The American Revolution is also known as the American Revolutionary War, and the U.S. War of Independence. Obviously, a war with so many names is going to have some strange facts and odd occurrences. The conflict of the war first arose from the growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British Crown.
Difficulties between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord in April of 1775 kicked off the armed conflict and by the following summer, the rebels were waging a war for their independence.
France entered the American Revolution on the side of the colonists in 1778, which turned what was essentially a Civil War into a full on International mishap. After the French were able to help the Continental Army force the British to surrender at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781, the Americans had effectively won their independence. However, fighting would continue until it formally ended in 1783.
The Strange and Obscure Happening of the Revolutionary War that You Didn’t Learn in School
While it may have been a war based on taxes, the Revolutionary War was far from boring. There were many tales of the brave rebellion against King George III as well as other quirky and bizarre happenings that we have yet to see in another war since.
Here are a few facts about the Revolutionary War that lasted between the years of 1775 and 1781.
The Boston Tea Party Came Back for Seconds
No, we’re not talking about the tea-baggers from the modern day Republican party. And we all know about the infamous incident that happened on December 16, 1773 when Boston’s Sons of Liberty dressed up as Mohawk Indians and threw 342 chests of tea from three ships into the Boston Harbor in a protest to the taxes imposed in the Tea Act.
But we often forget that they felt the need to hammer the point home with a second attempt on March 7, 1774. It was probably since they only grabbed 16 chests of tea at the time.
While it was very common for Patriots to tar and feather Loyalists, the Daughters of Liberty had a less painful alternative in mind. They decided to use molasses and flower instead. Not sure if it was less painful depending on how hot the molasses was, but their victims probably smelled much better than the others.
Where’s the Independence?
The word “Independence” never appears in the Declaration of Independence, instead the famous document is titled “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America”.
Drag King on the Front Line
Honey, in 1782 a 21-year old Deborah Sampson dressed as a man, called herself Robert Shurtlieff Sampson (after a deceased brother) and enlisted in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army. She served for over a year, until a doctor discovered her secret while treating her for an unhealed injury. She was discharged with honor. Sounds like a Disney movie!
Forget that Paul Revere Guy, Meet Sybil
More Lies! The Boston silversmith was accompanied by as many as 40 other men during his midnight run to sound the alarm that the British Were Coming!! But two years later, a 16-year-old girl named Sybil Ludington, who was the daughter of a colonel, rode for 40 miles on her own from 9 p.m. to dawn to alert New York militia members that the Brits were on their way, burning down Danbury, Connecticut.
Halt Thee War! I Must Act
In large cities, such as New York that were controlled by the British Army, there were some soldiers who took time to act in professionally produced plays during the war. Well…since they were already dressed for the part of several different battle-themed tragedies, why not?
“So, your ability to remain free resides in the hands of a rum trafficker smitten with the drink.”
Since they didn’t have the funds to hire a large navy, the Continental Congress hired privateers, aka Pirates to attack British ships. They were then supposed to split the booty with the US. Apparently, our funds are located on Shipwreck Cove being guarded by a guy who lost both his arms and part of his eye, named Larry.
The Very First CIA
Spying played a huge role in the war, and agents on both sides sent messages using invisible ink.
The French Kid
The Marquis de Lafayette, who was instrumental in General Washington’s defeat of the British at Yorktown in 1781, was only 19 when he joined the Continental Army as a major general in 1777.
Washington’s Teeth were a LIE
The general’s dentures weren’t made of wood, as legend has it. But instead they were made of hippopotamus ivory and cow’s teeth, which were all held in place by metal springs. But, what if the springs popped out during a speech…? Awkward.