The Irishmen who fought in General Washington's army

The independence celebrated on this July 4th weekend was fought for by many brave men who paid the ultimate price, so that Americans could enjoy all the privileges and freedom that come with it.

On this holiday weekend, IrishCentral celebrates the Scots-Irish who fought valiantly with General Washington to win the War of Independence.

The Scots-Irish immigrants of the 18th century played a key role in the development of the country. There were the ones who cleared the forest, built communities on the frontiers and made lives for themselves in a pioneering fashion.

When the American Revolution broke out, both Scots-Irish and Irish Catholics could be found in every contingent of Washington's army.

According to James O'Boyle's "Life of George Washington," one of the most daring group of soldiers during the Revolutionary War was led by two Irishmen named Francis Marion and Andrew Pickens.

Francis Marion is considered one of the fathers of modern guerrilla warfare, and is credited in the lineage of the United States Army Rangers. Image: Public Domain / WikiCommons

These same men, most of whom were Irish, later became the pioneers that would venture outside America's colonies and head west.

The Scots-Irish from Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania were particularly prominent among the ranks of American soldiers who took on, and ultimately prevailed against, the British.

They grew to love the country they had left the north of Ireland for, and it was an affection that would see them bear arms in a bid to gain independence.

Their efforts did not go unnoticed either. When things weren't looking great for General Washington, he came out with a gem of a quote that showed the pride and trust he had in these sturdy men.

“If defeated everywhere else, I will make my stand for liberty, among the Scots-Irish in my native Virginia.”

But defeat was not something they had to worry about, and Washington would lead his Army to victory and becomes the country's first President.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Happy 4th of July!