They “... fought bravely, but were unfortunate:”: The True Story of Rhode Island’s “Black Regiment” and the Failure of Segregation in Rhode Island’s Continental Line, 1777-1783
Rhode Island’s “Black Regiment” of the American Revolutionary War is fairly well-known to students of American History. Most published histories of the small colored battalion from Rhode Island are clearly biased in favor of the “regiment” and tend to interpret it as an elite military unit. However, a detailed study and analysis of Rhode Island’s segregated Continental Line by the author reveals a “military experiment” that was beset with difficulties from its start and ultimately failed as a segregated unit in 1780. In this work, many of the popular stories of Rhode Island’s “Black Regiment” are proven to be myths. Follow the accurate historical stories of the colored and white soldiers of Rhode Island’s Continental Line whose courage and sacrifices helped create an independent nation.
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1777 Military Census 1781 Rhode Island 1790 Federal Census American Army Black Regiment Born Brigade Capt Clothing Receipt Roll colored command confirms this residence Continental Regiment Courtmartialed Crary’s December 20 Deserted Detachment East Greenwich Elijah Lewis February Glocester Head of Household Hitchcock’s Island 1777 Military Island Regiment Clothing Island Regiment/Rhode Island Israel Angell Jersey July June Lieutenant Colonel light complexion Light Infantry Little Compton Massachusetts Months Continental Battalion NARA Microfilm M246 NARA Microfilm M637 NARA Microfilm M805 Newport Pension File physical description R.I. Six Months R.I. State Regt Recruit Regiment Clothing Receipt Regiment/Rhode Island Regiment Regimental Book Returns Book Rhode Island 1777 Rhode Island Regiment Rhode Island Regiment/Rhode Rhode Island Roots RIHS Manuscripts Roll 88 Second R.I. Regt Second Rhode Island September Sergeant Signed name Six Months Continental soldiers South Kingstown Spirit of 76 Thomas Arnold’s Thomas Cole’s Thomas Hughes Varnum’s Continental Regt Virginia Washington Yorktown