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Sgt. William H. Carney won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Civil War on July 18, 1863 (the first Black soldier to receive the coveted award). Sargent Carney, a member of the 54th Massachusetts Colored infantry was wounded twice during the charge on Fort Wagner, S.C. while rescuing the Union Flag.

May 23, 1900 Sergeant William Harvey Carney becomes the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism on May 23, 1863 in the Assault on the Battery Wagner during the Civil War.

Officers of the 54th Massachusetts | William Carney - 54th Massachusetts. Medal of Honor Winner

Robert Gould Shaw (October 10, 1837 – July 18, 1863) was an American officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. As Colonel, he commanded the all-black 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, which entered the war in 1863. He was killed in the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina.

Charles Sumner statue in Harvard Square. "Charles Sumner (1811–1874) was an American politician and statesman from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction."

On this day, May 23rd, in the year 1900, William Carney became the first Black man to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was honored for his heroism at the Assault on Fort Wagner.

Algernon M. Squier, Circa 1864 graduated from Georgetown Medical College in 1867, and joined the ranks of contract surgeons employed by the U.S. army. In July 1867, during his first assignment, he was credited with saving the lives of 36 soldiers from a battalion of the Eighteenth Kansas Cavalry who fell ill with cholera en route from Fort Harker to Fort Larned, Kansas. But he ultimately fell ill and succumbed to the disease.-- -- (pinned by haw-creek.com)

Robert Gould Shaw commanded the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, an African American regiment. Shaw had already fought in the battles of Cedar Mountain and Antietam with the 2nd MA Inf. when he took command of the 54th at the age of 25. Shaw was hesitant to leave his comrades for service in a regiment that he doubted would ever see action. Never the less, he would die leading them during their assault on Battery Wagner outside of Chalreston, SC.

Worn by Pvt. Jediah K. Burnham, who joined the Keystone Zouaves, Company A of the 76th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in 1863.

"Breaking a tradition of 167 years, the U.S. Marine Corps started enlisting Negroes on June 1, 1942. The first class of 1,200 Negro volunteers began their training 3 months later as members of the 51st Composite Defense Battalion at Montford Point, a section of the 200-square-mile Marine Base, Camp Lejeune, at New River, NC. The first Negro to enlist was Howard P. Perry shown here," via Flickr.

William Matthews was so enthusiastic about the new First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry in 1862 that he was one of the first to volunteer. Matthews’ enthusiasm spread and he convinced a number of exslaves to enlist in the regiment. The Leavenworth businessman soon was appointed captain, the highest ranking African American officer in the regiment. He is probably wearing two pistols because if captured, he would be executed immediately.

Timothy Isaiah Courtright, aka "Longhair Jim" or "Big Jim" Courtright (1848 -1887), lawman, outlaw & gunfighter...In 1876, he became the first elected marshal of Fort Worth, TX and had to keep peace in the notorious Hells Half Acre section, the town's wild red-light district. At that time, Fort Worth was a very dangerous place, with altercations between unruly drunks and lawmen being commonplace.