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Four Years at the Mount

The Graduate

The real story of the battle at Lexington

Katie Powell
MSM Class of 2015

(7/2016) CRASH! Mollie woke up in a cold sweat. It was dark, past midnight. She lit a candle and crept out of her bed to look outside to see what was causing all the noise, and ruining her precious sleep. She quieted her four year-old brother Mathias on the way out, kissing his forehead as he rolled back into sleep. Mollie was a spunky 16 year-old who didn’t know when to quit. Even now that the revolution against the British was underway, Mollie was always fearlessly heading out into areas that she knew were dangerous- just for the thrills. So far she had not been badly hurt, a couple scabs on one knee and a cut above her eye that left a scar through her eyebrow told stories of nights she had flirted a little too hard with the enemy.

On this particular night, Mollie bit off more than she could chew. She thought maybe she had heard a carriage crash or a barrel tip over or something of the like. What she found was far, far worse.

A battle had occurred right outside of her tiny home in Lexington. A dead Brit lay on her doorstep, shot in the head. Impressive shot, she thought. Scuffling behind her. She turned and saw her Minutemen marching valiantly on. Her eyes shone in the light of her candle. She loved the Minutemen. She was so impressed with their determination and swiftness despite their lack of formal training. She was especially fond of their youngest recruit, 18 year-old Richard. Mollie had always been close with Richard. They were best friends from a young age, but had grown apart since the battles had started. They had changed Richard. Mollie wanted nothing more than to get her best friend back.

As the Minutemen disappeared into the night, Mollie had an idea. Maybe it was the heat, maybe the wretched smell of the battle-torn town, or maybe it was sincere and absolute desperation to get her friend back, but regardless, Mollie grabbed the dead Brit from the street and dragged him into an alley. She sighed and took the British soldier’s clothes, pulling on the funky white pants and distasteful red jacket before salvaging a gun from the horrible scene. Then, she went to find her enemy.

She walked cautiously, following the sound of crackling fire that she knew would lead her into the belly of the beast. She knew a Minuteman would cut her down before they recognized her fierce green eyes and the scar on her left eyebrow under the huge lopsided hat she got from the Brit. So, she made her way through the alleys, avoiding main streets and creeping as if she were trying not to wake Mathias.

She made her way out of town and into the woods, avoiding the crunchy leaves. Then she heard it. Laughter. She watched the soldier from behind a tree as he wandered off alone. Bathroom break? Mollie thought. Perfect! She jumped out from behind the tree and ran at him hard, bayonet first. She made contact and he thudded to the ground. Her head spun and she tried to regain her focus. She just killed a man. She rolled him over and realized who it was that she had killed—a British lieutenant. She froze. They would notice him missing. She climbed a nearby tree and waited. Mollie got herself into trouble a lot, but she knew how to get herself out. It was early morning now, the sun had just barely begun creeping out of the ground. The British soldiers were asleep in their camp, so Mollie knew it was time to act. She sprinted back to town, took off her hat and her face, and rang the large bell that summoned the Minutemen. She hoped to heaven they recognized her face before her uniform.

Richard was the first one there, and he walked up to Mollie sword drawn. She raised her hands slowly and said, "Hey Ricky." He took a step back as if he had just stepped on a rattlesnake, then moved swiftly toward her.

"What do you think you’re doing?" He whisper-shouted.

"I killed the lieutenant," Mollie gasped. "It won’t be long before they wake up and realize. We have to do something." The other Minutemen had gathered by this point, and started to formulate a plan.

"No, we have to do something. You have to go back to bed, little girl." A townsperson sneered at her, condescending and certainly resenting the fact a woman killed a higher rank than anyone in the tiny army. Richard stepped in.

"Mollie is more fearless than any of us, and certainly has more heart. I don’t think anyone deserves to be part of this mission more than she does. If that is a problem for anyone here, than you should be the one to leave, not Mollie." A couple men left, but most stood firm.

"So what do we do?" A voice from the back.

"They are asleep in the woods. If we surround them, I think we can take them out. They don’t have a leader. I killed him." Mollie said, wavering at first but finding her voice.

The Lexington Minutemen trekked into the woods silently, torches ablaze, following their fierce leader. Mollie signaled for them to surround the camp, and on her go, they threw their fires onto the tents and attacked. They killed many of the British soldiers and took several as prisoners.

It was a small victory for the ragtag band of minutemen in Lexington. However, it was the very first battle of the American Revolution. And I swear, that is how it really happened: Mollie, the 16 year old girl in a sleepy town, helped to defeat the British army—along with countless other women dressed as men.

Read other articles by Katie Powell