As many as 400 African American soldiers fought in Connecticut’s Continental and state regiments during the Revolutionary War, according to David Oliver White, author of Connecticut’s Black Soldiers, 1775-1783.
Forgotten Patriots, published by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 2008, lists only one African American soldier from Wilton — Solomon Soutice, who served from 1778 until 1782.
According to the DAR, Soutice may have also been a “Pequot Indian.”
In 1973, White published his book containing a list of 289 names belonging to Connecticut men who fought in the war and “have been identified from documentary sources as black soldiers.”
According to White, the documentation for the names came from “manuscript and published Connecticut Revolutionary War archives, private manuscripts, and town and local histories.”
Both enslaved and free African Americans served in the army as soldiers, laborers and servants. Some were offered freedom when they enlisted, while others remained enslaved and were substitutes for their masters.
“There were several situations where slaves fought without any promise that they would be emancipated,” White wrote, “but served out of a love for their home, for adventure, or perhaps for a different way of life than the drudgery of slavery.”
No records were found that showed the reason for Soutice’s enlistment, nor were any records discovered that showed where in Wilton Soutice lived, when he was born or when he died.