On April 19, 1775, thirty-eight Americans formed two uneven lines on the wet grass of the two-acre common in Lexington, Massachusetts. They were summoned by the rolling beat of sixteen-year-old William Diamond's brightly painted drum. The order to sound the call to arms had been given by Lexington's militia captain, John Parker. A British column had been reported just fifteen minutes away. This is one of the vivid scenes New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming sets in First Stroke, his award-winning history of the opening days of the American Revolution, beginning with the Boston Tea Party.