Sergeant-Major Lewis H. Douglas
, a son of Fred. Douglas
, who, by both white and negro troops, is said to have displayed great courage and calmness, was one of the first to mount the parapet, and with his powerful voice shouted--“Come on, boys, and fight for God and Governor Andrew
,” and with this battle-cry led them into the fort.
But above all, the color-bearer deserves more than a passing notice.
Sergeant John Wall
, of company G, carried the flag in the first battalion, and when near the fort he fell into a deep ditch, and called upon his guard to help him out. They could not stop for that, but Sergeant William H. Carney
, of company C, caught the colors, carried them forward, and was the first man to plant the Stars and Stripes upon Fort Wagner
As he saw the men falling back, himself severely wounded in the breast, he brought the colors off, creeping on his knees, pressing his wound with one hand, and with the other holding up the emblem of freedom.
The moment he was seen crawling into the hospital with the flag still in his possession, his wounded companions, both black
, rose from the straw upon which they were lying, and cheered him until, exhausted, they could shout no longer.
In response to this reception the brave and wounded standard-bearer said: “Boys, I but did my duty!
the dear old flag never touched the ground.”