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“C” is for Carolina Black Corps

“C” is for Carolina Black Corps. During the latter years of the Revolutionary War in South Carolina, British commanders used African American enslaved persons, freemen, and refugees in a variety of military capacities. In the spring of 1782, the British formed a group of about one hundred Black men into a cavalry detachment. When the British evacuated Charleston, some 264 Black troops from South Carolina went to St. Lucia where they were organized as the Carolina Corps or Carolina Black Corps. Transferred to Grenada, the unit became the first Black regiment to become a part of the West Indian peacetime establishment. Although used mainly for labor and fatigue duties, at least one company of the Carolina Black Corps was organized as dragoons (cavalry) and used to track maroons and other rebellious enslaved persons in the Caribbean.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.