Valor knows no color

I’m looking at Memorial Weekend 2022 through a different lens. In spite of various kinds of discrimination, a very large number of African Americans have served our nation’s military with honor. Yesterday, I learned about some of those who served during the Civil War.

From the National Archives’ Black Soldiers in the U.S. Military During the Civil War, “… roughly 179,000 black men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy. Nearly 40,000 black soldiers died over the course of the war—30,000 of infection or disease.”

Sergeant William Carney was the first of 16 African Americans awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War. His “most distinguished gallantry in action” was in South Carolina in 1863. After being shot in the thigh, Carney crawled uphill on his knees, bearing the Union flag and urging his troops to follow.

Harriet Tubman served as a Union Army nurse, spy and leader of an 1863 raid that freed over 700 slaves from South Carolina plantations.

First Sergeant Powhatan Beaty’s story of leadership under fire is told in “Ohio Medal of Honor recipient: From slavery to freedom,” by Staff Sergeant. Chad Menegay, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs, February 28, 2019 (photo from Wikipedia)

2 thoughts on “Valor knows no color”

    1. I’ve been amazed at how much of this I didn’t know. It amplifies the absurdity of the fear of “replacement,” when one considers a runaway slave was arguably the first casualty of the Revolutionary War and that 16 African-Americans received the Medal of Honor in the Civil War. They were “early adopters” while those of us in the 21st Century are late coming to the party! WE are the replacements!

      Liked by 1 person

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