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William Harvey Carney



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Oak Grove Cemetery

carney_williamV_ma.jpg (69802 bytes)

Born:  February 29, 1840 at Norfolk, VA

Entered Service in the US Army from New Bedford, MA

Earned The Medal of Honor During the Civil War For heroism July 18, 1863 at Fort Wagner, SC

Died:  December 09, 1908 at the age of 68

In the attack on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, on July 18, 1863, Sergeant Carney was advancing with his regiment when the color sergeant was shot down. Rushing to the flag, Sergeant Carney hoisted it and gallantly led the regiment to the parapet of the fort where he planted it. Within twenty minutes Sergeant Carney and his flag were alone, surrounded only by dead and wounded as the Union troops fell back. As dusk fell Sergeant Carney saw a group of soldiers approaching and, mistaking them for Union forces, raised his flag only to be met with a heavy volley of hostile fire. He wrapped the flag around the staff to protect it, and though wounded repeatedly including a serious wound in his leg, crossed the wide expanse of beach while under continuing enemy fire to bring the colors safely off the field. Before collapsing from his wounds among his surviving and cheering comrades he stated, "Men, I only did my duty. The flag never touched the ground." Also earning Medals of Honor at Fort Wagner were First Sergeant Charles Holton and Private Joseph Hibson.



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