Was Fort Bayard New Mexico Home For Our Troop G?

Examine the two photos of Buffalo Soldiers below [click image to increase size]:

Troop L - 10th Cavalry

Troop L (9th Cavalry *) captured in their baseball uniforms. I spotted this image today while viewing the New Mexico PBS segment “MOMENTS IN TIME: The Buffalo Soldiers in New Mexico“. I believe this could be the image “Yvonne”, a TEMPO reader emailed us about, having seen it as part of a New Mexico History Museum exhibit last December.

I believe this image was taken while the men were in ACTIVE service. Attached NMHM metadata indicates it was taken in 1899 at Fort Wingate.

Military-Mystery---Taos-News-I

Troop G (9th Cavalry) our original mystery Buffalo Soldiers held post at Fort Bayard from 1875-1899, according to this “Units Posted at Fort Bayard” record. General consensus is we’re looking at a REUNION photo taken sometime after their service.

We believe the dog present in both pictures is the same. He looks older in the Troop G photo but that would make sense if the image was taken AFTER their active duty. Also note the framework of the doors, columns and steps. Though the painting differs, the build structure looks similar to the Troop L image.

Lastly, email comments from “Cecilia” of the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society

“Although I can not be for certain, I have seen other Ft Bayard buildings and photos that suggest this might be Fort Bayard. Fort Selden and Fort Cummings were nearly all constructed of adobe. Yes, Fort Bayard had many regiments of the 9th Cavalry.”

Though we can’t confirm 100% Fort Bayard was home for our Troop G, it does appear we’re on the right track to doing so; along with a new possibility the regiment held post at Fort Wingate.

According to Buffalo Soldiers (Zianet):

“In 1875-76, the 9th Cavalry Regiment was transferred to the New Mexico District, under command of Colonel Edward Hatch. Two companies were stationed at Fort Bayard, one at Fort McRae, two at Fort Wingate, three at Fort Stanton, one at Fort Union, one at Fort Selden, and one at Fort Garland.”

So Stay tuned! Clearly these Soldiers have returned home with MUCH to say!:)

Luckie

RESOURCES:

02.23.15 FOOTNOTE: Troop L details provided by Hannah Abelbeck, Photo Archivist NM History Museum

  • We have the group and location noted as 9th Cavalry at Fort Wingate. I’d have to look into the source and see if I can figure out when and why that metadata got assigned. Sometimes information comes to us on the photo; sometimes it is assigned later. Maybe our info is incorrect and Fort Bayard is another option; maybe it is perfectly correct already. Or maybe the two different units are somehow interrelated (changed names, consolidated, split, etc). Here’s our online record: http://econtent.unm.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/acpa/id/5049/rec/1
  • The photo came to us from a dealer circa 1981. In the same accession were two other photos, identified as: 9th Cavalry, Troop H also from Fort Wingate circa 1899-1900, and the NCOs of 9th Cavalry, Troop L, at Fort Wingate, circa 1899.
  • The notes on all three images are from the same hand—seems likely that they are from the dealer. There is a chance that they came from the same estate, but we have no information on their provenance. The baseball photo seems to have two names written on it, perhaps, but the writing is not good: it might say “Capt. Day” and “Lt. Pritchard” or something that kind of looks like those names.
    Both of the Troop L images are made by the Imperial Photo Gallery and are on the same type and size of mount. Looking closer, the buildings captured in both of those images look to be from the same architectural style—adobe brick. They also both have horizontal multi-paned glass windows over the doors. They are not, however, exactly the same side of the same building—the arrangement of doors and windows, the supports, and the size of the porch are different.  These are both different than the image you have, which has clearly discernible siding.
    The units in our photos mostly seem to have been identified by their troop flags (or baseball jerseys).
    There were many buildings at both forts, and many structures at Wingate were damaged in fire in the 1890s. So while we have photos of both Forts, they aren’t systematic enough (individual buildings are photographed erratically, groups of buildings are shot from too far away to differentiate between subtle architectural details), so I’m unable to venture confirming or excluding either site for your photo.
    Interestingly, the hat style for both K and H at this time (1899) seems to have been the western-style Cavalry hat. Also on the topic of hats, I’ve attached a detail from the 9th Cavalry band photo (Santa Fe Plaza circa 1880) where you can see men in the band wearing the regular cap, but with two different insignias. The hat style changes again after 1910, and the troops up north (like, Troop K, Wyoming) in the 1890s seem wear yet another style of hat.
    I didn’t see any men in any of our photos that seemed obvious matches for the men in your photos, but I was not doing detailed comparisons. And, as far as we know, these were different units and they may not even have served concurrently.
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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

Rare Historical Find! Liljenquist Civil War Photographs Collection ~ Library of Congress

Liljenquist Collection - Unidentified African American soldier in Union Zouave uniformIf you haven’t seen the AMAZING collection of Civil War images donated to the Library of Congress in 2010 by the Liljenquist Family, you are missing a historical treat!

The Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs contains 1220+ ambrotypes and tintypes portrait photographs capturing both Union and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865), including many portraits of African American Soldiers!

The Liljenquist Collection Summary:

More than 1,000 special portrait photographs, called ambrotypes and tintypes, represent both Union and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The photographs often show weapons, hats, canteens, musical instruments, painted backdrops, and other details that enhance the research value of the collection. Among the most rare images are sailors, African Americans in uniform, Lincoln campaign buttons, and portraits of soldiers with their families and friends.

Tom Liljenquist and his sons Jason, Brandon, and Christian built this collection in memory of President Abraham Lincoln and the 620,000 Union and Confederate servicemen who died in the American Civil War. For many, these photographs are the last known record we have of who they were and what they looked like. See “From the Donor’s Perspective–The Last Full Measure” for the full story.

The Liljenquist Family began donating their collection to the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division in 2010 and continues to add to it. In addition to the ambrotypes and tintypes, the collection also includes several manuscripts, patriotic envelopes, photographs on paper, and artifacts related to the Civil War.

Take your time and go through the collection. You never know when you might find a long, lost Ancestor.

Luckie

References:

U.S. COLORED TROOPS: WINGFIELD Union Soldiers of the Civil War

Company B 103 Regiment - Unidentified Civil War UNION Soldier

Earlier tonight Bernita ALLEN (Air Force SME) of AAGSAR (African American Genealogy and Slave Ancestry Research) shared an awesome site to research your Civil War Ancestors, the National Park Service: Soldiers and Sailors Database. I’ve already identified 8 WINGFIELD Civil War Soldiers I need to research further to determine if a family connection exists!

Albeit connected by SURNAME, blood and/or plight, I honor these WINGFIELD men of service. I’ll keep you posted on connections too! AMAZING!:)

Luckie

*****************

Wingfield, Albert

  • Regiment Name: 13th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, Alexander

  • Regiment Name: 115th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, Charles

  • Regiment Name: 95th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, Charles

  • Regiment Name: 97th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, John

  • Regiment Name: 95th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union
  • Alternate Name: John/Winfield

Wingfield, John

  • Regiment Name: 97th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union
  • Alternate Name: John/Winfield

Wingfield, John

  • Regiment Name: 103rd Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union
  • Alternate Name: John/Wingfield

Wingfield, William

  • Regiment Name: 1st Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

USCT Recruitment Poster

NOTE: NPS Soldiers and Sailors database results returned 222 WINGFIELD Confederate Soliders. I also plan to research [and honor] my Confederate Ancestors of military service

REFERENCES: