Soldiers of Color

September 2, 2012

Few Americans understand how prevalent were blacks or “colored” soldiers amongst those serving in George Washington’s Continental Army.

“During the winter of 1777-78, dozens of black Virginians served in every one of the state regiments, freezing, starving, and dying at Valley Forge. By February 1778, the survivors were marching with white comrades through the snow, practicing Baron von Steuben’s as yet unfamiliar drill. When the Steuben-trained army proved its mettle at Monmouth in June, about 700 blacks fought side-by-side with whites. Eight weeks later, an army report listed 755 blacks in the Continental Army, including 138 Blacks in the Virginia Line. During the winter of 1777-78, dozens of black Virginians served in every one of the state regiments, freezing, starving, and dying at Valley Forge. By February 1778, the survivors were marching with white comrades through the snow, practicing Baron von Steuben’s as yet unfamiliar drill. When the Steuben-trained army proved its mettle at Monmouth in June, about 700 blacks fought side-by-side with whites. Eight weeks later, an army report listed 755 blacks in the Continental Army, including 138 Blacks in the Virginia Line.” (“The Revolution’s Black Soldiers” by Robert Selig)


James Armistead Lafayette

January 8, 2012

Revolutionary War Image

The portrait here is of General Lafayette of Revolutionary War fame. I snapped the portrait hanging on a wall at Bassett Hall in Williamsburg, Virginia.

I recently came upon a story relating to General Lafayette’s servant James. James was an enslaved man of Mr. William Armistead of New Kent County, Virginia. With his master’s consent, James joined the Continental Army and was assigned to serve the Marquis de Lafayette. At the risk of his life, James entered British camps and brought back information to the Marquis. After the war was won, a petition was offered to gain James his freedom and to compensate his master. Adopting the the patronymic of General Lafayette, James Armistead Lafayette began his new life as a free man.

James’s story was found in “Forgotten Patriots.”

The image, Portrait of General Lafayette, is subject to copyright by Edna Barney. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.


Tun Tavern

February 16, 2011

Revolutionary War Image

“The Legend” — On 10 November 1775, the Second Continental Congress resolved that two battalions of Marines be raised. The Continental Marines were born that day. According to legend, Captain Samuel Nicholas set up shop in Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern and began recruiting. The rest is history. On 11 July 1798, an act of Congress created The United States Marine Corps.

The Tun Tavern has been recreated at The National Museum of the Marine Corps at Triangle, Virginia.

The image, Tun Tavern – America’s First Recruiting Station, is subject to copyright by Edna Barney. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.


Bounty Land Warrant

September 26, 2010

I found this certificate of my Revolutionary War ancestor for 200 acres of Bounty Land at the Kentucky Land Office online.

John Doland 1785

Revolutionary War Bounty Land

“Under the terms of the Proclamation of 1763, issued by England’s King George III, soldiers who had served in the French & Indian War were paid with bounty land warrants. The warrants were used to obtain land patents; the rank of the soldier determined the acreage awarded by the warrant. The same principle of “land for military service” was used to pay soldiers of the Revolutionary War. Each colony determined the acreage per rank, the requisite duration of service, and the location of their respective Military District. The Military District for Virginia was located in southwestern Kentucky and southcentral Ohio. This website includes information regarding Military Warrants issued to Virginia veterans prior to 1792 and all Kentucky patents authorized by those warrants.”


Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski

November 24, 2009

Revolutionary War Image

Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski (1748-1779) was a young Polish Freedom Fighter who came to America to help George Washington’s Revolutionaries in their fight for liberty. The raised leg of his horse indicates that he was killed in battle. He gave his life to America’s cause at the age of thirty-one.

Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski 1748-1779

“The bronze equestrian statue of Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski, portrays the Revolutionary war hero in the uniform of a Polish cavalry commander. Born in Winiary, Poland on Marych 4, 1748 to a noble family, Pulaski gained prominence in Europe for his role in defending liberty in Poland. Excited by the struggle of the emerging American republic, Pulaski joined in its fight for independence, arriving in Boston in July, 1777.

“Pulaski was given a commission as Brigadier General and chief of cavalry in command of all cavalry of the American forces. He was present at Germantown, Pennsylvania and led his legion at Haddonfield, New Jersey; Egg Harbor, New Jersey; Charleston, South Carolina; and Savannah, Georgia.

“At Savannah, Pulaski was mortally wounded and was taken aboard the American brig, Wasp, where he died and was buried at sea on October 11, 1778. He was 31 years old.

“The statue was designed by the sculptor Kazimierz Chodzinski and architect Albert R. Ross. It was erected in 1910.”

~~From Plaque at the Statue in Pulaski Park, Washington, DC. See More on Casimir Pulaski.

The image, Pulaski Park, is subject to copyright by Edna Barney. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.


Forgetting America’s Revolution

July 21, 2009

Constitution Hall

In our “Changed America,” the life and soul of the American Revolution must be forever forgotten.

When I began this site in 2005, I wrote at the “About Page” of my concern that young people were not aware of the incredible sacrifices made by our forebears when birthing our country. Today, some years later, America has voted overwhelmingly for “change” and a part of that change seems to be a shunning of our past, our heritage. Perhaps it is dismissal of “God,” repudiation of “Dead White Males,” or fear of “Revolution,” I do not really know. What I do now realize is that “official” America and a majority of America’s citizens have little interest in remembering, much less honoring, our Revolutionary War beginnings. I still remember one particular comment-criticism of this site was that I posted too many graves of dead people.
(Slide Show of Revolutionary Patriot Graves)

When I read of the following recent incident, I realized that indeed we have been “CHANGED” as a nation in the “twinkling of an eye.” For the first time in the history of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (The DAR), an American President officially snubbed its members at their yearly convention in Washington, appropriately named “Continental Congress.” From Huntington, West Virginia’s newspaper comes this commentary about our changed America:

“Every single U.S. President since DAR’s inception in 1890 has made either a written or video address thanking the now 165,000 member, 3,000 international chapter organization for its contribution to preserving American heritage and its service to our country. Until this year, 2009, when our new President, Barack Obama, decided to ignore the invitation sent to provide an address that would give credit and thanks for the non-partisan, woman-only organization whose members must prove direct lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution regardless of race, religion or ethnic background and whose motto is: God, Home and Country.

“During the designated time for the presidential address, the expectant audience, many of whom voted for this president, grew to complete silence as it became clear there would be no address or letter this year. The news from women attending from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky leaves one wondering what exactly does our new President value if none of the above was reason enough to acknowledge the women responsible for such national achievements. What statement does it make for America and her patriots to become the first President in American history to make no statement at all? How should President Barack H. Obama’s silence settle with the country he leads?”

Although President Barack Obama snubbed a request from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution to address them on July 8th, 2009, for their efforts to preserve America’s Revolutionary War heritage, he did travel all the way to Russia on July 7th, 2009, to praise in person Russia’s “timeless heritage.

The lineage society, whose motto is “God, Home and Country,” accepts women who can prove direct descent from a patriot of the American Revolution regardless of race, religion or ethnic background. This year, civil rights legend Dr. Dorothy Irene Height was awarded the DAR’s highest recognition, the DAR Medal of Honor, for her lifetime of service, leadership and patriotism.

During Barack Obama’s tenure as America’s President, women of the DAR, many of whom voted for Obama as Senator and President, volunteered more than 60,000 hours to veteran patients, awarded over $150,000 in scholarships to American students, and supported schools for the underprivileged with donations exceeding one million dollars.

While America’s President was not interested in the efforts of the Daughters of the American Revolution to remember America’s “heritage” and the sacrifices of their patriotic ancestors of the Revolution, Barack Obama spoke in person to the Russians of their “timeless heritage” with these exact words from The White House Official Web Site:

“I speak to you today with deep respect for Russia’s timeless heritage. Russian writers have helped us understand the complexity of the human experience, and recognize eternal truths. Russian painters, composers, and dancers have introduced us to new forms of beauty. Russian scientists have cured disease, sought new frontiers of progress, and helped us go to space.

“These are contributions that are not contained by Russia’s borders, as vast as those borders are. Indeed, Russia’s heritage has touched every corner of the world, and speaks to the humanity that we share. That includes my own country, which has been blessed with Russian immigrants for decades; we’ve been enriched by Russian culture, and enhanced by Russian cooperation. And as a resident of Washington, D.C., I continue to benefit from the contributions of Russians — specifically, from Alexander Ovechkin. We’re very pleased to have him in Washington, D.C.”

UPDATE: The official statement from Linda Gist Calvin, President General of the NSDAR, graciously states “Rumors have been circulating suggesting that the absence of greetings was an intentional slight on the part of the President. Your President General is sure this is not the case. … Greetings from the White House to the DAR Continental Congress actually did not begin until 1910. There have also been more than a dozen years since that time in which greetings were not forthcoming. Regardless, please be assured that the DAR will continue to foster relationships with those in the White House and share our objectives of historic preservation, education and patriotism.”

Obama Disses the DAR

The image, Constitution Hall, is subject to copyright by barneykin. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.


Fighting for Freedom

October 17, 2008

Revolutionary War Image

It took many patriots and muskets to defend the bridge and prevent the crossing of the Hessians over Assunpink Creek, at the Second Battle of Trenton, during the American War for Independence. In January 1777, south of Trenton, New Jersey, George Washington’s Continental Army and local militias, held a defensive line along the south shore of Assunpink Creek, stretching from the mouth of the creek up to Philip’s Mill. The rebels repelled several charges by British and Hessian soldiers across the stone bridge over the creek, and also repelled an attempt by the enemy to ford the creek near its mouth.

The Reenactors were from Colonel Ogden’s 1st Regt. New Jersey, and the 2nd Regt. New Jersey, from the Second Battle of Trenton Reenactment, during Patriots Week 2007.

The image, Defending The Bridge, is subject to copyright by Mark K_NJ. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.