Henry Blacker, Ensign 62 Regt, his signature from a regimental paylist dated Monkstown, Ireland, 3 April 1776
Regimental commission dates:
Ensign, 21 December 1775
Lieutenant, 8 October 1777
Captain, 26 October 1786
Wounded: Battle of Freeman's Farm, 19 September 1777
Captured: Saratoga, New York, 17 October 1777 (Convention Army)
Died: 1 September 1827
The second eldest son of eleven children, Henry Blacker's parents were William Blacker of Carrick and Brookend (1709-1783) and Letitia (née Cary), who were married on 8 August 1738. As with many other upper class Irish commoner families, two of Henry's brothers entered the the service of the church, while another, William, also served in the army (in the 54th Regiment, also serving in America).
Henry Blacker served with the 62nd Regiment during the entirety of the Northern Campaign of 1777, including fighting in the Battle of Freeman's Farm (19 September), in which battle he was wounded. He was given a free promotion the day after the Battle of Bemis Heights following the death of Lieutenant Archibald Stuart, becoming the lieutenant of Captain Richard Baily's additional company. Blacker surrendered with the rest of Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne's army at Saratoga on 17 October 1777. He remained in captivity with his regiment during most of the rest of the war. In August 1781 he was returned as the lieutenant in Captain Erle Hawker's battalion company, recruiting men in Ireland for the severely depleted regiment.
According to John Burke's A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, vol 1 (London: 1847), Henry Blacker "inherited from his maternal uncle, the Right Hon. Edward Cary, the house and property of Millburn, co. Derry...and [after his 1827 death, Blacker]was buried at Coleraine, leaving his estates to his nephew, the Rev. Richard Olpherts." An interesting anecdote was later recorded by a nephew of Henry Blacker, William Blacker (1777-1855), a son of Henry's brother, the Very Reverend Stewart Blacker (1740-1826). William left writings on a variety of subjects, which he recorded in a series of journals during the course of his life. In one, he relayed the following story about his Uncle Henry (The Blacker Diaries, by S. C. Lutton. Journal of the Craigavon Historical Society, Vol. 3 No. 2):
My Uncle Henry Blacker who survived all his brothers and died Sept. 1827, was a worthy man but somewhat passionate. He had been for many years in the 62nd Regiment. He was taken prisoner with Burgoyne at Saratoga during the American War and had a mortal antipathy to the principal actor (Washington) in that Revolution. He had a fine young horse called Wellington on which he mounted me one day. and on my return asked my opinion of the animal. My thoughts as he approached me had reverted to his early days and in the confusion associated—answered that Washington had carried me famously. It was 'fire to flax,' he blazed in a moment and I don't think he forgave the hasty misnomer—for months after.