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"Accounts of African American service during the War of 1812" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2021 9:21 p.m. PST

"Although the documentation is fragmented, men of African descent did serve as soldiers and sailors aboard warships and on privateers during the war in substantial numbers on either side.

Ned Simmons lived most of his life enslaved on Dungeness plantation, on the estate of General Nathaniel Greene on Georgia's Cumberland Island. Born in 1763, probably in South Carolina, Simmons' legal status rotated among the Greene family, but his monotonous existence on the island changed very little until the waning weeks of the War of 1812. When Admiral George Cockburn's ships and soldiers invaded the area during early 1815, Simmons immediately volunteered for British military service. He received an old 1808 version of a British red uniform, a weapon, and began training to be a Colonial Marine. Then disaster struck! Although Simmons had enlisted, his training had not yet taken him off of Cumberland Island. During early March 1815, two American commissioners arrived to inform the British of the ratification of the peace agreement, and after days of bickering between the commissioners and Cockburn about property, the admiral acquiesced: only property—including slaves—on Cumberland Island at 11 pm on February 17, 1815, would be returned. Even this narrow interpretation of the Treaty of Ghent adversely affected Simmons. He had been one of the first to volunteer, but he had not yet departed the island. On March 10, 1815, British officers stripped Simmons of his uniform, insignia, and his weapon, and he and eighty other men returned to slavery on Cumberland Island. Unfortunately, Simmons remained enslaved on Cumberland Island until Federal troops liberated him in 1863, almost 50 years after his first flirtation with freedom…"
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Glengarry530 Oct 2021 2:17 a.m. PST

An interesting book on the subject. "The Slaves Gamble".

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2021 3:26 p.m. PST



Vincent the Librarian08 Nov 2021 8:52 p.m. PST

One of the American casualties at the shelling of Fort McHenry was an escaped African American slave who joined the garrison. I wish that someone would develop a story about him.

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