Captain Nathan Hale of the 19th Regiment of the Continental Army was one of the first known American spies of the Revolutionary War. In September 1776, he was captured while gathering intelligence behind enemy lines before the Battle of Harlem Heights. When it was discovered that he was carrying incriminating documents, British General William Howe had him executed. Legend holds that when 21-year-old Hale was asked if he had any last words, he replied with the now-famous words, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country."
More to Explore
People and Groups
This Day in History
The Virginia and North Carolina militias defeat 800 slaves and 200 redcoats serving John Murray, earl of Dunmore and governor of Virginia, at Great Bridge…
Polish military leader Tadeusz Kosciuszko fought on the side of the American colonies in the Revolutionary War and led a revolutionary uprising in his own country.
Revolutionary War, American Revolution, War of Independence, William Howe, George Washington, Battle of Brandywine, Horatio Gates, Nathanael Greene
(1829-1909), Apache Indian chief.
(1747-1792), naval officer.
Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!
Keep up with the latest History shows, online features, special offers and more.Sign up
Classroom Study Guides
Classroom companion for the new HISTORY series Vietnam in HD.
Teacher's guide to the bitter cold months of 1777, when George Washington led his troops to winter quarters at Valley Forge. There with Baron Von Steuben, they drilled the struggling group of individual militiamen into a unified fighting force.
Teacher's Guide to the program covering the last few weeks of the Civil War, from President Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration, to the surrender at Appomatox, the assassination of Lincoln, and the final laying down of arms by the Confederacy.