Voices of the Buffalo Soldier: Records, Reports, and Recollections of Military Life and Service in the West

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The Buffalo Soldiers were African Americans who served in the Regular Army between the Civil War and World War I and fought in some of the most difficult wars against western Indians. Examining their military service, their social lives, and their interactions with western civilian communities, it uses the words of the soldiers themselves and of contemporary observers, some friendly and some not.

Voices of the Buffalo Soldier draws on a wide variety of periodicals, military records, and letters. It covers such key topics as the legislative origin of the inclusion of black soldiers in the army, the campaigns in which the Buffalo Soldiers fought, their daily lives and interactions with white communities, the few black chaplains and line officers who were permitted to serve, and the bravery of some Buffalo Soldier heroes. All students of the frontier army as well as aficionados with a special interest in the Buffalo Soldiers will find this an invaluable publication.

"The first work that presents the correspondence and their primary documents pertaining to black soldiers' lives in the West."—Quintard Taylor, University of Washington

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826323101
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 1/16/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 1,553,511
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank N. Schubert is a graduate of Howard University. He has been researching and writing on the black military experience in the West for more than thirty years. Schubert retired as a historian in the Office of the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. He divides his time between Mount Vernon, Virginia, and Gyor, Hungary.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 A new kind of soldier for the post-Civil War Regular Army 5
2 First skirmishes with Plains tribes 8
3 The 10th Cavalry in the summer of 1867: first battles and first casualty 12
4 Sergeant Shelvin Shropshire's observations on service in Kansas 21
5 The battle at Beecher Island, September 1878 23
6 The 9th Cavalry in Texas: mutiny at San Pedro Springs, Texas, April 1867 31
7 William Cathay/Cathay Williams: a woman in the 38th Infantry 33
8 Sergeant Emanuel Stance and the Medal of Honor 36
9 Recollections of active service in Texas by Sergeant Jacob Wilks, 9th Cavalry 40
10 The earliest known documented use of the name "Buffalo Soldiers" 47
11 Two old soldiers recall their youth and service in the 25th Infantry, 1870-1880 50
12 Captain J. Lee Humfreville's court-martial conviction, 1874 55
13 A resolution of mourning 63
14 Perry Hayman's recollections of service with the 10th Cavalry 65
15 Lieutenant John Lapham Bullis's report on the heroic behavior of three Seminole-Negro scouts 70
16 Sergeant John Marshall of the 10th Cavalry reports on a scout from Fort Concho, Texas 73
17 Destroying Indian villages 75
18 Borderland operations: cattle thieves and civil authorities 77
19 Borderland operations: depredations and refuge 79
20 A chaplain's report: discipline, morals, and education 85
21 Lieutenant Henry Flipper's competence, character, and treatment by other officers 87
22 Complaint about discrimination in selection of sergeants to noncommissioned staff positions 91
23 Colonel George F. Hamilton's chronology of the 9th Cavalry during the campaign against Victorio and nana 93
24 Lieutenant George R. Burnett's account of a firefight between the 9th Cavalry and Nana's band in August 1881 100
25 The 10th Cavalry in the campaign against Victorio 107
26 Colonel George Andrews pleads for a change of station for the 25th Infantry 108
27 A borderland love triangle: white officer, black soldier, and Latino woman 111
28 Encounter with racism: the 10th Cavalry at San Angelo, Texas 114
29 A soldier's love letters 123
30 John Howerton's escape from slavery 127
31 Moses Green's court-martial, Fort Reno, Indian Territory, 1883 129
32 Statement by Private Edward Hamilton, Troop C, 9th Cavalry 137
33 Lieutenant Powhattan H. Clarke and the rescue of Corporal Edward Scott 139
34 Fifteen hard years: Sergeant John Casey's service in the 10th Cavalry 141
35 24th Infantry soldiers censure some of their own 149
36 Don Rickey's notes on interviews with Simpson Mann 153
37 Protecting the payroll 159
38 William Wilson, courage under fire, and desertion 163
39 The poetry of Private W. H. Prather of I Troop, 9th Cavalry 170
40 Chaplain Theophilus G. Steward on his relationship with the regimental commander 173
41 The Suggs affray, June 1892 174
42 Chaplain Henry V. Plummer on life at Fort Robinson and his religious and educational duties 175
43 Sergeant Barney McKay and "500 soldiers with the Bullet or Torch" 177
44 Recollections of a recruit 188
45 A 24th Infantry masquerade ball 198
46 The death of Lieutenant John Hanks Alexander 200
47 A matter of complexion 204
48 Chaplain Allen Allensworth and the post school 206
49 A "glorious calling" 208
50 Chaplain George Prioleau on a segregated railroad car through Texas 214
51 Benjamin O. Davis qualifies for a commission in the Army 217
52 Differing views of garrison life at the turn of the century 221
53 The names of a soldier 226
54 Mary Church Terrell, "A Sketch of Mingo Saunders" 238
55 The racial climate in Brownsville, Texas, after the shooting incident 244
56 Charles Young and African American heritage 247
57 Violet Cragg's pension request 248
58 Enduring patriotism 252
59 An Army widow's lot 255
60 From Buffalo Soldiers to clergymen 256
Notes 258
Index 273
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