The Important Role of the Irish in the American Revolution


The important roles and contributions of the Irish in the struggle for American Independence has been minimized and overlooked by historians, both American and Irish, for generations. Quite simply, American Independence could not have been won without the vital, widespread, and timely contributions-military, political, and economic-of the Irish from 1775 to 1783. To demonstrate the widespread extent of the Irish contribution and its importance in winning final victory, this work has focused on the long-overlooked achievements of the Irish in such important battles as Trenton, Kings Mountain, and Cowpens, which were key turning points of the American Revolution. However, because of long pervasive anti-Irish sentiment in America and because the Irish of the colonial period became thoroughly Americanized after the war, the key role played by the Irish throughout the war years has become one of the most forgotten and overlooked stories of the American Revolution. Indeed, ample new evidence has revealed that nearly half of George Washington's Continental Army consisted of Irish soldiers at key moments of the American Revolution, including at Valley Forge. Year after year, the Irish served not only as the nucleus, but also as the very foundation of Washington's Army, helping to ensure its survival during a lengthy war of attrition. Ironically, the disproportionately high percentage of Irish who served in the ranks of Washington's Continental Army was a fact well-known to both sides during the war years, but was quickly forgotten once the conflict ended, ensuring that the vital contributions of the Irish would be left out of the pages of American history. The latest scholarly research and much primary source material, especially from colonial period newspaper accounts, have been incorporated into this work to reveal the forgotten contributions and achievements of the Irish on all levels during the course of the American Revolution. For the first time, this book places the role of the Irish soldier in a proper historical perspective: a detailed look that is representative of the overall Irish contribution in all phases of the Revolutionary War effort.

Phillip Thomas Tucker

2009, 5½x8½, paper, 140 pp.

ISBN: 9780788450181