E A R L Y A M E R I C A ' S
M I N U T E - M E N
The terms "minutemen" and "militia" are often thought of as one and the same. However, in early America-- especially in the 18th century-- there was a distinct difference.
Minute-men represented a small hand-picked force selected from the ranks of local militia companies and regiments. Approximately one-third of the men in each militia unit were chosen "to be ready to march or fight at a minute's notice."
The true minute-men--- always the first to appear at or await a battle--- stood at Lexington Green on the morning of April 19, 1775, and led the attack on Concord Bridge. Their numbers were reinforced by the regular militia that turned out in that day's historic battles. Actually, the concept of minute-men existed in America as early as the 17th century, while the term itself came into use in 1759 during the French and Indian War.
The title "minute-men" was
formally adopted the year before the American Revolution started. At
that time, in October of 1774, the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts
voted to enroll 12,000 men under the title of Minute-Men--- volunteers
who would be ready
After Congress authorized a Continental Army under the command of George Washington, minutemen units eventually ceased to exist. But their contribution as a trained and battle-hardened corps of veterans was an important and significant force as patriots took up arms to oppose the British army in the Revolutionary War.
Somewhere in Milford along a prime route of travel lies a flag pole and boulder commemorating the Liberty Men of 1766, Minutemen of 1776, and Liberty Rock. From the boulder take a bearing of 340° degrees and walk 22 steps to a heavy stone buried in the ground. You will find the Milford Minutemen Memorial Letterbox underneath this rock. Stamp in rehide as descreetly as possible.