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Shortly after dawn, one April morning in 1775, a Lexington teenager loses his father and gains his manhood as the War for Independence begins on the Lexington Green. Adam Cooper has had a difficult relationship with his father, Moses Cooper. When Adam goes to bed on the evening of April 18th, 1775, he is a somewhat rebellious teenager who is not quite ready to grow up. During the next twenty four hours, Adam's life will change drastically as he is forced to grow up and come to terms with the relationship he has had with his father.
That night the Coopers' sleep is disrupted by the sound of riders from Boston. They warn that the British Army is on the move towards Concord. Moses Cooper is a member of the local Committee and militia. He, along with Adam, go out to the town common as the men decide what to do. Adam takes his first step towards manhood that morning as he signs the militia book and gathers with the men to meet the British. None of the men assembled want to think that violence will occur that morning. They do not even want to "cock" their weapons. However violence does occur and the British begin to fire. Moses Cooper is one of the first to go down. Adam flees in dispair and hides from the searching British troops. He later meets a man named Solomon Chandler and goes with him to take part in the successful ambush of the British on their way back to Boston.
When he finally returns home to Lexington that night, Adam Cooper is not the same boy who left. He is a man who is ready to bury his father, as well as any resentment he might have had for the man his father was. He is also ready to confess his love of his distant cousin Rachel and is ready to make the commitment to fight for the newly forming Continental Army. Just as his country was taking its first steps into independence, Adam Cooper was taking his first steps into manhood.