When we think about the Revolutionary War, most of the time an image of a skirmish, battle; or maybe a historical event like the Boston Tea Party comes to mind. However, did you know a large part of the Continental Army’s success came through George Washington’s spy networks?
Washington commanded several spy networks such as the Culper Spy Ring, The Mechanics, and the Knowlton Rangers. America’s greatest general was also very interested in counterintelligence.
So here’s a story of one of the greatest counterintelligence agents in the Continental Army.
Meet The Forgotten Patriot
Counter-espionage or counterintelligence also greatly affected the Revolutionary War. Counter-espionage is an activity used to prevent the spying of an enemy.
One of the most successful uses of counterintelligence was exercised by James Armistead. James Armistead was a slave who joined Marquis de Lafayette under the allied French forces.
He then was used as a spy by pretending to be a runaway slave. James infiltrated Lord Charles Cornwallis’ camp; Cornwallis believed that James was a runaway slave and recruited him to be a spy, thus making James a double agent.
Armstead then would give Cornwallis fabricated stories that didn’t exist while giving Lafayette vital information through handwritten notes.
Armistead’s Mission Which Changed The landscape of The Revolutionary War
One of Armstead’s most valuable espionage efforts came in 1781. He told General Lafayette that Cornwallis was going to move 10,000 of his troops to Yorktown.
Lafayette communicated this message to Washington instantly. Washington then set up a blockade around the Yorktown Peninsula which weekend the British Forces. The British surrendered on October 19th making them lose the siege of Yorktown.
This was the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. The British suffered a major defeat that they couldn’t come back from and counter-espionage was behind it.
Espionage was not only used by the Continental Army, but by the British Army too. The British use of espionage ended up defeating them, whereas the Americans’ use of espionage propelled them into victory.
The Importance Of Learning Our Nation’s History
As Americans have noticed, when President Trump announced he would set up the 1776 commission, many people from the Democrat Party declared that he was promoting a racist education. Although, little did Democrats know what the 1776 commission aimed to do was teach children about the great heroes in our country, no matter what their race is.
Forgotten Patriots like James Armistead haven’t been able to see the light, due to the fact the public school system is too busy trying to push critical race theory which teaches children that they are inherently racist.
Our education should be able to teach the Revolutionary War thoroughly and clearly, instead of just dedicating a few pages in a textbook to it.
Our freedom came from the blood of thousands of Patriots and countless others who risked their lives so we can celebrate Independence Day.
The least we can do is learn about them.