b. 1842 Harford County, Maryland. d. 21/10/1864 Fortress Monroe, Virginia.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 29/09/1864 Chapin’s Farm, Virginia.
Around 1842, Alfred B. Hilton was born near Hopewell Village, Maryland to Harriet and Isaac Hilton.
In 1863, Hilton enlisted with the 4th Regiment United States Colored Infantry. By September 29, 1864, Hilton was serving as a Sergeant in Company H of the regiment. On that day, his unit participated in the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm on the outskirts of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. During the battle, Hilton carried the American flag as part of the unit’s color guard. As the 4th Regiment charged the enemy fortifications, Hilton grabbed a second flag, the regimental colors, from a wounded soldier. When he was himself seriously wounded by a shot through the leg, he called out “Boys, save the colors!” Two of his fellow soldiers stepped forward; Sergeant Major Christian Fleetwood took the American flag and Private Charles Veale grabbed the blue regimental flag, each before the colors could touch the ground.
Hilton died of his wounds nearly a month later, on October 21. Six months after the battle, on April 6, 1865, he was posthumously issued the Medal of Honor for his actions at Chaffin’s Farm. The men who had taken the flags after he was wounded, Fleetwood and Veale, also received the medal.
When the regimental color bearer fell, this soldier seized the colors and carried it forward, together with the national standard, until disabled at the enemy’s inner line.
BURIAL LOCATION: HAMPTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, HAMPTON, VIRGINIA.
HAMPTON SECTION E, GRAVE 1231.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: BELIEVED TO BE FAMILY.