Runaway slave’s service to be honored at Dayton Cemetery on Sunday
A runaway slave who joined the Union Army in 1863 and was severely wounded in battle will be honored in gravesite ceremonies at the Dayton Cemetery at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 7.
Participants in the ceremony organized by the Historical Society of Dayton Valley will include members of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War — Gen. William Passmore Carlin Camp 25, the Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society, the University of Nevada Cadet Band, War Veterans Memorial Association of Western Nevada. Many of the participants will be dressed in Civil War uniforms or civilian attire of that era. The ceremony has been described as one of “honor, respect, remembrance of reflection.”
Private Scott Carnal was slave-born in 1847. At the age of 16, he ran away from his owner, John Campbell of Louisiana, and joined Co. K of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry in March of 1863. That unit would become the U.S. Army’s 79th U.S. Colored Infantry in 1864.
Carnal was wounded in the upper left thigh at the Battle of Honey Springs on July 17, 1863. The battle was a Union victory despite Union troops being outnumbered two to one by Confederate troops that included units of Native Americans from the Five Civilized Tribes who had joined the Southern cause. As a result of his wound, Carnal was discharged, and nine years later the leg was amputated two-thirds of the way up the thigh, reportedly too short for a prosthesis.
Carnal was married in 1866, had a daughter, and worked as a farmer until 1874, when he filed for a soldier’s pension as an “invalid soldier.” He moved to Cripple Creek, Colo., but by 1910 was living in Dayton where census records indicated he was a widower and his daughter was living with relatives in Harlem, N.Y. Carnal died in Dayton on June 17, 1917, without mention in the local newspapers, and was buried in the Dayton Cemetery where today a military headstone noting his service marks his grave.