MENANDS, NY-A New York Army National Guard Color Guard joins Civil War reenactors and members of the Patriot Guard, in honoring Civil War Soldier 1st Sgt. William Francis, a member of the famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first Black unit to fight in the Union Army. Local Civil War historians identified Francis' unmarked grave at historic Albany Rural Cemetery and arranged for the Veterans Administration to provide a new stone to mark his final resting place.
Francis, who enlisted as a private, served throughout the Civil War, including the 54th's assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, made famous in the 1989 movie "Glory".
DMNA Press Releases
NY National Guard In the News
NationalGuard.mil -- Wed, 10 Feb 2016 Black New York Army National Guard Officer overcame discrimination in 1964 BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Col. Otho van Exel fought in World War II, commanded four times and was one of the first African-Americans to attend the Army War College.
army.mil -- Tue, 09 Feb 2016 Deployments make Guard doctor better hometown physician COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (Feb. 5, 2016) -- Ebola and malaria aren't diseases doctors working in the hometown of the Baseball Hall of Fame expect to deal with.
National Guard.mil -- Tue, 09 Feb 2016 New York National Guard works wth state officials to monitor wild turkeys CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. - There's nothing new about setting up an ambush at Camp Smith Training Site, the New York National Guards training facility here. Troops have been conducting tactical... (more)