African American

Sgt. Carney Marker

Berkley Bridge, Norfolk, VA 23523

Born in Norfolk in 1840, Sergeant William H. Carney enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts Vol. Infantry Regiment in February 1863. On July 18, 1863, as the 54th led an attack on Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina, Carney retrieved the American flag from the regiment’s wounded color guard. Under heavy fire, he carried the flag to the fort’s parapet and then, despite serious wounds, continued to hold the American flag while Confederate troops charged. On May 9, 1900, he was the first African-American to receive the Medal of Honor.

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