April 20, 1775 — Today begins the 11-month siege of Boston, which started when British troops retreated to Massachusetts after the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
American militiamen blocked off Boston neck and Charlestown neck, the thin strips of land connecting the Boston and Charlestown peninsulas to the mainland, to prevent the British from conducting anymore attacks on the surrounding countryside.
During the first few days of the 11-month siege, any movement in or out of the city, whether it be military or civilian, was completely cut off. On April 22, British General Thomas Gage met with town officials to work out a deal that would allow civilians to leave or enter Boston. The siege finally ended on March 17, 1776 when the British fled Boston by sea.
Words of Wisdom for April 20, 2017
“Since the rebels lacked a navy, the British army still retained control of Boston harbor, yet supplies in the town quickly dwindled as they awaited the arrival of supply ships.”
— Jacqueline Barbara Car, author, "After the Siege: A Social History of Boston," 1775-1800