Even if Revere wasn't the lone savior of Longfellow's poem, there's no doubt he and his fellow riders were the critical spark that ignited the Revolution. When British troops marched into Lexington that morning, the first shots of the war were fired, leaving eight colonists dead. Thanks to the riders' efforts, militias from all over the countryside were mobilized to take their revenge, driving the British all the way back to Boston. "The Die was cast," John Adams would later write, "the Rubicon crossed." The Revolutionary War had begun. It would take a bit longer for the same to be true of the legend of Paul Revere.