Lecture by Peter Fay, Patriots Park Commemoration
Patriots Park, Portsmouth, RI, August 27, 2023, 3 pm
Philo Phillips of North Kingstown was 27 when his owner sold him into the state’s Black Regiment. Now a soldier, he marched and fought for his life and freedom. However, like many soldiers, he was not alone. His wife accompanied him throughout the war as a “camp follower”, furnishing food, laundry, and nursing. She also earned income as a washerwoman for other soldiers. After the war, he was impoverished, and his wife was blind. He sought and found help from the Black community, and years later the Providence Gazette commemorated the death of this “respectable man of color” at age 75.
Soldiers’ lives depended on their comrades in battle. But Mr. Fay will uncover the stories of women and others’ support that was crucial to the Black Regiment’s success during the privations of war and its aftermath