So much of African American history is unknown or forgotten. One place where this is prevalent is in American Revolutionary War history. The contributions of African American soldiers date back to the earliest days of this nation. One such historical figure emerges out of Lord Dunsmore’s Ethiopian regiment. That figure was an escaped slave from New Jersey named Titus. This man would join up with Lord Dunsmore. In time, he would come to be known as Colonel Tye.
Meet Colonel Tye: African American Revolutionary War Officer
Colonel Tye would go on to become a capable soldier of the Revolutionary War. Those on the battlefield would know him by his use of unconventional and aggressive tactics. By modern terms Tye used these guerrilla style strategies to wage war against the Colonial Patriots. Tye would command hundreds of soldiers on raids that freed slaves, captured supplies, and inflicted casualties against the rebellion by the thirteen colonies.
He Was Promoted To The Rank Of Captain Of The Ethiopian Regiment And Commander Of The Black Brigade
Colonel Tye used his knowledge of the American countryside and his commando style abilities to damage the progress of the Colonial Army against the British. This made him a formidable tactician for the loyalists. His actual rank was that of captain, and he served under Lord Dunmore. Tye also worked with the Queen’s Rangers, another guerilla style loyalist band, to keep military pressure on the Colonial Army.
Freeing Slaves During The Revolutionary War
Colonel Tye commandeered loyalists to free other slaves on the American continent. In addition to raids against Colonial positions and troops, Tye used his bravado and position as a military officer to help the enslaved who also were in a different type of fight for freedom. Regardless of the outcome of the war, Tye’s contributions helped free the disenfranchised, making him a true American hero.
Tye sustained an injury on an attack in 1780. He would contract lockjaw from the laceration. This eventually cost him his life.
Brenton, Felix. “Colonel Tye (1753-1780) •.” •, 29 May 2019, www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/people-african-american-history/colonel-tye-1753-1780/.