First Sergeant Alexander Kelly
April 7, 1840|
|Died||June 19, 1907(aged 67)|
|Place of burial||Saint Peters Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|Allegiance||United States of America
|Service/branch||United States Army
|Years of service||1863 - 1865|
|Unit||6th United States Colored Infantry Regiment|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War
*Battle of Chaffin's Farm
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Alexander Kelly (April 7, 1840 – June 19, 1907) was an African American Union Army soldier during the American Civil War and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm.
Alexander Kelly was born in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania on April 7, 1840. He enlisted as a substitute in August 1863 and by September 29, 1864, was serving as a First Sergeant in Company F of the 6th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment. On that day, his unit participated in the Battle of Chaffin's Farm in Virginia, and it was for his actions during the battle that he was awarded the Medal of Honor six months later, on April 6, 1865. He was mustered out in September 1865.
Alexander Kelly married but never had children. He and his wife took in orphans from the street. He died at age 67 and was buried in Saint Peters Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Kelly's courage at New Market Heights is depicted in a painting, Three Medals of Honor by artist Don Troiani. The painting was scheduled to be unveiled June 24, 2013 at the Union League of Philadelphia. Also portrayed in the painting are two fellow Medal of Honor recipients from the battle, Nathan H. Edgerton and Thomas R. Hawkins.
Medal of Honor citation
First Sergeant Kelly's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
- List of American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients: G–L
- List of African American Medal of Honor recipients
- Melvin Claxton and Mark Puls, Uncommon valor : a story of race, patriotism, and glory in the final battles of the Civil War, (Wiley, 2006) (ISBN 0471468231)
- "Pennsylvania Grand Review » Alexander Kelly and the Battle of Chaffin's Farm". housedivided.dickinson.edu. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- *"Civil War Medal of Honor recipients (A-L)". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. April 27, 2005. Retrieved January 13, 2007.