Monument to First Rhode Island Regiment facts for kids
Monument to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment
|Coordinates||41°17′39.24″N 73°48′31.86″W / 41.2942333°N 73.8088500°W|
|Location||2880 Crompound Road, Yorktown Heights, New York|
The Monument to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment at Yorktown Heights, New York was erected on May 13, 1982 on the grounds of the First Presbyterian Church thanks to the civic advocacy of African American historian and Westchester community leader John H. Harmon; Harmon was the founder of the Afro-American Cultural Foundation in 1969 and the monument is a legacy of that institution. An engraved plaque recognizes the valiant efforts of a Revolutionary War unit composed predominantly of black soldiers that fought on May 14, 1781 under the command of Colonel Christopher Greene. 140 out of 225 soldiers were Black, the largest percentage by far in any of the integrated armies. While the patriotism of two white officers and a guide killed in the deadly skirmish known as the Battle of Pine's Bridge had been commemorated earlier with a plaque at the site in 1900, the deaths and bravery of more than 40 men defending America's freedom had been overlooked.
The monument was added to the African American Heritage Trail of Westchester County in 2004 as part of a mission to “preserve and interpret the legacy and contributions that people of African descent have made to the development of our unique American identity.” It is one of only 14 such sites. It was sponsored by the Afro-American Cultural Foundation of Westchester County together with the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society.