Medal of Honor Recipient — Sergeant William Carney

While William Harvey Carney was born a slave in Virginia in 1840, he escaped to freedom in Massachusetts through the Underground Railroad. He later enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and participated in the assault that took place in July 1863 on Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina. Carney received a Medal of Honor in May 1900 for his actions during this battle. The citation for his Medal of Honor states: “When the color sergeant was shot down, this soldier grasped the flag, led the way to the parapet, and planted the colors thereon. When the troops fell back he brought off the flag, under a fierce fire in which he was twice severely wounded.”

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