Colonel Tye was born Titus in 1753, in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey. He was the slave of Quaker John Corlies. In 1775, when Titus was only 22 years old, he found his ticket to freedom. Before the American Revolutionary War erupted, Lord John Murray Dunmore declared martial law and offered freedom to any slaves who would join the royal (British) forces.
Royal Ethiopian Regiment
Titus–along with 300 other escaped slaves–fled their plantations and joined the British. He changed his name to Tye and joined the Royal Ethiopian Regiment. Unlike living on the plantation, Tye found respect and comradery.
Battle of Monmouth
On June 28, 1778, Tye saw action for the first time. He fought during the Battle of Monmouth and captured a Rebel (American) militia captain. This capture brought notoriety to Tye as a ruthless guerilla soldier. He then led a small multi-racial group of Loyalist guerillas on numerous raids and assassinations.
Tye and his soldiers often conducted raids and assassinations against their former masters in retaliation for their enslavement. Throughout 1779, Tye and his men would be paid by the British army for raiding Patriot homes and taking vital resources, like horses and cattle.
By the Winter of 1779, Tye was promoted. He was now the commander of twenty-four Black Loyalists. His group of soldiers was called the Black Brigade and he now went by Colonel Tye. He conducted several more raids in Monmouth with the intent to rid the Patriots of their firepower against the British.
Alongside the Queen’s Rangers (a British unit of White soldiers), the Black Brigade freed a multitude of slaves and protected New York City. The Black Brigade also led raids against Rebel sympathizers. Colonel Tye’s raids were effective in that they depleted Rebel resources and he lost very few men in combat.
In late 1780, Tye received a musket shot to the wrist during a raid on Rebel leader Captain Josiah Huddy. Colonel Tye’s wound led to tetanus and lockjaw, causing him to die two days after sustaining the injury. With his knowledge of the New Jersey topography and his ruthless fighting tactics, Colonel Tye played an integral role in assisting the British army throughout the American Revolution.
**The views and actions of the DDH historical figures that are featured may not reflect the views and beliefs of Ramiro The Writer or We Buy Black. Thank you.**Thank you all for reading my article. I’m a part of the largest online marketplace for Black-owned businesses called We Buy Black. Similar to Etsy or Amazon, this website allows for Black-owned businesses to create a shop and sell their amazing products to the world! If you have a product, you should definitely join this platform! We Buy Black also has it’s Inaugural We Buy Black Convention happening this November 16th-17th in Atlanta, GA and I hope to see you all there. In fact, I along with hundreds of others will be wearing our official We Buy Black T-shirt, so here’s my gift to you: Get 50% off the official WBB T-shirt using my code WBB2018. Peace, family!