Dec 18, 2012

150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

Watch Night Observances will reenact December 31st, 1862.  One hundred-fifty years ago, slaves, freemen, abolitionists and people in all walks of life, sat in churches, meeting houses and fields throughout the nation, watching and waiting for freedom's dawn. With the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, freedom was to occur on  January 1, 1863.

Yet, freedom's light would not be all encompassing. Military necessity,  born out of the need to keep the loyalty of the border states, required the proclamation to exempt  loyal slave owners from having to free their slaves. Also,  the states of the Confederacy, having seceded from the Union, by definition,  belonged to another country, didn't recognize it. 

In and of itself, the Emancipation Proclamation didn't serve to directly free  any more slaves than the 1862 Second Confiscation and militia Act . It was not a "Declaration of Freedom", as the Declaration of Independence also was not.  The Fugitive Slave Act was still the law of the land, and was not repealed until 1864.

First and foremost, it was a military order, issued by President Lincoln, as Commander and Chief. It overturned the 1792 Militia Act, which barred Africans from serving in the military, specifically allowing African men to be received all military services They already had been fighting in the Navy. 

In May 22nd 1863, General Order 143 established The Bureau of the United States Colored Troops, through which the real significance of Emancipation Proclamation was manifested. Over 209 thousand black soldiers and sailors, and 7 thousand white officers who lead them, prosecuted the war against the South. Forty-thousand paid the price that freed 4 million Africans from Biblical slavery.

The imagery of a sitting African-American president on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation is powerful symbolism of the great sacrifices made toward realizing the ideals articulated with the founding of this country. If your group is holding an event of reflection on New Year Eve, you may want to acknowledge the historical milestone.

Cpl Leon Brooks
6th Regiment USCT, Re-enactors

Oct 26, 2012

MPMA 2012 Gala - update (added flyer)

MPMA 2012 Gala - Flyer

Sat Oct 27 6pm – 11pm Eastern Time
204 Bow Cove Aquia Harbour, VA (map)


Oct 25, 2012

MPMA Gala!

Presenting 2011 Congressional Gold Medal Recipients, 

event sponsor :
Quantico Chapter 32 and Ladies Auxiliary

Cost : $50.00 per person
(No Tickets available at the door)

For Tickets Contact : Mr. Forest Spencer 703.994.8273; Mr. Wayne Kelly 540.514.9405; Dr. Cladie Spears 540.846.7270; Ms. Catrina Upshaw 540.903.5988

Payment also may be made on PayPal


Cpl Leon Brooks will represent the 6th Regiment USCT  at this event honoring the Montford Marines.

On June 25, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an Executive Order establishing the Fair Employment Practices Commission and opening the doors for the very first African-Americans to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. The first African-American recruits were trained at Camp Montford Point in Jacksonville, NC. More than 19,000 African-Americans would serve in the Marine Corps during World War II, including the landing on the island of Iowa Jima and the seizure of Okinawa.

The Congressional Gold Medal was presented collectively to the Montford Point Marines at a ceremony held in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on June 27, 2012. The medal was awarded in recognition of their personal sacrifice and service during World War II.

Oct 17, 2012

Battle of Red Bank, October 21st

Colored Troops Information Exchange: Battle of Red Bank: Battle of Red Bank 18th Century Field Day features a Revolutionary War reenactment of an historic battle was a major victory for t...

Oct 8, 2012

Germantown Reenactment Report

1st Rhode Island in early war dress. Antoine Watts Commanding

After Action Report: Engagement at Germantown

Attendance - 8 men Attached – 2 men Glover’s Marbleheaders Combined total – 10 men Orders - Lt. Watts’ Combined RI/Mass Company on detached duty from Fort Mercer Deployment – Marched as one company Summary – Colonel Christopher Greene, 1st RI Regt. At Fort Mercer, New Jersey Action of October 6th, 1777 Colonel Greene, I have the pleasure to report that the event went very smoothly. All members had their own weapons and accoutrements. We were able to carry our own colors onto the field this day. What a glorious sight that was to behold! We participated in both attacks on the Chew mansion. During the first the attack we were obliged to fight back to back with a Pennsylvania unit as we fought our way out of encirclement. The company throughout the entire day acquitted themselves admirably. After the engagement the company had many pleasant discussions with the public about Africans and their roles in the American Revolution, and promoting participation the hobby. We answered many questions and had a few interviews with some of the school students there. I had the honor and privilege to lead some of the best men of the Continental Line on the field that day. I only hope that I served them as well as they served me. Humbly submitted, Lieutenant Antoine R. Watts, 1st RI Regt..

Sep 19, 2012

Battle of Germantown Reenactment

Battle of Germantown

- type : Battle reenactment. American Revolution
- unit: 1st Rhode Island Regiment # African decent
- unit contact : (609) 310-1521
- event contact :
- hos: Historic Germantown Preserved
Battle of Germantown (October 4, 1777) - Reenactments at 12 and 3. the 1st Rhode Island Regiment will represent men of African descent who fought in this battle. For more information on this and other festival events, visit the event site. There will be -
- An 18th century shopping experience in the sutler's grove at Cliveden,
- Food vendors, and maps for guided walking tours of Germantown available at Upsala - directly across the street
- Ned Hector, African American teamster who participated in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, on the Upsala grounds. Ongoing historical and festival activities.

Sat Oct 6, 2012
Cliveden and Upsala, Philadelphia, Pa

Invitation from Google Calendar

Sep 13, 2012

235th Commemoration Battle of Brandywine

235th Commemoration Battle of Brandywine

- type : American Revolution, Battle Reenactment
- unit : 1st Rhode Island
- sponsor : 2d Virginia Regiment
The British advanced northward through Delaware, toward Philadelphia. Washington prepared defenses against Howe's movements at Brandywine Creek, but was flanked and beaten back in the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777
Sat Sep 15 – Sun Sep 16, 2012
Brandywine Creek State Park, 41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington, DE 19807 (map)

Aug 25, 2012

Weekend Update

 Upholding the Tradition

Ft Pocahantas 2007013.JPG
Cadet Kyle Allen in 1st Rhode Island/6th USCT Regiments
Pvt Kyle Allen.jpg
Private Kyle Allen in 193rd Infantry Brigade
Drummer, Kyle Allen, is as most of us have,  going on to serve, and  now a Private in the US Army - the second member currently on active duty He is at basic training at Fort Jackson, SC. Private Allen joined the regiment at a young age. He attended Old Barracks' Musician's  Camp and participated in many living history, reenactments, and ceremonial events. Recently he was casted as George Washington's slave, Billy Lee, in the film America's First D-Day (still in production)

Monmouth Photo Shoot

Augest 25th, the staff of Monmouth Battle Field will be photographing the First Rhode Island Regiment, for its' newly renovated visitors center. 

According to Joe Becton, our regiment's historian, the First Rhode Island created a detachment, on 1 June 1778 , detached to Captain Thomas Arnold and fought at the Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, on 28 June 1778. On 1 July it became Captain Jonathan Wallen’s company.
The Second Rhode Island Regiment and Captain Thomas Arnold's detachment from the First Rhode Island, fought at the Battle of Monmouth White, Black and Red soldiers served in his detachment.

The list Africans who served in Arnold’s detachment and company in June of 1778. 
The photos will be taken of us at the positions where the Rhode Islanders were deployed during the historic battle.  Altogether, an estimated 900 men of color fought at Monmouth with the colonial forces.


Leon Brooks.

1st RI Regiment of Foot, Continental Line

May 11, 2012

Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair

Come see of historic New Jersey 
 cultural exhibits, artifacts, performances, sports, etc.
Fri May 11, 2012 11am to 4:30pm  Washington Crossing State Park, Titusville, NJ

Apr 1, 2012

2011-2012 HIGHLIGHTS

 Bringing history alive in living history events, exhibits, reenactments, and film. 
  • American revolution - 1st Rhode Island Regiment of Foot(1stRI ). The story of the men of African descent's fight for freedom, in the cause of liberty, remains largely unknown and untold. 
  • Civil War - 6th Regiment cInfantry USCT (6thUSCT). 2011 marked the start of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War. Over the next few years commemorations throughout the country will remember this formative period of American history. 

Cast of Americas First D-Day