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'They were good soldiers' : African-Americans serving in the Continental Army, 1775-1783

'They were good soldiers' : African-Americans serving in the Continental Army, 1775-1783 / John U. Rees.
Rees, John U.
  • Warwick : Helion & Company Limited, 2019.
  • ©2019

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TextUse in library Sc F 21-382Schomburg Center - Research & Reference


203 pages, viii pages of plates : illustrations (some color), map, portraits, facsimiles; 25 cm.
Series Statement
From reason to revolution series - warfare 1721-1815 ; no. 34
Uniform Title
From reason to revolution 1721-1815 (Series) ; no. 34.
Bibliography (note)
  • Includes bibliographical references.
Introduction -- 'I do promise to every Negroe ... full security .. within these Lines' : black Americans in service to the crown -- 'Numbers of free Negroes are desirous of inlisting' : an overview of African Americans in the Continental Army -- Analysis : 'return of the Negroes in the army,' August 1778 -- Soldier narratives and regimental service -- Massachusetts : 'the person of this ... Negro centers a Brave & gallant Soldier' -- Connecticut : 'he ... entered the service upon condition of receiving his freedom ...' -- New Hampshire : 'I was in the battles of Harlem-heights & Monmouth' -- Rhode Island : 'very much crippled in one arm ... [by] a wound received ... [at] Monmouth' -- New York : 'the Enemy made a stand and threw up a b[r]east work' -- New Jersey : 'enlisted ... for nine months ... was in the Battles of Crosswick & [M]onmouth' -- Pennsylvania : 'wounded in the right thigh, at Brandywine ...' -- Georgia : 'he served as a drummer in this company' -- South Carolina : 'a Ball ... passed through his left side, killing the Drummer immediately behind' -- Maryland : 'he will never forget the roaring of Cannon ...' -- Delaware : 'discharged ... 1782, being a slave for life & claimed' -- Virginia : 'served for two years ... in the light infantry commanded by Colo Harry Lee' -- North Carolina : 'the men sent on Board of Prison Ships--myself among them ...' -- 'They had a great frollick ... with Fiddling & dancing' : small things forgotten -- 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness' : post-war societal attitudes, the black experience, and slavery -- Afterword : 'they were good soldiers" -- Appendices. 'Being a coloured man he was taken as a waiter' : overview of soldiers as officers' servants ; 'While at the camp I had the small Pox' : African American women with the army ; 'Peters is an East-India Indian ...' : compendium of deserter notices for soldiers of color ; Analysis of the Chesterfield supplement's black soldiers.
Call Number
Sc F 21-382
  • 1911628542
  • 9781911628545
Rees, John U., author.
'They were good soldiers' : African-Americans serving in the Continental Army, 1775-1783 / John U. Rees.
Warwick : Helion & Company Limited, 2019.
Copyright Date
Type of Content
Type of Medium
Type of Carrier
From reason to revolution series - warfare 1721-1815 ; no. 34
From reason to revolution 1721-1815 (Series) ; no. 34.
Includes bibliographical references.
The role of African-Americans, most free but some enslaved, in the regiments of the Continental Army is not well-known, neither is the fact that relatively large numbers served in southern regiments and that the greatest number served alongside their white comrades in integrated units. The book begins by discussing for comparison inclusion and treatment of black Americans by the various Crown forces (particularly British and Loyalist commanders and military units). The next section discusses broadly black soldiers in the Continental Army, before delving into each state. Each state's section first looks at the Continental regiments in that state's contingent throughout the war, and then adds interesting black soldiers pension narratives or portions thereof. The premise is to leave the reader with some insights into the common soldiers' wartime experiences. The book ends with a look into what African-American veterans experienced post-war in their communities and home states. There have been no other book-length works that deal with the wartime experiences of black Continental soldiers in detail; additionally, the use of pension narratives of black soldiers to gain personal data and 'hear' them tell their own stories is relatively new, and compelling.
Chronological Term
Research Call Number
Sc F 21-382
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