Nation’s First Black Army Chaplain Honored

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U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin recently introduced a resolution honoring the life and service of Chaplain Henry Vinton Plummer. Chaplain Plummer, a former slave from Maryland, became the first Black chaplain in the U.S. Regular Army.
The resolution passed by unanimous consent.

“Henry Plummer faced injustice throughout his entire life, but he never gave up,” Sen. Mikulski, D-Md., said in a press release. “He fought honorably for his country even when he wasn’t treated with honor. No matter what the situation, he persevered. I am proud the Senate has come together to pass this resolution honoring his memory. I am honored to be able to honor him.”

Chaplain Plummer was born into slavery in Prince George’s County, Md. At 17, he escaped slavery and joined the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. He was honorably discharged in 1856 and left he left the service to study at a seminary. After founding the St. Paul Baptist Church, still located in Prince George’s County today, Plummer decided to serve the country again and became the first African-American chaplain in the U.S. Regular Army.