William P. Black

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William Perkins Black
William P. Black. Medal of Honor Recipient (Civil War).jpg
William P. Black
Born (1842-11-11)November 11, 1842
Woodford County, Kentucky
Died January 3, 1916(1916-01-03) (aged 73)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Union Army
Years of service 1861–1864
Rank Captain
Unit 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry
37th Illinois Volunteer Infantry
Battles/wars Battle of Pea Ridge
Awards Medal of Honor

William Perkins Black (November 11, 1842 – January 3, 1916) was a lawyer and veteran of the American Civil War. He received America's highest military decoration - the Medal of Honor - for his actions at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, in 1862.


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 citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Captain, Company K, 37th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Pea Ridge, Ark., 7 March 1862. Entered service at: Danville, Ill. Born: 11 November 1842, Woodford, Ky. Date of issue: 2 October 1893.


Single-handedly confronted the enemy, firing a rifle at them and thus checking their advance within 100 yards of the lines.

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