Gillespie Hotel & 9th Calvary Band – Hot Springs SD Circa 1895

I was delighted today to meet with “Gloria”, owner of our original mystery 9th Regiment, Company G image and the “Horse and Buggy” photo (featured below) pinned to the underside of the mat preserving both images for many years.

Military-Mystery---Taos-News-IIIt was an emotional meeting. We both feel deeply connected to these men of service and for Gloria, their bond has remained intact for 50 years! She considers the soldiers to be “family”.

I wanted Gloria to see the stir our soldiers have created online and to fill her in on what we’ve discovered about their lives to date. As I told Gloria, we’ve been gifted with a “breadcrumb trail” of clues that seem to supernaturally “guide” us to gain more and more insight.

Take our Horse and Buggy image. From the start our goal was to identify the background building in the hope it would connect to our Mystery Soldiers and provide a year/location time stamp.

With Colonel William Haenn’s guidance we turned our research attention to Fort Robinson. Outreach to the Fort Robinson Museum allowed me to connect with preservationist, Jerry Taylor. While reviewing our online research, Jerry spotted a building that seemed familiar and subsequently shared with me the image (and details) below!

9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldier Band - SD 1895

9th Cavalry Band - Details

The image features the 9th Cavalry Band from Fort Robinson and is currently owned by the Nebraska State Historical Society. While we await additional historical details, here’s what I’ve been able to glean from poking around.

We’re looking at is the Gillespie Hotel in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Unfortunately the Gillespie Hotel burned down in 1932 however there are many references online to validate the building. See images below.

The Kidney Springs Gazebo & Gillespie Hotel

Gillispie Hotels & Minnekahta Hot Springs SD 1891 Print

What does all this tell us? Gloria’s 2 mystery images are DEFINITELY connected! It appears the band members were standing at the intersection of Fall River Avenue and West River Street. Amazing right?!:)

Now… what more do our Soldiers — all of them — have to say?!:)

RESOURCES:

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9th & 10th Cavalry: Setting Our Sight on Fort Robinson

Fort Robinson 1892 10th Infantry

As a historian, genealogist and techie I place great value in utilizing Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to gain key insights and learning in the areas I am less familiar.

My search for the story of our mystery Buffalo Soldiers, G Troop and now L Troop, is no different. For 16 years I’ve researched African American and Slave Ancestry, but it’s only recently (almost 1 year to the day) I created Where Honor is Due to acknowledge my family’s men of service. And from time to time tackle the random unrelated #MilitaryMystery that peeked my interest.

Military research [and the unique terminology associated with it] are fairly new to me. But even a military history newbie like myself knew when seeing our 10 men of Company G, 9th Regiment for the first time we’d stumbled upon an amazing, historic find.

The journey’s been that and then some!:)

With the military history expertise of Colonel William Haenn and Colonel Sam Russell, and the constant support of researchers True Lewis (Army) and Bernita Allen (Air Force), we’ve begun to unfold who our men of Troop G and L were, and the magnitude of their military service.

If you haven’t already, follow this post and the very important contributions of the Colonels — their commentary is beyond fascinating! This will provide context to why our attentions have now turned to Fort Robinson Nebraska (pictured above) as the home of BOTH Troops G and L of the 9th and 10th Cavalry respectively. In fact, the posted image is of the 10th Cavalry taken at Fort Robinson in the late 1890s.

Observe the beam structure, window and door frame build. Is this the same build/structure captured in our Troop G image?

Below is a different Fort Robinson image of the same guardhouse. Is this the brick structure the same as that behind our Troop L baseball image?

Fort Robinson - Nebraska I

So what answers are we in search of today?

  • How can we confirm Fort Robinson as the home to our Buffalo Soldiers? Are there any preserved structures (or pictures of them) that can be identified?
  • Are there any Fort Robinson military rosters identifying Troops G and L by name?
  • Is there additional historic commentary from Lieutenant Grote Hutcheson providing insights about G Troop? To True’s question, did he name the troops?
  • Can we leverage widow pension records to learn more about our Buffalo Soldiers? Checkout the Indian Wars Pension Project via USGenWeb.

The nature of in depth, exhaustive historical research — the more mysteries we solve, the more questions they generate!:)

Sources:

Are Our Soldiers Wearing GAR Medals? #BuffaloSoldier

The mystery continues! Compare the medal worn by one of our Mystery Soldiers and the featured Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) medal. Are they one in the same? And if yes, what does this tell us about their military service?

9th G Troop - Taos News

GAR Medal - Taos News

Now consider the medal (below) worn by this distinguished Buffalo Solider from Company A, 25th United States Infantry Regiment. Are we looking at the same medal and if so, what does that tell us?

Officer of Company A, 25th United States Infantry Regiment

Questions of the day:

  • Did our Soldiers serve in the Civil or Indian War? Could they have served in both?
  • Are the medals worn in fact GAR medals awarded for Marksmanship?
  • Would soldiers in the Civil and Indian Wars have received the same type of medal?
  • When and where was the picture taken? Could it have been Fort Bayard New Mexico? Checkout the Fort Bayard “porch” featured in this 1886 image. Is this the backdrop of our group photo? Buffalo Soldiers were stationed there and the 9th Cavalry unit was posted there from 1875-1899.

MANY thanks to my geneaholics (True and Bernita) and history/military buffs tossing their research eye into our search for answers. Kudos to Rick Romancito,  TEMPO readers via Taos News and our new friends at the New Mexico Museum of History! Your contributions are keeping us very BUSY!:)

So stay tuned… looks like there will be lots more to come!:)

RESOURCES:

Units Posts - Fort Bayard

Military Mystery: U.S. Cavalry 9th Regiment Company G?

Military-Mystery---Taos-News-I

As “luck” would have it friends, I happened to find myself sitting beside a colleague, Rick Romancito (TEMPO Editor, Taos News) as he interviewed the owner of the above historic image.

“Gloria” purchased the image 40+ years ago from an estate sale in Los Angeles, CA. In 1994 she had the image appraised, details of which are included below.

Military-Mystery---Taos-News-DETAILS

I’ve enlisted the aid of my own personal military advisers, True Lewis (Army) of My True Roots and Bernita Allen (Air Force) of Voices Inside My Head to help track down details regarding these distinguished Servicemen. Now I enlist the help of our genealogy community!:)

We’d love to confirm service details and if possible, identify and call their respective names! Are they in fact U.S. Cavalry 9th Regiment Company G Servicemen?

Wouldn’t it be amazing to know the origins of the medals they’re wearing so proudly and/or to connect this rare image to living descendants who would love to see their Ancestors in this light?

ALL feedback is welcome, so PLEASE do leave comments, ideas and thoughts.

There’s a good chance you’ll be seeing our Servicemen as an ongoing article in our local TEMPO section of the Taos News as we work through this mystery together.

There are less than 100 African Americans in the town of Taos. And to my knowledge I’m the only genealogist — let alone a researcher with African American military interest and a visible online presence. What are the odds that the owner (who I do not know) and I would find ourselves connected by this image?

These Ancestors have something to say people! Let’s do what we do best and help them.

Luckie

WWI Camp Gordon, Georgia ~ Baptism of Army Negro Soldiers 1917-1919

Camp Gordon - ARMY Negro Soldiers Baptism48. Baptism for Army Men, Colored troops of the U. S. Army receiving Holy Baptism at the Norcross Rifle Range, Camp Gordon, Ga.
The American Negro in the World War – Emmett J. Scott 1919

Military Mystery: ARMY Lance Corporal Charlie JACKSON (b. abt 1890) of Macon Georgia

I completely believe our research is championed by the Ancestors whose stories we seek to tell. So rather than holding on to all the Charlie JACKSON data I’ve gathered on my mission to find Gertrude’s big brother, I’ll begin posting what I’ve learned of their lives and military service here, among friends. I believe Charlie is fighting to not be forgotten and we will find him soon.

Charlie JACKSON Macon GA Service Card 1917Charlie JACKSON – Georgia, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919

Lance Corporal Charlie JACKSON was born about 1890 in Macon, Georgia. According to his U.S. Army Service Card, Charlie JACKSON enlisted on October 23, 1917 at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in January 1918, serving overseas from December 26, 1917 to July 10, 1919.

Lance Cpl. JACKSON was Honorably Discharged from the Army July 21, 1919.

From various records and Macon news sources, I can confirm Charlie’s address as 120 Pio Nono Avenue in Macon where he lived with his Wife, Roberta (b. 1890) for many years, including following his discharge from the Army. Charlie and Roberta can be found in Macon’s City Directory from 1924-1945. There address is less than 2 miles from the home Gertrude shared with Aunt Etta FLOYD at 306 Madison St.

Charlie-JACKSON-I---Macon-GA-City-Directory-1925Charlie & Roberta JACKSON – 1925 U.S. City Directory. Macon GA

Charlie’s 1890 birth year, Macon birth location, close proximity to Gertrude and Fort McPherson training base make him a strong candidate for being “Our Charlie”.

Wounded-Georgians-Return-July-12-1918What doesn’t add up is how could Charlie send Gertrude a postcard with what I believe a March 18, 1919 Fort McPherson postmark IF he didn’t return to the states until July 1919?

Atlanta GA
Mar 18 19
My dearest little sister,
I am so sorry that I didn’t see you any-more.
I am expecting visit there again soon, with lots of love your Bro Charl [sic]

Could Charlie have been injured overseas in France and returned early to Atlanta on July 11, 1918? Could he have been at Fort McPherson recovering from a war injury for 1 year, among the UNNAMED Negroes mentioned in this Macon Telegraph news article (07.12.1018)?

Also, if Charlie lived in Macon close to sister Gertrude, would he have spoken of a “visit” soon? Wouldn’t he have been returning home to Roberta?

I still plan to obtain a death certificate for Gertrude that would [hopefully] identify parents to trace via the census and connect Gertrude and Charlie. An Army Roster with Charlie listed and/or discharge papers would be GOLDEN too! Or a Georgia Military expert to weigh-in on the postcard and confirm if it’s Camp Gordon or Ft. McPherson.

So, what do you think? Is Lance Cpl. JACKSON our Charlie?

Charlie-JACKSON I---MACON-GA--6-AUG-1917

Last Draft List Has Been Mailed. Macon and Bibb County Physical Examinations for the Draft Are to be Held during Present Week
Date: Monday, August 6, 1917  
Paper: Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA)

Charlie JACKSON I - Army Registration CardCharlie JACKSON – Army Registration Card 1917

Charlie-JACKSON-I---Macon-GA-1920-Census

Charlie & Roberta JACKSON – 1920 Macon GA U.S. Census

References:

  • Wounded Georgins Return, Friday, July 12, 1918  – Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA)
  • Last Draft List Has Been Mailed. Macon and Bibb County Physical Examinations for the Draft Are to be Held during Present Week,  Monday, August 6, 1917  – Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA)
  • 1920 United States Census – Macon Georgia, BIBB County
  • 1925 U.S. City Directory – Macon, Georgia
  • World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 – Ancestry.com
  • Army Registration Card 1917 – Ancestry.com

WWI Army Infantry Mystery & Finding Pvt. Charlie Jackson

Until he tells me otherwise, Gertrude’s big brother and our WWI Army Soldier is officially Charlie JACKSON of the U.S. Army.

Gertrude JACKSON and Aunt Etta FLOYD remained in Macon their entire lives, which makes researching MUCH easier! Gertrude was a career teacher; Aunt Etta at times a laundress. The two remained at 306 Madison Street until Etta passed on July 17, 1952. From what I can tell, Etta was widowed and Gertrude never married — neither appear to have had children.

Now Brother Charlie…

Though I believe he would have been sent to one of the 16 wartime training camps established to support WWI, I believe the postcard on March 18, 1919 was sent from either Fort McPherson or Camp Jesup in East Point Atlanta. Why am I changing-up now? The POSTMARK.

Postmarks from Camp Gordon would have been marked ” Gordon Branch” with the TIME STAMP below the year, like the example below [click image to enlarge]:

POSTMARK - Camp Gordon 1917

Now look at this postmark from March 19, 1919 (1 day after Charlie’s card was stamped). The postmark, print and placement is almost identical!

Did Fort McPherson or Camp Jessup have Negro Troops on base in 1919? I think so, but will need to confirm. Could Charlie have been working with a Labor Battalion to build the installations or hurt in service and sent to McPherson? Possibly.

Where are you Charlie?!:)

References: