The Battle of Rhode Island Association

Varnum Armory Museum

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Varnum Continentals – James Mitchell Varnum began his military career in 1774 as Captain of the Kentish Guards in Rhode Island.  He would go on to serve in both the Continental Army and the Rhode Island militia, rising to the rank of Major General and participating in the battle at Red Bank and the Battle of Rhode Island. He is noted for his belief that enslaved men should be enlisted into the Army.  This led to the formation of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment (The Black Regiment) in the Continental Army.