Free to Fight Historical

Free to Fight Historical (HM1TUS)

Location: Colonial Beach, VA 22443 Westmoreland County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 10.982', W 76° 55.082'

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Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

—War of 1812 —

To weaken the American economy, the British took tobacco and lured the enslaved labor force from plantations along the Potomac River. Physically fit males also provided the British with a valuable source of new recruits.

The British offered the recruits pay, uniforms, training—and an opportunity to fight against their former owners. The fugitive slaves knew the area well and could lead raiding parties. Their skills and determination made them important assets to the British military.

Others, especially women, were paid to cook, clean, and wash laundry. Many former slaves left the area to resettle in British territories.

"The Black Population inclined to join us is more numerous on the Shores of the Potowmac than any where else within the Chesapeake."
-Rear Admiral George Cockburn to Sir Alexander Cochrane, July 17, 1814

(right) Rear Admiral George Cockburn organized former slaves as a special unit of the Colonial Corps of Marines to fight alongside British soldiers in 1814.

Explore more Star-Spangled Banner Trial sites along the Potomac River:
* George Washington Birthplace — Visit the colonial-era farm here to learn more about the region's early tobacco economy.
* Stratford Hall Plantation
— Discover the Lee family connections to the War of 1812 while enjoying a spectacular view of the Potomac River.
* Nomini Creek — Travel by paddle or trailerable boat on the waters where British raiders came ashore twice in 1814.
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Year Placed2015
Placed ByNational Park Service, US Department of Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, August 22nd, 2016 at 9:01am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 332013 N 4227861
Decimal Degrees38.18303333, -76.91803333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 10.982', W 76° 55.082'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 10' 58.92" N, 76° 55' 4.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1732 Popes Creek Rd, Colonial Beach VA 22443, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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