"The Fight for Equal Rights and Black Soldiers in the
American Civil War"
William Carney: Valor, Courage, Honor
|Sergeant William Carney
|Civil War "Medal of Honor" Recipient
William Carney: Valor, Courage, Honor
Winner of the Medal of Honor
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. Sergeant Carney valiantly
served in the famous 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Colored).
|Sergeant William Carney: Medal of Honor Citation
(About): Sergeant William Carney and Medal of Honor citation.
|William Carney Civil War Record
(About): Sergeant William Carney's Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR)
Source: National Archives and Records Administration, Compiled Military
Service Records (CMSR), Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917, RG 94.
Recommended Reading: African American Recipients of the Medal of Honor: A Biographical Dictionary, Civil War Through Vietnam War
(Hardcover). Description: This outstanding work details
the stories of the 88 African Americans who have been awarded the Medal of Honor--the nation's highest award. Each awardee's
"acts of bravery and courage" is chronicled and described in detail. Beginning with a brief history of the Medal of Honor,
the book is then divided into eight sections covering every major conflict from the Civil War through the Vietnam War. An
appendix of the number of medals awarded by wars and campaigns, a bibliography, and an index are included.
Black Profiles in Courage: A
Legacy of African-American Achievement. Description:
With all the flair of his last-second game-winning sky hooks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar delivers a well-written and important collection
highlighting the lives of America's greatest
black heroes. Taking his title cue from John Kennedy's Profiles in Courage, Abdul-Jabbar brings to life the exploits of a
wide variety of African Americans, including Estevanico, a Moorish slave who discovered Arizona and New Mexico; Cinque, a
kidnapped African slave who led a mutiny aboard the slave ship Amistad and later won his freedom in the U.S.; and Harriet
Tubman, who brought hundreds of slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Continued below...
In a time when
the media beams negative images of African Americans around the world, Black Profiles in Courage is indispensable for young
adults of other races as well as African-American youth, showing that attributes like courage are not coded by color. For
those young blacks who feel distant from America because of racism, books like this are a small but potent antidote against
prejudice, reminding them of the important contributions African Americans have made to their country.
Recommended Reading: The Negro's Civil War: How American Blacks Felt and Acted During the War for the Union.
this classic study, Pulitzer Prize-winning author James M. McPherson deftly narrates the experience of blacks--former slaves
and soldiers, preachers, visionaries, doctors, intellectuals, and common people--during the Civil War. Drawing on contemporary
journalism, speeches, books, and letters, he presents an eclectic chronicle of their fears and hopes as well as their essential
contributions to their own freedom. Continued below...
words of these extraordinary participants, both Northern and Southern, McPherson captures African-American responses to emancipation,
the shifting attitudes toward Lincoln and the life of black soldiers in the Union army. Above all, we are allowed to witness
the dreams of a disenfranchised people eager to embrace the rights and the equality offered to them, finally, as citizens.
Reading: Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War. Description: This book refutes the historical slander that blacks did not fight for their emancipation from slavery. At first harshly
rejected in their attempts to enlist in the Union army, blacks were eventually accepted into the service—often through
the efforts of individual generals who, frustrated with bureaucratic inaction in the face of dwindling forces, overrode orders
from the secretary of war and even the president. Continued below...
By the end
of the Civil War, African American soldiers had numbered more than 180,000 and served in 167 regiments. Seventeen were awarded
the nation’s highest award for valor and heroism--the Medal of Honor.
Theirs was a remarkable achievement whose full story is finally revealed.
A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865
(Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture). Description: The Civil War stands vivid in the collective memory of the American public. There has always been a profound
interest in the subject, and specifically of Blacks' participation in and reactions to the war and the war's outcome. Almost
200,000 African-American soldiers fought for the Union in the Civil War. Although most were
illiterate ex-slaves, several thousand were well educated, free black men from the northern states. The 129 letters in this
collection were written by black soldiers in the Union army during the Civil War to black and abolitionist newspapers. Continued below...
a unique expression of the black voice that was meant for a public forum. The letters tell of the men's experiences, their
fears, and their hopes. They describe in detail their army days--the excitement of combat and the drudgery of digging trenches.
Some letters give vivid descriptions of battle; others protest racism; while others call eloquently for civil rights. Many describe their conviction that they are fighting not only to free the slaves but to
earn equal rights as citizens. These letters give an extraordinary picture of the war and also reveal the bright expectations,
hopes, and ultimately the demands that black soldiers had for the future--for themselves and for their race. As first-person
documents of the Civil War, the letters are strong statements of the American dream of justice and equality, and of the human