The Minutemen were self-trained militias formed by American colonists. They played an important role in the American Revolutionary War as light and mobile infantry units than could be deployed “in a minute’s notice” (hence the name) and were quite useful as a response force against any threat to the colonies.
These militiamen received no uniform or standardized equipment and used to fight dressed with a wide array of civilian clothing, hunting frocks or farmer dress. Sometimes they used muskets, or hunting rifles, depending on the availability of supplies in the colony.
In the Revolutionary War, the Minutemen used to be among the first troops to appear on the battlefield and even they were the main actors in the first two combats of the war; the battles of Lexington and Concord, that were fought on April 19th, 1775. The Minutemen managed to fight off the British troops and only quit fighting when a larger contingent arrived and started to siege the surrounding area. Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his “Concord Hymn”, described the first shot fired by these American patriots as the “shot heard around the world”.
Our miniature depicts one of these men in a quite romantic pose, dressed with civilian garments and a few accoutrements that could be used either to hunt or fight in a battle.