After a town meeting involving the discussion of the invasion of the British, who have "removed every vestige of freedom" by taking quarters in American home and businesses, imprisoning people at will, and even shooting innocent men in cold blood, the citizens of Lexington decide to muster after Paul Revere rides through the town announcing that the British are coming. Therefore, as Adam narrates, "sixty-six men" fall into parade with their weapons for the muster. Once they arrive on the green, the Reverend advises the men to be more conspicuous than the boys, but to have their flints locked on their guns so no accidental shooting will occur. Instead, they are to adopt the pose of "Here we stand with our arms in our hands and no belligerence in our hearts" when the British pass by them.
However, when the British arrive, marching uniformly toward them, the colonists hear the order "Fix bayonets!" and astride his horse, Major Pitcairn bears down upon the Reverend, who must be pulled back to avoid injury. The officer orders the men to lay down their arms, but they merely rest their muskets butt end on the ground, holding them loosely. As the officer charges through the line of colonists, one soldier raises his gun and shoots. Adam's father clutches his chest and falls.
Then the whole British front burst into a roar of sound and fame and smoke and our whole world crashed at us and broke into little pieces that fell around our ears, and came to an end. (100)
This is the Battle of Lexington, the beginning of the American Revolution and Adam's father is the first martyr.