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Titus Becomes Tye in Lord Dunmore’s Ethiopian Regiment of Black Loyalist Soldiers

Now calling himself “Tye,” Titus joined Dunmore’s Ethiopian Regiment.  The Regiment was in existence from 1775 to 1776, with as many as 300 escaped slaves to its number.  On November 15, 1775, they fought at the Battle of Kemp’s Landing, and at the Battle of Great Bridge, both in Virginia.  Ethiopian Regiment regimental uniforms had sashes inscribed with the words, “Liberty to Slaves” (see picture above).

In 1776, Dunmore disbands the Ethiopian Regiment. It is not known where or how Tye spent the next two years.

On June 28, 1778, Tye takes part in the Battle of Monmouth, and fights with great courage for the Loyalists.  Tye captured Captain Elisha Shepard of the Monmouth militia and brought him to his imprisonment at a sugar house prison in British-occupied New York City.

Tye’s leadership and bravery lead to him receiving the honorary title of Colonel.  The British army did not allow Loyalists or blacks to be royal officers, but a tradition of referring to black military leaders by military rank was a tradition that had begun in other British colonies, e.g., in the Caribbean.

Sources:

Allen, Thomas B.  (2010).  Tories: Fighting for the King in America’s First Civil War.  HarperCollins, New York, N.Y. P. 316-320.

Hodges, Russell Graham  (1997).  Slavery and Freedom in the Rural North: African Americans in Monmouth County, New Jersey, 1665-1865.  A Madison House Book, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Md., P. 91-107.

Adelberg, Michael S.  (2010).  The American Revolution in Monmouth County.  The History Press, Charleston, S.C., P. 75-97.

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