“Quite simply, without the disproportionate and significant contributions of the Irish on all levels (political, military, and economic), America would not have won its struggle for independence. In consequence, the Irish odyssey during the American Revolution is one of the best untold stories of American history. “
George Washington Park Custis, Washington’s adopted son and a careful student of history, placed the significant Irish contribution to the American revolution in a proper historical perspective:
“When our friendless standard was first unfurled for resistance, who were strangers [foreigners] that first mustered ‘round its staff, when it reeled in the fight, who more bravely sustained it than Erin’s generous sons? Who led the assault on Quebec [General Montgomery] and shed early luster on our arms, in the dawn of our revolution? Who led the right wing of Liberty’s forlorn hope [General Sullivan] at the passage of the Delaware [just before the attack on Trenton]? Who felt the privations of the camp, the fate of battle, or the horrors of the prison ship more keenly than the Irish? Washington loved them, for they were the companions of his toil, his perils, his glories, in the deliverance of his country.”
Yet, the role of the Irish has often been written out. No chapter of America’s story has been more thoroughly dominated by myths and romance than the nation’s desperate struggle for life during the American Revolution. Unfortunately, America’s much-celebrated creation story has presented a sanitized version of events.
Read the article in full at Irish Central