Musket balls from 1775 ‘Shot Heard Round the World’ battle found in Mass.

National Park Service archeologists have uncovered several items tied to one of history’s most consequential moments at a Massachusetts battle site.

Five musket balls shot by rebel militias at British troops during the North Bridge battle site in Concord at Minute Man National Historical Park, the National Park Service announced in a statement on Tuesday. The location marked the opening salvo of the Revolutionary War with the “Shot Heard Round the World.”

“It’s incredible that we can stand here and hold what amounts to just a few seconds of history that changed the world almost 250 years ago,” Minute Man Park Ranger and historic weapons specialist Jarrad Fuoss said in the statement.

Archeologists found the musket balls ahead of prep work for the park’s Great American Outdoors Act project, the park service said. The federal government signed off on this $27-million project to address repairs needed to Minute Man National Historical Park.

These five musket balls were found in an area where British soldiers formed up to resist any approaching colonial militias, the park service said. Each of the musket balls was fired from the opposite side and not dropped during the process of reloading.

“These musket balls can be considered collectively as ‘The Shot Heard Round the World,’ and it is incredible that they have survived this long,” Fuoss said in the statement. “It is also a poignant reminder that we are all stewards of this battlefield and are here to preserve and protect our shared history.”

The North Bridge battle site was part of the larger battle of Concord on April 19, 1775, which, along with the Battle of Lexington, were the first armed conflicts of the American Revolution, the park service said. The battles were waged over 16 miles along the Bay Road from Boston to Concord, and included some 1,700 British regulars and over 4,000 Colonial militia.

Ralph Waldo Emerson coined the term “The Shot Heard Round the World” in his 1837 “Concord Hymn,” according to History.

“By the rude bridge that arched the flood,” the opening stanza read. “Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled/Here once the embattled farmers stood/And fired the shot heard round the world.”

Park visitors can see the musket balls at Minute Man National Historical Park on Saturday, July 13, and learn about them at the following times and locations during the park’s Archeology Day events, according to the park service.

North Bridge Visitor Center, 174 Liberty St. in Concord

  • 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. — Members of the public can see the musket balls on display at the North Bridge Visitor Center.
  • 2:30 p.m. — “North Bridge Battle Walk”: Visitors can join park rangers for an interactive walking tour tracing the footsteps and the archaeology of those who fought at the North Bridge on April 19, 1775.

Minute Man Visitor Center, 210 North Great Road in Lincoln

  • 11:00 a.m. — “Investigating Hallowed Ground: Battlefield Archeology at Minute Man National Historical Park,” with Joel Dukes, NPS Northeast Region Archeology Program.
  • 1:00 p.m. — “Arms, Ammunition, and Archaeology: A Scientific Look at April 19, 1775,” with Joel Bohy, director of Historic Arms and Militaria at Blackstone Valley Auctions.

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