Black soldier finally getting long overdue credit thanks to teen

A 13-year-old on Long Island has proven you're never too young to make a difference -- and her hard work is leaving a lasting tribute.

Video Transcript

- A junior high school student on Long Island proved that you are never too young to make a difference. Her research skills and some detective work will now bring long overdue credit to a Black Civil War soldier who died in service. Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg has the story.

- Albert J. Freeman.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: It took 157 years and a sleuth from junior high school to ensure that Civil War veteran Albert J. Friedman from Middle Island is finally remembered. 13-year-old Carly Preudhomme spent her own time researching Freeman's life and service-- a Black man from her hometown of Middle Island who volunteered to fight for the Union Army in the Civil War.

CARLY PREUDHOMME: I'm beyond thankful that I was able to bring Albert J. Freeman's story to life. He was enlisted in the US CT, United States Colored Troops in Providence, Rhode Island and served the 11th US Colored Heavy Artillery from 1863 to 1864.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: His name was sometimes misspelled. That and a racial bias may have led to his exclusion, a wrong righted today.

E. JAMES FREEMAN: Because of her hard work and dedication, the life given for freedom, for all Americans, has been [INAUDIBLE] for all to see, question, and recognize Albert J. Freeman.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: An act that made this community and Carly's parents quite proud.

JANICE PREUDHOMME: Carly took on his non-grade project with like, a grain of salt, and it took 5 and 1/2 months when she got his name on the monument, and that was her goal-- to get his name on the monument.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: And Albert Freeman is the first Black Civil War veteran to have his name etched in stone here. That star denotes he died in service.

CARLY PREUDHOMME: We couldn't bring Albert Freeman's body home. We officially brought his name home.


LAUREN GLASSBERG: A lasting tribute long overdue.