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1815 shakeup of US army

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  • James Yaworsky
    ... Thanks, Richard. As I am partly of Ukrainian heritage, I am in fact preparing for our big Orthodox Xmas Eve family meal as I type this... the Holidays
    Message 1 of 20 , Jan 6, 2009
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      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, richard lytle <richard6616@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello, James. Hope you are recovering from the holidays.
      >  

      Thanks, Richard. As I am partly of Ukrainian heritage, I am in fact
      preparing for our big Orthodox Xmas Eve family meal as I type this...
      the Holidays just go on and on and on in this household! ;>)

      [snip] Anyway, the answer to your question is relatively simple if you
      consider the standard practice of that time. Typically, the original
      records of the late 1790s and early 1800s that I have seen numbered
      the regiments but the companies were designated by their commanding
      officers even though they were given numbers one through twelve within
      the regiment. Therefore,the reorganized regiments were re-numbered in
      1815 "ACCORDING TO THE SENIORITY OF SERVICE OF THEIR COMMANDING
      OFFICERS."

      Thanks, Richard. That does indeed make perfect sense to a student of
      the British army, especially when looking at its formative years in
      the Marlborough era.

      >  
      > At least, that is the "official version" currently available in any
      known documents. Un-officially, there is the problem of most of the
      old First Infantry having been surrendered by Hull at Detroit in 1812
      (and no one knows where the regimental colors went) and most of the
      old Second Infantry having been surrendered by Major (bvt. Lt. Col.)
      Lawrence which concluded the seige of Fort Bowyer located at Mobile
      Point in February, 1815. Those regimental colors went to England and
      are still in the possession of the War Museum in the old Chelsea Royal
      Hospital where I am told, very recently, the originals are in archival
      storage and replicas hang in the Great Hall in their place. Therefore,
      I believe that the plan to renumber as well as reorganize the
      regiments was concocted to erase those surrenders (even though they
      were not the fault of the men in those regiments) and restart the
      heritage from scratch. No proof, though!
      >  
      > Richard lytle

      Richard, you might be interested to learn that the Welch Regiment'sl
      Museum (formerly 41st) in Cardiff, Wales, has some "souvenirs"
      collected by the 41st from the Detroit surrender in its collections.
      Going by memory here, but I think they have the Regimental Color of
      the U.S. 4th?

      Jim Yaworsky
      41st
    • nappingcrow
      Hi Richard, This has become something of an interest of mine. I believe that in spite of the regulations forbidding their service, there were African-
      Message 2 of 20 , Jan 6, 2009
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        Hi Richard,

        This has become something of an interest of mine. I believe that in
        spite of the regulations forbidding their service, there were African-
        Americans serving in the regular US army during the War of 1812. I
        can't speculate as to numbers, but I believe today even the US Army
        states they served. (Sorry, it's late and I can't give you a proper
        citation.)

        The US National Archives notes the following:
        "African Americans also served in the Regular Army, primarily in the
        26th Infantry. The notation "(B)" appears following their names in
        Appendix III for those whose physical description indicates black or
        mulatto skin color. Persons whose skin was described simply as "dark"
        are not indicated as "black" since they were probably "dark"
        caucasians. "Blacks" and "mulattos" noted during records
        arrangement... " and it goes on to list men in three different
        regiments, including the 26th infantry.

        LINK: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/military/1812/discharge-
        certificates.html

        A number of years ago I ran across a list of 'denied' 1812 veteran
        bounty applications which appeared to have been denied simply because
        the applicants were black. The veterans were all from the 26th
        infantry, and served under Captain William Bezeau (also written as
        Begeau or Bezean in some other records) but like an idiot, I was
        looking for something else at the time and so didn't take enough
        notes - now of course I can't find the source.

        I suspect the logic at the time went something like "black men
        weren't elegible to serve, therefore didn't serve, so they are
        lying", or more probably "weren't elegible to serve, therefore aren't
        elegible for the land bounty granted to veterans".

        I could try to run down the names of all the men known to have served
        in his unit, and cross reference with bounty land applications, but I
        have too many other projects going to take on another one at this
        time... maybe in my retirement, if someone hasn't written a doctoral
        thesis on it by then.

        Regards,
        Brian Smith


        --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, richard lytle <richard6616@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Colin,
        >  
        > 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
        >
      • John Ogden
        Interesting. I understand all too well about finding a tidbit of potential interest and not following up on it immediately because you were looking for
        Message 3 of 20 , Jan 7, 2009
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          Interesting. I understand all too well about finding a tidbit of potential
          interest and not following up on it immediately because you were looking for
          something else, then not being able to locate the randomly discovered item
          later when you are free to follow up on it. If I had more free time to
          devote to researching this, I would love to follow up on this. My wife is a
          woman of color and, as a father and reenactor, I want our son to understand
          that while African-Americans have usually been marginalized by
          conventional/traditional historians, many did play pro-active and
          significant roles in the formation of our Republic.

          On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 11:24 PM, nappingcrow <nappingcrow@...> wrote:

          > Hi Richard,
          >
          > This has become something of an interest of mine. I believe that in
          > spite of the regulations forbidding their service, there were African-
          > Americans serving in the regular US army during the War of 1812. I
          > can't speculate as to numbers, but I believe today even the US Army
          > states they served. (Sorry, it's late and I can't give you a proper
          > citation.)
          >
          > The US National Archives notes the following:
          > "African Americans also served in the Regular Army, primarily in the
          > 26th Infantry. The notation "(B)" appears following their names in
          > Appendix III for those whose physical description indicates black or
          > mulatto skin color. Persons whose skin was described simply as "dark"
          > are not indicated as "black" since they were probably "dark"
          > caucasians. "Blacks" and "mulattos" noted during records
          > arrangement... " and it goes on to list men in three different
          > regiments, including the 26th infantry.
          >
          > LINK: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/military/1812/discharge-
          > certificates.html
          >
          > A number of years ago I ran across a list of 'denied' 1812 veteran
          > bounty applications which appeared to have been denied simply because
          > the applicants were black. The veterans were all from the 26th
          > infantry, and served under Captain William Bezeau (also written as
          > Begeau or Bezean in some other records) but like an idiot, I was
          > looking for something else at the time and so didn't take enough
          > notes - now of course I can't find the source.
          >
          > I suspect the logic at the time went something like "black men
          > weren't elegible to serve, therefore didn't serve, so they are
          > lying", or more probably "weren't elegible to serve, therefore aren't
          > elegible for the land bounty granted to veterans".
          >
          > I could try to run down the names of all the men known to have served
          > in his unit, and cross reference with bounty land applications, but I
          > have too many other projects going to take on another one at this
          > time... maybe in my retirement, if someone hasn't written a doctoral
          > thesis on it by then.
          >
          > Regards,
          > Brian Smith
          >
          > --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com <WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com>, richard
          > lytle <richard6616@...>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > Colin,
          > >
          > > 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
          > >
          >
          >
          >



          --
          John J. Ogden

          "Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity
          in exclusion of all other religions may establish, with the same ease, any
          particular sect of Christians in exclusion of all other sects?" -- James
          Madison, June 20, 1785

          "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense,
          founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of
          enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen; and, as the
          said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any
          Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising
          from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony
          existing between the two countries." -- Article 11 of the Treaty of Peace
          and Friendship between the United States and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli
          of Barbary, 3 Junad 1211 (Muslim calendar), 4 November 1796 C.E..


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • richard lytle
          Dear Brian, John, Colin, et al,   I m sure that most everyone will agree that between, say, 1820 and 1862, black soldiers in U.S. army uniforms just didn t
          Message 4 of 20 , Jan 7, 2009
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            Dear Brian, John, Colin, et al,
             
            I'm sure that most everyone will agree that between, say, 1820 and 1862, black soldiers in U.S. army uniforms just didn't exist---at least I have never seen or heard of any verifable source to contradict that statement. I agree with you that prior to 1815 there probably were some, especially during war time. Proving that there were some is the problem and if anyone knows where such proof may be found----PLEASE, I beg of you, tell me!!
             
            Bye the bye, Captain William Bezeau (spelling per Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary) was transferred to the 26th Infantry as a first lieutenant "officially" on 12 May 1814 and promoted to captain "officially" on 1 August 1814. He was not retained in the service after the War of 1812 ended but was honorably discharged with the date of 15 June 1815 (the last three months "probably" saw him carried on the War Department rolls as his severance pay).
             
            I know that the continential lines of several middle states during the Revolutionary War contained a significant percentage of black soldiers, some free and some slave substitutes, and I know that there were several black citizens in Massachusetts who were listed in the 1790 cenus/land warrent rolls as veterans. Add them to the known service of blacks already mentioned and it becomes a distinct probability that some were in the ranks of land force regiments during the War of 1812 but so far the only way I have found to get any physical description of any soldier during those early years is to look through newspapers of the day and find advertisments of rewards for the return of deserters. Again, if anyone knows another source---please let me know.
             
            Richard Lytle
             

            --- On Wed, 1/7/09, John Ogden <johnjogden@...> wrote:

            From: John Ogden <johnjogden@...>
            Subject: Re: 1812 Re: African Americans in US Forces
            To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2009, 8:16 AM






            Interesting. I understand all too well about finding a tidbit of potential
            interest and not following up on it immediately because you were looking for
            something else, then not being able to locate the randomly discovered item
            later when you are free to follow up on it. If I had more free time to
            devote to researching this, I would love to follow up on this. My wife is a
            woman of color and, as a father and reenactor, I want our son to understand
            that while African-Americans have usually been marginalized by
            conventional/ traditional historians, many did play pro-active and
            significant roles in the formation of our Republic.

            On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 11:24 PM, nappingcrow <nappingcrow@ gmail.com> wrote:

            > Hi Richard,
            >
            > This has become something of an interest of mine. I believe that in
            > spite of the regulations forbidding their service, there were African-
            > Americans serving in the regular US army during the War of 1812. I
            > can't speculate as to numbers, but I believe today even the US Army
            > states they served. (Sorry, it's late and I can't give you a proper
            > citation.)
            >
            > The US National Archives notes the following:
            > "African Americans also served in the Regular Army, primarily in the
            > 26th Infantry. The notation "(B)" appears following their names in
            > Appendix III for those whose physical description indicates black or
            > mulatto skin color. Persons whose skin was described simply as "dark"
            > are not indicated as "black" since they were probably "dark"
            > caucasians. "Blacks" and "mulattos" noted during records
            > arrangement. .. " and it goes on to list men in three different
            > regiments, including the 26th infantry.
            >
            > LINK: http://www.archives .gov/genealogy/ military/ 1812/discharge-
            > certificates. html
            >
            > A number of years ago I ran across a list of 'denied' 1812 veteran
            > bounty applications which appeared to have been denied simply because
            > the applicants were black. The veterans were all from the 26th
            > infantry, and served under Captain William Bezeau (also written as
            > Begeau or Bezean in some other records) but like an idiot, I was
            > looking for something else at the time and so didn't take enough
            > notes - now of course I can't find the source.
            >
            > I suspect the logic at the time went something like "black men
            > weren't elegible to serve, therefore didn't serve, so they are
            > lying", or more probably "weren't elegible to serve, therefore aren't
            > elegible for the land bounty granted to veterans".
            >
            > I could try to run down the names of all the men known to have served
            > in his unit, and cross reference with bounty land applications, but I
            > have too many other projects going to take on another one at this
            > time... maybe in my retirement, if someone hasn't written a doctoral
            > thesis on it by then.
            >
            > Regards,
            > Brian Smith
            >
            > --- In WarOf1812@yahoogrou ps.com <WarOf1812%40yahoog roups.com> , richard
            > lytle <richard6616@ ...>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > Colin,
            > >
            > > 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
            > >
            >
            >
            >

            --
            John J. Ogden

            "Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity
            in exclusion of all other religions may establish, with the same ease, any
            particular sect of Christians in exclusion of all other sects?" -- James
            Madison, June 20, 1785

            "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense,
            founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of
            enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen; and, as the
            said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any
            Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising
            from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony
            existing between the two countries." -- Article 11 of the Treaty of Peace
            and Friendship between the United States and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli
            of Barbary, 3 Junad 1211 (Muslim calendar), 4 November 1796 C.E..

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


















            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Craig Williams
            I m sorry if I am repeating someone else s post only because I m looking at this subject line for the first time, (time being at a premium) but as far as the
            Message 5 of 20 , Jan 7, 2009
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              I'm sorry if I am repeating someone else's post only because I'm
              looking at this subject line for the first time, (time being at a
              premium) but as far as the question of the Black serviceman/sailor in
              the US forces during the 1812 War, I have one suggestion for reference.
              Gerry Altoff wrote an excellent book on the African-American called
              "Amongst my best men".

              Again apologies if I have repeated earlier information.

              Craig Williams
            • queenannsrevenge2002
              When I was a young Lieutenatnt in command of my very first platton (Reconnaissance)I had a corporal - James Freeman. The last name being derived from the fact
              Message 6 of 20 , Jan 7, 2009
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                When I was a young Lieutenatnt in command of my very first platton
                (Reconnaissance)I had a corporal - James Freeman. The last name
                being derived from the fact that his ancestors were free blacks. He
                was very proud of the fact that he was a decendant of one of "The
                Free Men of Colour" who fought at the Battle of New Orelans. His
                passion and professionalism for this fact was reflected every day as
                a junior NCO. The down side - his family were also slave holders -
                a fact that did not sit well with most of the other young men of
                colour in his charge...

                Martin


                --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, richard lytle <richard6616@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Colin,
                >  
                > 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.
                > Richard Lytle
              • Jim
                Just started reading a book called A Stranger and a Sojourner: Peter Caulder, Free Black Frontiersman in Antebellum Arkansas by Billy D. Higgins. The second
                Message 7 of 20 , Jan 14, 2009
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                  Just started reading a book called "A Stranger and a Sojourner: Peter
                  Caulder, Free Black Frontiersman in Antebellum Arkansas" by Billy D.
                  Higgins. The second chapter relates the story of how Peter, a
                  mulatto, and five other African-American men from Marion County,
                  South Carolina enlisted in the U.S. Third Rifle Regiment as pioneers
                  in September 1814. After initial training in North Carolina, Peter
                  served his time during the war in the area around Norfolk, Virginia.
                  When the war ended he remained in the army for some time.

                  I have only finished a small portion of the book covering the time
                  just after the War of 1812 and so I am not sure how long Peter
                  remained in the regiment. He was with the regiment at least until
                  1819.

                  Because of books like this one and Gerard T. Altoff's "Amongst my
                  best men: African-Americans and The War of 1812" we are just starting
                  to explore this very interesting subject.

                  Regards,
                  Jim Greathouse

                  --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "nappingcrow" <nappingcrow@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Richard,
                  >
                  > This has become something of an interest of mine. I believe that
                  in
                  > spite of the regulations forbidding their service, there were
                  African-
                  > Americans serving in the regular US army during the War of 1812. I
                  > can't speculate as to numbers, but I believe today even the US Army
                  > states they served. (Sorry, it's late and I can't give you a
                  proper
                  > citation.)
                  >
                  > The US National Archives notes the following:
                  > "African Americans also served in the Regular Army, primarily in
                  the
                  > 26th Infantry. The notation "(B)" appears following their names in
                  > Appendix III for those whose physical description indicates black
                  or
                  > mulatto skin color. Persons whose skin was described simply
                  as "dark"
                  > are not indicated as "black" since they were probably "dark"
                  > caucasians. "Blacks" and "mulattos" noted during records
                  > arrangement... " and it goes on to list men in three different
                  > regiments, including the 26th infantry.
                  >
                  > LINK: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/military/1812/discharge-
                  > certificates.html
                  >
                  > A number of years ago I ran across a list of 'denied' 1812 veteran
                  > bounty applications which appeared to have been denied simply
                  because
                  > the applicants were black. The veterans were all from the 26th
                  > infantry, and served under Captain William Bezeau (also written as
                  > Begeau or Bezean in some other records) but like an idiot, I was
                  > looking for something else at the time and so didn't take enough
                  > notes - now of course I can't find the source.
                  >
                  > I suspect the logic at the time went something like "black men
                  > weren't elegible to serve, therefore didn't serve, so they are
                  > lying", or more probably "weren't elegible to serve, therefore
                  aren't
                  > elegible for the land bounty granted to veterans".
                  >
                  > I could try to run down the names of all the men known to have
                  served
                  > in his unit, and cross reference with bounty land applications, but
                  I
                  > have too many other projects going to take on another one at this
                  > time... maybe in my retirement, if someone hasn't written a
                  doctoral
                  > thesis on it by then.
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  > Brian Smith
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, richard lytle <richard6616@>
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Colin,
                  > >  
                  > > 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
                  > >
                  >
                • Colin
                  Has anyone every come across enlistment papers with the complexion being brown ? As been stated dark may be a dark Euro-American but a brown Euro
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jan 14, 2009
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                    Has anyone every come across enlistment papers with the complexion
                    being "brown"? As been stated dark may be a dark Euro-American but
                    a "brown " Euro American????

                    There is one Marine described
                    eyes: Hazel
                    hair: dark
                    Complexion: Brown

                    Born: Virginia
                    Enlisted: New Orleans
                    Previous occupation: Planter

                    YHOS
                    Colin Murphy
                    USS CON 1812 MG
                    USMCHC
                  • peter monahan
                    Richard Ran across this by accident today & thought it might be of interest, as it has a few pages on African Americans in the 1812 era US Army and Navy
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jan 15, 2009
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                      Richard

                      Ran across this by accident today & thought it might be of interest, as
                      it has a few pages on African Americans in the 1812 era US Army and Navy

                      http://books.google.com/books?
                      id=eWQFAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=sierra+leone+history#PPA287,M1

                      History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880
                      By George Washington Williams
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