How much of the information provided to you in school about the Revolutionary War do you remember? You probably recall the ride of Paul Revere and the Boston Tea Party, but there are many facts your textbooks and teachers probably did not tell you.
There are some cases in which the information you were given is wrong, too. One famous mistake in school textbooks comes with the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. The textbooks claim that Revere yelled on his ride, “The British are coming; the British are coming.” In all actuality, this just would not have made sense, because Revere was yelling this to primarily British people. We must remember that the citizens at that time were all British. The yell most likely was, “The Regulars are coming; the Regulars are coming.”
In today’s post, we are going to provide you with top 10 cool facts about the Revolutionary War. Scroll down and learn some facts you probably did not know.
1: General George Washington gave new Army recruits smallpox. You may wonder why the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army would give his Soldiers a deadly disease. As a teenager, Washington had smallpox when he had traveled to Barbados. He knew just how deadly this disease could be. Smallpox was coming from Europe and Africa, and many who were in the larger cities were susceptible to getting it. The primary way to make a person immune to the disease was to actually infect them with it in a small dose. Washington ordered that all new recruits would have the inoculation so their systems would be immune. They were sick with a small case of smallpox, but they would be immune from there on out.
2: The use of Pirates in the Revolutionary War. The Continental Congress knew that they had to disrupt the supplies being sent in to aid the British in their war efforts. It was agreed upon that they would provide “bounties” to pirates or privateers. Any boat that captured a British ship would split the sale proceeds of both the ship and all the goods on the ship with the patriots. It was a system that did a lot of damage to the British.
3: Women Soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Yes, there were women who were Soldiers in the Revolution. Just consider:
Deborah Samson: She disguised herself as a man with the name of Robert Shirtliffe. After being injured, the attending physician discovered her ploy. Deborah, or should I say Robert was honorably discharged.
Angelica Vrooman: In the midst of battle, this woman worked tirelessly molding bullets.
Rachel & Grace Martin: They also disguised themselves as men and took a British courier hostage. They took the top secret papers he carried and forwarded them to General Nathanael Greene.
Margaret Corbin: When her husband was killed, she took his place at the cannon. She was awarded a pension after the war’s end.
There were many others. Women were a huge part in gaining independence for the United States of America.
4: Benjamin Franklin wrote the Declaration of Independence. Your textbooks said that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Well they are right, but so am I. Ben wrote the first Declaration, but the Continental Congress did not approve it. Jefferson wrote a rough draft before the final one was approved. This document did not mention the word independence. It was actually called the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.
5: 2 Boston Tea Parties. Everyone knows about the Sons of Liberty boarding the English ships dressed as Indians and dumping tea in the Boston Harbor, but a 2nd Tea Party was held about six months after that one. Much less tea was dumped at the 2nd Party.
6: The all black regiment. There was a regiment of Soldiers from Rhode Island that consisted of all black men. 33 of these Soldiers were already freed men and 92 were slaves that were guaranteed freedom if they served until the end of the war. Their freedom came much sooner though. The whole regiment was killed in a British attack.
7: The Americans lost one of their best Generals because of the French. Like it or not, Benedict Arnold was one of the best Generals the Patriots ever had. We are familiar with his becoming a traitor and jumping over to the British side. The reason he did this is because the French sided with the Patriots. Benedict Arnold had a strong dislike for the French.
8: The first American submarine was used in the Revolutionary War. David Bushnell was an inventor from Connecticut. He developed a device that was shaped like tortoise shells and was water tight. The Patriots attempted to use this submarine to attach explosives to a ship, but the plan failed, and the submarine was destroyed.
9: John Adams successfully defended the British Soldiers who killed civilians in the Boston Massacre. The future President of the United States was the defense attorney for the British Soldiers who committed the Boston Massacre. One Captain and eight Soldiers were charged with murder. Six of them were found innocent, and the other two were guilty of manslaughter in benefit of clergy. They were able to perform penance as their punishment.
10: The majority of Patriots made high incomes and paid low taxes. We often hear how the British taxes were unreasonable. The fact is: the majority of those original Americans were doing quite well. Some made the equivalent of a person making $500,000 per year now. The average income would be equivalent to $120,000 per year now. From that average, if my math is correct, the British Crown wanted what would be equivalent to $3,400 of that. I sure wish our taxes were that low.
Were any of these facts in your history textbooks? Did your teachers tell you these? Well, you can now show off to your friends and family and tell them some Revolutionary War history they probably didn’t know.
Do you have any opinions on these, or do you have any facts we should know about the Revolutionary War? Please share them in the comments section below.
We hope you learned something new. Thank you for reading and keep checking back for new articles.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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