As early as September, 1774 citizens from the North Parish of
Sutton (Millbury) responded to an alarm from Boston that was
occasioned by the removal of three hundred barrels of gun-powder
which had been kept in the arsenal at Charlestown.
Messengers from that city brought tidings of this action and spread
an alarm that the powder was to be used against the people of New
England in forcing them to surrender to the drastic action of General
Thomas Gage who was stationed in Boston.
Men flocked to arms and thousands started for Boston. The alarm,
however, proved to be a needless one; but as a result, General
Gage recognized the seriousness of his position so that he “speedily
began to fortify the entrance to Boston to prevent a surprise from the
The following spring, in April of 1775, the battles of Lexington and
Concord occurred. One could say that the September 1774 action
was a “dry run” to these military actions.