The largest Black Regiment was the Black Pioneers during the American Revolutionary War. The Black Pioneers was an African American unit established in May 1775 out of Lord Dunmore’s disband of the Ethiopian Regiment. The Black Pioneers retained the Ethiopian motto which embroider on their uniforms: “Liberty to Slaves.” The Black Pioneers followed British troops under the command of General Henry Clinton as they moved from New York to Philadelphia to Charleston, and after the fall of Charleston, back to New York.

These soldiers were typically divided into smaller corps and attached to larger armies. The Black Pioneers worked cleaning the streets, removing all nuisances being thrown into the street, they dug fortifications and built huts. While not a combat regiment, but they could often be called upon to work under heavy fire and dangerous conditions.

Toward the end of the war, the British evacuated nearly 20,000 African Americans.


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