Fall Issue 3 11/5/06
The 225TH Commemoration of the Battle of Yorktown - Another first for the First.
Participants and visitors alke were amazed by the appearance of an African-American regiment, portraying the historic First Rhode Island. Thanks to the dedication and skill of Fred Minus, the regiment was hard to miss - dressed in French uniforms with the distinctive plumbed helmets as depicted in paintings of the original regiment.
Originally composed of free blacks, slaves, and Native Americans, the regiment was formed so that Rhode Island could meet its obligation to provide men-at-arms for the Cause. The First Rhode Island Continentals accompanied Rochambeau's troops from Newport to Yorktown.
Our reenactors formed up with other Rhode Island regiments as part of the New England Brigade. Members were warmly greeted and praised by fellow reenactors. A picture representing black soldiers had been previously hung at the redoubt the historic regiment had attacked. Richard Patterson, Director of the Trenton Old Barracks, commented on the significance of our appearance there.
We all enjoyed the feelings of camaraderie and pride in having the opportunity to represent and recognize the contributions of true freedom fighters. See our website for more infomation about the First Rhode Island, our regiment, and pictures.
November 11 1ST RI - Battle of Red Bank, Fort Mifflin, Battlefield Park, NJ
November 18 6TH USCT - Thanksgiving Day Parade, Trenton, NJ -
November 19 USCT's Rememberance Day Commenration, Harrisburg PA