Native Americans in the Revolutionary War

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Published on: January 17, 2015

“The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, Sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and let it come! I repeat, Sir, let it come!” -Patrick Henry

Native Americans in the Revolutionary War is not mentioned frequently in the recounting of America’s War for Independence. However, I wanted to highlight what took place in the 1700’s during the American Revolution.

Although most Native Americans feared for their people, some of them fought on both sides of the war. Some Indians accepted promises from the Americans and the British. Both sides basically said, “If you fight for me, I will give you this or that.”

However, some Indian tribes remained neutral.

One example of an Indian who chose sides was an Indian called Dragging Canoe. He accepted British weapons, obviously which was from the British. In July of 1776, warriors of Dragging Canoe’s tribe fought and attacked two American settlements in Tennessee.

For the rest of the American Revolution, he led many attacks against the American Colonists. However, he made peace with the Americans in 1784.

It is important for us to know what happened during the American Revolution. The American Revolution was the war in which we won our freedom from Great Britain.

If you are wondering why I am always telling you about historic events, it is because if you do not know where you came from, you do not know where you are going. Some of you might say, “What do we need to know about the Indians for?” Well, I will tell you why.

Learning about the Indians during the American Revolution is good because if you did not know that some Indians were a part of the American Revolution, now you do. That knowledge will also help you to appreciate some of the efforts of the Native Americans in helping us to gain our freedom. This also helps to dispel some of the notions of how the Indians were treated by the Americans.

What if someone came up to you and said, “Hey, do you happen to know if any Indians fought in the Revolutionary war?” Now, you can answer them with the right answer.

Well, that is the story of the Indians in the American Revolution. I hope you understand that even learning about Indians in the Revolutionary war is important to know.


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