Revolutionary road

In praise of Minutemen – and their reenactors.

By Charles P. Pierce
April 17, 2011

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Dear Captain William Mix: According to a link from the website of the Battle Road Committee, you are currently the commander of the Lexington Minute Men, who this week will perform their annual defense of liberty on Lexington Green, this defense consisting of musket firing, loud shouting so as to attract the camera crews, and lying down on the ground for a spell if you happen to be playing the role of a casualty. This is probably my favorite annual event here, and it certainly puts in the shade all those Civil War reenactors who will be wandering the landscape for the next few years, celebrating the sesquicentennial of various episodes of that particular unpleasantness. (Some of those fake Confederates seem to take things a little too seriously, especially at election time and at subsequent NASCAR events.) You probably noticed that Michele Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota rumored to be running for president next time around, went before audiences in New Hampshire and tried to hijack our battles to that benighted place. The British did not march to New Hampshire, probably for reasons of taste, but also because it’d have been a considerable hike. Paul Revere’s horse would’ve dropped dead of exhaustion by the time it got to Portsmouth. New Hampshire can have our tax fugitives. It can even help pick the president. But it can’t have the Minutemen, consarn it. Live free or pilfer is no way to go through life.

Charles P. Pierce can be reached at