Thomas Gage

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Thomas Gage

Born in Gloucestershire, England, Thomas Gage born in 1721 was the second son of an Irish Viscount of modest means. Gage joined the Army in 1739. Although no initially describe as an intellectual, he later displayed a fondness for liberal education and sent his oldest son to the university of Gottingen and Berlin to study arts and sciences.

Gage first commission as ensign was in 1740 which led to a recruiting assignment in Yorkshire. In January 1741, gage purchased a commission as lieutenant in a regiment under Colonel Chalman Deley, recently known as the First North Hampton. He later transferred to Battereau Foot, an Irish Corps of two Battalions, which led to him receiving the rank of captain-lieutenant in 1742. In 1743, he was given his Captaincy. He accompanied the British troops which were sent to Flanders after the outbreak of the war with France in 1744 to oppose the French Army, where he took part in the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745.

Orders came from Braddock in 1754 to the Forty-Fourth and Forty-Eighth, which Gage was apart of to se sail for Virginia. The ship set sail on New Years Day 1755 along with Commander Keppel who commanded the protecting warships. By the middle of March the troops has all arrived in Virginia. His service during the Seven Years War in the Braddock Campaign, at Ticonderoga and Montreal and various administrative assignments led to his appointment in 1763 as British Commander in Chief for North America.

While holding this position, he was named governor of Massachusetts in 1774; at the same time that Parliament passes the Coercive Acts in retaliation for the Boston Tea Party, which occurred the previous year. He tried to put down the dissident forces in the colony. He ordered the arrest of Samuel Adams and John Hancock. In April 1775, he sent soldiers to seize military stores at Concord, which had begun to stock large quantities of ammunitions.

This was the first serious engagement of the American Patriot Paul Reveres’s famous ride warning of British attack. The battle was fought April 19, 1775. Gage sent about 700 British soldiers, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, to Concord; their orders were to capture or destroy the supplies. The colonial militia, or minutemen, had been warned of the British advance by the American patriots Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott.

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