Today we feature a portrait of William Carney. William was born a slave. He managed to escape from slavery during the Civil War. He joined the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and obtained the rank of Sergeant. He participated in the historic Assault on Fort Wagner, which was one of the first major battles in which Union Forces used Black Troops in the Civil War. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, and their assault on Fort Wagner was the subject of the movie "Glory". This move came out some time ago, but is truly an inspirational film.
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.