Alexander Hamilton: His Actions During The Revolutionary War

BornJanuary 11th ,1755
DiedJuly 12, 1804
Famous Quote“A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous”
Known ForFounding Father, American Statesman, founder of Federalist political party
Region of WorldUnited States, 18th century
Further ReadingGeorge Washington: The 3 Ways He Changed History Forever and John Adams: His 3 Major Accomplishments That Changed History

Alexander Hamilton remains one of the most influential figures in the foundation of the United States of America. However, few people know of his heroic actions during the American Revolutionary War. Hamilton would become so influential that he is considered a founding father even though he did not sign the Declaration of Independence.

Alexander Hamilton was known for being a brilliant military commander during the American Revolutionary War. While studying at King’s College in New York Hamilton would lead a band of volunteer militia called the Hearts of Oak. With this volunteer band of militia Hamilton would capture British cannons from Manhattan. After this Hamilton successfully helped George Washington win the Battle of Princeton.

Many people know Alexander Hamilton from his widely successful play about his life. However the real Hamilton was by far more interesting. From an early age Hamilton displayed a knack for military history and leadership. This would help the young Hamilton later in life when he would become one of the most influential members of the American Revolutions.

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Without further ado, here is an entire article on Alexander Hamilton’s actions during the Revolutionary War.

Alexander Hamilton Helped Form And Lead A Volunteer Militia Named The Hearts Of Oak In 1775

When the Revolutionary War first started after the battles of Lexington and Concord Alexander Hamilton and a few other boys at King’s College in New York created a volunteer militia named at first the Corsicans.

Initially the reason for naming the militia the Corsicans was because of the Corsican Republic (1755) which was the first republic style of government which was founded upon Enlightenment ideals.

These ideals were centered around liberty, individuality, equality, and most importantly equal representation in government. Even women in the Corsican Republic were allowed to vote and hold equal rights to men.

Alexander Hamilton and his fellow militia members would change the name of their militia from the Corsicans to the Hearts of Oak shortly after the militia began formally drilling.

The Hearts of Oak would drill in the graveyard of the nearby church Paul’s Chapel. Today, St. Paul’s church is located in the exact middle of downtown New York City.

In 1776 Alexander Hamilton and the clandestine group The Sons of Liberty would stage a covert raid upon the fort at the end of Manhattan to steal artillery cannons. The British ship HMS Asia was in the New York harbor and would fire upon Hamilton and the Hearts of Oak.

Alexander Hamilton would successfully capture the British cannons. From this early military career success Hamilton would build up the New York Provincial Company of Artillery in 1776.

This uniting of a militia and formation of British cannons remains one of the primary actions of Alexander Hamilton during the Revolutionary War.

Alexander Hamilton And The New York Provincial Company Of Artillery In 1776

Thanks to his affluent connections in the city of New York in 1776 Alexander Hamilton was able to convert the Hearts of Oak into the New York Provincial Company of Artillery.

Initially this artillery group only consisted of 60 men but would grow over the course of the revolutionary war.

Hamilton was elected to lead this company of men and in 1776 was commissioned in the United States Congressional Army with the rank of Captain.

Almost immediately Hamilton and his artillery company were ordered to accompany George Washington on his winter campaign of 1776. This military campaign was organized by George Washington and the goal was to push the British out of New York and New Jersey.

While serving with George Washington during the American Revolutionary War Alexander Hamilton would see several battles. First, was the Battle of Harlem Heights where Hamilton provided vital support to Washington’s retreating forces.

The second battle was the Battle of White Plains. In this battle Alexander Hamilton would successfully lead his men to secure vital points to provide cover for Washington’s retreating army. Hamilton’s success in this engagement would allow Washington to cross the Delaware and win the pivotal Battle of Trenton.

Third, during the Battle of Trenton Alexander Hamilton managed to secure a high point outside the town and pin down the British troops. From this Washington would win the Battle of Trenton which proved a vital battle for increasing overall moral and enlistment numbers for the continental army.

However the most important battle for Alexander Hamilton was the Battle of Princeton on January 3rd, 1777.

During the Battle of Princeton Alexander Hamilton would directly help George Washington rally the fleeing troops to beat back the British advance. Using his cannons Hamilton would pin down the British defensive position in Nassau Hall. This resulted in a win for the continental army and would make Hamilton stand out as a notable military commander.

One of the primary actions of Alexander Hamilton during the revolutionary war was to help Washington as an artillery commander and secure several vital wins.

Alexander Hamilton As An Aid To Washington And Field Commander

After Alexander Hamilton distinguished himself on the battlefield he would be given offers as an aid to several prominent commanders. Hamilton would be invited to serve as an aid under either Lord Stirling, Nathanale Greene or Alexander McDougall.

Hamilton however believed his place was on the battlefield and rejected these offers.

However, an offer would come that Hamilton could not refuse. George Washington himself requested that Hamilton become his personal aid in dealing with congressional reports, state governors, and other generals.

For four years Hamilton served as Washington’s personal aid with the rank of lieutenant colonel. During this time Hamilton would draft many of Washington’s orders and letters to be sent around the military. Eventually Hamilton was allowed to issue his own signature over Washington.

However, Hamilton would come to hate serving as an aid. He wanted to have a field command. Washington however refused to have Hamilton leave his side. He was too valuable and trustworthy for Washington to risk him in the field.

Alexander Hamilton and Washington would become very close friends even though they had several disagreements. At one point Hamilton mailed Washington a letter threatening to resign his commission if he was not given a field command.

One July 31st Washington allowed Hamilton to leave for his field command. Hamilton would be given command over the 1st and 2nd New York Regiments along with two provisional companies from the Connecticut militia. This led to Hamilton’s last military battle, the Siege of Yorktown.

For a while one of the major actions of Alexander Hamilton during the American Revolutionary war was serving as an aid to General Washington.

Alexander Hamilton’s last Action During The Revolutionary War

Alexander Hamilton played a vital role in the siege of Yorktown. He was given command over three entire battalions and ordered to fight in conjunction with the allied French troops to seize the British forts of Redoubt number 9 and 10.

These were the last military objectives that if taken would secure the war and result in total victory for the continental army.

During the night of October 14th it was a full moon. During the day before Washington had ordered that all Continental cannons were to fire upon the British fortifications called Redoubt number 9 and 10. This significantly weakened the fortifications but there was still a large number of British troops.

Under the cover of night Hamilton was ordered to advance towards Redoubt number 10. After several hours of fighting the Redoubt was captured and Washington was able to move his cannons to begin to siege Yorktown. This led to a surrender of British General Cornwallis and an end to the American Revolutionary War.

This would be the last action of Alexander Hamilton during the Revolutionary War.


There you have it; an entire article going over the main actions of Alexander Hamilton during the revolutionary war.

Alexander Hamilton remains a fascinating figure for American historians to study. He was born in the Caribbean and would eventually come to become one of the most influential Americans of all time. Prospective graduate students will find much material on his life that could be turned into a research paper.

Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If you enjoyed this article consider subscribing to the free newsletter and sharing around the internet.

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