African American Recipients of the Medal of Honor

A Biographical Dictionary, Civil War through Vietnam War


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About the Book

The Medal of Honor, one of the world’s most highly revered military decorations, has been awarded to 3,457 men and one woman since its inception on December 21, 1861. This honor is bestowed upon those individuals who demonstrate courage in a life-threatening situation, who put their own lives at risk for the sake of others, and who display valor above and beyond the call of duty.
This text details the stories of the 88 African Americans who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Each entry chronicles the acts of bravery and courage that led to the serviceman’s receiving this honor. Beginning with a brief history of the Medal of Honor, the book is then divided into eight sections covering every major conflict from the Civil War through the Vietnam War. An appendix of the number of medals awarded by wars and campaigns, a bibliography, and an index are included.

About the Author(s)

Charles W. Hanna, an attorney and secretary for the Medal of Honor Historical Society, lives in Provo, Utah.

Bibliographic Details

Charles W. Hanna
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 199
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010 [2002]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4911-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0463-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Introduction: History of the Medal of Honor      1

1. The Civil War (1861–1865)      7

Landsman Aaron Anderson, USN      11

Private Bruce Anderson, USA      14

Private William H. Barnes, USA      15

1st Sergeant Powhatan Beaty, USA      16

Contraband Robert Blake, USN      17

1st Sergeant James H. Bronson, USA      19

Landsman William H. Brown, USN      20

Landsman Wilson Brown, USN      21

Sergeant William Harvey Carney, USA      22

Seaman Clement Dees, USN      26

Sergeant Decatur Dorsey, USA      29

Sergeant Christian A. Fleetwood, USA      30

Private James Gardiner, USA      33

Sergeant James H. Harris, USA      35

Private Thomas R. Hawkins, USA      36

Sergeant Alfred B. Hilton, USA      37

Sergeant Milton M. Holland, USA      38

Corporal Miles James, USA      40

1st Sergeant Alexander Kelly, USA      42

Landsman John Henry Lawson, USN      43

Engineer’s Cook James Mifflin, USN      44

Seaman Joachim Pease, USN      45

1st Sergeant Robert A. Pinn, USA      46

1st Sergeant Edward Ratcliff, USA      48

Color Sergeant Andrew Jackson Smith, USA      49

Private Charles Veal, USA      53

2. The Indian Wars (1866–1890)      55

Sergeant Thomas Boyne, USA      57

Sergeant Benjamin Brown, USA      59

Sergeant John Denny, USA      61

Private Pompey Factor, USA      63

Corporal Clinton Greaves, USA      65

Sergeant Henry Johnson, USA      67

Sergeant George Jordan, USA      73

Sergeant William McBryar, USA      74

Corporal Isaiah Mays, USA      75

Private Adam Paine, USA      78

Trumpeter Isaac Payne, USA      79

Sergeant Thomas Shaw, USA      81

Sergeant Emanuel Stance, USA      82

Private Augustus Walley, USA      85

Sergeant John Ward, USA      89

1st Sergeant Moses Williams, USA      90

Corporal William O. Wilson, USA      94

Sergeant Brent Woods, USA      96

3. Peacetime from 1872 to 1890      99

Ship’s Cook Daniel Atkins, USN      100

Ordinary Seaman John Davis, USN      101

Seaman Alphonse Girandy, USN      102

Seaman John Johnson, USN      102

Cooper William Johnson, USN      103

Seaman Joseph B. Noil, USN      104

Seaman John Smith, USN      104

Ordinary Seaman Robert Augustus Sweeney, USN      105

4. The Spanish-American War (1898)      107

Sergeant Edward L. Baker, Jr., USA      109

Private Dennis Bell, USA      112

Private Fitz Lee, USA      114

Fireman First Class Robert Penn, USN      115

Private William H. Thompkins, USA      116

Private George Henry Wanton, USA      117

5. World War I (1914–1918)      119

Corporal Freddie Stowers, USA      121

6. World War II (1941–1945)      123

2nd Lieutenant Vernon J. Baker, USA      124

Sergeant Edward A. Carter, Jr., USA      126

7. The Korean War (1950–1953)      137

Sergeant Cornelius H. Charlton, USA      138

Private First Class William H. Thompson, USA      142

8. The Vietnam War (1960–1975)      145

Private First Class James Anderson, Jr., USMC      146

Sergeant Webster Anderson, USA      147

Sergeant Eugene Ashley, Jr., USA      149

Private First Class Oscar P. Austin, USMC      151

Sergeant William Maud Bryant, USA      152

Sergeant Rodney Maxwell Davis, USMC      154

Private First Class Robert H. Jenkins, Jr., USMC      156

Specialist Sixth Class Lawrence Joel, USA      157

Specialist Fifth Class Dwight Hal Johnson, USA      159

Private First Class Ralph H. Johnson, USMC      162

Private First Class Garfield M. Langhorn, USA      163

Sergeant Matthew Leonard, USA      165

Sergeant Donald Russell Long, USA      166

Private First Class Milton L. Olive, III, USA      167

Captain Riley L. Pitts, USA      169

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Calvin Rogers, USA      170

1st Lieutenant Ruppert L. Sargent, USA      173

Specialist 5th Class Clarence Eugene Sasser, USA      174

Sergeant Clifford Chester Sims, USA      176

1st Lieutenant John Earl Warren, USA      177

1st Lieutenant John R. Fox, USA      128

Private First Class Willy F. James, Jr., USA      130

Staff Sergeant Ruben Rivers, USA      131

1st Lieutenant Charles L. Thomas, USA      132

Private George Watson, USA      135

Appendix: Number of Medals of Honor Awarded, by Wars and Campaigns      179

Bibliography      181

Index      185

Book Reviews & Awards

“helps shed new light…many of the individuals covered here are not treated anywhere else”—Booklist; “interesting…pays tribute to all Americans”—Military Heritage; “a handy guide”—The Civil War News; “an absorbing read. Hanna’s important research will be of interest not only to those researching the African American experience but to any war enthusiast or military historian”—Colorado Libraries; “details the stories of the 88 African Americans who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Each entry chronicles the acts of bravery and courage that led to the serviceman’s receiving this honor”—Chicago Defender.