Bye, Bye, Redcoats!

Well, I can chalk up another one under the category “1860 Headlines that have Bewildered Me”:

From The New-York Times November26, 1860:


Led British out of New York in 1783 (along with some Loyalists and freed slaves)

Evacuation Day.
Parade of the Military.

The First Brigade, under command of Gen. C.B. SPICER, consisting of the First Regiment, (cavalry,) Second Regiment, Col. TOMPKINS; Third Regiment, (hussars,) Col. S.B. POSTLEY; and the Seventy-first Regiment, Col. A.S. VOSBURGH — and the Fourth Brigade, Brig.-Gen. JOHN EWEN, consisting of the Eleventh Regiment, Col. HOEER BOSTWICK; the Sixty-ninth Regiment, Lieut.-Col. ROBERT NUGENT, the Seventy-ninth Regiment, Col. MCLEARY — and the Twenty second Regiment, Col. RAYNOR, will celebrate the Anniversary of Evacution Day to-day by a parade.

The Thirteenth Regiment, National Grays, of Brooklyn, will make a moonlight parade this evening. They form in the City Hall Park, Brooklyn, at 8 P.M., and crossing Fulton-ferry, will pass up Broadway to Union-square, and return by the same route to Brooklyn.

The New York Evacuation Day celebrates November 25, 1783 – the date that most British soldiers occupying New York City departed. Sir Guy Carleton left on December 4th.

When the British departed American patriots wanted to tear down the Union Jack in Battery Park and replace it with the Stars and Stripes. Apparently, the pole had been greased. “After a number of men attempted to tear down the British color – a symbol of tyranny for contemporary American Patriots – a veteran, John Van Arsdale, was able to ascend the pole with the use of climbing cleats used to scale masts on ships, remove the flag, and replace it with the Stars and Stripes before the British fleet had sailed out of sight. General George Washington led the Continental Army in a triumphal march down Broadway to The Battery immediately afterward.” [Wikipedia article linked to above]

While New Yorkers were commemorating the removal of the British and their Union Jack in 1783, people in South Carolina and throughout the South were viewing the Stars and Stripes as a new symbol of oppression and replacing it with the Palmetto flag.


1) Apparently the New York celebration in 1860 was delayed a day because the 25th fell on a Sunday.

2) The Boston area celebrates an Evacuation Day on March 17th to remember the day the British left Boston

3) I never knew: The Wikipedia article says more American soldiers and sailors died on British prison ships in New York Harbor (because of neglect) than died in all the battles of the Revolutionary War.

4) I think the regiments in the parade will soon be heading South. Presumably, the Brooklyn Grays started wearing blue in 1861. There was a baseball team by that name in the American Association in the 1880s

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