Bucks of America

The Bucks of America was a Patriot Massachusetts Militia company, during the American Revolutionary War, that was composed of African-American soldiers. Few records survive about the unit, most of its history is constructed from eyewitness accounts.[1] Also, no official military records exist or have survived, for the Bucks of America.

Bucks of America
Bucks of America Flag
Bucks of America flag was presented to the Black Patriot, militiamen, after the war, in 1789, by Massachusetts governor, John Hancock and the grateful, citizens of Boston, honor them, presenting a white silk flag, displaying a leaping buck and a pine tree, the symbol of New England, and on the top, the initials, "J-G-W-H", of their benefactor son , John George Washington Hancock [died 1787]
Activedate unknown
Country United States
AllegianceMassachusetts
BranchMassachusetts Militia (Patriot)
Typeauxiliary police, security service
Sizecompany
Mascot(s)John George Washington Hancock (as a child, may have been the Bucks of America mascot)
EngagementsAmerican Revolutionary War no combat experience
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Colonel George Middleton
Bucks of America Medallion
Bucks of America medallion is an engraved, oval, silver, planchet, with the letters "MW", on the bottom, thirteen stars, for the 13 United States, above a leaping buck, and a shield, with three, fleur de lis flowers, the crest, of the last, French, royal family, the Bourbons, as a symbol of the Franco-American, war alliance, made in honor and recognition of the All Black Patriot, militia company

Black Patriots in American Revolutionary War

When the American Revolutionary War began in 1775, black soldiers—both slaves and freemen—served with white soldiers in integrated militia units in the New England colonies. Later that year, these New England militia units became the nucleus of the newly created Continental Army, the national army of the colonies. The inclusion of black soldiers in the army was controversial.

By the end of 1775, the Continental Congress and the army's Commander-in-Chief, George Washington, decided to stop enlisting black soldiers. Washington soon reversed this decision, however, both because of manpower shortages and because the British had offered freedom to slaves who would escape from Patriot masters to join the British. Washington permitted free blacks to enlist in the Continental Army. White owners could enroll their slaves, as substitute forces, for their own service.

On the local level, states made independent decisions about the enlistment of African Americans. Massachusetts continued to accept black soldiers in its integrated militia units.[2] It was also one of several northern states to create a segregated unit of black soldiers.[3] Blacks and abolitionists generally disapproved of the creation of segregated units, preferring integrated units.[4]

Military duties

Little is known of the campaign history of the company, but it seems to have operated in the Boston area.[5] It may have acted primarily as an auxiliary police or security service, in the city, during the war, and is not believed to have seen action against British soldiers.[6]

Company colonel, George Middleton

George Middleton was one member of the Bucks of America. William Cooper Nell claimed he attained the rank of colonel (although captain is the usual rank for a commander of an Infantry company).[7] Middleton is the only member of the "Bucks of America" to be known by name. Other members of his unit may also have been members of the Prince Hall Freemasonry Lodge, but proof is lacking.

Company disbanded

The dates when the Bucks were formed and disbanded are unknown.[8]

Bucks of America flag and medallion

The company was celebrated, in Boston, long after the American Revolution ended. Governor John Hancock and his son, John George Washington Hancock, presented the company with honor them, presenting a white silk flag, displaying a leaping buck and a pine tree, the symbol of New England, with the initials, "J-G-W-H", of their benefactor, John George Washington Hancock. The original flag is held by the Massachusetts Historical Society. It is believed to have been made in Boston and presented, around 1789, to the military company.[5] The Bucks of America medallion is an engraved, oval, silver, planchet, with the letters "MW", on the bottom, thirteen stars, for the 13 United States, above a leaping buck, and a shield, with three, fleur de lis flowers, the crest, of the last, French, royal family, the Bourbons, as a symbol of the Franco-American, war alliance, made in honor and recognition of the All Black Patriot, militia company. [9]

Notable Bucks of America

See also

References

  1. ^ Barclay, Shelly (3 August 2010). "Boston's African Americans from the American Revolution: The Bucks of America". Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  2. ^ Lanning, 65.
  3. ^ Lanning, 81.
  4. ^ Lanning, 82.
  5. ^ a b "Bucks of America flag". Massachusetts Historical Society. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  6. ^ Lanning, 83.
  7. ^ Nell, William C. (1885). The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution. Robert F. Wallcut. pp. 25–27.
  8. ^ Lanning, 84.
  9. ^ Bucks of America medallion. Massachusetts Historical Society. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  • Kearse, Gregory S. “The Bucks of America & Prince Hall Freemasonry.” Prince Hall Masonic Digest Newspaper, Washington, D.C. (2012): 8.
  • Lanning, Michael Lee. African Americans in the Revolutionary War. Citadel Publishers, 2005. ISBN 0-8065-2716-1

External links

11th Massachusetts Regiment

The 11th Massachusetts Regiment was raised on September 16, 1776, under Colonel Ebenezer Francis at Boston, Massachusetts. The 11th Mass. would see action at the Battle of Hubbardton, Battle of Saratoga and the Battle of Monmouth. The regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1781, at West Point, New York.

Colonel Ebenezer Francis was commanding officer of the 11th Massachusetts Regiment from November 6, 1776, until July 7, 1777, when he was killed at the Battle of Hubbardton. Colonel Benjamin Tupper was commanding officer from July 1, 1777, until January 1, 1781.

12th Continental Regiment

The 12th Continental Regiment was raised April 23, 1775, as a Massachusetts militia regiment at Cambridge, Massachusetts, under Colonel Moses Little. The regiment would join the Continental Army in June 1775. The regiment saw action during the Siege of Boston, the New York Campaign and the Battle of Trenton. The regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1777, at Morristown, New Jersey.

12th Massachusetts Regiment

The 12th Massachusetts Regiment, also known as 18th Continental Regiment and Phinney's Regiment, was raised on April 23, 1775, under Colonel Edmund Phinney outside of Boston, Massachusetts. The regiment saw action at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Battle of Valcour Island, Battle of Saratoga and the Battle of Monmouth. The regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1781, at West Point, New York.

13th Continental Regiment

The 13th Continental Regiment, also known as Read's Regiment, was raised April 23, 1775, as a Massachusetts militia regiment at Cambridge, Massachusetts, under Joseph Read. The regiment would join the Continental Army in June 1775. The regiment saw action during the Siege of Boston, the New York Campaign and the Battle of Trenton. The regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1777, at Morristown, New Jersey.

13th Massachusetts Regiment

The 13th Massachusetts Regiment, also known as the 6th Continental Regiment and Jonathan Brewer's Regiment, was first raised in 1775 by Colonel Jonathan Brewer. Under Colonel Edward Wigglesworth in 1776 it was designated the 6th Continental. It was manned with troops raised primarily from Essex, York, and Cumberland Counties. An additional battalion was later raised from Middlesex, Suffolk, Plymouth and Barnstable Counties. The regiment would see action at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Battle of Valcour Island, Battle of Saratoga, Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Rhode Island. The regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1781, at West Point, New York. The Light Infantry Company fought at the Battle of Stony Point

15th Massachusetts Regiment

The 15th Massachusetts Regiment was raised on September 16, 1776, under Colonel Bigelow at Boston, Massachusetts. The regiment would see action at the Battle of Saratoga, Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Rhode Island. The regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1781, at West Point, New York.

21st Continental Regiment

The 21st Continental Regiment, also known as Ward's Regiment, was raised April 23, 1775, as a Massachusetts militia regiment at Cambridge, Massachusetts, under Colonel Jonathan Ward. The regiment would join the Continental Army in June 1775. The regiment saw action during the Siege of Boston, the New York Campaign and the Battle of Trenton. The regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1777, at Morristown, New Jersey.

25th Continental Regiment

The 25th Continental Regiment, also known as Gardner's and Bond's Regiment, was raised April 23, 1775, as a Massachusetts militia Regiment at Cambridge, Massachusetts, under Colonel William Bond. The regiment would join the Continental Army in June 1775. The regiment saw action during the Siege of Boston, Invasion of Canada and the Battle of Valcour Island. The regiment was put into the 3rd Massachusetts brigade. It fought at the Battles of Saratoga on the extreme right of the American right flank, close to the river fortifications next to the hudson river.The regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1777, at Morristown, New Jersey.

The regiment traces its beginning to 1632 "North Regiment"; the 25th Continental Regiment lineage is by the 182nd Infantry Regiment (United States)-now 182nd Cavalry Regiment {Massachusetts National Guard}

3rd Massachusetts Regiment

The 3rd Massachusetts Regiment also known as the 24th Continental Regiment, Heath's Regiment, and Greaton's Regiment, was raised on April 23, 1775, under Colonel William Heath outside Boston, Massachusetts. When Heath was promoted to brigadier general in June 1775 the regiment came under the command of Colonel John Greaton. The regiment would see action at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Battle of Trois-Rivières, Battle of Valcour Island and the Battle of Saratoga.The regiment was disbanded, on November 3, 1783, at West Point, New York. Lineage carried on by the U.S. 104th Infantry Regiment.

4th Massachusetts Regiment

The 4th Massachusetts Regiment also known as 3rd Continental Regiment or Learned's Regiment, was raised on April 23, 1775, by Colonel Ebenezer Learned outside Boston, Massachusetts.

The regiment saw action at the Battle of Bunker Hill, New York Campaign, Battle of Trenton, Battle of Princeton, Battle of Saratoga, Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Rhode Island. The regiment was disbanded on November 3, 1783, at West Point, New York.

7th Continental Regiment

The 7th Continental Regiment, also known as Prescott's Regiment, was raised April 23, 1775, as a Massachusetts militia regiment at Cambridge, Massachusetts, under Colonel William Prescott. The regiment joined the Continental Army in June 1775. The regiment saw action during the Siege of Boston and the New York Campaign. On January 1, 1777, the regiment was disbanded and volunteers from the regiment joined the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment.

Cushing's Regiment of Militia

Cushing's Regiment of Militia (also known as the 6th Worcester County Militia Regiment) was called up at Westborough, Massachusetts on August 16, 1777 as reinforcements for the Continental Army during the Saratoga Campaign. The regiment marched quickly to join the gathering forces of General Horatio Gates as he faced British General John Burgoyne in northern New York. The regiment served in General Warner's brigade. With the surrender of Burgoyne's Army on October 17, the regiment was disbanded on November 29, 1777.

George Middleton (activist)

George Middleton (1735 – April 6, 1815) was an African-American Revolutionary War veteran, a Prince Hall Freemason, and a community civil rights activist in Massachusetts.

Gerrish's Regiment

Gerrish's Regiment was one of the 27 infantry regiments of the Massachusetts line created by the Continental Congress in 1775. Commanded by Colonel Samuel Gerrish, the unit saw action in the Boston and Cambridge campaigns and fought at Bunker Hill June 17, 1775.

Holman's Regiment of Militia

Holman's Regiment of Militia also known as the 5th Worcester County Militia Regiment was called up at Sutton, Massachusetts on September 26, 1777 as reinforcements for the Continental Army during the Saratoga campaign. The regiment marched quickly to join the gathering forces of General Horatio Gates as he faced British General John Burgoyne in northern New York. The regiment served in General Warner's brigade. With the surrender of Burgoyne's Army on October 17 the regiment was disbanded on October 27, 1777.

Johnson's Regiment of Militia

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Lee's Additional Continental Regiment

Lee's Additional Continental Regiment was raised on January 12, 1777 with troops from Massachusetts at Cambridge, Massachusetts for service with the Continental Army. The regiment saw action at the Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Rhode Island. The Regiment was merged into the 16th Massachusetts Regiment on April 9, 1779. Lineage carried on by the 101st Engineer Battalion (United States).

Prince Hall Freemasonry

Prince Hall Freemasonry is a branch of North American Freemasonry founded by Prince Hall on September 29, 1784 and composed predominantly of African Americans. There are two main branches of Prince Hall Freemasonry: the independent State Prince Hall Grand Lodges, most of which are recognized by Regular Masonic jurisdictions, and those under the jurisdiction of the National Grand Lodge.

Rowe Street Baptist Church

The Rowe Street Baptist Church was built in 1846 in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the third Baptist church built in the city.

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