Lexington and Concord Essay

Lexington and Concord

by Rachel Horn

In the book, Paul Revere's Ride, the author, David Hackett Fischer, gives a detailed account of the battle of Lexington and Concord, including the events leading up to and following the battle. The British were tyrannizing over the Americans, and the Americans were getting angry, so when General Gage sends his men out to take away the Americans' weapons of war in Concord, the Americans prepared to fight them. This battle was a very important battle, so we should know who really got the victory at this battlefield, because both sides said they did.

One would first start with who won the first part of the battle, which is the battle of Lexington. The British were ordered to start marching on the evening of April 18, 1775, but they were not told where they were going, or why. They reached Lexington early in the morning of the nineteenth, with about 250 men, who were commanded by Major John Pitcairn. The Americans who were gathered at Lexington had between 60 and 70 men, commanded by Captain Parker. Both sides were told by their commanders not to fire unless they were fired upon, so after the first shot was fired, the British infantry just started firing without orders. They did not fire for very long however, before they recklessly charged the Americans. Most of the Americans did not fire, because they did not have orders, and because things were happening very quickly. The Americans were told by their commander to disperse, but many did not hear, and some of those who did were shot. The British had conquered the Americans, because the Americans had retreated out of the city. The Americans had lost more men than the British also, and they knew they were defeated. They were not totally discouraged however, and they started marching to Concord to fight the British again.

The Americans were preparing for the British to arrive. The Americans withdrew out of the city to wait for more men, who were quickly arriving. They now had about 500 men, and the British had about 115. The British followed the Americans, and did pretty much no harm to the undefended city. The Americans had crossed the North Bridge, just outside of Concord, and when the British crossed it the British started to destroy it. The Americans marched down to stop the destruction, and the British fired a couple times, then fled into the city. The Americans were surprised at how quickly they fled. During this battle, Colonel Smith was sent to for reinforcements. While his men were marching, they met the rest of their soldiers running down the road, away from the Americans. The Americans then marched toward the town, and took a defensive position behind a stone wall, and waited for the British to come up. The British came up, but they did not get very close until they halted, and stayed where they were for a few minutes, and then marched back to the town. While marching back, the british went under the fire of the Americans, and lost some more men. The Americans began to move over the hills, threatening to cut off the road from Concord to Boston. Colonel Smith sent some men to keep the line of retreat open. The Americans were on the hills surrounding the road, and they were ready to shoot at the British. The Americans made a circle around the British column, and kept shooting until the British made a camp to stop in for the night. The British had sent for more troops, and those started marching from Boston on the morning of the twentieth, and they reached the battle too late to be of much help. The Americans soon made them retreat with the other British. The British were under incessant fire, and by the time they reached the safety of Charlestown, they had lost most of their men.

We now see how the British won the battle of Lexington, and how the Americans won the battle of Concord. The Americans forced the British to retreat into safety, and they lost most of their men at Concord, so we say they won. So, even though the British had won Lexington, and both sides said they won the battle, the Americans really won because they had the final victory.

Click Here to Buy the Book: Paul Revere's Ride


Here are some good pictures I have taken recently (from our trip to Scotland in July until now.) I hope you enjoy them!

The Most Common and Disastrous Military Mistakes of History

by Joshua Horn
From 100 Decisive Battles by Paul K. David
In the Bible we learn that God controls every aspect of history. He preordains every victory and defeat that has happened, and will happen, in all of time. God often uses the mistakes that military commanders make, to change the course of history. Now we will examine three of the most common mistakes of military commanders: the problem of relying on numbers too heavily, hesitating whether to attack or not, and not being prepared for an attack by the enemy at any time.
The first common blunder we will consider is relying on numerical superiority and prestige instead of their actual fighting power or tactical superiority. For example, in the battle of Crécy, in 1346, the French had more than five times as many men as the English, but the English longbowmen easily slaughtered the French knights. The proud French knights believed that they could not be stopped by archers, and so they charged headlong at the prepared English position. Another example is the defeat of the Russian fleet by the Japanese at the battle of Tsushima in 1905. The outdated Russian ships were easily defeated by the newer Japanese vessels. The Russians had relied too much on their prestige as having one of the most powerful navies in the world. This mistake of relying too much on numerical superiority has occurred during many battles in history.
Many times battles are lost because of a hesitation on the part of the generals. One example of this is in the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. On the first day of the battle, July 1, 1863, the Confederate army stumbled upon a few Union brigades. They attacked, and after a hard fight drove the Unions off of the hill. General Richard S. Ewell, who commanded the Confederate forces who were leading the attack, instead of attacking and pressing the retreating Federal army, could not decide whether to attack the Union position, which he probably would have carried. This hesitation on his part probably cost the Confederacy the battle, and possibly even the war. Another example of this same mistake is in the battle of Dunkirk in 1940 during World War II. For some reason, Adolf Hitler delayed pressing his attack on the British at Dunkirk, who he had surrounded, which allowed the British army to escape back to Britain. This allowed England to have trained troops to defeat Hitler's attack in the Battle of Britain. If Hitler had not decided to hold off on his attack on Dunkirk for three days, Britain might very well be part of Germany to this day.
The third common strategic blunder is not always being prepared for an attack. Many times generals feel too secure and do not set out guard to watch for an approaching enemy. One example of this is in the battle of San Jacinto in the war for Texan independence. Santa Anna, the commander of the Mexicans, believed that he had the Texan army trapped between two rivers, and so he allowed his army to take a nap during the midday heat. Sam Houston ordered his outnumbered army of Texans forward against the Mexicans. They were completely surprised, and were easily routed and defeated. George Washington used a similar tactic during his attack on Trenton in the winter of 1776. He chose to attack on the day after Christmas, when the Hessian garrison was sound asleep from parties the night before. He crossed the icy river when no one expected him to be able to, and his army easily overcame the surprised Hessians. This victory at Trenton gave a moral boost to the Americans, and it gave encouragement to soldiers to join the American army, so that they could continue the war. Many surprise attacks such as these two have changed the course of wars, and ultimately of history. One of the most important principles of war is to not let yourself be surprised, and battles and wars have been lost by not paying attention to it.
We have just looked at three of the most common mistakes in military history. These are relying on numerical superiority, not being always prepared for an attack, and hesitating at the critical moment of the battle. God has used them many times in the course of history, and many battles and wars have been lost because the generals did not consider what military mistakes God had ordained to happen in the past, and did not watch out for those mistakes in their own generalship. These mistakes have occurred many times throughout the course of history, and God will probably use them many times more before the end of the world.
Buy the Book - 100 Decisive Battles: From Ancient Times to the Present

How the Church can Stengthen the Family Conference

This past weekend we had a NCFIC conference at our church called, How can the Church Strengthen the Family in the 21st Century. This was the biggest conference we did this year. We had several speakers in from out of town, including Kevin Swanson, Jeff Pollard and Bill Einwechter. Scott Brown, Steve Breagy, Jason Dohm and my father, the elders at our church, also spoke. About 300 people from all over the country attended.

My father gave two breakout messages, one on the Lord's Supper, and one on Family Worship. During his talk on Family Worship, he got so animated that people could here him in other rooms! Here are some pictures:

Kevin Swanson was one of my favorite speakers. He is a pastor from Colorado, and he is the leader of the homeschool group in that state. He is very active in his preaching. My favorite message that he gave was called Surviving Tough Economic Times. In that message he spoke on the current economic crisis, and his main point was that even though things are not going well, we should trust God and obey his commands regarding money. It was very good.

Bill Einwechter and some of his family stayed with us during the conference. He gave two messages on women in civil leadership. Here are two of his articles on the subject, on Women Magistrates, and What about Deborah.

Stephen and I helped David Brown to record the messages. Everyone who was on the recording staff had to wear a white shirt, black pants and a black bow-tie. I was in charge of one of the breakout rooms, and I also edited a lot of the messages. It was a lot of fun!

Here are the CD sets we made

Stephen Breagy helping my brother, Stephen Horn, edit

Me during one of the sessions

Video from our Roof

Here is a video Stephen took of our house from the roof when we were cleaning the gutters a few weeks ago.

Family Pictures

Yesterday, we had Thanksgiving dinner with Mammaw (our maternal grandmother) and our cousins. After dinner, I took family pictures. Here are some of the best. You can click on any of them for higher quality.


Aunt Teri, Mammaw, and my Mother

Mammaw and the Grandchildren

Mammaw, Aunt Teri, Mommy, Alyson and Rachel

Mammaw and her grandsons

Rachel, Joshua and Stephen

Why the Army of Northern Virgina Surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse

by Joshua Horn
from Lee's Lieutentants by D. S. Freeman

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On April 9th, 1865 Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virgina to U. S. Grant near Appomattox Courthouse. This was the same army that for the past four years had defeated army after army. It was the same army that had won brilliant victories such as Bull Run, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. What caused this army to be forced to surrender? Douglas S. Freeman says this in his book, Lee's Lieutenants, “Wherever the blame might be placed, it did not rest on the men in the ranks.”1 If it was not the soldiers' fault, what was the cause of this defeat? There were three main causes: lack of troops, inadequate command, and the troop's hunger and fatigue.

As the Civil War progressed, the Confederate army began to have less and less troops. They had been outnumbered throughout the whole war, but as the war neared its close, the Confederates had the recurring problem of not being able to replace the troops that they lost. For example, at the Battle of Fredericksburg, in the middle of the war, the Union Army numbered about 114,000 while the Confederates numbered 72,500. When the siege of Petersburg was finished, just a few weeks before the end, 45,000 Confederates were opposing over 100,000 Federals. When the Army of Northern Virgina surrendered, only 27,000 troops were left.

Near the end of the war, the Union's cavalry sent raids to destroy all the railroads running to Richmond. The goal of these attacks was to cut off supplies and reinforcements to the troops defending the Confederate capital. While the infantry was trying to hold an eleven mile front of trenches against the more powerful Union infantry, it had to send out more troops to defend attacks at the railways it still had in operation. This weakened the meager forces holding the trenches, until they had only 1,000 troops per mile of trenches. Because many of the railroads were captured by the enemy, and also because of the incompetence of the Confederate quartermaster department, the soldiers were very short on food and other supplies that were necessary for the army to operate.

Much of the hard, constant fighting near the end of the war was at close quarters. Several times the troops were driven back from their positions, and the commanders had to lead their troops forward personally to retake the ground they had lost to the enemy. This created many casualties among the command. Douglas S. Freeman writes, “More frequent battles at close quarters had prompted officers to take more desperate personal risks when their men fought somewhat less well and the Federals fought better.”2 As an example, there were only eighty-five colonels with Lee when he surrendered, even though 200 were required to command the regiments he had.3 Because of this killing off of the officers, fit officers of lower rank could not be found to replace those who were killed in higher positions. This resulted in men being put in positions that they were not fit for. Inexperienced or incapable generals did not lead the soldiers as well, which resulted in more defeats for the army.

On April 2, the Union army penetrated the thin Confederate line, forcing the Confederate army to abandon Richmond and retreat. They tried to reach to one of the few railroads in operation, to receive rations and travel down to North Carolina to join up with another army. They were forced to march quickly, so that they were not caught and pinned down by the powerful Union army. Because of this need for speed, the soldiers were ordered to march all day and night. Added to this hardship was the fact that they did not have any food for several days. One soldier said, “The constant marching and fighting without sleep or food are rapidly thinning the ranks of this grand old army. Men who have stood by their flags since the beginning of the war fall out of their ranks and are captured, simply because it is beyond their power of physical endurance to go any farther.”4 All but the most tough and loyal troops fell out of ranks from hunger and fatigue.

On the night of April 6th, the Confederate column which was marching to the railroad was split up by Federal troops because of a misunderstanding between the tired generals. Greatly outnumbered, half the army surrendered after a short but desperate fight. The other half of the army was finally cut off and surrounded on April 8th, and Lee realized that the tired troops were too outnumbered to be able to fight their way out. The army surrendered on April 9th, 1865.

We see that there were several reasons why Lee was forced to surrender. His army was driven back and finally surrounded because of the lack of troops and also because they had been marching and fighting for several days without food or sleep. This situation was worsened by the fact that there were not enough good commanders to lead the troops well. These are the three main reasons why Lee's army was forced to surrender.

1Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants, a Study in Command (New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons) volume 3 Gettysburg to Appomattox, p. 189

2Ibid, p. 547

3Ibid, p. 744

4Ibid, p. 718

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Climbing a Tree

Last Thursday we went to our grandmother's house and climbed a tree. It was hard to get up in it, but once you were up it was easy. Joshua got in it easier because he is taller, but I climbed up higher and he went down to get pictures. When I was climbing up I had to wait for Mommy to go inside, because she would have been scared looking at me climbing up so high. After I got down Joshua went up and I took some pictures of him.

This is me in a fork in the tree(which was as far as I got):

Me climbing down

I am still trying to get down

Here is a closeup of Joshua in the tree

Joshua hanging on a tree branch

A shot from the distance of Joshua in the tree(You can not even see in this picture where I was because he was so low)

Reading of Deuteronomy

Our church read through the book of Deuteronomy on Friday October 24. We started at 6:00 pm and went till 9:05, and in the middle there was a twenty minute break for snacks. We did it by each family getting two or three chapters and the families could split them up however they wanted in their family. We got chapters 21-23 and Daddy and Mommy each read a chapter and then Joshua and I split the other chapter. You had to go up to the podium and read there, but since I am not very tall I had to stand on my tiptoes to read the bible on the podium. To understand the book of Deuteronomy you must know how to understand the principles on which the laws were based. We also see Christ and some types of Christ in the book of Deuteronomy. Our church is going to spend about 1 1/2 years doing expository sermons on Deuteronomy which is why we read through it as a church.

Durham Book Sale

Last week we went to the Durham library book sale. This is the second one we have gone to. The first one was in the spring. It is one of the best book sales around. All the hardbacks are $1 and paperbacks are 50 cents, except for some old books. One of the books I got was The Officer's Guide, A ready Reference on Customs and Correct Procedures Which Pertain to Commissioned Officers of the Army of the United States.

Some more books I bought

Here are the titles of the ones I got:
  • The Gulag Archipelago
  • The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The Gallant Hood (a biography of the Confederate General John Bell Hood)
  • Espionage and Counterespionage
We enjoy Charles Dickens books very much. We listen to them in the car when we go on long trips. My favorite so far is the Pickwick Papers.

Washington Day 2

We slept in the boy's room at the Bradrick's house. Daddy got up at 4:40 am to work on his talk and I got up at 6:00 am. We got showered, ate breakfast and left at 6:55 am for the conference which was an hour away. The Browns, also, were staying at the Bradrick's house and went to the conference with the Bradrick's. We had to set up the building for the conference and then Scott Brown did the first talk at 9:00 am on Acts 20 about Paul's ministry and what we should learn from it. Then, after a ten minute break, Daddy did his talk on Samuel Rutherford which I had helped him prepare while traveling on both days. Then we had lunch which was sandwiches, tortilla chips, celery, carrots, and brownies. Then Scott Brown did a talk on Church Killers from James 3. Thirty minutes after it ended we had to get out of the building because the building needed to be cleaned up, so the men kept talking outside. Some people were offended by Daddy when he said that Arminianism was a heresy. Now we are on our way to the Bradricks to spend the night and get up early in the morning to drive to Seattle for a 7:00 am flight which will put us back at our house about 7:30 pm. Click here to see NCFIC's homepage and here for the upcoming events. To buy CD sets by Scott Brown click here

Washington Day 1

Yesterday Daddy and I flew to Washington for a Men's Leadership Conference. We got up at 5:00 am to drive to Charlotte to get on the 1st leg of the flight at 9:40 am to San Francisco. The drive and the 1st leg of the flight were uneventful. The flight was very full and we were at the back so we were the last one's to get off the flight. We only had 22 min to get to the connecting gate which was in a different terminal on the other side of security so we ran through the airport, went through security again, ran through the rest of the airport and got to the gate seven minutes before the plane was supposed to leave but they close the gates ten minutes before the plane leaves so we did not get on. The person at the counter by the gate said that the plane had left when it was still sitting there! One good thing about that was that we got to have lunch and Daddy got to work more on his talk during the three hour wait for the next flight to Seattle. The flight to Seattle was uneventful but since we were late for the rental car we got a eight seater instead of a two seater. We were staying at the Bradricks which was a two hour drive from Seattle. On the way we stopped at an Arby's to get dinner. We arrived at their house about 9:00 pm their time and we stayed up about an hour talking.

20 Years of Marriage

And the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." Genesis 2:18

On October 9 our family celebrated the beginning of our family, the wedding of Dan and Kendra on October 8, 1988. This was our 20th anniversary, a very significant milestone in our family. If you have been following our blog, you will remember Dan and I celebrated on our own with a trip to Bermuda in January of this year, so we wanted to include the children in the celebration when the actual day arrived.

We chose the 9th to celebrate because the 8th fell on a Wednesday, which is when our local church body gathers for prayer. It was very sweet to have our brothers and sisters in Christ pray for our marriage and blessings on our family on the actual anniversary. Then on Thursday evening, we took the family to the Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant, for a 4 course dinner. We started with cheese fondue for vegetables, apples, and bread; then salad; followed by chicken, beef, fish, and shrimp cooked in oil or broth; and finished with a white chocolate and dark chocolate fondue with rice crispy treats, strawberries, bananas, fudge brownies, and cheesecake. I can safely say nobody left hungry!

I am so thankful for the wonderful husband my Father in heaven provided for me. I do not deserve the way he washes me and the rest of the family in the word twice each day and prays for our family and patiently teaches many things to the children. I am so thankful for how he leads us in righteousness and his zeal for the Lord far surpasses mine. I am excited to see what the next 20 years has in store for our family.

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:24

Trip to Pennsylvania

A couple days ago Daddy went on a business trip to Washington, DC and Pennsylvania. This weekend he is going to Washington state for an NCFIC regional men's leadership meeting. He is doing a sermon on the ministry of Samuel Rutherford. Rachel and I went along to read a book he bought in Scotland, Letters of Samuel Rutherford to him. We stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and we went to the National Civil War museum with Grandma while Daddy went to a meeting. Here are some pictures:

Rachel reading the Letters of Samuel Rutherford

Pennsylvania Scenery

The Effects of Sin

Last Friday we had something unusual happen to our car at Daddy's office building. Joshua had been sent down to get something out of the car and when he was looking at the ground he saw glass. He thought that someone had broken a bottle, but when he looked up it was our car window! It was the front passenger window on the Volvo. They used a tool that made a scratch in the paint that went down to the metal. The glass was all over the car when we saw it. They had broken in to look for a laptop in Stephen's briefcase, but there was not one so they stole our radio. Too bad they didn't take Stephen's school books (ha! ha!)

The window cost $77 but the radio cost $99! The worst part of it all was that they did not eject the CD (ha! ha! ha!) The CD was the easiest to replace because we just had to burn a new CD from Audible (it was The Civil War: A Narrative (3 Vol. Set) by Shelby Foote). It was very providential that there was not a laptop in the bag or we wouldn't just be spending $176! We did not even bother calling the police because they would of just done a report and nothing else. And guess who gets to pay for replacing the window, but not the radio? You guessed it - the one who left his briefcase in the car.

These are some pictures we took:

This is where the radio used to be

This is where we put plastic over the window

This is the glass on the floor and the book that they left