About Robert Blake, Contraband (USA)
Robert Blake an escaped slave, a Union Navy sailor during the American Civil War and a recipient of America's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor. Blake was the second African American to perform a Medal of Honor action; William Harvey Carney was the first. Blake was the first African American to actually receive a Medal of Honor - his was presented to him in 1864, while Carney did not receive his until 1900. But, because Carney's Medal of Honor action occurred first, Carney, not Blake, is usually credited with being the first African American Medal of Honor recipient.
Medal of Honor citation--
Rank and organization: Contraband, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: Virginia.G.O. No.: 32, April 16, 1864. Accredited to: Virginia.
On board the U.S. Steam Gunboat Marblehead off Legareville, Stono River, 25 December 1863, in an engagement with the enemy on John's Island. Serving the rifle gun, Blake, an escaped slave, carried out his duties bravely throughout the engagement which resulted in the enemy's abandonment of positions, leaving a caisson and one gun behind