ACTION: Chaffin's Farm (Fort Harrison), VA.
DATE: 29 September 1864.
NAME: Fleetwood, Christian Abraham
RANK/UNIT: Sergeant Major, 4th U.S. Colored Troops.
CITATION: "Seized the colors, after two color bearers had been shot down, and bore them nobly through the fight."
MEDAL PRESENTED: 6 April 1865
BIOGRAPHICAL DATA: Born: Baltimore, MD. 1840.
ENTERED SERVICE: Baltimore, MD. 11 August 1863.
OTHER: Christian Fleetwood was a 23-year-old clerk when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He stood 5'4 and 1/2" tall. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major on August 19, 1863. Fleetwood described the act which won him the Medal of Honor citation as follows, "Saved the regimental colors after eleven of the twelve color guards had been shot down around it."
The rank of Sergeant Major was at the time the highest rank a black soldier could attain in the U.S. Army.
Christian Fleetwood rose to the rank of sergeant-major and received the Congressional Medal of Honor. He gives an account of the African American soldier from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to show his suitability for military service, with concentration on the Civil War. He cites instances of valor and testimonials thereto, statistics on black enlistments by state and on casualties, and lists African Americans who received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
An order from Gen. Benjamin Butler, dated 11 October 1864, had this to say:
Last updated: February 26, 2015