Black Culture Month Cultural Figure of the Day: Powhatan Beaty

Powhatan Beaty 1837-1916

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Powhatan was born a slave, escaped, and received an education in Cincinnati, Ohio. Once the Civil War started, he was anxious to fight against the confederates. He started as a foot soldier. However, during the battle of Chaffin’s farm, Powhatan had a chance to step up, and that’s exactly what he did.

During this battle, all of Powhatan’s higher officers and generals died. There was one soldier that took the reigns, and led the rest of the soldiers through the enemy, and to a safe ground. That soldier was Powhatan Beaty.

Beaty won the medal of honor for his courage and leadership. At the ceremony the president said Powhatan, “Took command of his company, all the officers having been killed or wounded, and gallantly led it.”

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