Colonial soldier of the American Revolution. Minutemen were first organized in Massachusetts in September 1774, when revolutionary leaders sought to eliminate Tories, or British sympathizers, from the militia by replacing all officers. One-third of the members of each new regiment was to be ready for military duty at a minute's warning. Their first great test took place at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. On July 18 the Continental Congress recommended that other colonies organize minuteman units.