Nearly 100 years ago, racism prevented Black Army Pvt. Scott Carnal of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry from receiving a proper burial when he died in 1917 in Dayton, Nevada, about 40 miles south of Reno, according to The Reno Gazette-Journal.
Carnal, who lost a leg after being wounded in battle and whose heroics recently came to light, was celebrated Sunday by over 200 people, many of them wearing Civil War-era attire, the report says. The ceremony was held by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the Historical Society of Dayton Valley, and several other group.
“We want to see that he has the military funeral he probably never had,” said Linda Clements, the ceremony coordinator.
Carnal was born in Rock Alum Springs, Virginia, later part of West Virginia. He later was sold to John Campbell of Louisiana. In 1863, Carnal ran away and joined Company K, 1st Kansas Colored Infantry of the Union Army, later the 39th USCIN.
“He managed to be a soldier for only a few months,” Clements said. “He was in the Battle of Honey Springs in what today is Oklahoma, and was wounded by a musket ball in the left thigh.”
Treated and discharged from the Army in October 1863, Carnal earned a pension of $8 a month. He had difficulty working because his leg wound didn’t heal properly. Doctors told him if he didn’t have the leg amputated he would die, but Carnal went to Colorado to work in mining. “But he ended up running a fruit stand,” Clements said.
We’re glad Pvt. Carnal finally got the recognition he deserves. We also send out respect to the unknown soldiers who have yet to be recognized for their wartime heroism.