poem,"THE MIDNIGHT RIDE OF PAUL REVERE."His goal was to generate union patriotism and support antislavery sentiment. The facts, as stated in the poem, though well known, are not complete, and not especially accurate. Here is one example of an error:

"So through the night rode Paul Revere;"


On April 18th, 1775, Paul Revere, an American patriot discovered that there was a march of Regulars--(troops in the British army,) moving inland. His initial goal was to warn two other American leaders,Samuel Adams (New England leader of the Son's of Liberty) and John Hancock that they might be in danger. He set out by boat on the Charles River (referred to as "sea" by Longfellow in his poem), possibly not on his own, and then switched to horseback. When speaking to the Adams and Hancock,it was concluded that the object of the march was to capture munitions stored in the town of Concord. It was decided that the citizens of Concord, and other nearby towns, should be warned.

Paul Revere was joined by William Dawes, another Patriot, and then by a third, Dr. Samuel Prescott. It is thought that there might have been many more on this historical ride.

The plan was that these men were to stop at as many houses as possible along the way, warning the town's inhabitants of the march of the Regulars, the army of England.( Also called Redcoats because they wore red uniforms).

Not long after the ride began Paul Revere ran into a Redcoat ambush. Both Dawes and Prescott escaped, and continued on their mission, though it is believed that only Prescott made it to Concord. Paul Revere, however, was questioned by the British. Ultimately, they released Revere; it is believed, without his horse.

The famous Battle of Lexington and Concord, considered to be the first battle of the American Revolutionary War took place on April 19, 1775, followed in June by a battle
fought on Breeds Hill, near Boston. (This battle was incorrectly called "The Battle of Bunker Hill.")

The object of this link is to give credit to the two other men, who, until the latter part of the 20th century have been largely ignored except, perhaps in some secondary and college courses of American History.

One exception...
In 1896, Helen Moore recognized Dawes in her sequel to Longellow's poem: "The Midnight Ride of William Dawes."

Dr. Prescott was still ignored. I thus wrote a kind of humorous, satirical sequel to the sequel:

"The Midnight Ride of Dawes, Revere and Prescott."


To Rhymes for All Ages