Buffalo Soldier Memorial

Buffalo Soldier Memorial (HMTPQ)

Location: Junction City, KS 66441 Geary County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 2.516', W 96° 50.019'

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Section 1
Top Tablet
United States Army
The Chief of Staff
October 27, 2000
The Junction City - Fort Riley Community and the Buffalo Soldiers

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Junction City-Fort Riley community and the Buffalo Soldiers, present and past, on the occasion of the formal dedication of your community's Buffalo Soldier Memorial. this monument is a fitting tribute to the troopers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments who so nobly served our Nation in both peace and war.

From 1866 through the Second World War, Buffalo Soldiers selflessly served and courageously fought in defense of our Nation. Their campaign streamers - the Indian Wars, The Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Expedition, and the European Theater in World War II - are a reflection of the courageous sacrifice and magnificent service these men gave to the United States of America.

It is fitting and proper that while a handful of these brave men are still among us that we pause and say, "Thank you for everything you and your comrades accomplished for our Nation in the face of incredible odds."

The people of Junction City and Fort Riley are to be commended for their tremendous teamwork in coming together as a community to erect this incredible bronze tribute. Well done! your efforts have helped reconnect American with our great military and the proud heritage of the Army's Buffalo Soldiers. This memorial will ensure that future generations never forget the courageous exploits of these heroic men. Lest we forget.

Sincerely, Eric K. Shinseki
General, United States Army

Donated by Fort Riley National Bank

Left Tablet
Buffalo Soldier Monument
Dedicated October 28, 2000

Area Buffalo Soldiers present at the dedication
Trooper Turl Covington Jr., Trooper Albert Curley, Trooper Samuel G. Kimble, Trooper James P. Meigs Jr., Trooper Edwin H. Schoenbeck

Memorial Design and Construction
Dr. Richard D. Bergen, Sculptor, Salina, Kansas
Gene Hinde, Architectural Drawings, Salina, Kansas
Rober Goss Construction Company, Dwight, Kansas
General Contractor
Fili Sanchez, Landscape Design, West Acres Nursery, Junction City, Kansas
Bruce McMillan AIA, Architects, PA, Junction City, Kansas

Project Coordinators
Col. Fred T. Dolan, Finance
George F. Scott & Gilbert N. Hammond Sr., Construction
Maj. R. Scott Price, USAR, and William McKale, Historians

Middle Tablet
{This tablet lists the Major Donors to the Junction City Buffalo Soldier Memorial}

Right Tablet
{This tablet lists the Buffalo Soldier Monument Committee Members and Consultants}

Section 2
Left Tablet

Fort Riley and the Buffalo Soldiers

Fort Riley is situated on the site first recommended for a military post by the "Great Pathfinder" John C. Fremont in October 1852. The Army decided to build a fort at that location to protect settlers and commerce moving along the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails.

In August 1867, Col. Benjamin Grierson moved the 10th Cavalry's headquarters to Fort Riley and completed its organization there. For several years, military units used Fort Riley as a staging area for campaigns against the native American tribes to the north, west, and south. With the coming of the railroad after the Civil War, the fort's tactical importance diminished, however, it became an important military logistical center. The closing of the frontier led to Fort Riley being selected as the home of the Cavalry and Light Artillery School in 1893.

In late 1922, the 9th Cavalry arrived from the Philippines and became garrison troops for Fort Riley and the Army's Cavalry School. Troopers were billeted in barracks on the west edge of the cavalry parade ground, while married NCO's were billeted in small wooden houses in an area called Rileyville behind the present-day headquarters. Eventually, money was provided to build brick quarters for these families at Pawnee Place. These red brick buildings can still be seen fro the Buffalo Soldiers Monument location.

Fort Riley has been the home station for some of our nation's most famous military leaders as they learned their profession here in America's heartland. The include Nathaniel Lyon, John Sedgwick, John Buford, Dr. William H. Hammond, Lewis A. Armistead, George A. Custer, Benjamin H. Grierson, Henry "Hap" Arnold, Leonard Wood, George S. Patton Jr., Jonathan Wainwright, Benjamin O. Davis Sr., and Gordon Sullivan.

Middle Tablet

Buffalo Soldier Monument Mission Statement

The Buffalo Soldier Memorial Committee has been organized for the sole purpose of funding and building a fitting memorial that recognizes the accomplishments of the Buffalo Soldiers from the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry Regiments. The memorial will recognize the Buffalo Soldiers' historic contributions to our Nation and its people from the early development of Fort Riley and the State of Kansas, up to the time of the horse cavalry's deactivation following World War II.

Recognizing that other army units were known as Buffalo Soldiers, this memorial shall emphasize the Buffalo Soldier units with close connections to Fort Riley. It shall commemorate the exploits of the 9th and 10th Cavalries. These soldiers, often serving under bleak conditions and severe hardships, acted as frontier peacekeepers and explorers. They performed their assigned tasks in an exceptional manner but were usually rewarded with little or no recognition. The memorial shall recognize the numerous contributions these troopers made, both on and off the battlefield, in the face of widespread racial prejudice and discrimination.

The Buffalo Soldiers served our nation with courage, sacrifice, determination and humility. They contributed greatly to the social progress thus far achieved by the people of our nation.

The memorial shall be placed in Pawnee Park within sight of the racially segregated family housing built by the government for black soldiers and their families. The memorial shall be a gift from the people of Junction City and Fort Riley to our posterity and will be maintained by the City of Junction City.

"The men who are good enough to fight as soldiers for their country-to die for their country-to save their country-are also good enough to enjoy all the blessings and privileges which that government confers on any other class of her citizens." W.S. Burke, 1884

"Lest We Forget."

Right Tablet

A Brief History of Junction City

After three unsuccessful attempts to establish towns in the vicinity of Fort Riley, the present day Junction City was founded in the spring of 1858 on the abandoned claim filed initially by the Manhattan Town Association. The settlement took its name from its location at the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican Rivers. The new town was incorporated in February 1859 by a special act of the Kansas Territorial Legislature. The coming of the American Civil War in 1861 and the arrival of the railroad in late 1866 stimulated the region economically.

Within ten years the town grew rapidly and soon boasted schools, churches, newspapers, mills, hotels and numerous businesses. From its very beginning Junction City linked its economic fate to Fort Riley.

Following the initial organization of the 10th Cavalry at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in late 1866 through mid 1867, black soldiers found a more genteel climate and acceptance at Fort Riley and in Junction City. When stationed at Fort Riley the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments' enlisted men stayed in barracks while their married NCOs were quartered behind Summerrall Hall in wooden houses in an area known as Rileyville.

The small red brick cottages at Pawnee Place were built in 1940 specifically for the families of non-commissioned officers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments. In 1948 President Harry S. Truman desegregated the nation's armed forces. By late February 1948, all the single family residences were sold, with the residents given the right of first refusal.

The nearby theater served as the black USO during World War II with Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson being frequent visitors to this area of Junction City.

Section 3
Left Tablet

9th Cavalry Regiment
"We Can, We Will!"

During the American Civil War over 180,000 black soldiers served in the Union Army. Following the war, Congress decreed that two cavalry regiments, the 9th and 10th, comprised of African-American soldiers should be retained on active duty. The 9th Cavalry was constituted on July 28, 1866, and organized on September 21, 1866, at Greenville, Louisiana, under the command of Col. Edward Hatch.

The first soldier enlisted into the regiment was trooper George Washington who joined the 9th Cavalry on August 5, 1866. During the next 24 years the regiment would engage the Comanches, Kiowas, Apaches, Utes, Sioux, Kickapoo and Lipan tribes. During this period they were also called upon to battle bandits, comancheros, and illegal squatters on tribal lands. Elements from the 9th Regiment quelled New Mexico's infamous Lincoln County War in 1878.

The Native American tribes dubbed the black troopers "Buffalo Soldiers" as a sign of respect for the tenacity and valor they displayed in combat throughout the western frontier.

During the Regiment's quarter of a century patrolling the west, the Buffalo Soldiers protected wagon trains, opened immigration routes, safeguarded railroad crews, and kept the western trails safe for commerce and settlers. From the northern Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains to the Mexican border, troopers from the 9th Cavalry built fortifications, scouted thousands of miles of trials and strung hundreds of miles of telegraph wire.

On December 30, 1890, troopers from the 9th took part in the last military action against the western tribes during the fight at the Drexel Mission, South Dakota, where they rescued Col. James W. Forsyth and elements of the 7th Cavalry who had been ambushed and pinned down by Sioux warriors.

During the Spanish-American War era, the Regiment fought in both Cuba and the Philippines.

In the Philippine Islands, the 9th's troopers engaged in an anti-guerrilla campaign that lasted from 1899 to 1906. Following the end of the active combat phase of the campaign, most of the Regiment returned to the United States where it was assigned to guard the U.S. - Mexican border.

In 1922, the Regiment returned to Fort Riley where it assumed duties as the Cavalry School's garrison soldiers.

In 1941, the 9th and the 10th Cavalry Regiments were organized into the 4th Cavalry Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, under the command of Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. at Fort Riley's Camp Funston. However, both Regiments were inactivated on March 7, 1944, in North Africa ending a groundbreaking era in the history of the U.S. Army's horse cavalry.

Campaign Streamers 1866-1944

Indian Wars
Comanches · Utes · Pine Ridge · New Mexico 1877 · New Mexico 1878 · New Mexico 1879 · New Mexico 1880 · New Mexico 1881 · Montana 1887

War with Spain

Philippine Insurrection
Streamer without Inscription

World War II
European Theater, Streamer without Inscription

Middle Tablet

9th and 10th Cavalry Regimental
Congressional Medal of Honor Winners

9th Cavalry Regiment
Capt. Francis S. Dodge, Troop D, 1879 · Lt. George R. Burnett, Troop I, 1881 · 1st Sgt. Moses Williams, Troop I, 1881 · Sgt. Thomas Boyne, Troop C, 1879 · Sgt. John Denny, Troop C, 1879 · Sgt. George Jordan, Troop K, 1879 · Sgt. Henry Johnson, Troop D, 1879 · Sgt. Thomas Shaw, Troop K, 1881 · Sgt. Emanuel Stance, Troop F, 1870 · Sgt. Brent Woods, Troop B, 1881 · Cpl. William O. Wilson, Troop I, 1890 · Cpl. Clinton Greaves, Troop C, 1877 · Pvt. Augustus Walley, Troop I, 1881

10th Cavalry Regiment
Capt. Louis H. Carpenter, Troop H, 1868 · Lt. Powhattan H. Clarke, Troop K, 1886 · Regimental Sgt. Maj. Edward L. Baker, Jr., 1898 · Sgt. William McBryar, Troop K, 1890 · Pvt. Dennis Bell, Troop H, 1898 · Pvt. Fitz Lee, Troop M, 1898 · Pvt. William H. Thompkins, Troop G, 1898 · Pvt. George H. Wanton, Troop M, 1898

Historical Note: Six enlisted soldiers serving with the 24th Infantry Regiment won the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars.

Right Tablet
10th Cavalry Regiment
"Ready and Forward!"

The 10th Cavalry Regiment was constituted in the Regular Army on the July 28, 1886, and organized initially at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on September 21, 1866, under the command of Col. Benjamin Henry Grierson. However, initial recruiting efforts to fill the Regiment's quota of 1,092 troopers lagged and the Regiment began fielding companies of mounted soldiers early the following year. Blatant discrimination from the military and civilian communities as well as substandard living conditions, equipment and mounts, complicated the Regiment's organization. Company C was armed, equipped, mounted and sent west 48 hours after the arrival of its recruits at Fort Leavenworth.

On August 6, 1867, Grierson received orders to move his headquarters to Fort Riley, Kansas, and complete the organization of his Regiment there. Within hours, Grierson was in the saddle heading west to the friendlier climate of Fort Riley. The 10th's last four companies were organized at Fort Riley. The last, Company M, headed west on patrol that fall serenaded by the newly organized Regimental band.

It was troopers from the 10th Cavalry who rode to the aid of Maj. George. A. Forsyth's beleaguered command at Beecher's Island, Colorado, in September 1868, ending the epic nine-day siege.

During the next quarter of a century of service on the Great Plains, the troopers not only battled the western tribes but were also called upon to stretch miles of telegraph wire, build or renovate military posts, scout and map thousands of miles of uncharted territory and locate vital water sources. They also escorted and protected wagon trains, stagecoaches, settler's homesteads, railroad crews and survey teams.

During the Spanish-American War the 10th stormed and captured San Juan Hill and later saw service in the Philippine Insurrection. Following Pancho Villa's attack on Columbus, New Mexico in 1916, the unit took part in the army's punitive expedition of 1916-17. During World War I, the Regiment remained on duty along our border with Mexico.

In 1941, the 10th and 9th Cavalry Regiments were organized into the 4th Cavalry Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, under the command of Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. at Camp Funston, Fort Riley. Unfortunately, the Regiment was inactivated on March 20, 1944, in North Africa, ending an epic era in the history of the U.S. Army's horse cavalry.

Campaign Streamers 1866-1944

Indian Wars
Comanches · Apaches · New Mexico 1880 · Texas 1880

War with Spain

Philippine Insurrection
Streamer without Inscription

Mexican Expedition
Mexico 1916-1917

World War II
European Theater, Streamer without Inscription
Year Placed2000
Placed ByCity of Junction City, Kansas, and Fort Riley
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 1:11pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 687486 N 4323663
Decimal Degrees39.04193333, -96.83365000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 2.516', W 96° 50.019'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 2' 30.96" N, 96° 50' 1.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)785
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1800-1898 Buffalo Soldier Dr, Junction City KS 66441, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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