hold-the-flag-high

Hold the Flag High

By: Catherine Clinton, Shane W. Evans

LKR 305
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Hardcover : 32 pages
Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers (May 2005)
ISBN - 10 : 0060504285
ISBN - 13 : 9780060504281
Product Dimensions : 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)
Subjects : African American History - General & Miscellaneous, Regional Biography, United States - 19th Century - Civil War - History, United States - State & Local History

About the author :

Catherine Clinton is the author of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom and Fanny Kemble's Civil Wars. Educated at Harvard, Sussex, and Princeton, she is a member of the advisory committee to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and holds a chair in U.S. history at Queen's University Belfast.


In July 1863, a significantbattle in the Civil War was fought. Sergeant William H. Carney, an officer of the newly formed Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment — comprised entirely of African Americans — led his soldiers over the ramparts of Fort Wagner, where Union soldiers charged the Confederates. As the soldiers fought, they gained strength from the stars and stripes of the American flag, Old Glory. It was Carney's vow to never let Old Glory touch the ground, and despite several gunshot wounds, he was able to rescue the flag from the fallen bearer. Carney held the flag high as a symbol that his regiment would never submit to the Confederacy. The battle of Fort Wagner decimated the Fifty-fourth Regiment, but Carney's heroism that night inspired all who survived.

Catherine Clinton's historically precise text paired with Shane Evans's rich illustrations creates a remarkable account of one of the most memorable battles in Civil War history.

Describes the Civil War battle of Morris Island, South Carolina, during which Sargeant William H. Carney became the first African American to earn a Congressional Medal of Honor by preserving the flag.

Booklist

"Celebrates the courage of William Carney."

The Horn Book

"[A] stirring chapter in American history."

Publishers Weekly

A trio of highly visual books help readers imagine the past. Hold the Flag High by Catherine Clinton, illus. by Shane W. Evans, tells the story of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth regiment, an African-American unit formed in the spring of 1863 during the Civil War. Evans's thickly laid paint portrays the soldiers setting up camp just south of Charleston Bay, S.C., all the way through to a poignant close-up of their brave Sergeant Carney, "one of the few black officers" of the war, carrying Old Glory to point his troop to safety. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Children's Literature

During a time of dark animosity, one kind heart shone through the gloom and brought peace to many troubled men. That kindness was demonstrated by Sergeant William H. Carney. This Civil War hero led his troops, an African American regiment, the Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth, with pride and determination. With loving protection, he also watched over them day and night. When a young drummer expressed his worries to his fearless mentor, he found the reassurance that if he played his drum and followed the flag, he would not go wrong. Carney encouraged all his troops with the same advice. In the heat of battle, the men followed their beloved leader and the flag. Sadly, though, Carney fell to a Confederate bullet, but he rescued the flag before it touched the ground. This dramatic, nonfiction picture book will contribute personal flavor to a Civil War unit. The actual photograph of the hero, the factual epilogue, and the concluding timeline add to the historical and emotional impact of the story. 2005, Amistad/Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 5 to 7.
—Kara Byrne

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6-The Massachusetts Fifty-fourth regiment, famously depicted in the movie Glory, was unique in the Civil War because it was made up entirely of African-American soldiers (with the exception of its commanding officer, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw). This picture book focuses on Sergeant William Carney, the first African-American soldier to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. When Shaw arrives to tell the troops that they have been selected to lead the charge, they are proud and ready. The actual fighting is depicted realistically but appropriately for a young audience. The illustrations convey pain and confusion but not graphic violence or injuries. Evans's expressive oil paintings capture the mood and action of the battle in a powerful and effective manner. Carney watches as the soldier who is carrying the flag is shot and killed. Although he, too, has been hit by a bullet, he valiantly catches the flag before it can touch the ground and gets it to safety before collapsing. A period photograph of Carney holding the American flag and a historical time line add realism to the portrayal of events. Although the book contains factual information and sources are listed, dialogue and feelings attributed to the characters put it more in the realm of historical fiction. It is an excellent resource to humanize textbook studies of the Civil War and would work well with Patricia Polacco's Pink and Say (Penguin, 1994), George Ella Lyon's Cecil's Story (Scholastic, 1995), Ann Turner's Drummer Boy (HarperCollins, 1998), and Romare Bearden's Li'l Dan, the Drummer Boy (S & S, 2003).-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

Evans's thickly brushed scenes of African-American soldiers with downcast eyes, clustered beneath rippling Stars and Stripes, lend an air of ritual solemnity in keeping with Clinton's inspiring commemoration of Sgt. William H. Carney's (now) renowned act of heroism in the Civil War: planting the flag on the ramparts of Fort Wagner during the 54th Massachusetts's bloody charge, then, though bearing multiple wounds, carrying it to safety in the ensuing retreat. For this, Carney was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor almost 40 years later-the first African American to receive one. Though Clinton occasionally departs from the historical record-billing the attack as the soldiers' "first battle" (it wasn't), and adding thoughts and dialogue-her account ably captures the violence and confusion of battle, as well as the courage displayed by Carney and his fellow troopers. A strong lead-in to Clinton Cox's Undying Glory: The Story of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment (1991) or Clinton's own The Black Soldier: 1492 to the Present (2000). (time line, resource list) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)

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