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HOLD THE FLAG HIGH by Catherine Clinton


by Catherine Clinton & illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-050428-5
Publisher: HarperCollins

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)