Subject: Okay, now for something strange
A brilliant and beautiful friend of mine in New York just read me an AP
story relating to the US Government exhuming large numbers of bodies of "buffalo
soldiers" (Civil War and post Civil War era) African American soldiers
and children from a field of unmarked graves near some old fort from that
period in the New Mexico desert. The government did all this in secret for the
last four months to avoid memoribilia looting of the corpses, so it said
when the operation became publicly known. There is a gruesome side story
about some history professor who recently died and in his house they
found one of the mummified
black soldier corpses still dressed in his cavalry blue uniform. It was
said that the professor was a prime looter of the site
But, get this: the reason that I'm asking you fellows about this is that
the report goes on to say that there have been charges that what the
government is really exhuming out there in the desert are alien bodies
that it buried there back in the 40's and 50's and that memorabilia
treasure hunter exhumations were threatening to reveal the alien corpses
buried there, so the govt was forced to cook up this story and steal away
the bodies in the dead of night over the past four months.
So, anyone heard of this one? She couldn't send me the story because she
got called away in mid-call and has not had time to get to a computer
since then to forward what she read. I tried to Google it without
success. It's allegedly in an AP story put out today.
Things just keep getting weirder and weirder,
Here's the AP story about the exhumations. Note: no alien connection
Soldiers’ Remains Secretly Exhumed in New Mexico
But see my other e-mail with gawker.com's take on the story. Seems to me
that the AP story is weird enough even without aliens, but that's just me.
Okay, here's the second part, wherein these guys claim that the story
swallowed by AP was a hoax.
AP Swallows Obvious Alien Cover Story Federal agents secretly removed 67
bodies from a patch of New Mexico desert not terribly far from UFO crash
zone Roswell. Clearly these are alien remains, but the Feds insist they
are the skeletons of black Civil War soldiers, and needed protection from
a crazy historian in an airplane, who is now dead. The Associated Press
did not bother to dig for the Truth, which Is Out There. [AP]
Soldiers’ Remains Secretly Exhumed in New Mexico
AP Swallows Obvious Alien Cover Story
Federal agents secretly removed 67 bodies from a patch of New Mexico
desert not terribly far from UFO crash zone Roswell. Clearly these are
alien remains, but the Feds insist they are the skeletons of black
Civil War soldiers, and needed protection from a crazy historian in an
airplane, who is now dead. The Associated Press did not bother to dig
for the Truth, which Is Out There. [AP]
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Bodies removed from Fort Craig
Alleged grave robber died in 2004
started with a casual remark and ended with the removal of 67
skeletons from the cemetery at Fort Craig, south of Socorro. Jeffery
Hanson, archaeologist for the Bureau of Reclamation said a fellow
historian was picking up some things from him at the bureau's
archaeology department when the man happened to mention that he had
seen the remains of a Buffalo Soldier at the home of another amateur
historian. Hanson and fellow archeologist Mark Hungerford went to
the site of the Fort Craig cemetery and found signs of looting.
The BOR teamed with the Bureau of Land Management to investigate.
While the former cemetery is on BOR lands, Fort Craig itself is on
BLM land. Also, the BOR has no law enforcement division. Hanson said
there were actually two excavations. The first was done between 2005
and 2006, as part of the criminal investigation to obtain evidence
matching remains with artifacts. The second round of exhumations
were completed between August and October 2007, to prevent further
Hans Stuart, chief of public affairs for the BLM in Santa Fe,
said the investigation has been closed. He said the case was closed
when the alleged grave robber died. The report named Dee Brecheisen,
of Peralta, who was 66 at the time of his death in 2004, as the
alleged suspect. Stuart said investigators were told Brecheisen even
referred to himself as "the grave robber."
"The case is closed. I'm not allowed to comment on whether or not
there are any further investigations," Stuart said.
Stuart said he also is not allowed to give out the names of any
of the investigators in the case.
"One of the really sad things about this story is that people
knew about the grave robbing," he said. "This kind of crime needs to
be reported. If you see somebody start a fire, you report it. If you
see somebody with a shovel digging and a screen sifting through the
dirt, you should report it."
Stuart said the BLM has produced a handout for people visiting
Fort Craig that explains the cemetery is not and never has been open
to the public. He said the exhumations have left nothing to be seen.
The site has been leveled except for the walls. The handout also
asks people looking for information or to report anything suspicious
to call Mary Carlson at the BLM public affairs office at
Although previous press releases have referred to the exhumations
as "secret," Hanson said it was more low profile than secret. He
said the camp host at Fort Craig, as well as pertinent law
enforcement officials were informed. He said it was handled quietly
because there is an unusually active looting problem in Socorro and
"I think a lot of it (the artifacts) are sold here and abroad,"
Hanson went on to say that he believes there to be a million
dollars a year in illegal black market trade in both commercial and
The bodies that were exhumed will be examined by the
archeologists to attempt identification but Hanson doubts more than
five at the most will be identifiable beyond a doubt.
"We want to be confident that we know who the remains belong to
before we put a name on a gravestone. We don't want to make any
mistakes burying somebody under the wrong name," he said.
The BOR has the burial registry from Fort Craig. Hanson said the
military burials recorded are all Union soldiers, New Mexico
Volunteers and California Volunteers. He said those who died after
the Civil War are listed as United States Army.
Unfortunately, the registry does not include civilians. He said
they have exhumed 26 bodies belonging to infants and small children.
Hanson said they do not expect to be able to identify any of them.
"Osteological analysis will be impossible," he said. "The
skeletal samples are good enough for DNA evidence. We could do
matches will descendants. We're very open to doing that."
Hanson said anyone who would like to find out if remains belong
to a blood relative who was buried at Fort Craig should contact
Carlson said the BOR have made presentations on the exhumations
and might schedule one in Socorro County.
"We're thinking about having some sort of memorial at the fort,"
Hanson said the archaeological department of the BOR is planning
to produce a documentary on the events to be shown in the fall. He
said it is too early to know if it will be on public television or
on a different television station.
"The whole enterprise underscores the problems we have with
looting," Hanson said. "Not only is it desecration to our ancestors
and our veterans, but our collective heritage is being robbed."
After the archeologists are finished with the study and
identification of the remains, the bodies will be reburied in a
national cemetery where security is tighter. He said the BOR is
looking into several locations and has not yet decided exactly where
the remains will be interred.
Where the story of the Buffalo Soldiers
Special for The Republic
Mar. 20, 2008 08:49 PM
SIERRA VISTA - Harlan Bradford waited patiently until everyone in
the group was paying attention because, he said, what he was about
to tell them was important.
"I always get asked how the Buffalo Soldiers got their name," he
began. "I have researched this matter and talked with military
officials and historians, and I get three theories."
The first, he said, is that the nickname was applied to Black
soldiers by Plains Indians, probably Cherokee or Comanche, who
likened the soldiers' dark, curly hair to that of a buffalo's
mane. The second, also attributed to the Plains Indians, had to do
with the buffalo-hide coats the cavalrymen wore as part of their
"So when they rode into battle, they looked like charging
buffalo," Bradford said.
Finally, it might have been because of their legendary fighting
spirit, praised by everyone from the Indians to Gen. John J.
"Black Jack" Pershing, who led some of them into Mexico in his
vain pursuit of Pancho Villa. In fact, Bradford said, some say
Pershing got his nickname because of his admiration for the
"The most important thing to remember is that regardless of where
it came from, there was never anything derogatory about being
called a Buffalo Soldier," Bradford said. "It was an honor to be
called a Buffalo Soldier."
Having clarified that point, Bradford went back to guiding his
charges across the sprawling grounds of Fort Huachuca. He and his
counterparts lead these tours on the third Saturday of every month
under the sponsorship of the Southwest Association of Buffalo
Soldiers, and they take the visitors to several sites on the post
that are part of the Buffalo Soldier story.
The first all-Black regiments, and the forerunners of the Buffalo
Soldiers, were formed by an act of Congress in 1866.
African-Americans had served in the U.S. military long before
that; during the Civil War, more than 13,000 were killed in action
while fighting for the Union. By 1869, there were four all-Black
units: the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments and the 24th and 25th
Infantry Regiments. By the 1870s, Blacks made up about 20 percent
of the Army.
But the Buffalo Soldier designation didn't catch on until the
1880s, when African-American troops were sent to the Great Plains
and the Southwest to take part in the Indian wars. The name came
into use then, and although the term never officially was applied
to any unit, it has been a part of Army lore ever since.
Although often the victims of discrimination, the Buffalo Soldiers
were heralded as tough, loyal fighters who overcame such
adversities as inequality in pay, inadequate housing, inferior
equipment and few advancement opportunities to carve their names
into Army history.
Black soldiers helped settle the West and served in the
Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War and Pershing's
Punitive Expedition into Mexico, earning more than 20 Medals of
Honor. When there wasn't a war going on, they served as park
rangers, security forces and cattle guardians. They quelled a
range war in Wyoming, built roads in Yosemite and Sequoia national
parks and protected settlers.
The 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments were disbanded during World War
II; the 24th Infantry Regiment served in the Korean conflict and
was the last segregated unit to see combat before it and the 25th
were disbanded in the 1950s, when all military services were
All four units were stationed at Fort Huachuca at one time or
another, and the Buffalo Soldier association is trying to preserve
that history. With cooperation from post officials, the group
began offering the monthly tours in 2007 and plans to continue
them "as long as they let us," according to Bradford, who dresses
as a Buffalo Soldier with the rank of sergeant major when he leads
The tours start at noon in front of the Fort Huachuca Historical
Museum. After introductory remarks, visitors see the cemetery
where several Buffalo Soldiers are buried and the mule barns where
they were in charge of the animals. The tour also stops at the
building where Black recruits learned to read and write, and at
the Mountain View Colored Officers Club, which the association is
trying to restore.
The last stop is the Buffalo Soldier Legacy Plaza where, beneath a
larger-than-life bronze sculpture of a Black infantryman, the
guides hand out brochures that urge donations so the association
can continue its projects. Visitors then are directed back to the
museum, where they can take as much time as they want to examine
the Buffalo Soldier display inside.
The tours are free and usually last 90 minutes to two hours.
Participants enter the post through the front gate, where everyone
13 and older must show photo identification. Because the fort is
vast and the tour destinations are far apart, these are not
walking tours and guests must provide their own transportation
Once the final model was ready, the garrison ran into funding problems.
There wasn't enough money to cast the bronze, but a firm in Tucson
accepted the work at a bargain price. Further cost reductions were
achieved by scaling down the statue's size and by melting down brass scrap
from Army stocks.
A tribute to Buffalo Soldiers
Special for The Republic
Mar. 21, 2008 12:00 AM
FORT HUACHUCA - The monument is an 8-foot-tall bronze sculpture
of a Buffalo Soldier in period dress, holding a rifle in one hand
and a saddle in the other. The work traces its origins to the
early 1970s, when Spec. 4 Clarence E. Wilson Jr. embarked on a
personal mission to honor African-American soldiers who had been
stationed at the fort.
Wilson, a social worker in the fort's drug- and alcohol-abuse
center, worked tirelessly in his off-duty hours to establish a
course on Black history, acquire Black heritage literature for the
post libraries and start the campaign to erect the statue.
But Wilson left the post before accomplishing the mission, so Col.
Arthur Corley, then the garrison commander, assigned the project
to the Fort Huachuca Historical Museum. Staff artist Rose Murray
was given the task of designing the sculpture, and she attended
advanced sculpture courses at the University of Arizona while
creating several wax models of the soldier.
When the work was completed, there was the problem of finding a vehicle
capable of transporting it from Tucson to the fort. A Phoenix firm agreed
to do the job, and the statue was delivered to the post the day before the
dedication ceremony. When the statue was unveiled in 1977, it stood at the
front entrance to Fort Huachuca, "looking like he belongs there, with the
imposing Huachuca Mountains at his back and the clear Arizona sky forming
his aura," according to museum historian Jim Finley.
The sculpture stood there until last year, when it was moved to the
Buffalo Soldier Legacy Plaza as the first phase of the fort's four-part
"Year of the Buffalo Soldier" observation. The plaza represents the second
phase, and installation of an information kiosk and interpretive signs
will complete the project.
Peter DePina of Southborough has collected
thousands of pieces of memorabilia of the Buffalo Soldiers,
African-Americans who fought for the Army in the Indian Wars of the late
19th century, including the uniform he is wearing. (Globe Staff
Photo / Matthew J. Lee)
"You have to experience the hurt and then to see a
total flip-flop," he said. "Can we show people we are
human beings who can learn from the past? It's a dream."
MWRA officials said they don't know exactly when the
former farmhouse on Boston Road was built. They know only
that engineers moved it to its present location in the
town's Fayville section when the reservoir was created in
the late 1870s. The earliest photo of the house in the
MWRA archives was taken in 1894, said authority
spokeswoman Ria Convery. At some point, the house was the
dam keeper's residence, she said.
The MWRA was going to demolish the house until
society members, led by Marlborough resident Russell
Horne, approached the agency about making it a museum. The
house's roof has holes, birds are living inside, and rain
has damaged the interior, Convery said.
"Our inclination was to tear it down because we
can't spend any money on things that aren't necessary to
run the water system," she said. "We're not really in the
business of being a landlord."
Horne's ancestors owned a mill on Stony Brook in the
18th century, before Southborough was incorporated as a
town, he said. Those same ancestors are buried in old town
cemeteries, he said. Horne would like to devote a portion
of the DeClinton Nichols House to exhibits on the area's
Industrial Revolution legacy. "There were 24 mills on
Stony Brook in 1794," he said.
The MWRA would be happy to transfer ownership or
possession of the house to someone else, Convery said. But
it's not clear whether state rules would allow the
authority to give it to a private group, even a nonprofit
entity such as the Southborough Historical Society. By
law, the house is supposed to be first offered to other
state agencies that might need the space and then to the
town if there are no takers, she said.
Town Administrator Jean Kitchen said officials
supported DePina's and Horne's efforts. She was working
with state lawmakers to draft legislation that would allow
the MWRA to give Southborough a lease to the house, she
said. She hoped to meet again with officials in the next
few weeks to iron out details for a transfer.
The town probably would lease the house from the
MWRA and then sublease it to the Southborough Historical
Society. Then the museum could begin fund-raising and
receiving donations, she said. While details haven't been
finalized, Kitchen said, the leases might last for 99
years and cost $1 a year, she said.
Kitchen said she was confident DePina and Horne
could raise the money they need and, in the process,
provide Southborough with a unique cultural attraction.
"We don't believe there would be any cost to the town,"
The moment the historical society has control of the
Nichols House, DePina and Horne said, they would spring
into action with fund-raising and planning. They said they
have already enlisted the specialists they need to set up
the museum as a nonprofit organization. Many of those
professionals have agreed to volunteer their time, too.
"We've got a grant writer on board," Horne said. "We
have a lawyer on board. We have an accountant. We're
pretty much set."
© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.
An old bastion of refuge in a new tale of the West
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
The scene was dramatic and uncanny, to say the least:
women and young girls, dressed in 19th-century-style clothing,
being escorted into an historic West Texas fort -- presumably
for their protection.
But this was no period movie, no re-enactment of some
historic event in the Old West.
It was now. It was real. It was surreal.
"Established in 1867, along the banks of the Concho
River, Fort Concho was built to protect frontier settlements,
patrol and map the vast West Texas region and quell hostile
threats in the area," says the opening paragraph of the
national historic landmark's Web page.
The 500-plus women and children who crowded onto the
fort's grounds had arrived from what could be described as a
frontier settlement, but one built only four years ago. And
from what court documents allege, many of them faced hostile
threats -- not from raiding Indians but from "family" members
and their church leaders.
Fort Concho, once home to cavalry troops that included
the Buffalo Soldiers but closed as an active military facility
since 1889, had once again become a protector and a refuge for
those who ended up there last week after a raid on a religious
Of course, for some -- those who might resent having
been taken from their homes on the Fundamentalist Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' 1,691-acre ranch near
Eldorado -- the fort might be seen as a prison.
That's part of the problem facing Texas law enforcement
and agencies such as Child Protective Services.
Who were willing participants in the strange rituals of
the polygamist FLDS sect, and who were victims of evil men who
used religion for their own sexual obsessions and the abuse of
Many of the young girls removed from the ranch were
mothers and/or pregnant and, according to affidavits, had been
forced to "spiritually marry" older men and immediately submit
to them sexually. Authorities even found beds in the vast
white temple, and records showed that one man at the
encampment had 20 wives living with him.
I've seen my share of cults and religious orders, and
even some mainstream organizations, in which men use their
power and twisted biblical interpretations to coerce women and
children into sex. This is not a new phenomenon by any means.
And always we in society have to wrestle with the
question of when the state has a right and a duty to intervene
in "church" matters. In the case of adults, that's a harder
puzzle because we have to decide whether people gave their
consent or were forced (or beguiled) by a pontificating snake
in ministerial clothing.
But in the case of children forced into sex at the age
of 14 and 15, the state unquestionably has every right to
intercede on their behalf and should do everything in its
power to protect them.
From the time the FLDS sect moved to Texas, there were
suspicions that weird and possibly illegal things were going
on, but local authorities prudently waited until there was
true probable cause before moving in and searching the
When officials got a 911 call from someone who
identified herself as a fearful, pregnant 16-year-old, they
had reason enough to enter the property and to seize the
The group had been industrious -- building large living
quarters and a sanctuary -- and becoming one of the biggest
and most faithful taxpaying entities in the small county of
Schleicher. But working hard and paying taxes do not
necessarily make one a good citizen, or a good person --
certainly not if children are being harmed.
We can only guess how severely the youngsters, sexually
abused or not, have been injured. Many know no life other than
their peculiar upbringing and have been taught to fear the
Who knows what level of sheer brainwashing may have
As CPS navigates these hundreds of cases, in some
instances trying to determine the children's true identities
as well as the level of injury they may have incurred, we
should have a new appreciation for the state agency that often
receives more blame than praise.
Among other things, the agency will have to determine
whether children should be permanently removed from their
parents. If so, where do they go?
Local, state and federal authorities also must decide
who among the 50 or so men remaining on the property might
have committed crimes and what charges, if any, should be
I have no sympathy for the religious "leaders" and could
never condone or forgive what at least some of them seem to
have done in the name of God.
If this were a movie, we could at least look forward to
Sadly, for the 416 children involved in this depressing
tale, the end is nowhere in sight.
12-year-old seeks to understand discrepancies
Originally published April 13, 2008
Nicholas C. Stern
Photo by Bill Green
Daley Bennett, a student at Crestwood Middle School, used black
history month as a subject of her recent science fair project.
A couple of years ago, Daley Bennett grew tired of learning in school
about the same old things during black history month.
Bennett, 12, of Frederick, said that much of what was being taught
about Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech and Rosa Parks'
refusal to sit in the back of a bus she already knew.
"I thought it was so dry," she said.
Those topics are fine for children first entering school, but there
is so much more about black history for older students to learn, said
Bennett, a student at Crestwood Middle School.
Bennett's uncle, Howard Hickson, and her aunt, Sheri Markey, both
of whom are black, had provided insights into black history. Another
aunt, a white, retired school teacher who lives in St. Louis, told her
about the Buffalo Soldiers -- black soldiers who served in the U.S.
military and helped significantly with the nation's western expansion.
Another teacher in fifth grade mentioned that Charles R. Drew
pioneered the idea for storing blood in banks, and was later asked to
resign as director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank after
protesting a U.S. War Department directive stating that blood taken
from white donors should not be mixed with blood from black donors.
These untold stories gave Bennett an idea.
Bennett decided, with some help from her parents, that for her
science fair project in March, she would test people's knowledge of
prominent white and black people, excluding King and Parks.
The test, she said, consisted of 22 questions, 11 about famous
white people and 11 about famous black people.
Bennett said that the majority of the information she used was
gathered from her family and online history websites.
In one afternoon, she went to a local Starbucks and asked 28
participants, who were high school graduates, to take the test.
Bennett said she was surprised by the enthusiasm and willingness to
TAKE THE TEST -
According to the results, Bennett said that on average, respondents
answered 95 percent of questions about white Americans correctly,
while 5 percent of the questions about black Americans correctly.
Bennett concluded that blacks are not mentioned in U.S. history
classes with a similar thoroughness as whites.
Perhaps the curriculum in some public schools should be expanded
beyond its focus on slavery or the civil rights movement of the 20th
century, she said.
Black history should be taught in the time frame in which it
occurred, instead of in a separate category, she said.
Wendi Winters - For The Capital
Charles 'Charlie' Matthews behind the wheel of the
2006 Cadilliac CTS that he purchased off the lot when he was 100.
Former World War II Buffalo Soldier turns 102 at
Still driving, he plans to renew his license in
WINTERS, For The Capital
Published March 19, 2008
Charles Matthews wanted a new car two years ago. He
knew what he wanted and had it all picked out: a
snazzy gray Cadillac CTS.
The car sits in the driveway of Mr. Matthews' Parole
home, not a scratch on it. He takes good care of it,
for he expects to be driving it a long time.
After all, he's only 101 years old.
He remembers his first car well - a used 1916
Model T Ford. "I paid $50 for it," he said. "Gas was
19 cents a gallon."
By looking at him, it's hard to believe the
handsome, smooth-faced man is any older than 70, but
his birth date is printed clearly on his driver's
license, which doesn't expire until 2010.
He was born March 25, 1906, so on Tuesday, he
The independent senior citizen sees and hears
clearly, though he sometimes uses a hearing aid. He
can bend into a semi-squat to pull books off a low
shelf, and does all of the cooking and housecleaning
in his tidy home. His specialty is making crabcakes.
He'll grumble if you try to help him.
Age doesn't get in the way of house repairs.
After one heavy storm, he hauled out a ladder and
got on top of his roof to do an inspection. A
neighbor yelled at him to get down.
"That woman stayed out there 'til I put my ladder
away," he said.
He irons most of his snowy-white cotton shirts.
He doesn't own any casual clothing, because he
prefers to wear suits or dress slacks with a nice
sports jacket, shirt and tie, and lace-up leather
And he walks fluidly without any assistance and
exercises on his stationary bicycle for 20 minutes
The Matthews clan lived on Washington Street in
downtown Annapolis, just off West Street. He was the
second of four children born to Robert and Elizabeth
Robert Matthews was a laborer at the Naval
Academy, and died during the Flu Epidemic of 1918.
His mother was a homemaker who lived to be 98. She
was the granddaughter of a slave from Hope Chapel.
Charles Matthews' big brother, William, was three
years older and passed away years ago. His younger
sister, Sarah Matthews, died in 1998 at age 88. Baby
sister Sophia Chambers is 88.
Mrs. Chambers visits her brother's house often.
They sit side-by-side on a piano bench. They play
his electric piano and sing gospel songs together.
All the Matthews children attended the segregated
public schools in town. In his teenage years, Mr.
Matthews was a laborer and carpenter. "I did
contract work at the Naval Academy. I mixed concrete
for Bancroft Hall." He worked on an expansion of the
dormitory in 1936 and 1937.
When Pearl Harbor was attacked Dec. 7, 1941, Mr.
Matthews was 35 years old, but he enlisted in the
Army. He was a member of the famed 92nd Infantry
Division, known as "The Buffalo Soldiers Division,"
and served in the 3rd Battalion Company L.
In the 1880s, the Plains Indians nicknamed
African-American cavalrymen Buffalo Soldiers.. One
of the two black infantry divisions in World War II
adopted the name as its own.
"We had a picture of a buffalo on our shoulders -
a patch. People ran when they saw us. We were the
bad buffaloes," he chuckled. He was a rifleman with
his unit when it landed in Italy.
That was his only trip outside the United States.
"I never did much traveling. I've never stayed in a
hotel and haven't really been out of Maryland since
World War II," he said.
Activated in October 1942, the Buffaloes went
into action in Italy in the fall of 1944 and fought
through the spring of 1945. The Buffaloes suffered
more than 5,000 casualties in the fighting. They
were deactivated in October 1945.
He retired in 1973 as a carpenter and mason at
Fort George G. Meade. "That was 31˝ years, including
Army time," he said.
Mr. Matthews met Mary Adeline Barnes at her
aunts' home near Bestgate Road, and they were
married in 1955. The couple had no children. Mrs.
Matthews, who was 24 years younger than her husband,
died March 31, 1991.
A woman's portrait sits in his living room. It is
of Mary Florence Smith Dorsey.
Widowed in 1964, she and Mr. Matthews were
longtime companions until she died in July 2003 at
age 87 of Alzheimer's Disease. "He wanted to marry
her in a church ceremony," said Doris Matthews
Wright, 67, a niece of Mr. Matthews. "But neither
one was really ready to get married again."
"Do you know how Bestgate got its name?" Mr.
Matthews asked. "It was all dirt roads around here.
No houses. The Naval Academy was smaller. Bestgate
and Camp Parole (now Parole) were all Army
There was a gate where the new Westgate Circle
is, the place where West Street, Spa Road and Taylor
Avenue meet. Ridgely Avenue - part of it is what
Bestgate Road became - had a gate, too. "The Army
did a survey and that road was the 'best gate' to
get out of Annapolis," he said.
Mrs. Wright said his Uncle Will and Aunt Amelia
Carroll willed him their property at 814 Bestgate
Road. The land is now the Pine Lawn Memorial Park
and Mausoleum, next to Fowler United Methodist
"I sold all 13˝ acres in 1990 to the cemetery for
$125,000," he said. Earlier in his life, he'd torn
down an old house on the property and built his
dream house in its place. It had hard wood floors,
ample space for relatives to come and sit around the
dinner table and an elegant wrought-iron handrail on
the staircase leading upstairs.
Mr. Matthews has attended 137-year-old Fowler
United Methodist Church nearly his entire adult
life. He is a tenor in the choir, which rehearses
twice a week, and is a member in a Methodist group.
On Palm Sunday, led by the Rev. Mamie A.
Williams, the congregation paid tribute to him. Mr.
Matthews sat in the last pew, smiling broadly.
White-suited ladies from the chorus paraded by
during the ceremony and each one gave him a big hug,
and they got one back. He knew all the words to
every song without glancing in the hymnal.
After the 2˝-hour service, 80 congregants of all
ages trooped downstairs to the community room to
share a slice of Mr. Matthews' favorite Carvel ice
Religion is a main part of his routine. He reads
"Daily Light," a daily devotional pamphlet, and
keeps a couple Bibles handy. He likes Christian
music and gospel, but doesn't like rap. "He'll walk
out of church if he doesn't like the music," his
He loves working on word find collections, word
puzzle books and he watches ABC News.
Mr. Matthews is fond of Judge Joe Brown and Judge
Judy, Jerry Springer, Montel Williams and the soap
opera "All My Children."
His secret to longevity is simple. "Just live
your life," he said with a smile. "Just live your
Wendi Winters is a freelance writer who lives on
the Broadneck Peninsula.
Museums will bring tourists
Hattiesburg's addition of two African-American museums will
strengthen the city's ability to attract visitors who are looking
for "authenticity," tourism officials said Wednesday.
The Eureka School and the city's USO Club are the Hattiesburg
Convention Commission's newest projects they believe will help
establish the city as an even more desirable destination.
"That's what people are looking for now days; authenticity in a
destination," Rick Taylor, executive director of the convention
commission, told the Hattiesburg American editorial board
Taylor said the commission was seeking to expand the tourism
market in Hattiesburg when its attention was drawn to the Eureka
School and USO Club - two beloved structures the commission plans
to use to spotlight many of Hattiesburg's heroes.
The Eureka School, built in 1921, was the second modern brick
school built for blacks in Mississippi.
Hattiesburg's USO Club, at 305 E. Sixth St., opened its doors
in 1942 and is the only USO Club designated for black soldiers
that is in public use.
Both buildings are currently being restored by the commission.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for each in February.
The Eureka School, which will be converted into the
African-American Heritage and Cultural Museum, received $160,000
in funding from the Mississippi Department of Archives and
History. The commission provided $500,000 in restoration costs.
Restoration of the USO Club is estimated to cost $1.2 million,
Taylor said in a previous report.
The Eureka School was designated as a Mississippi landmark in
2005. The USO Club could be designated a national landmark once
it's restored, Taylor said.
"The black soldiers at Camp Shelby used it. It was built for
them," Convention Commissioner Iola Williams said about the
It is the home of the African-American Military History Museum
where Williams conducts tours, although it is closed during the
Williams said the USO museum will feature a collection of
artifacts from black soldiers including Buffalo Soldiers, who
served on the Western frontier after the Civil War, to Teddy
Roosevelt's Rough Riders who fought in the Spanish American War.
"We think our museum will be a new and innovative way to show
that history and relate it to the local community," she said. "All
the artifacts in the museum were either given to us or loaned."
Taylor said the Eureka School will contain fewer artifacts and
more pictorial displays.
"We anticipate there will be some public spaces that can be
used for meetings, too," he said.
Taylor said research has shown the target audience for both
museums will be young whites.
Older blacks and whites with strong ties and knowledge of the
past have less interest in visiting such museums, he said.
Younger blacks are educated in African-American history by
their grandparents and are also less inclined to show interest in
cultural museums, he said.
"Young whites haven't heard about it or have not seen it and we
found typically they don't know about it," Taylor said. "They are
the No. 1 market for African-American museums in the United
Taylor said the commission hopes to be able to open the doors
to the renovated USO Club in February 2009 - just in time for
Black History Month.
Taylor said because renovation on the Eureka School is being
conducted in several phases, its completion date is unknown.
"We want to do it at a quality that fits the Smithsonian," he
said. "We have seen a rise in cultural inheritance tourism and
this fits into that."
observe women's history month
By Pfc. Samantha Schutz, MND-B PAO
Mar 29, 2008
Blackanthem Military News
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - In recognition of the history,
accomplishments and contributions of women throughout
American society, the 4th Infantry Division,
Multi-National Division - Baghdad, sponsored a
celebration of Women's History Month at the DeFleury
Dining Facility March 27.
Soldiers serving with the 35th Engineer Brigade, which
supports MND-B, hosted the event, which had the theme
"Women's Art: Women's Vision" and focused on the great
female writers, actresses and other artists, from the
birth of our nation through modern times.
Soldiers, both women and men, gathered during their
lunch hour to share history, stories, poems and songs
made timeless by female Americans. One Soldier shared a
poem by Cathay Williams, which tells a tale about an
ex-slave woman who went on to fight in the Civil War as
a buffalo Soldier. Another sang popular songs with the
4th Inf. Div. band, including Aretha Franklin's
"Respect" while the audience ate lunch.
There was even a trivia game, presented by Lt. Col. Mary
Henry, a native of Wilmington, Del., who serves as the
deputy officer in charge of the 4th Inf. Div., MND-B
reconciliation cell. Henry challenged the audience to
answer questions about past and present influential
female artists, with the promise of a chocolate prize to
the participant with the most correct answers.
In addition to fun and games, the event addressed the
sacrifices women have made to secure a brighter future
Lt. Col. David Lowe, a native of Dixon, Mo., shared a
brief history of women serving in the U.S. military over
time. From the Civil War in the 1860s to today's
Operation Iraqi Freedom, women have been taking an
active part in the defense of our borders.
"Generations of women have fought in the military
services, with each generation changing the roles of
women in the service," said Lowe, who serves as the
command judge advocate for the 35th Eng. Bde.
According to the Department of Defense's most recent
count, there were 201,575 women serving on active duty
in various branches of the modern military in 2006.
Of all the women in the service today, there are
currently more than 2,500 female Soldiers serving with
MND-B in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, said
Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia, the senior enlisted leader
for the 4th Inf. Div. and MND-B.
The female leaders of today's military seem to have come
a long way since masquerading as men during the Civil
"This month, we honor the extraordinary women of our
Nation's past and recognize the countless women who are
demonstrating leadership in every aspect of American
life," said President George W. Bush in a presidential
proclamation signed March 10 declaring the month as
Women's History Month.
Whatever a woman chooses to do - whether it's represent
her nation, work for a corporation, write a book or
simply create a comfortable home for her Family - it is
the hope of MND-B and the U.S. that women and men will
take the month of March to reflect and celebrate the
changes womankind has brought to our nation throughout
Buffalo Soldier History
Buffalo Soldiers is a
nickname originally applied to the members of the
U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the
United States Army by the Native American tribes they
fought, which was formed on
Kansas. The term eventually encompassed these units:
African American regiments were raised during the
Civil War to fight alongside the
Union Army (including the famous
54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and the many
United States Colored Troops Regiments), the "Buffalo
Soldiers" were established by
Congress as the first peacetime all-black regiments in the
Mark Matthews, who was the oldest living Buffalo Soldier,
died at the age of 111. He was buried at
Arlington National Cemetery.
Buffalo soldiers of the 25th Infantry Regiment, 1890
Origins of the name
Sources disagree on how the nickname "buffalo soldiers"
began. According to the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, the
name originated with the
Cheyenne warriors in 1867, the actual Cheyenne translation
being "Wild Buffalo." However, writer Walter Hill documented
the account of
Colonel Benjamin Grierson, who founded the 10th Cavalry
regiment, recalling an 1871 campaign against the
Comanche tribe. Hill attributes the origin of the name to
the Comanche due to Grierson's assertions. Needless to say,
there is some controversy as to where the name originated.
Some sources assert that the nickname was given out of respect
and the fierce fighting ability of the 11th cavalry.
Other sources assert that Native Americans called the black
cavalry troops "buffalo soldiers" because of their dark curly
hair, which resembled a buffalo's coat.
Still other sources point to a combination of both legends.
Regardless of how the name originated, the term Buffalo
Soldiers became a generic term for all African American
soldiers. It is now used in reference to
U.S. Army units which trace their direct lineage back to
the 9th and 10th cavalry units whose bravery earned them an
honored place in U.S. history.
Buffalo Soldier in the 9th Cavalry. 1890
American Civil War, the U.S. government formed regiments
known as the United States Colored Troops, composed of black
soldiers led by white officers. After the war the Congress
reorganized the Army, authorizing the formation of two
regiments of black cavalry with the designations 9th and 10th
Cavalry, and four regiments of black infantry, designated
the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry Regiments (Colored).
The 38th' and 41st were reorganized as the 25th Infantry
Regiment, with headquarters in
Jackson Barracks in
New Orleans, in November 1869. The 39th and 40th were
reorganized as the 24th Infantry Regiment, with headquarters
Texas, in April 1869. All of these units were composed of
black enlisted men commanded by white officers such as
Ranald S. Mackenzie and, occasionally, black officers such
Henry O. Flipper.
From 1866 to the early 1890s these regiments served at a
variety of posts in the
Southwestern United States(Apache
Great Plains regions. They participated in most of the
military campaigns in these areas and earned a distinguished
record. Thirteen enlisted men and six officers from these four
regiments earned the
Medal of Honor during the
Indian Wars. In addition to the military campaigns, the
"Buffalo Soldiers" served a variety of roles along the
frontier from building roads to escorting the
Buffalo Soldier Memorial of El Paso, in
Fort Bliss, depicting CPL John Ross, I Troop, 9th
Cavalry, during an encounter in the
Guadalupe Mountains during the Indian Wars
After the Indian Wars ended in the 1890s the regiments
continued to serve and participated in the
Spanish-American War (including the
Battle of San Juan Hill), where five more Medals of Honor
were earned. They took part in the
1916 Punitive Expedition into
Mexico and in the
A lesser known action was the 9th Cavalry's
participation in the fabled
Johnson County War, an 1892 land war in
Johnson County, Wyoming between small farmers and large,
wealthy ranches that culminated in a lengthy shootout between
local farmers, a band of hired killers, and a
sheriff's posse. The 6th Cavalry was eventually ordered in
to quell the violence and take possession of the band of hired
killers on the orders of the
President of the United States. Soon after, however, the
9th Cavalry was specifically called upon to replace the 6th as
the 6th cavalry was swaying under the local political and
social pressures and were unable to keep the peace in the
tense environment. The buffalo soldiers responded within about
two weeks from Nebraska and moved the men to the rail town of
Suggs, Wyoming creating "Camp
Bettens" despite a racist and hostile local population.
One soldier was killed and two wounded in gun battles with
locals. Nevertheless, the 9th Cavalry remained in Wyoming for
nearly a year to quell tensions in the area.
A another forgotten contribution in the buffalo soldier
story involves eight troops of the 9th Cavalry Regiment and
one company of the 24th Infantry Regiment who served in
Sierra Nevada (U.S.) as some of the first
national park rangers. In 1899, buffalo soldiers from
Company H, 24th Infantry Regiment briefly served in
Yosemite National Park,
Sequoia National Park and General Grant (Kings
Canyon) National Parks.
U.S. Army regiments had been serving in these national
parks since 1891, but until 1899 the soldiers serving were
white. Beginning in 1899, and continuing in 1903 and 1904,
African-American regiments served during the summer months in
the second and third oldest national parks in the United
States (Sequoia and Yosemite). Because these soldiers served
National Park Service was created (1916), they were "park
rangers" before the term was even coined.
One particular buffalo soldier stands out in history:
Captain Charles Young who served with Troop "I", 9th
Cavalry Regiment in Sequoia National Park during the summer of
1903. Charles Young was the third African-American to graduate
United States Military Academy, and at the time of his
death he was the highest ranking African-American in the U.S.
military. He made history in Sequoia National Park in 1903 by
becoming Acting Military Superintendent of Sequoia & General
Grant National Parks. During Young's tenure in the park he
named a giant sequoia for
Booker T. Washington. Recently, another giant sequoia in
Giant Forest was named in Captain Young's honor. Some of his
descendants were in attendance at the ceremony. Charles Young
was also the first African-American superintendent of a
Other Park Contributions
In 1903, 9th Cavalrymen in Sequoia built the first trail
to the top of
Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United
States, as well as the first usable wagon road into Sequoia's
Giant Forest, (the most famous grove of Giant Sequoia
trees) in Sequoia National Park.
In 1904, 9th Cavalrymen in Yosemite built an arboretum
on the South Fork of the Merced in the southern section of
Yosemite National Park. This arboretum had pathways, benches,
and some plants were identified in both English and Latin.
Yosemite's arboretum is considered to be the first museum in
the national park system.
In the Sierra Nevada, the buffalo soldiers regularly
endured long days in the saddle, slim rations, racism, and
estrangement from family and friends. As military stewards,
the African-American cavalry and infantry regiments protected
the national parks from illegal grazing, poaching, timber
thieves, and forest fires.
Until fairly recently, this was yet another "forgotten
story," but Yosemite Park Ranger Shelton Johnson researched
and interpreted the history in an attempt to recover and
celebrate the contributions of the buffalo soldiers of the
In total, 23 "Buffalo Soldiers" received the Medal of
Honor, the highest of any United States military unit.
The "Buffalo Soldiers" were often confronted with racial
prejudice from other members of the U.S. Army, and civilians
in the areas where the soldiers were stationed occasionally
responded with violence. Elements of the "Buffalo Soldiers"
were involved in racial disturbances in:
The "Buffalo Soldiers" did not participate as organized
World War I but experienced
non-commissioned officers were provided to other
segregated black units for combat service — such as the
317th Engineer Battalion.
Early in the 20th century the "Buffalo Soldiers" found
themselves being used more as laborers and service troops
rather than active combat units. During
World War II the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments were
disbanded and the soldiers were moved into service-oriented
units. One of the infantry regiments, the
24th Infantry Regiment, served in combat in the
Pacific theater. Another was the
92nd Infantry Division aka the Buffalo Soldiers Division,
which served in combat during the
Italian Campaign in the
Mediterranean theater. Another was the
U.S. 93rd Infantry Division — including the 25th Infantry
Regiment — which served in the
Pacific Theater of Operations.
Despite some official resistance and administrative
barriers, black airmen were trained and played a part in the
air war in Europe, gaining a reputation for skill and bravery.
In early 1945, after the
Battle of the Bulge, American forces in Europe experienced
a shortage of combat troops. As well as thinning out the
administrative tails, the embargo on using black soldiers in
combat units was relaxed. The American Military History says:
- "Faced with a shortage of infantry replacements
during the enemy's counteroffensive General Eisenhower
offered Negro soldiers in service units an opportunity to
volunteer for duty with the infantry. More than 4,500
responded, many taking reductions in grade in order to meet
specified requirements. The 6th Army Group formed these men
into provisional companies, while the 12th Army Group
employed them as an additional platoon in existing rifle
companies. The excellent record established by these
volunteers, particularly those serving as platoons, presaged
major postwar changes in the traditional approach to
employing Negro troops."
Korean War and integration
The 24th Infantry Regiment saw combat during the
Korean War and was the last segregated regiment to engage
in combat. The 24th was deactivated in 1951 and its soldiers
were integrated into other units in Korea. On
the last Buffalo soldier units, the 27th Cavalry and the 28th
(Horse) Cavalry were disbanded - although, the 28th Cavalry
was inactivated at Assi-Okba, Algeria in April of 1944 in
North Africa and marked the end of the regiment.
There are two monuments to the Buffalo soldiers in the
Fort Leavenworth and
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Colin Powell was guest speaker for the unveiling of the
Fort Leavenworth monument in July 1992.
In recent years, the employment of the Buffalo Soldiers
by the United States Army in the
Indian Wars has led to modern critical reappraisal of the
regiment by cultural historians as being mere
shock troops or accessories to the alleged
forcefully-expansionist ideals of the U.S. government at the
expense of the
This is seen as a far cry from the historical cultural
upholding of the Buffalo Soldiers as being a rare exception to
the predominately-malicious, anti-African American
socioeconomic climate at the time.
- The song "Buffalo
Soldier", co-written by
Bob Marley and
King Sporty and one of their best-known songs, first
appeared on the
Rastafarians like Marley, identified with the "Buffalo
Soldiers" as an example of prominent black men who performed
with courage, honor and distinction in a field that was
dominated by whites, and persevered despite endemic racism
1960 courtroom drama,
Sergeant Rutledge, starring
Woody Strode, tells the story of the trial of a black
Army non-commissioned officer falsely accused of rape and
- In the novel
The Sum of All Fears, by
Tom Clancy, the 10th Cavalry Regiment is reactivated as
an Armored Cavalry Regiment, and deployed to
Israel to serve both as a training center for the
Israel Defense Forces and to show the commitment of the
United States to guarantee the security of Israel following
a general peace treaty in the Middle East. The 10th Cavalry
Regiment also appears in
Executive Orders, where it fights in an attempted
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait by a new Islamic state formed by
the union of Iran and Iraq.
Buffalo Soldiers who participated in the Spanish
Historic California Posts: Camp Lockett,
Retrieved on 17 January 2008
The 28th Cavalry: The U.S. Army's Last Horse Cavalry
Retrieved on 24 April 2007
Defending the Border: The Cavalry at Camp Lockett,
Retrieved on 17 January 2008
(September 19, 2005),
Oldest Buffalo Soldier to be Buried at Arlington,
Retrieved on 24 April 2007
Brief History (Buffalo Soldiers National Museum),
Retrieved on 24 April 2007
Buffalo Soldiers, <http://www.nps.gov/archive/goga/maps/bulletins/sb-buffalo.pdf>.
Retrieved on 1 May 2007
The Price of Freedom: Printable Exhibition,
Retrieved on 1 May 2007
Fields, Elizibeth Arnett.
Historic Contexts for the American Military Experience
Schubert, Frank N.
The Suggs Affray: The Black Cavalry in the Johnson County
War The Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 4, No.
1 (Jan., 1973), pp. 57-68
Invisible Men: Buffalo Soldiers of the Sierra Nevada
Park Histories: Sequoia NP (and Kings Canyon NP), National
Parks Service. Retrieved: 2007-05-18.
William H. (1967).
The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Negro Cavalry
in the West. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.
Shadows in the Range of Light,
Retrieved on 24 April 2007
Christian, Garna (August
Handbook of Texas Online: Rio Grande City, Texas,
Retrieved on 24 April 2007
Christian, Garna (February
Handbook of Texas Online: Brownsville, Texas,
Retrieved on 24 April 2007
Haynes, Robert (April 6,
Handbook of Texas Online: Houston, Texas,
Retrieved on 24 April 2007
The Officer Down Memorial Page (Police Officer Rufus E.
Retrieved on 24 April 2007
Hondon B. (1985).
Buffalo Soldiers in Italy: Black Americans in World War
II. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.
Services - Buffalo Soldier Monument,
Retrieved on 24 April 2007
The shame of the Buffalo Soldiers,
Retrieved on 24 July 2007
The Buffalo Soldier of the West and the Elimination of the
Native American Race, <http://debate.uvm.edu/dreadlibrary/mullin.html>.
Retrieved on 24 July 2007
Buffalo Soldiers History
African Americans in the U.S. Army
General Order #143 -
1863 (regarding the organization of African American
Buffalo Soldiers at San Juan Hill
Buffalo Soldier Monument - Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
American RadioWorks documentary: Korea, The Unfinished War
Interviews (transcripts and audio) with black soldiers from
Korea, including the 24th infantry
Buffalo Soldier National Museum
Photograph Gallery of Buffalo Soldiers On the Eve of War
(World War II)
History of Negro soldiers in the Spanish-American War,
and other items of interest, by Edward Augustus
Johnston, published 1899, hosted by the
Portal to Texas History.
The 25th Infantry Regiment
U.S. Army 10th Cavalry history
U.S. Army 25th Infantry history
Buffalo Soldiers from the
Handbook of Texas Online
shadowsoldier.wilderness.net, a website devoted to
remembering the contributions of the buffalo soldiers of the
Sierra Nevada, by Park Ranger Shelton Johnson, Yosemite
the Warriors Project, an ongoing research program of the
University of Texas at El Paso, Arizona State University and
the National Park Service's DSCESU program
AMERICAN SOLDIER DATABASE ON THIS SITE
African American soldiers were also given
substandard supplies and rations. Probably the worst
form of discrimination was the pay differential. ...
Jicarilla Indians expand their reservation from the
High Country News. BUFFALO SOLDIERS AND MESCALERO APACHES
IN THE GUADALUPES article about this event ...
Colonel George Buell went after him with Buffalo
soldiers and chased him into Mexico. 3. Victorio was
killed at the battle of Tres Castillos by an army of ...
After Victorio's death his uncle, the 80 year old Nana,
took charge of the group. More information about the
Buffalo Soldiers and the battle
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES
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