Captain William Perkins Black
Service/Branch: United States Army
Entered Service In: Danville, Illinois
Entered Service On: September 18, 1861
Unit: Company K, 37th Illinois Infantry
Discharged on: September 29, 1864
Additional Service Notes:
He was the brother of John C. Black, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, who was also a Medal of Honor recipient. The Black brothers are one of only five pairs of brothers to have received the Medal of Honor.
In 1867, together with Thomas Dent, Black founded the law firm of Dent & Black. As a lawyer, Black was best known for having served as defense counsel to the people charged with inciting the Haymarket Riot of 1886.
MEDAL OF HONOR DETAILS
Location of Action: At Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas
Date of Action: March 7, 1862
Date Award Issued: October 2, 1893
Citation: Single-handedly confronted the enemy, firing a rifle at them and thus checking their advance within 100 yards of the lines.
His unit had been part of an assault, and had been thrown back by the rebels. The Confederates surged forward to attack the retreating Union soldiers and capture the guns of Battery A of the Second Illinois Light Artillery. Captain Black, with a Colt repeating rifle, had stood by himself in front of the artillery pieces, firing at the Confederates until he was wounded. His heroics delayed the rebels long enough for the artillerymen to save four of the six guns of the battery from capture.
Birthdate: November 11, 1842
Birthplace: Woodford, Kentucky
Spouse: Hortensia Mary MacGreal Black (1845–1910)
Died: January 3, 1916 (aged 73)
Buried: Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois