William Carney By: Joe Danti English 11 Due Date 2-14-07 And his many accomplishments
Born March 28 1842
He was born in Virginia
Escaped to Massachusetts through the underground railroad
Bought his family out of slavery by being a sailor
Part of the 54 th Volunteer Massachusetts Infantry
He trained for several months before going into battle
Carney reported to Hilton Head,South Carolina in early 1863
The 54 th faced their first real battle July 18 th 1863 on Fort Wagner, Georgia
The 54 th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
The 54 th was one of the first black regiments in the united states army. The 54 th was a volunteer regiment, they received no pay, and many lost there lives fighting for there freedom.
To this day William Carney is still recognized. There is a public high school named after him and his great accomplishments. It is located in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he served in the army.
Medal of Honor
The medal of honor is considered to be the best award available in the us army for combat against the enemy. The medal has been awarded for over 140 years. To receive the medal you must perform and extraordinary task.
Fort Wagner, Georgia
The fort was heavily guarded, but still the order was to move on. Carney fought valiantly to make it to the base. Carney was running when he saw the flag holder drop to the ground after being shot. Carney dropped his gun and ran full speed to catch the flag before it hit the ground.
“ Boys I only did my duty, but the old flag never touched the ground”
Carney fought to keep moving, assisted by other members of his regiment he advanced onward towards the base. Even though shot in the left leg he held onto the flag and kept moving. He passed all of the bases defense and made it into the fort. He planted the flag on the parapet.
The Road Home
Carney struggling for life laid atop a bunker holding the American flag high. He watched as southern soldiers advanced on him. Realizing he had no protection he turned and ran back towards his home base. While running back he was shot a few more times in his left hand, twice in the chest, and his already shot left leg. He made it back to the base and was taken to the hospital.
After the War
A few months after the war Carney was discharged from the army.
Carney decided to move back to new Bedford Massachusetts where he spent next several years as a mail carrier.
After retiring from being a mail carrier he worked as a messenger at the state house.
Civil War Fact
More than half the accomplishments in the civil war were not recognized until 20 or more years after the war.
First African American.
More the 37 years later, William Carney became the first African American to receive the congressional medal of honor. Even though by the time he was awarded his medal several other black Americans had received similar awards, Carney is credited as being the first to earn the medal of honor.
William Carney died in 1908 at his new Bedford home in Massachusetts.
He’s still a very well recognized War Hero in the United States Army