Teaching With Documents:
The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War
Medal of Honor Recipient
Sergeant William Carney of New Bedford, MA, became the first African American awarded the Medal of Honor for "most distinguished gallantry in action" during the assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, on July 18, 1863. After being shot in the thigh, Carney crawled uphill on his knees, bearing the Union flag and urging his troops to follow.
National Archives and
Compiled Service Records,
Records of the Adjutant General's Office,
1780's-1917, RG 94