Major John Pitcairn, commanding seven hundred British redcoats, ordered the militia out of his way. They began to comply, but then someone fired a shot, and both sides let loose a volley. When the smoke cleared eight of the militia lay dead and ten others were wounded, whilst only one redcoat was hurt.
Upon reaching Concord, the British were successful in destroying the militia's warehouse of military supplies, but soon found themselves under attack by hundreds of militia. Lieutenant Colonel Frances Smith ordered a withdrawal back to Boston, and told his troops to avoid a direct confrontation with the colonials.
As the redcoats retraced the sixteen mile march they found themselves harassed by guerrilla style tactics and ambushes. At Lexington, they found the town reinforced and quickly passed through the town without engaging.
By the time the British returned to Boston, they had lost nearly three hundred troops killed, wounded, or missing. Colonial casualties were fewer than one hundred. The American Revolution had begun.