Minutemen, the Massachusetts volunteers who fought in the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. In late 1774 the Massachusetts Provincial Congress directed patriots to leave the colony's militia (dominated by Tory officers) and form new units. A fourth of the men were to be enrolled in regiments ready to act “at a minute's notice.” Organization was far from complete when war broke out, however.

On April 19, 1775, at Lexington, 70 Minutemen fired the first shots of the war. Militiamen and Minutemen fought the same day at Concord. On April 23, the Provincial Congress dissolved the Minutemen by voting to establish a new army of volunteers.