Black Regulars in the War of 1812

Black Regulars in the War of 1812

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Black Regulars in the War of 1812 - Eric Eugene Johnson.

The Black American soldier was a rarity between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. When Congress passed the Militia Act of 1792, it required that “every free able-bodied white male citizen” join his state militia. It is implied that non-whites could not participate in the militia but it left open the possibility that non-whites could join the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army did permit Blacks to serve in the army, but only as cooks or officer’s servants between the two wars. Cracks in these restrictions appeared for a short time during the War of 1812. Congress passed An Act for Completing the Existing Military Establishment on 24 December 1811 in which is stated that only “able bodied men” may be recruited in the army. No restrictions for race will appear in any military legislation passed during the War of 1812. Without proper rules and regulations governing this issue of recruiting Black soldiers, some commanders in the army did recruit Blacks. This work identifies 396 Black men who did enlist in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 and another fifty-two men who may have been Black due to their physical descriptions as found in their enlistment papers. Mr. Johnson is a lineal descendant of five veterans of the War of 1812 and he is the past president of the Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Ohio (2008-2011). He is currently the Archivist General for the General Society of the War of 1812 and has served as the Historian General (2011–2014) for this society.

2015, 8½x11, paper, alphabetical, 74 pp.

101-J5610 ISBN: 0788456105