I was recently in North Carolina and visited the battlefield at Alamance. The generally accepted first battle of the Revolution was the encounter at Lexington, and later that day, where the "shot heard round the world" was fired, at Concord. In North Carolina, however, a plaque on the statue of James Hunter on the Alamance battlefield proclaims "The Battle of the Alamance: The first battle of the Revolutionary War was fought in Orange County, North Carolina, May 16, 1771."
There still appears some debate over the classification of Alamance as a Revolutionary War battle or not. On the one hand, there were similarities between the Regulators' objections to a lack of representation and certain taxation. And although some claim that they were simply seeking reform, and not independence, there were many at the time of Lexington and Concord who also were fighting to establish and uphold their rights, rather than create a new country. On the other hand, this was not an action directed at the King or Parliament, but the local provincial government, and they were not facing off against what was, essentially in 1775, an occupying force.
Whatever. The ghosts of the era wander here still.