‘They Were Good Soldiers’

African–Americans Serving in the Continental Army, 1775-1783

John U. Rees

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 tre
Date Published :
August 2019
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Series :
From Reason to Revolution
Illustration :
8pp color plates, 14 b/w ills, 5 tables, 1 map
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781911628545
Pages : 210
Dimensions : 9.75 X 6.75 inches
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+
Available
$29.95

Overview
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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.

'They Were Good Soldiers' begins by discussing, for comparison, the inclusion and treatment of black Americans by the various Crown forces (particularly British and Loyalist commanders, and military units). The narrative then moves into an overview of black soldiers in the Continental Army, before examining their service state by state. Each state chapter looks first 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 introduce the reader to the men’s wartime duties and experiences. The book’s concluding chapters examine veterans’ postwar fortunes in a changing society and the effect of increasing racial bias in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
 
'They Were Good Soldiers' makes extensive use of black veterans’ pension narratives to ‘hear’ them and others tell their stories, and provides insights into their lives, before, during, and after the war.

About The Author
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John U. Rees has been writing about the common soldiers’ experiences in the War for American Independence for over thirty years, on subjects ranging from army food and the soldier’s burden, to women with the army, and military vehicles and watercraft. His work may be viewed at ‘World of the Common Soldier’: http://tinyurl.com/jureesarticles

REVIEWS
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"An important read not only for those studying African-American military service, but for anyone interested in the life of the common soldier during the Revolution."

- The NYMAS Review

"Rees breathes new life into the history of these often forgotten enslaved—and at times, freed—enlistees..."

- The Colonial Review

"Filled with human stories, readers will find this text useful in understanding the overall contributions of African American soldiers to the Continental Army and will gain insight into the experiences they faced along the way. Any reader with an interest in learning more about the common soldier serving in the Continental Army would benefit from reading this text."

- Journal of the American Revolution

"This is a fascinating book and a great addition to the knowledge of this war. One aspect I particularly liked was that the footnotes - which were of some considerable explanatory value - were at the bottom of each page rather than at the back of the book. It is thoroughly recommended for the general reader and expert alike."

- Miniature Wargames

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