Concord Independent Battery

On April 18, 1775, British Regulars marched to Concord with orders that “if you meet with any brass artillery you will order their muzzles beat in as to render them useless”. When they arrived in Concord on the 19th, the British were defeated at the Old North Bridge by the Minutemen from Concord and surrounding towns in the first battle in the war for American independence.

On February 24, 1804, the Massachusetts Senate resolved to “raise by voluntary enlistment a company of Artillery”, and to provide it “with two brass field pieces”, on which were to be inscribed the following words: “The Legislature of Massachusetts consecrate the names of Major John Buttrick and Captain Isaac Davis, whose valor and example excited their fellow-citizens to a successful resistance of a superior number of British troops at Concord Bridge, the 19th of April, 1775, which was the beginning of a contest in arms that ended in American independence.”

The new company was known as the Concord Artillery. The cannons of the Concord Artillery became so worn by firing that in 1846 they were rendered unsafe and were exchanged for new brass cannons that were engraved with the original inscription by a member of the Artillery.

The cannons remained in the possession of the Town of Concord after the Concord Artillery was converted into an infantry unit in 1855. Nonetheless, the cannons continued to be fired on Patriot’s Day and on other ceremonial occasions. In 1887, the Legislature, on a petition of the Concord Board of Selectmen, authorized the Governor “to confer upon the town of Concord the two brass field pieces heretofore used by the Concord Artillery Company, . . . with their carriages and equipment, in perpetuation of the historic renown of said town, and in recognition of the services of said Concord Artillery Company”. The cannons were relined at the Watertown Arsenal in 1956.

The Town has historically entrusted the cannons for firing on certain ceremonial occasions, and for their preservation, to a group of Concord area veterans from all of the armed services of the United States of America, variously known as the Concord Battery, the Old Concord Battery, the Concord Independent Battery, the Concord Light Artillery and the Concord Artillery. The Concord Independent Battery, as it is known today, has carried on the tradition of firing the cannons on Patriot’s Day, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. It has also fired salutes following the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, McKinley and Kennedy, at a ceremony on Lexington Green following the September 11, 2001 tragedy, to mark its 200th Anniversary in 2004, and on other solemn occasions.

The Concord Independent Battery Association was formed in 1947 to sponsor the Battery, and to provide it with financial and popular support. Subsequently, the Battery Association raised money from its members, and from friends of the Battery and the Town of Concord, to finance the construction of a new Gun House. On February 29, 1960, upon a petition of the Battery, the Concord Town Meeting voted to accept the funds raised by the Battery, and to permit the erection of a new Gun House on land near Concord Center known as Heywood Meadow. The new Gun House was dedicated in a ceremony on April 19, 1961.

The Battery voted on February 10, 1999 to incorporate as a nonprofit corporation pursuant to Chapter 180 of the Massachusetts General Laws, henceforth to be known as The Concord Independent Battery, Inc.