The Oneida nation of the Iroquois Confederacy was one of the few native American tribes that fought alongside the British colonists during the Revolutionary war. They are remembered for doing 3 major things during the Revolutionary War.
During the Revolutionary War George Washington employed the Oneida to do 3 things. First, they were spies that helped get information from the British. Second, the Oneida helped supply the Continental Army. Third, the Oneida were used as a skirmishing force to slow down the British.
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Without further ado, here are the 3 things the Oneida did during the revolutionary war.
The Oneida Were Used As Spies During The Revolutionary War
One of the main things that the Oneida did during the Revolutionary War was to work as spies for the British Colonists.
George Washington would employ the Oneida as spies against both the British and the other native Americans who were allied with the Royalist cause.
This would cause considerable strife within the Iroquois Confederacy. On one had the Iroquois had agreed to remain neutral but almost immediately factions began to form during the start of the Revolution where different tribes began to assist either the colonists or royalists.
The Oneida would be one of the few sovereign nation states to ally with George Washington. Further, the Oneida would become an ally in the beginning of the conflict which drastically increased Washington’s intelligence capabilities throughout the war.
As a result one of the main things that the Oneida did during the Revolutionary War was to form a spy ring for the British Colonists and George Washington.
The Oneida Helped To Supply The Continental Army
Another one of the main things that the Oneida did during the Revolutionary War was to help supply the continental army.
During the first couple years of the war the continental army had little to no supplies. Instead of looking like a professional army instead the continental army resembled a disorganized band of militia.
Oral history traditions of the Oneida dictate that during Valley Forge when the army was about to starve, an Oneida woman by the name of Polly Cooper brought a massive amount of corn and taught the British Colonists how to safely cook it.
Historians debate the authenticity of this oral history but evidence has shown that the British Colonists at Valley Forge did receive aid from the Oneida and they did have corn to eat.
As such this remains one of the primary things that the Oneida did during the Revolutionary War.
The Oneida Were Used As A Skirmishing And Scouting Force Against The British
The final thing that the Oneida did in the American Revolution was to provide troops that were used for both scouting as well as for skirmishing against the British.
These troops were battle hardened warriors who had fought on the side of the French against the British during the French and Indian War. Now they were fighting against the British once again, but this time on the side of the colonists.
Among these Oneida troops was a legendary warrior named Joseph Louis Cook. Even though Cook was born a Mohawk he would eventually come to be an important leader within Oneida society.
Over the course of the American Revolution Cook would come to lead the Oneida warriors to several successful military engagements. From this success he would receive a formal commission from the Continental Congress as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army. This made Cook of the Oneida Tribe the highest ranking native American during the Revolutionary War.
The Oneida would serve as scouts and skirmishers against the British. Their military prowess would be demonstrated during the Battle of Barren Hill on May 20th 1778. During this battle the Oneida would be sent to skirmish with the advancing British line to give Lafayette time to retreat the rest of his troops.
As such one of the main things that the Oneida did during the Revolutionary War was to provide skirmishing and scouting services to the British Colonists.
There you have it; an entire article dedicated to the 3 things the Oneida did during the Revolutionary War.
The Oneida have a rich history that few historians have delved into. For prospective students of history you can find substantial research topics surrounding the Oneida and their time during the revolutionary war.
Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If you enjoyed this article then consider subscribing to the free newsletter and sharing around the internet.
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