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This arrival of the first " Although they arrived in bondage, their immediate future and legal status in uncertain. These first Africans though traded enslaved on arrival, may have found themselves in a status much like indentured servants and in time freedom according to current research.

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In the future we hope to have a more clear picture of the development of their story. What is known is that these Africans brought with them useful skills that people needed to survive.

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They were skilled farmers, herders, blacksmiths, and artisans. Along with their skills, they brought their own culture, language, and beliefs that shaped innovations in food production, crop cultivation, music, and dance. Despite all the skills and innovations they brought to this new land they would undergo generations of hardship and turmoil. The medal was first authorized in for sailors and marines, and the following year for soldiers. The medal is normally awarded by the President in the name of Congress at a White House ceremony. According to the US Dept.

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William Harvey Carney, 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, was an early recipient of the medal and the first African American to receive the honor. At the age of 14, he learned to read and write by attending a secret school sponsored by a local minister. Both Carney and his father sought their Freedom and self- emancipated via the Underground Railroad network arriving in the whaling post of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

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Initially, Sgt. His regiment was the first African American military unit organized in the northern states. Newspaper advertisements and recruiting posters encouraging men of African descent to enlist, drew volunteers from far and near. By May 14,1, men had volunteered for the regiment.

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The 54th regiment saw its first military combat on July 16, in a skirmish on James Island, South Carolina. On July 18,after several days without sleep, food or water the 54th regiment was directed to lead the attack on Fort Wagner. Adequate reconnaissance had not been conducted and the 54th MA was unaware that 1, Confederate soldiers were awaiting inside.

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The 54th regiment had only soldiers. At pm, Colonel Shaw raised his sword as he stood by the Stars and Stripes color barrier and lead the charge of his men down the beach toward Fort Wagner. Sergeant William Carney was in the midst of fighting when he noticed the soldier bearing the American flag stumble and fall, he too had been mortally wounded. Carney threw away his musket, raised the flag keeping it from touching the ground and struggled up the parapet, though now wounded in the legs, chest, and arm.

Carney was able to plant the flag at the top of the foot wall.

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Despite his wounds and the gunfire around him, Carney was able to keep the flag aloft. Carney and the rest of the 54th Massachusetts were pinned down.

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Only after reinforcements arrived was the decimated unit able to withdraw. Soldiers looked to the flag for direction and inspiration in battle and the bearer was usually out in front, drawing heavy enemy fire while holding the flag high. After the battle Carney was discharged from the military on June 30,due to his wounds. Several months later Sgt. Carney on a cane due to the injuries to his right leg, posed for a picture depicted here holding the very flag he had risked his life for that day at Fort Wagner.

Inhe married Susannah Williams, a local school teacher who was one of Massachusetts first African American public school teachers.

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They had one daughter, Clara Heronia. On May 31,Sgt. Carney received a standing ovation while attending the unveiling ceremony for the monument to Col Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th MA. Carney led 75 veterans of the regiment into the event carrying the flag used in the attack at Fort Wagner in Eliot, President of Harvard University.

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Though Sgt. Blake received his medal ina mere four months December 25, heroic actions. Carney retains the title of the first African American recipient due to his military combat actions occurring first.

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While Dr. Dubois and Sgt. Carney had not received his Medal of Honor medal. The [Negro] Exhibition section was deed to show the economic and social progress of African Americans since emancipation.

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Carl J. Cruz, a descendant of Carney, states it was Sgt. This was an unprecedented act of honor formerly reserved for presidents, governors, and members of Congress. InSgt. Many Presidents of the United States have visited Fort Monroe over the years since construction on the fort began ineither before, during, or after their time in office. Both forts were under construction at the time. Broken-hearted after the death of his wife, President Jackson spent a lot of time at Fort Calhoun.

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He returned in for a month long honeymoon. Wool, and Commodore Louis M. Goldsborough planned the attack on Norfolk, Virginia. They met on a riverboat. It was known as the Hampton Ro Peace Conference, and did not result in ending the war, but it helped shape the nature of the later surrender and reconstruction.

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Ulysses S. Grant The future president ended a three-day military conference on April 3, at Old Point Comfort. Rutherford B. Hayes President Rutherford B. James A. Garfield President James A. Garfield met with Brigadier General George W. He visited in,and No other men deserve so well of this country as those to whom we owe it that we now have a country.

Woodrow Wilson Frequently overworking himself, President Woodrow Wilson was prescribed forced rest and relaxation by a physician.

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May 16,was his first visit to the Hampton Club. It is believed he returned the next year and at other times, but was able to do so without fanfare. When he was in the area, he often visited the Chapel of the Centurion. On February 12,President Wilson visited Fort Monroe with his new bride, Edith Bolling Wilson, and they were permitted to tour the grounds without an escort. He spoke on the topic of unemployment relief and began a six-week campaign to raise local relief funds.

Franklin D. Roosevelt President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Fort Monroe on July 29,while touring military installations. He arrived at the wharf next to the Chamberlin Hotel and then observed a firing demonstration at Wilson Park.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower Before entering politics and being elected president General and Mrs. Truman from to Residents on post were occasionally startled when he appeared unannounced during his famous early morning walks. He also attended at least one meeting of the Masonic Lodge housed in Casemate If you walk paces a minute, your whole body gets a vigorous workout.

You swing your arms and take deep breaths as you walk. After you are fifty years old, this is the best exercise you can get.

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And every once in a while one of them falls dead of a heart attack. I say that's not for me. People often associate military history primarily with men, but women have always played a vital role as well, even when officially prohibited from serving inthe armed forces. The history of women at Fort Monroe goes back to before the construction of the current fort, but unfortunately this history is often buried more deeply than the stories of the men who served here such as Robert E.

Lee and Edgar Allan Poe.

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