Some in­ac­cu­ra­cies about Buf­falo Sol­diers

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

The March 10 ar­ti­cle on the Buf­falo Sol­diers had at least one in­ac­cu­racy, and was lack­ing in the full his­tory of the men of the 9th and 10th Caval­ries.

Mr. Hard­wick Craw­ford states, “White of­fi­cers who fin­ished last in their class got as­signed to the Buf­falo Sol­diers.” John J. Per­sh­ing, Gen­eral of the Armies of the United States, sec­ond in rank only to Gen­eral of the Armies Ge­orge Washington, com­manded the 10th Cavalry. He grad­u­ated 30th in a class of 77. Bri­gadier Gen­eral Louis H. Car­pen­ter, who dropped out of col­lege to join the Army, was awarded the Con­gres­sional Medal of Honor, and com­manded the 10th Cavalry. He did not have a class rank­ing. Col. Ben­jamin H. Gri­er­son, who or­ga­nized the 10th Cavalry, was not a West Point grad­u­ate, but a music teacher. He be­lieved in the abil­i­ties, ded­i­ca­tion and record of per­for­mance of the Buf­falo Sol­diers and re­fused to con­sider any other com­mand. Brevet Major Gen­eral Ed­ward Hatch, was ed­u­cated at the Nor­wich Mil­i­tary Academy in Ver­mont and vol­un­teered as a pri­vate at the be­gin­ning of the Civil War. He was the first com­man­der of the 9th Cavalry. Henry Os­sian Flip­per, the first African-Amer­i­can to grad­u­ate from West Point, led the sol­diers of the 10th Cavalry. He fin­ished 50th out of a class of 64.

The fact that many Amer­i­cans do not know about the Buf­falo Sol­diers, may not be that they are ashamed as Craw­ford al­leges, as how can you be ashamed about some­thing you know noth­ing about? The Buf­falo Sol­diers’ ser­vice in the Amer­i­can west re­sulted in the map­ping of thou­sands of square miles of un­charted ter­ri­tory, the in­stal­la­tion of tele­graph wires, con­struc­tion of roads, and the dis­cov­ery of passes and wa­ter sources that made fur­ther ex­plo­ration pos­si­ble.

In ad­di­tion, Craw­ford failed to point out that dur­ing their his­tory, the men of the 9th and 10th Caval­ries, and the 24th In­fantry, all Buf­falo Sol­diers, earned 23 Con­gres­sional Medals of Honor. African-Amer­i­cans have par­tic­i­pated in ev­ery war that we have had, and have been a part of what makes this coun­try great.

Fred­er­ick G. Scott, M.Sgt., USAF, (Ret.), St. Charles

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