In December of 1776, a large British military force established a post in Rhode Island, headquartered in Newport. Throughout 1777, the soldiers and sailors who had come to drive out “rebels” settled into a tense coexistence with an independence-minded civilian population that loathed their presence. On Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm, join author Don Hagist for a discussion on the types of men in the British regiments that garrisoned in Newport, and their interactions with the population of the town and surrounding countryside.

Don N. Hagist is an editor for Journal of the American Revolution ( His focus on demographics and material culture of the British Army in the American Revolution grew from the discovery that there was paucity of literature on the common British soldier, and that much of the conventional wisdom on the subject was inconsistent with available first-hand information. This led to a continuing quest to find and assimilate primary sources in Great Britain and America to better understand the thousands of professional British soldiers who served during the 1775-1783 war. Don’s specific areas of expertise include British operations in Rhode Island, wives of British soldiers, and the service of the 22nd Regiment of Foot (the Cheshire Regiment) in America.

Don maintains a blog about British common soldiers,, and has published a number of articles in academic journals. His most recent books, The Revolution’s Last Men: The Soldiers behind the Photographs (Westholme Publishing, 2015) and British Soldiers, American War (Westholme Publishing, 2012), are available from major booksellers. Don works as an engineering consultant in Rhode Island, and also writes for several well-known syndicated and freelance cartoonists.

“Redcoats Among Rebels: British Soldiers and Newport Citizens, 1777” takes place at the NHS Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI, and costs $5 per person, $1 for NHS members, active and retired military with ID. RSVP at or call 401-841-8770.