During the long and bitter fight that was the American Revolution, five all black units would shed their blood, the most famous being the 130-some men of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment. These black heroes received their baptism by fire at the Battle of Rhode Island. Samuel Harris was among them.
"The regiment to which I belonged was ordered to what was called a flanking position. It was a post of imminent danger; they attacked us with great fury, but were repulsed. Again they reinforced, and attacked us again, with more vigor and determination, and again were repulsed. Again they reinforced, and attacked us the third time, with the most desperate courage and resolution, but a third time were repulsed. The contest was fearful. Our position was hotly disputed and as hotly maintained." (1st Rhode Island Regiment veteran, Dr. Samuel Harris)
The 1st Rhode Island Regiment is featured in the documentary of Black Military History, "For Love of Liberty."