|Blacks participated fully in the War of Independence. Two Blacks, Peter Salme and Salem Poor, were commended for their bravery at Bumker Hill. On July 9th 1776, General George Washington announced there would be no further enlistment of Blacks in the army. On October 23rd, the Congress supported Washington's action. On November 7th, the deposed British governor of Virginia issued a proclamation promising freedom to any slave who signed up on the Royal side. Many took up the British offer. It had the effect, however, of strengthening the southern colonies' dedication to the revolutionary cause. On December 31st, Washington reversed his earlier decision and authorized the enlistment of Blacks. 5,000 Blacks participated in the war on the American side.