Before marching to the 2019 Commemoration of the North Bridge Fight in Concord, the Boxborough Minutemen marched to the Old Burying Ground in Boxborough to read the names of the men from Boxborough District who marched on the alarm of 19 Apr 1775.
17 of the men read out are relatives. Thank you to the Boxborough Minutemen for honoring all that marched and keeping alive the story of that day.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept; Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; And Time the ruined bridge has swept Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream, We set to-day a votive stone; That memory may their deed redeem, When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare, To die, and leave their children free, Bid Time and Nature gently spare The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Hymn: Sung at the Completion of the Concord Monument, 19 Apr 1836, a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Abner Hosmer was a Private in Captain Isaac Davis’ company of Acton Massachusetts Minutemen, and marched on the alarm of 19 April 1775. Abner was killed instantly in the first volley at the North Bridge in Concord.
Abner is memorialized through the Isaac Davis Monument on the Acton Town Common. The remains of Isaac Davis, Abner, and James Hayward (an Acton soldier killed in Lexington later that day) were moved and re-interred beneath the monument.
He was born in West Acton, the son of Deacon Jonathan Hosmer and Martha Conant Hosmer.
Memento mori Here lies the Body of Mr. Abner Hosmer son of Deacon Jonathan Hosmer & Mrs. Martha his wife, who was Killed in Concord fight April 19th, 1775 In the Defense of the just rights and Liberties of his Country being in the 21st year of his age.
Abner Hosmer headstone, Acton Town Common, Acton, Massachusetts.
Captain Isaac Davis and his Acton Massachusetts company of Minutemen marched on the alarm of 19 Apr 1775. “When Davis, characteristically, volunteered to lead the march” down the hill at the North Bridge at Concord to face the British Regulars, Major “Buttrick placed him in the van where his marksmen with their solid line of bayonets could be more effective.”
“A gunsmith by trade, he had taken care that all his men were well armed; every man in the company had a good musket, a bayonet, cartridge box, canteen—this was one of the many provincial companies to be complete in accouterments. The men under Davis were good shots, too. Davis had built a firing range out behind his house, where twice a week from November to April he had led his men in firing and drill. Needless to say, the fighting spirit of Isaac Davis rubbed off on his men. His own weapon, a product of his shop, was perhaps the best musket on the field that day.
“Davis was no hothead, but a man of quiet conviction. His wife, many years later, recalled as a very old woman the man she had known in her youth, on the day of the battle: “My husband said but little that morning. He seemed serious and thoughtful; but never seemed to hesitate as to the course of his duty. As he led the company from the house, he turned himself round, and seemed to have something to communicate. He only said, ‘Take good care of the children,’ and was soon out of sight.”
Davis, age 30, was killed in the first volley, along with “one of his men, Abner Hosmer. Both were killed instantly; two or three others were wounded.” Davis was the first American officer killed in the Revolution.
Davis is the inspiration behind The Minute Man, the statue by Daniel Chester French, unveiled on 19 Apr 1875 at the Old North Bridge. The statue was modeled after Davis using photographs of Davis’ descendants.
Davis is also memorialized through the Isaac Davis Monument on the Acton Town Common. The remains of Davis, Abner Hosmer, and James Hayward (an Acton soldier killed in Lexington later that day) were moved and re-interred beneath the monument.
He was born in West Acton, and married Hannah Brown on 24 Oct 1764. They had four children—two boys and two girls.
In Memory of Capt. Isaac Davis who was Slain in battle at Concord April ye 19th 1775 in the Defence of ye just rights and Liberties of his Country Civil & Religious. He was a loving Husband a tender Father & a Kind Neighbour an Ingenious Craftsman & Serviceable to Mankind died in ye prime of life Aged 30 Years 1 m & 25 days. Is there not an appointed time to man upon ye earth? Are not his days also like the days of an hireling? As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away, so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. Job VII ver 1, 9, 10.
Captain Isaac Davis headstone, Acton Town Common, Acton, Massachusetts.
Luther Blanchard was a Private and the fifer in Captain Isaac Davis’ company of Acton Massachusetts Minutemen, and marched on the alarm of 19 April 1775. Luther was the first hit by a British bullet at the North Bridge in Concord, wounded in the neck and side. Despite his wounds, Luther joined the pursuers as the British retreated to Charlestown.
Luther was born in Boxborough, in that portion which was formerly a part of Littleton, the son of Simon Blanchard and Sara Fales Blanchard. He had left home to learn the mason’s trade, and was living with Deacon Jonathan Hosmer in West Acton on 19 Apr 1775.
Five days later, 24 April 1775, Luther enlisted in the Army, is listed on the pay roll of Captain William Smith’s company on 7 July 1775, and is listed as a Corporal on the muster roll on 1 Aug 1775. Luther is reported deceased on the company return on 30 Sep 1775. His brother Calvin stated that Luther died of his wounds received at Concord.
Luther is believed buried in an unmarked grave in the Old Burying Ground, Littleton, Massachusetts.
Luther Blanchard Born in Littleton, June 4, 1756. Fifer of the Acton Minute Men and the first man hit by a British bullet at the North Bridge, Concord April 19, 1775. On the muster rolls of the Continental Army reported dead September 30, 1775.
Luther Blanchard cenotaph, Old Burying Ground, Littleton, Massachusetts.
He is also memorialized on the town seal of Boxborough, Massachusetts.
On this Patriots’ Day Weekend, we remember these family members that marched on the Alarm of 19 Apr 1775, the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
Acton, Massachusetts Luther Blanchard ** Ezekiel Davis II Isaac Davis * Abner Hosmer *
Ashburnham, Massachusetts Ephraim Wetherbee Phineas Wetherbee II
Bolton, Massachusetts John Whitcomb
Concord, Massachusetts Amos Hosmer
Fitchburg, Massachusetts Paul Wetherbee II
Harvard, Massachusetts Jonathan Crouch II Timothy Crouch Oliver Mead I Joseph Wetherbee I Oliver Wetherbee Abel Whitcomb I
Lancaster, Massachusetts Asa Whitcomb
Leominster, Massachusetts Nathaniel Chapman
Littleton, Massachusetts Joseph Lawrence Samuel Lawrence II Thomas Lawrence Daniel Whitcomb Isaac Whitcomb Jonathan Whitcomb V Silas Whitcomb
Lunenburg, Massachusetts Thomas Wetherbee I
Rutland, Massachusetts Samuel Ames
Stow, Massachusetts Nehemiah Batcheldor Ephraim Taylor Oliver Taylor I Phineas Taylor II Solomon Taylor Joseph Wetherbee Judah Wetherbee Silas Wetherbee Thomas Wetherbee II Reuben Wetherby William Whitcomb
Westford, Massachusetts Calvin Blanchard
* shot and killed in action at Battle of Concord. ** wounded in action at Battle of Concord; died of wounds later.
The service records for each, most found in , are summarized in this report.
All are in the Wetherbee branch, except Samuel Ames in the Watne Branch.
References:  Arthur Fuller Davis Gallery, Acton Memorial Library (painting).  Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, 1902. This 17 volume set is available on archive.org and openlibrary.org.