African Americans and American Indians in the Revolutionary War
Jack Darrell Crowder
At the time of the Revolutionary War, a fifth of the Colonial population was African American. By 1779, 15 percent of the Continental Army were former slaves, while the Navy recruited both free men and slaves. More than 5000 black Americans fought for independence in an integrated military—it would be the last until the Korean War.
The majority of Indian tribes sided with the British yet some Native Americans rallied to the American cause and suffered heavy losses. Of 26 Wampanoag enlistees from the small town of Mashpee on Cape Cod, only one came home. Half of the Pequots who went to war did not survive. Mohegans John and Samuel Ashbow fought at Bunker Hill. Samuel was killed there—the first Native American to die in the Revolution.
This history recounts the sacrifices made by forgotten people of color to gain independence for the people who enslaved and extirpated them.