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The Acton minutemen were led by Captain Isaac Davis.When a company was needed to lead the advance on the bridge which was defended by the British regulars, Captain Davis was heard to reply, "I haven't a man who is afraid to go." The Acton men led because, unlike other militias there, they were fully equipped with bayonets.

Acton's history reflects the history of Massachusetts, New England, and the United States.Almost all of Acton is forested, except for where it has been cleared for residential or agricultural use.Some forested areas have been put aside for special use by corporations.The racial makeup of the town was 77.3% White, 18.6% Asian, 1.1% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.2% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races.Of the 8,187 occupied households, 42.7% had children under the age of eighteen living with them, 63.5% were husband-wife married couples living together.Acton is a suburban town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, approximately twenty-one miles west-northwest of Boston along Route 2 west of Concord and about ten miles (18 km) southwest of Lowell. It is bordered by Westford and Littleton to the north, Concord and Carlisle to the east, Stow, Maynard, and Sudbury to the south and Boxborough to the west. The town employs the Open Town Meeting form of government with a Town Manager and an elected, five-member Board of Selectmen.

Acton was named the 11th Best Place To Live among small towns in the country by Money Magazine in 2015, and the 16th best in 2009 and in 2011.), or 1.53 percent, is water.

There were also a powder mill, three gristmills and four sawmills in town. The Fitchburg Railroad was routed through South and West Acton so that it could serve the mills.

South Acton became a busy rail center and was the division point for the Marlborough Branch Railroad.

Acton Acton residents participated in the growing hostility with Great Britain by sending a list of grievances to King George III on Oct. The anniversary of this day is celebrated in Acton as Crown Resistance Day.

At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, on April 19, 1775, a company of minutemen from Acton responded to the call to arms initiated by Paul Revere (who rode with other riders, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott, with Prescott the only one of the three who was able reach Acton itself) and fought at the North Bridge in Concord as part of the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

When the colonists arrived in this area, the Native American population dropped dramatically due to European diseases for which they had no immunity.