May 15, 1778

Almost ten percent of the soldiers at Valley Forge are African-American. Most of these free-men are integrated in the New England regiments. The famous First Rhode Island Regiment, composed of free and enslaved men, is camped in this area. The regiment distinguishes itself in a number of battles during the war.

Less than one-quarter mile further down the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail from the Washington Memorial chapel, you will see a rectangular stone marker similar to many others you have seen along the trail. Don't miss this one, it is very special.

This is the Patriots of African Descent Monument, the last monument to be allowed to be erected in the park. Did you know that the Continental Army was the last time in American history that military units were racially integrated until the Korean War in the 1950's?

Use the image-links below to learn more, or to navigate the timeline.
Continental Army musicians stand in line in front of a regiment outdoors in a field.

May 6, 1778

News of the French Alliance reaches Valley Forge.

A stone monument with a bronze relief of three African American Continental Soldiers.

Patriots of African Descent Monument

An integrated army for freedom.

Continental Soldiers march down a paved road.

June 19, 1778

The army marches out of Valley Forge.

Last updated: April 14, 2016

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