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38887Re: 1812 Re: Free Person’s of Colour n ow African Americans in US Forces

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  • richard lytle
    Jan 6, 2009
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      In speaking of the service of blacks in the U.S. Army, I was referring to the Regulars and not the militia. You are quite correct in that plenty of black americans (free persons of color usually but that might have included black slaves as substitutes) served during the War of 1812. Practically all of them were in militia units and they might have been "federalized" at one point or another. The Louisina militia had at least one free colored battalion, maybe two, at New Orleans and they, being the most noted, are easy to cite but there were others. I have read that as many as one out of every six men manning the U.S. fleet on the Great Lakes was black and I suspect that quite a few were employed by the U.S. Navy as sailors.
      The "purge" you mentioned was yet another reorganizing and restructuring of the Army that was conducted effective May 15, 1815, and the entire U.S. land forces went through a complete shaking up. The First Infantry became the Third Infantry, the Second Infantry became the First Infantry, the Sixth Infantry became the new Second Infantry, etc, etc. The whole force was scaled down from 44 regiments to only 8 and it stayed at eight regiments until 1855. Of course, the Artillery and the horse mounted troops were added furing those years but, considering the growth in population and the expansion to the west coast, that was damn few troops.
      Richard Lytle

      --- On Mon, 1/5/09, Colin <usmarine1814@...> wrote:

      From: Colin <usmarine1814@...>
      Subject: 1812 Re: Free Person’s of Colour now African Americans in US Forces
      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, January 5, 2009, 10:17 AM

      RL wrote:
      "Not in the U.S. Army any time before 1862, surely, and I doubt that
      either the
      U.S. Navy or Marines had them either."

      From what I recall I heard that a large portion of the regiments
      raised in 1813 and 14 were African Americans and soon after the war
      there was a purge and African Americans did not return to the US Army
      until 1862 as mentioned Perhaps someone can elaborate..

      The US Navy also had plenty of African Americans... See LLs example
      also I conference was held at the USS Constitution Museum a few years
      back and a speaker gave a great talk on the African Americans in the
      US Navy.

      As to the Marine Corps the Jury is still out

      They were not supposed to be there but we have found numerous
      enlistees described as "dark complexion" "black hair" "black eyes" one
      listed as a "planter" from Virginia

      Colin Murphy
      USS CON 1812 MG

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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