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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Portsmouth in Newport County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The Black Regiment

Battle of Rhode Island

 
 
"The Black Regiment" image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, 1994
1. "The Black Regiment"
Inscription.
Bloody Run Brook, First Black Militia,
R. Island Regt.
August 29, 1778.

In honor of
the first Black slaves
and freemen who fought in
the Battle of Rhode Island
as members of the
First Rhode Island Regiment
The Black Regiment

 
Erected 1976 by Newport, Rhode Island Branch, NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], Bicentennial Commission.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 41° 36.082′ N, 71° 15.517′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in Newport County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Road (Rhode Island Route 114) and Rhode Island Route 24 on West Main Road. Click for map. Marker is on Aquidneck Island (officially "Rhode" Island) and is accessible from northbound Route 114 in a turn out at the intersection with Route 24. Marker is in this post office area: Portsmouth RI 02871, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The 1st Rhode Island Regiment and the Battle of Rhode Island (a few steps from this marker); Site of the Battle of Rhode Island (within shouting distance
The Black Regiment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 8, 2011
2. The Black Regiment Marker
of this marker); Garden of New England (approx. 0.7 miles away); Battle of Rhode Island   1778 (approx. 0.7 miles away); Butts Hill Fort (approx. one mile away); Portsmouth Compact (approx. 1.9 miles away); W 3 R (approx. 2.2 miles away); Fort Barton (approx. 3.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Portsmouth.
 
Regarding The Black Regiment. The marker is located on part of the only Revolutionary War battlefield in the State of Rhode Island, a National Historic Landmark since 1974. Fought to an impasse and known as both the "Battle of Rhode Island" and the "Battle of Quaker Hill," it was an unsuccessful effort by the Continental Army (supported by the French Navy) to expel the British forces then occupying Aquidneck.

Among the eight Continental Regiments engaged in this battle was the 1st Rhode Island Regiment which was then composed mostly of Black soldiers, both freemen and ex-slaves who were granted their freedom in return for serving in the state's hastily mustered militia.

Elsewhere, the more than 5,000 Black men who served in
The Black Regiment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, 1994
3. The Black Regiment Marker
Marker is at the center, rear of photo.
the Patriot cause did so as individuals on a racially integrated basis in the organizations that accepted them. The 1st Rhode Island was the only regiment whose companies were mostly all-Black at its inception. Though men of other races (including a large contingent of Naraganset Indians) also belonged to the regiment and were soon in the majority after new Black enlistments ceased later in 1778, the title "Black Regiment" stuck through the Yorktown campaign and until the Rhode Island militia was finally mustered out in 1783.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Rhode Island. (Submitted on April 14, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. 1st Rhode Island Regiment. (Submitted on April 14, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. "Deeds of Desperate Valor": The First Rhode Island Regiment. (Submitted on March 30, 2009.)
4. The Battle of Rhode Island. "...the First Rhode Island acquitted itself well, repulsing three separate and distinct charges from 1,500 Hessians under Count Donop. They beat them back with such tremendous loss that Count Donop at once applied for an exchange, fearing that his men would kill him if he went into battle with them again, for having exposed them to such slaughter." (Submitted on March 30, 2009.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansMilitaryNative AmericansNotable EventsPatriots & PatriotismWar, US Revolutionary
 
The 1st Rhode Island Regiment and the Battle of Rhode Island image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 8, 2011
4. The 1st Rhode Island Regiment and the Battle of Rhode Island
The Black Regiment marker (seen at right) is located in Patriots Park, next to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment and the Battle of Rhode Island Memorial.
Note the changes in this photograph and the previous photo, taken 17 years apart.
Battle of Rhode Island, 1778 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, 1994
5. Battle of Rhode Island, 1778
National Historic Landmark, designated 1974.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,162 times since then and 36 times this year. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   5. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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