Buffalo soldiers… the legend


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BUFFALO SOLDIERS…

  • THE LEGEND


The saga of the Legendary Buffalo Soldiers began over a century ago - 140 years ago to be exact.



The year 1450 brought a multitude of changes to the continent of North America. Native Americans encountered European explorers who would soon transform and largely destroy their world.



In every major war, throughout the history of the United States, from the American Revolution through the Indian Wars, Native-Americans and African-Americans fought with and against each other. This scenario prevailed throughout the Civil War. Some tribes fought for the South, such as the Cherokees, while others assisted the North like the Seminoles.



For the Blacks in bondage, brought over on slave vessels hundreds of years before, the time for freedom had arrived.



When northern troops arrived in the south, thousands of slaves ran away or were emancipated to join in the fight…their fight…for freedom.



When the time came, many African Americans took a long hard look at military service which offered:

  • shelter

  • education

  • steady pay

  • medical attention

  • and a pension



When the Civil War ended in 1865, 186,000 former slaves and freedmen had served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT),10% of the total Union strength. Another 30,000 served in the navy and 200,000 more served as workers on labor, hospital engineering, and other military support projects: taps sounded over the bodies of 38,000. Though they had not lived free, they died free…



In 1866, one year after the end of the Civil War and more than six months after the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was enacted, Congress had the need to reorganize the peacetime regular army. Recognizing the military merits of black soldiers, four black infantry regiments and two segregated regiments of black cavalry, were authorized, composed of former slaves, freedmen and Black Civil War soldiers, The latter, designated as the Ninth and the Tenth United States Cavalry, were destined to become the most decorated of all U.S. Military Regiments .





The Buffalo Soldiers Fought with Distinction…

  • In the Cheyenne War from 1867 to 1869.

  • In the Red River War of 1874-1875

  • In the Ute War of 1879

  • In the Apache Wars from 1875 through 1886

  • And in the Sioux War of 1890-1891



No less than thirteen Congressional Medals of Honor were presented to Buffalo Soldiers during the Western Campaign.





The Bravest of the Brave…9th Cavalry Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients:

  • Sergeant Thomas Boyne

  • Second Lieutenant, George R. Burnett

  • Second Lieutenant Matthias W. Day

  • Sergeant John Denny

  • Second Lieutenant Robert Temple Emmet

  • Captain Francis S. Dodge

  • Corporal Clinton Greaves,

  • Sergeant Henry Johnson

  • Sergeant George Jordan

  • Sergeant Thomas Shaw

  • Sergeant Emanuel Stance

  • Private Augustus Walley

  • 1st Sergeant Moses Williams

  • Corporal William O. Wilson

  • Sergeant Brent Wood



The Bravest of the Brave…10th Cavalry Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients:

  • Captain Louis H. Carpenter

  • Sergeant Major Edward L. Baker

  • Second Lieutenant Powhattan H. Clarke

  • Private Dennis Bell

  • Private Fitz Lee

  • Sergeant William McBryar

  • Sergeant William Tompkins

  • Private George H. Wanton



The Services of the Buffalo Soldiers was not limited to fighting Indians in the early years. They…

  • Explored and yielded maps of uncharted wilderness which paved the way for on-coming pioneer settlers

  • Assisted civil authorities in controlling mobs

  • Pursued outlaws, cattle thieves, and even Mexican revolutionaries along the border

  • Built or renovated dozens of posts and camps

  • Constructed thousands of miles of roads and telegraph lines, and patrols



The Buffalo Soldiers…

  • Protected work crews building the transcontinental railroad

  • Served as the first US Border Patrol

  • Rode ‘shotgun’ on stagecoaches

  • Protected the giant redwoods of California before the establishment of the US Forest Service



And, The Buffalo Soldiers…

  • Protected settlers

  • Rode ‘shotgun’ on stagecoaches

  • Escorted wagon trains

  • Delivered mail longer than the Pony Express



The valor and exemplary service of the Buffalo Soldiers did not end on the Western Frontier.

  • The 9th and 10th went on to serve with Teddy Roosevelt and the “Rough Riders" as they stormed up San Juan Hill.

  • They not only were with him, but played an important role in the battle.

  • Official and unofficial reports of this battle are recorded in Record Group 391, US Regular army Mobile Units, 1821-1942.



The Buffalo Soldiers…

  • Fought and died in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean Conflict



And…

  • 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers served with distinction under officer  "Black Jack" Pershing.

  • The rest is history…



In reports from their white officers, the words ‘bravery,’ ‘discipline,’ ‘fearlessness,’ and ‘endurance’ were consistently present. The Buffalo Soldiers rode, fought, and conducted themselves in the highest tradition of military service. Their record is one in which all Americans can take pride.



Despite this record of achievement, the Buffalo Soldiers faced constant prejudice and discrimination. Much of the recognition for their efforts was robbed by jealous leaders. Often simple justice could not be found. Such detriments may have destroyed the morale of many other military units, but they failed to do so with the proud ninth and tenth.



Of all American soldiers, they had the hardest fight. There was not only the enemy to defeat, but the hearts and minds of their fellow soldiers to be won. The Buffalo Soldiers had the lowest desertion rate in the Army. They were:



Finally, the All-Black, and ever-proud 9th and 10th Calvary Regiments were integrated. The Year was 1952...eighty-six years after being commissioned. The end of an era. The end of an important saga of American History.



Buffalo Soldiers from every state in the Union served bravely and with honors. They received many honors, including;



The Buffalo Soldiers have been honored for their bravery and service, more than any other American Military Unit. Yet, in spite of their great sacrifices and outstanding performance, the Buffalo Soldiers were not fully recognized or appreciated by their country until 1992. 



On July 25, 1992, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on the exact site where the Buffalo Soldiers lived and died, a magnificent homage to their spirit and legacy was erected: a bronze statue commissioned by General Colin Powell, a great tribute to the Buffalo Soldiers!  



The monument was constructed to honor, for all time, the heroic contribution made by these Black American Heroes, and paid for totally from private and corporate funds in a fundraising effort spearhead by Commander Carlton Philpot, U. S. Navy Retired, guest speaker at the historical event.



Theirs was a great Legacy of Leadership and Excellence.







































In 1873, James Freeman, a newly-elected Georgia Congressman, recommended Flipper’s appointment after he proved himself to be ‘worthy and qualified.’

  • In 1873, James Freeman, a newly-elected Georgia Congressman, recommended Flipper’s appointment after he proved himself to be ‘worthy and qualified.’

  • He was the 5th African American excepted to attend the Academy – he was 17 years old at the time.

  • Treated with extreme prejudice as a cadet, Flipper excelled in engineering, law, French and Spanish.

  • Flipper described his successful struggle against ostracism and prejudice in The Colored Cadet at West Point (1878).



Flipper’s military career was cut short when he was impartially accused of embezzlement and falsifying records.

  • Flipper’s military career was cut short when he was impartially accused of embezzlement and falsifying records.

  • In a trial shrouded in prejudice, he was found guilty of lying and sentenced to dismissal from the US Army.





Flipper’s discharge signaled the end of one of the most envied of military careers

  • Flipper’s discharge signaled the end of one of the most envied of military careers

  • After his dismissal, he went on to gain recognition and respect as a surveyor and opened his own engineering firm

  • During the years following his dismissal, Flipper maintained his innocence and sought to clear his name and restore his rank 8 times… unsuccessfully



In 1976, the US Army deemed the sentence handed down was too severe for the charge, and posthumously awarded Flipper an honorable discharge.

  • In 1976, the US Army deemed the sentence handed down was too severe for the charge, and posthumously awarded Flipper an honorable discharge.

  • 23 years later, on February 19, 1999, 117 years after being charged with “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman” and 59 years after his death, he was pardoned posthumously by President Bill Clinton

  • His story not only represents a milestone in African American history, but in the history of America as well



John Hanks Alexander

  • John Hanks Alexander

  • Charles Young



John Hanks Alexander, almost unnoticed in Army history, was the son of former slaves

  • John Hanks Alexander, almost unnoticed in Army history, was the son of former slaves

  • Hanks was the second black to become an officer in the regular Army

  • Charles Young became the third black regular Army line officer in 1889. An outstanding officer, he eventually would reach the grade of Colonel.

  • In 1896, he set a new precedent by transferring to the 7th Cavalry, a white regiment, where he remained on the rolls for one year.





The Female Buffalo Soldier, Cathay Williams aka William Cathy:

  • Was born into slavery in Independence, Missouri in 1842.

  • Enlisted in the army in 1866

  • Served until 1868, when she became ill, was examined and found to be a woman.

  • After leaving the army as a soldier, she worked as a cook for an officer at Fort Union.



Female Buffalo Soldier, Cathay Williams aka William Cathy





1st Sergeant Mark Mathews was the oldest surviving Buffalo Soldier in the United States Army until last year

  • 1st Sergeant Mark Mathews was the oldest surviving Buffalo Soldier in the United States Army until last year

  • One of 1st Sgt. Mark Matthews's duties was assisting the 1916 search for Pancho Villa in Mexico

  • He was 111 when he died







Dr. William H. Waddell, at 97, is the last and oldest living member of the Buffalo Soldiers now that First Sergeant Mark Mathews is deceased

  • Dr. William H. Waddell, at 97, is the last and oldest living member of the Buffalo Soldiers now that First Sergeant Mark Mathews is deceased

  • Dr. Waddell served in both the 9th and 10th Cavalry Divisions in the Italian Campaign during World War II





A pioneer, Dr. Waddell was the first faculty member at Tuskegee University’s School of Veterinary Medicine (1945-1948)

  • A pioneer, Dr. Waddell was the first faculty member at Tuskegee University’s School of Veterinary Medicine (1945-1948)

  • In 2003, he received the honorary Order of St. Martin when honored at Tuskegee

  • Today, Dr. Waddell, veterinarian, entrepreneur, leader, husband, father, researcher, student, and resident of Kaa’awa on the eastern shore of Oahu, Hawaii



A 1931 Lincoln University graduate, Waddell was one of three honorary degree recipients at the University’s 145th Commencement ceremonies on May 2, 2004

  • A 1931 Lincoln University graduate, Waddell was one of three honorary degree recipients at the University’s 145th Commencement ceremonies on May 2, 2004













The National Association of Buffalo Soldiers and Troopers Motorcycle Clubs

  • In 1993, the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club was founded in Chicago by Ken ‘Dream Maker’ Thomas to socialize men and women who shared similar ideals and the common bond of motorcycling.

  • The name was chosen to uphold and perpetuate the heroic legend of the original Buffalo Soldiers and the legacy of excellence of the African American soldiers who followed



The National Association of Buffalo Soldiers and Troopers Motorcycle Clubs

  • Today what began as a small group has blossomed into a premier organization with 55 chapters throughout the continental United States, including Hawaii, and two International chapters in Nova Scotia and Ontario, Canada

  • The membership is made up of current and retired military, law enforcement officers, doctors, lawyers, legislators and public officials, educators, and a variety of other professionals dedicated to the improvement of their communities and the advocacy of safe and enjoyable motorcycling



The National Association of Buffalo Soldiers and Troopers Motorcycle Clubs

  • NABSTMC members perpetuate the grand memory of the Legendary Buffalo Soldiers by spreading the legacy throughout the nation and abroad, through programs such as this, in schools, churches, institutions, and other organizations

  • NABSTMC members love to ride, but take equal pride in conveying a positive image, especially to youth

  • The NABSMC and affiliated chapters support charitable organizations such as the March of Dimes, the Tom Joyner Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Toys for Tots, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and many more.



Retrace 2004…31 July

  • In 2004, the National organization staged a historic ride to the Buffalo Soldiers Monument at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

  • This event involved the participation of nearly 500 members from all over the United States

  • Leaving from various destinations, all came together at Fort Leavenworth to retrace the steps of the original 9th and 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers of the late 1800’s.



Retrace 2004…

  • The Organization created this event to honor and perpetuate the history of those brave troopers who fought so gallantly on the Great Plains during the Indian Wars

  • Aside from paying tribute to the Legendary Buffalo Soldiers, members wanted to effect a resurgence of pride to carry back to their respective communities

  • For most, it was the first time they were able to see, touch and experience the part of history they talked about in countless seminars across the country



Retrace 2004…

  • The Memorial Ceremony, held at the Monument, was open to all military and DOD personnel stationed at Fort Leavenworth



Retrace 2004…

  • The ceremony had a very special ending as the ashes of Master Sergeant Robert E. Phillips were buried in the earth at the site of the Buffalo Soldier Monument

  • Thomas ‘TC’ Costley, spokesperson and organizer of the event (pictured left), thanked the Phillips’ family for the privilege and pledged that the club would proudly execute the ceremony with ‘all of the honor and dignity it deserves.’



Retrace 2004…

  • Following the ceremony, members visited the Richard Allen Cultural Center Museum in the town of Leavenworth, Kansas

  • Later that evening, POW’s and MIA’s were honored in a moving program

  • This was a historic event that those who participated will always remember





The Buffalo Soldiers M/C of Alabama, B’ham Chapter

  • We are a non-profit organization comprised of males and females from the military, law enforcement and other professional affiliation (active and retired). It is our mission to serve our communities as well as be responsible citizens. We are here to educate the public, mainly the youth, about the positive influence of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments of the U.S. Army, historically known as the Buffalo Soldiers.



The Buffalo Soldiers M/C of Alabama, B’ham Chapter



The Buffalo Soldiers M/C of Alabama, Mother Chapter






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