DAILY DOSE OF HISTORY: Colonel Tye – Loyalist Soldier

Colonel Tye, Loyalist Soldier, 4th of July, Black History, Black History 365, DDH: Daily Dose of History

Titus

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.
Colonel Tye, Loyalist Soldier, 4th of July, Black History, Black History 365, DDH: Daily Dose of History

Raids

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.

Black Brigade

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.

Legacy

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.
Colonel Tye, Loyalist Soldier, 4th of July, Black History, Black History 365, DDH: Daily Dose of History
**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.**
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