ACTION: Chaffin's Farm (Fort Harrison), VA.
DATE: 29 September 1864.
NAME: Pinn, Robert.
RANK/UNIT: 1st Sergeant, Co. I, 5th U.S. Colored Troops.
CITATION: "Took command of his company after all the officers had been killed or wounded and gallantly led it in battle."
MEDAL PRESENTED: 6 April 1865.
BIOGRAPHICAL DATA: Born: Stark County, Ohio. 1 March 1843.
ENTERED SERVICE: Massillon, OH. (Camp Delaware), September 5, 1863.
OTHER: Sergeant Pinn was a 20-year-old farmer when he joined the army. According to the records he stood six feet in height. Pinn was promoted to Sgt. on October 18, 1863 and to 1st Sgt. on September 1, 1864. On the same day that he won his medal for gallantry at Fort Harrison, Pinn was wounded in action at nearby Fort Gilmer. He was subsequently hospitalized at Portsmouth, VA. First Sergeant Pinn was mustered out of service at Carolina City, NC, on September 20, 1865.
Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1978, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979, pp. 189-90
Bearss, Edwin C., "Black Medals of Honor Received a New Market Heights, 29 September 1864." National park Service Memo in Richmond NBP files, 2 April 1979.
Davis, William C., Death in the Trenches: Grant at Petersburg. Alexandria, VA Time-Life books, 1986., p. 125.
An order from Gen. Benjamin Butler, dated 11 October 1864, had this to say:
Milton M. Holland, sergeant-major, Fifth U.S. Colored Troops, commanding Company C; James H. Bronson, first sergeant, commanding Company D; Robert Pinn, first sergeant, commanding Company I, wounded; Powhatan Beaty, first sergeant, commanding Company G, Fifth U.S. Colored Troops--all these gallant colored soldiers were left in command, all their company officers being killed or wounded, and led them gallantly and meritoriously through the day. For these services they have most honorable mention, and the commanding general will cause a special medal to be struck in honor of these gallant colored soldiers. Official Records, #89, p168.