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African American Soldier in American Revolution Dissertation


In 1775, the black American’s constituted of about 20 percent of the entire colonial population, yet only 5 percent of the African-Americans were engaged in the Continental Army1. This presented worrying statistics on the American Revolution history. The black soldiers mainly originated from the Northern states, which constituted of many Freedmen.

Historical findings ascertain that these blacks from the Northern states were accorded some liberty for enlisting. During these times of the American Revolution, it was witnessed that some regiments were mainly composed of black men, but the officers in charge were the whites2.

For example, this kind of arrangement was witnessed in Rhode Island, where most solders went to the battle fields and fought with conviction as well as valor. Indeed, Edward Hector was among these little known heroes of the American Revolution, who took part in the Battle of Brandywine. Edward “Ned” Hector was a black solder who came from Pennsylvania.

Hector was appointed to be a wagoneer under the leadership of Captain Courtney. The Captain was under Colonel Proctor who was manning the third Pennsylvania’s Artillery Regiment3. Besides, it was witnessed that the unit positioned itself next to Chad’s Ford, and this could be somewhere on the ridge that was after John Chad House.

On September 11, Hessians as well as the British started overrunning the positions of the Americans, especially on the Eastern Brandywine. This event took place in the afternoon, and the Americans were ordered to abandon their horses, wagons, and guns in order to save their lives4.

Indeed, during this dreadful attack, Edward Hector strongly came out to protest against the threats of the enemy by arguing that he would save his team, horses and himself5. Hector made some remarkable achievements during this war when he ensured that all the abandoned arms were grabbed, thrown into his wagon, fended off the enemies, and escaped with his salvage wagon6.

In fact, this was one of his remarkable achievements because the salvaged items were critically required by the army’s operation in the coming days. It can as well be argued that Hector regarded both the wagon and the team as his personal property, and losing them would mean the loss of his personal livelihood7.

Moreover, Ned Hector’s activities during the America’s war with the British were very remarkable in the American political history since the white people had never heard of black heroes. Therefore, it is important to realize that the story behind Hector’s heroism could break certain stereotypes, build bridges, and even create links among individuals8.

This story provokes historical scholars’ thinking that many people and individual groups are excluded from history, and are unrecognized as heroes and heroines for their remarkable achievements towards political freedom.

Indeed, these groups of unrecognized heroes and heroines have never been rewarded by the society for the good work they did9. This would provoke scholarly thinking on whether Hector was fully rewarded for his good service at the battle front10.

In sum, it should be realized that those who took part in the American Revolution were not fully rewarded, yet this was an important event that led to independence. It was revealed that the blacks were behind the American’s liberation from the British colonial rule, and this was witnessed with Ned Hector’s brevity to salvage his army at the battle of Brandywine.

References

Bennett, Lerone. Before the Mayflower: A History of the Negro in America 1619- 1962. Chicago, IL: Johnson Publishing Co., 1962.

Ciment, James. Atlas of Africa-American History. New York, NY: Facts on File, c2001.

Gutman, George. The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1825. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 1976.

Hope, Franklin. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans. New York, NY: Knopf, 1967.

Reich, Steven. The Negro in the Civil War. Boston, MA: Little Brown Pub., c1953.

Schubert, Frank. On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier: Biographies of African American Soldiers in the US Army, 1866-1917.Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1995.

Uarles, Benjamin. “Afro-Americans in the Revolutionary War Era”. The Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, 7.1 (1986):3-11.

Weir, William. The Encyclopedia of African American Military History. New York, NY: Prometheus Books, 2004.

Westwood, Howard. Black Troops, White Commanders and Freedmen during the Civil War. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992.

Wilson, Joseph. The Black Phalanx: A History of the Nero Soldiers of the United States in the War of 1775-1812, 1861-65. Hartford, CT: American Publishing Co., 1892.

Footnotes

1 Bennett, Lerone. Before the Mayflower: A History of the Negro in America 1619-1962. Chicago, IL: Johnson Publishing Co., 1962.

2 Wilson, Joseph. The Black Phalanx: A History of the Nero Soldiers of the United States in the War of 1775-1812, 1861-65. Hartford, CT: American Publishing Co., 1892.

3 Gutman, George. The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1825. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 1976.

4 Schubert, Frank. On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier: Biographies of African American Soldiers in the US Army, 1866-1917.Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1995.

5 Hope, Franklin. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans. New York, NY: Knopf, 1967

6 Uarles, Benjamin. “Afro-Americans in the Revolutionary War Era”. The Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, 7.1 (1986):3-11.

7 Westwood, Howard. Black Troops, White Commanders and Freedmen during the Civil War. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992.

8 Reich, Steven. The Negro in the Civil War. Boston, MA: Little Brown Pub., c1953.

9 Weir, William. The Encyclopedia of African American Military History. New York, NY: Prometheus Books, 2004.

10 Ciment, James. Atlas of Africa-American History. New York, NY: Facts on File, c2001.

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1. IvyPanda. "African American Soldier in American Revolution." May 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/african-american-soldier-in-american-revolution/.


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IvyPanda. "African American Soldier in American Revolution." May 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/african-american-soldier-in-american-revolution/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "African American Soldier in American Revolution." May 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/african-american-soldier-in-american-revolution/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'African American Soldier in American Revolution'. 30 May.

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