Medal of Honor

July 12,  in 1862, US Congress authorized the Medal of Honor.

1st-medal-of-honor-colored-soldier

This one was awarded to Sergeant Major Christian Fleetwood, 4th U. S. Colored Troops, for heroism on the field of battle in 1864.

Fleetwood was a free man born in Baltimore, Maryland. He traveled to Liberia as a young man and attended Ashmun Institute in Oxford, Pennsylvania. During his life he was an editor, a musician and a government official. He organized a battalion of the District of Columbia National Guard and a Colored High School Cadet Corps. He is the author of a pamphlet entitled, The Negro as a Soldier, in which he wrote,

English: Christian Abraham Fleetwood, Medal of...
English: Christian Abraham Fleetwood, Medal of Honor recipient. This photograph was part of the material prepared by W.E.B. Du Bois for the Negro Exhibit of the American Section at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 to show the economic and social progress of African Americans since emancipation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…it is possible only to indicate in skeleton the worth of the Negro as a solider. If this brief sketch should awaken even a few to interest in his achievements, and one be found willing and fitted to write the history that is their due, that writer shall achieve immortality.

~Sergeant Major Christian Fleetwood

Sgt. Major Christain Fleetwood, Medal of Honor...
Sgt. Major Christain Fleetwood, Medal of Honor recipient in the American Civil War for having “Saved the regimental colors after eleven of the twelve color guards had been shot down around it.” Sgt. Major was the top rank allowed to a coloured soldier at that time. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Price of Freedom: Americans at War

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