African American Captures British General Prescott: African Americans continued to serve in the colonial militias, and some, like Prince, an African American man in Lieutenant Colonel Barton's Rhode island army, showed great daring and bravery. Early in August 1777, Colonel Barton conceived a plan to capture British Major General Prescott, commander of the Royal Army at Newport, Rhode Island, to effect a trade for a captured American general. Leading an army of forty men in two boats, Barton landed five miles from Newport and advanced on foot to the headquarters of General Prescott, where the colonel, with a stout African American close behind him, and another at a small distance, confronted and then overwhelmed a sentry. While the other men surrounded the house, an African American man named Prince, instantly thrust his head through the panel door, and seized his victim, Prescott while in bed. While Colonel Barton received an elegant sword for his exploits, Prince, the actual captor of the general, received nothing. In that sense, Prince was not exceptional. African Americans played a pivotal, decisive role in battles only to have that role forgotten afterward.