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Black Redcoats (Hardback)

The Corps of Colonial Marines, 1814-1816

Military > Regimental History

By Matthew Taylor
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 15 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399034012
Published: 5th March 2024

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During the Anglo-American War of 1812, British forces launched hundreds of amphibious raids on the United States. The richest parts of the United States were slave-states, and thousands of enslaved African Americans fled to British forces in what was to be the largest emancipation of enslaved Americans until the abolition of slavery in the USA. From these refugees from slavery, the British built a force - the Corps of Colonial Marines. Black redcoats, they were a fusion of two great American fears, the return of the British King and an uprising by their own oppressed slaves. The Corps of Colonial Marines turned Britain's campaign on America's coasts from one of harassment to one of existential threat to the new nation. Although small in number, the Colonial Marines - fighting to liberate their own families as much as for Great Britain - exerted a massive psychological impact on the United States which paralysed American resistance with fear of a widespread slave uprising, and allowed British forces in the Chesapeake to burn down Washington DC.

As well as examining this little-remembered part of British military and African-American history, this book will also look to the post-war history of the Colonial Marines, their continued survival as a unique ethnic group in the Caribbean today, and their involvement in the largest act of armed African-American resistance to slavery. The "Battle of Negro Fort" in 1816 was the only time American forces left American territory to destroy a fugitive slave community - a community led by former Colonial Marines who, when faced with American attack, raised the British flag.

This book brings black history to the fore of the War of 1812, and gives a voice to those enslaved people who - amidst great power competition between a slave-holding Republic and a slave-holding Empire – demonstrated exceptional bravery and initiative to gain precious freedom for themselves and their descendants.

Review as featured in

Highlight: 'A fascinating history of a hitherto neglected unit of the Anglo-American War that deserves to be remembered. African Americans are rightly proud of the service of the US Coloired Troops in the American Civil War; they can be proud of this unit too.'

Miniature Wargames

'Fascinating': Lord Wallace reviews 'Black Redcoats'

Read the full article here

The House Magazine

Interview available to listen to here

The Redcoat History Podcast

About Matthew Taylor

Matthew Taylor is a Civil Servant who has worked for the British House of Lords for over a decade. A history enthusiast with particular focus on little-known stories that confound common historical narratives; his time at the heart of British politics has taught him the value of history in allowing us to better know ourselves today, and work toward a greater future. He is from Middlesbrough, UK. This is his first book.


 


For enquiries, please contact: blackredcoats@gmail.com

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