Patriot Preachers

The Black Regiment was a name given to the patriot-preachers who "thundered from the pulpits" in Colonial America. They were called the "black" regiment because pastors in those days wore long black robes when they preached.

During the War of Independence there was a group of heroic men referred to as the "Black Regiment." The very name enraged the British armies. As heroes in the war, their courage and leadership were hailed throughout the colonies from Massachusetts to Georgia. This "Black Regiment" was responsible for providing the conviction and wisdom necessary for winning a war against the cruelty of an unjust government.



The Presbyterian Revolt

What was the "Black Regiment"? Actually, it wasn't a regiment at all. It referred to the American Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and Baptist clergy. So potent was the preaching which compelled the colonists that, quite often, the War of Independence was referenced in Parliament as "the Presbyterian Revolt". In retaliation, during the war, British troops made Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches military targets. So impressive was the pulpit in providing leadership, that the Sons of Liberty often organized their followers in the church buildings and through the church officers. The Minutemen very often found their leadership in elders and deacons of the churches.


Paul Revere rode to warn a church

Of course, when the epic struggle began, church authority was responsible for calling men to action. Pastors often led the colonists in actual battle. When Paul Revere made his famous ride, he went straight to the house of the Reverend Jonas Clark, because the churches were at the center of the cry for liberty, believing that God Himself is the Author of Liberty. Revere went to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were coming after them, because Adams and Hancock were key leaders in the revolution. Revere knew that he could find them with the pastor! The Rev. Jonas Clark was with his flock at Lexington green. In fact, "Old Jonas" had sworn never to run from British guns and proved it when he fell from a musket ball. Trying to fire from the ground, he was "run through" with a British bayonet.

Another "member" of the "Black Regiment", the Rev. James Caldwell became famous when, during battle, he supplied the much needed paper wadding for the muskets from his church hymnals. Returning to the battle front with an armful of Isaac Watts hymnals he exclaimed, "Now boys, give 'em Watts!" - Seldak, Rev. W. C.,The Black Regiment Led the Fight in Our War of Independence.