ACTION: Chaffin's Farm (Fort Harrison), VA.
DATE: 29 September 1864.
NAME: Veal, Charles.
RANK/UNIT: Private, Co. D, 4th U.S. Colored Troops.
CITATION: "Seized the national colors, after 2 color bearers had been shot down close to the enemy's works, and bore them through the remainder of the battle."
MEDAL PRESENTED: 6 April 1865.
BIOGRAPHICAL DATA: Born: Portsmouth, VA. 1838.
ENTERED SERVICE: Baltimore, MD. 28 July 1863.
OTHER: Charles Veal was a 25-year-old fireman at the time of his enlistment. He stood five-feet-three and one-quarter inches tall. While he is listed as a private in the medal of honor records, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on November 12, 1863. Veal was later wounded at Fort Fisher in North Carolina in January, 1865 and spent a week in the hospital. His medal of Honor was personally pinned on his chest by Major General Benjamin Butler. He died July 27, 1872. Veal is buried in the Hampton National Cemetery, Hampton, VA.
Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1978, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979 , pp. 246-7
Deffield, A.M., Deeds of Valor, 2 vols. Detroit: Perrien-Keyel Co., 1907. p. 435
"Black Civil War Hero Earned Medal." The Currents. 21/22 February 1991.
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.
An order from Gen. Benjamin Butler, dated 11 October 1864, had this to say:
Charles Veal, color bearer Company D, Fourth U.S. Colored Troops, after two bearers of the regimental color had been shot down, seized it close to the enemy's works and bore it through the remainder of the action. He has a medal for gallantry, and will have the warrant of color-sergeant.
Official Records, #89, p169.