The Fate of the Participants
It seemed as if the war not only required but created talents."
-- David Ramsay, 1793
THE COST turned out to be very high--higher perhaps than our generation would be willing to pay. On both sides, many of the men who fought at Lexington and Concord died in the long and bitter war that followed. In the British infantry, few of the anonymous "other ranks" who marched to Concord survived the conflict unscathed. Many would be dead within two months.
At the battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, General Gage again used his ten senior companies of grenadiers and light infantry as a corps d'elite. They suffered grievously. The grenadier company of the Royal Welch Fusiliers went into that action with three officers, five noncoms, and thirty other ranks. It came out with one corporal and eleven privates. The light infantry company of the same regiment also lost most of its men--so many that it was said, "the Fusiliers had hardly men enough left to saddle their goat." 1
Other regiments suffered even more severely. The grenadier company of the King's Own counted forty-three officers and men present before the battle of Lexington and Concord. Only twelve of that number were still listed as "effective" after Bunker Hill. Most of the flank companies in General Gage's army also experienced heavy losses. 2
Altogether, seventy-four British officers had marched to Lex