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By T.Berndt

American Tanks of global battle II

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Births, Marriages, Deaths, I, 1706–1840, Canterbury Town Hall; Canterbury Land Records, Book 7, 19, 127.  Timothy Mather Cooley, Sketches of the Life and Character of the Rev. M. S. ]), 8.  Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War (Hartford: Adjutant-General’s Office, 1889), 41, 196, 361; Alain C. White, comp. The History of the Town of Litchfield, Connecticut 1720–1920 (Litchfield: Enquirer Print, 1920), 152.  George H. T. Evans, 1862), 6–7.  Moore, 7–8.

Both Latham and Freeman were enslaved at the time and likely did not have to accompany their owners to the fort, or at least did not have to participate in the battle. Yet, these two men represent several Connecticut blacks who fought for American freedom without any apparent promise that by doing so they would themselves be free afterward. Connecticut’s colonial records show that African Americans fought in most of the colony’s wars prior to the American Revolution. Some of these black soldiers were free and some owned by whites.

Yet, army life has a way of making private soldiers see themselves as equals while serving together. Further, as former slaves for the most part, asserting independence and demands for equal rights might not have been a goal for the black participants. With freedom in view for many of them, black soldiers might well have been willing to endure anything while serving in integrated units. It does appear that the blacks received the same pay and the same provisions as the white soldiers did. And, when the war was over, records show that black veterans received government benefits along with the white participants.

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