~ Captain John Parker
Leader, Lexington Training Band
April 19, 1775
John Parker (July 13, 1729 – September 17, 1775) was an American farmer, mechanic, and soldier, who commanded the Lexington militia at the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. Parker was born in Lexington to Josiah Parker and Anne Stone. His experience as a soldier in the French and Indian War (Seven Years War) at the Siege of Louisbourg and conquest of Quebec most likely led to his election as militia captain by the men of the town.
He was in poor health from consumption (tuberculosis) on the morning of April 19. Tradition reports his order at Lexington Green to be "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." He witnessed his cousin Jonas Parker killed by a British bayonet. Later that day he rallied his men to attack the regulars returning to Boston in an ambush known as "Parker's Revenge."