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Minutemen of Lexington: Ensign Robert Munroe

Ensign Robert Munroe: Born May 4, 1712, killed on the Green on April 19, 1775

In honor of the upcoming Parker’s Prelude celebrations, the Lex250 Commission would like to shed light on the eight brave men who fought for American independence and died on April 19, 1774, at the Battle of Lexington. 

The first casualty, and the highest-ranking man who died on April 19, was Ensign Robert Munroe. He was 63 years old when he was killed by enemy fire. 

Robert served as an Ensign, which was the lowest rank of infantry officer at the time, on Lexington Common on April 19 and may have been in the front rank of the militia.

His body was discovered by his son, Corporal John Munroe. John Munroe later wrote in an affidavit to Massachusetts Councilman and Lexington Justice of the Peace Nathan Chandler in 1824,

 “The regulars kept up a fire, in all directions, as long as they could see a man of our company in arms. Isaac Muzzey, Jonathan Harrington, and my father, Robert Munroe, were found dead near the place where the line had formed.” 

It is believed that Robert was a veteran of the French and Indian War, though little documentation exists. 

He was married to Anne Stone (1718-1775) and had six children. Two of his children, Ebenezer and John, also served at the Battle of Lexington and were recorded as having fired their weapons. His daughter, Ruth, was married to Lieutenant William Tidd, who had also fired his weapon, and his daughter Anna married Daniel Harrington, Clerk of the Lexington Militia Company. 

Works Cited: 

  1. Captain Parker’s Company of Militia. The Lexington Minute Men. (n.d.-a).
  2. Captain Parker’s Company of Militia. The Lexington Minute Men. (n.d.-b).
  3. Kemper, D., & Poole, B. (2023, April 23). Robert Munroe A Brief Biography. The Lexington Minute Men.  
  4. Boston : Printed and sold by T. & J. Fleet, American Almanac Collection, Library of Congress . (1779, January 1). A pocket almanack, for the year 1779-1878 Calculated for the use of the state of Massachusetts-Bay : American Almanac Collection . Internet Archive.