This weekend the United States of America celebrates its 239th birthday. On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress, representing the 13 original American Colonies, declared independence from Great Britain and the dictatorial rule of King George III. However, at the time the fate of the American colonies was far from determined, as they faced the most formidable army and navy in the world.
Amazingly, hostilities between the Royal Army and the Colonists had been going on since the Boston Massacre in 1770. The “shot heard ’round the world” had occurred a full year before the signing of the Declaration, at the Battle of Concord. The American militia had surprised the Royal Army at the Battle of Lexington, pushing them back to Boston, bloodied all along the path with over 1000 casualties. A short time later the Americans made a bold and brave stand at Bunker Hill, overlooking Boston, where another 1500 British casualties were inflicted. However, the Americans had run out of ammunition, losing their cannons and suffering over 400 casualties themselves.