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serving in the army under Washington's command, soon after the battle of Monmouth, makes their number 755; and this was prior to any systematic efforts to enlist them, and while their presence in the army was rather tolerated than invited.
Rhode Island, in 1778, authorized a general enlistment of slaves for the patriot army — every one to be free from the moment of enlisting, and to receive pay, bounty, &c., precisely like other soldiers.
A Black regiment was raised under this policy, which fought bravely at the battle of Rhode Island,
Aug. 29, 1778. and elsewhere; as many of those composing it had done prior to its organization.
Massachusetts, New York,
Act of March 20, 1781. and other States, followed the example of Rhode Island, in offering liberty to slaves who would enlist in the patriot armies; and the policy of a general freeing and arming of able and willing slaves was urged by Hon. Henry Laurens, of S. C., by his son Col. John Laurens, by Col. Alexander Hamilton, G