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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Sergeant Major Christian A. Fleetwood's Congressional Medal of Honor, 1865Sergeant Major Christian A. Fleetwood's Congressional Medal of Honor, 1865

Fleetwood, a native of Baltimore who served in the Fourth U.S. Colored Troops, was one of thousands of African Americans who fought in the Civil War in hopes of gaining equality, freedom, and citizenship for their race. For his bravery in defending the U.S. flag during a battle at Chapin's Farm, Virginia, Fleetwood was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1865. In 1948, after his daughter Edith convinced curators to accept his medals for the military history collection, Fleetwood became the first African American veteran to be honored in the National Museum.

See also: African American History, Civil War, Military History

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