Buffalo Soldiers Association Birthplace; Giants of the Vine District

The building above is the old National Guard Armory in the world famous 18th & Vine District in Kansas City, Missouri. Today, it sits idle, a shell of the glory days it saw for decades. 18th & Vine is the home of three giants in the life of African-American existence. What some call “flyover country,” Kansas City has contributed to the march for equality, and the struggle for recognition and worth as human beings.  For their share of the promise of America.Continue reading

Buffalo Soldiers In Liberty

Buffalo Soldier 9th & 10th Cavalry

Buffalo Soldiers KC – Alexander/Madison Chapter

The Alexander/Madison Chapter of Kansas City Area Buffalo Soldiers 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association is riding into Liberty, Missouri for a special event!

For two days, May 11th and 12th, 2017, the original and oldest chapter of Buffalo Soldiers in the nation will inform and entertain with true stories of the nation’s first African-American troops to serve in the regular peacetime army. They were first enlisted in 1866 and served until 1944. Thousands of men and even a woman served our nation going from slave to soldier, with untold honor.

Because of the two days at the Mid-Continent Library in Liberty, Missouri allows for a complete telling of the Buffalo Soldiers story this year! It will be performed in two parts, from slavery through the end of the Civil War on the first day, and from 1866 until the end of the Indian Wars and beyond.

This “don’t miss” engagement is brought to you by the Mid-Continent Public Library located at 1000 Kent in Liberty. Both days the program starts at 3:00 pm and will be followed with time to meet the Buffalo Soldiers and ask questions.

Come yourself and bring the young ones as you take a trip back to the open western frontier, full of mystery and adventure. Fun for all! Experience and enjoy an hour of American history that will make you proud. Come and find out what Jackie Robinson and Abner Doubleday had in common (not just baseball). Find out how a woman served some of the roughest duty assignments in the western frontier for nearly two years without being discovered.

Witness the complete telling of the Buffalo Soldiers this year!

This oral history excursion will be performed in full costume both days. The troopers involved have been in plays and even movies! This rare opportunity is free and open to the public. We hope to see you at 3:00 pm, this Thursday, and Friday, May 11th and 12th at the Mid-Continent Public Library located at 1000 Kent, Library, Missouri.

Scouts out!

Buffalo Soldiers Host Piper Elementary

Buffalo Soldier Field Trip

Piper Elementary third grade learn about Buffalo Soldiers. The Buffalo Soldiers of the Alexander-MadisonChapter of Kansas City Area 9th & 10th  (Horse) Calvary Association want to thank all the wonderful little troopers we escorted around the National Buffalo Soldier Monument and Circle of Firsts today.

Never forget what you learned about this part of your American history and have the best summer vacation ever!

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Buffalo Soldier Monument and Circle of First

Tom Gregory standing by

Historian Tom Gregory on watch.

We arrived early enough to relax and get ready for a fun and educational morning with the third grade classes from Piper Elementary School. At the entrance to the Buffalo Soldier Monument, Historian Thomas Gregory waited patiently for the little troopers to arrive.

It is a very pleasant duty call to address the excited young minds housed in even more energetic bodies as school nears it end for the year. You remember, a field trip meant it’s almost time for summer vacation. Funny thing was that every class (all third graders) when asked how long before school is out we got answers from 14 days to seven! Go figure.

Well, it still was the best way to spend a cool spring morning at the National Buffalo Soldier Monument, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The little ladies and gentlemen were attentive and inquisitive, to our delight as much as theirs.

We walked them around the monument and the Circle of First explaining the history of the site and the heroes represented there. They seemed to grasp the fact that the Buffalo Soldiers were African-American without focusing on the segregation that keep the units divided from the rest of the U.S. Army of the day. Hoping they see a better world and understand one day the contributions of all people in making our nation great. That is one of our goals in helping with these events, aside from making the experience come alive by our presence.

Trooper Bruce, President

JR making ready for the reunion.

Sergeant Major John “JR” Bruce, President of the Alexander/Madison Chapter of Kansas City Area, was on hand to welcome the kids and escort some of them around the monument and Circle of First. This wasn’t made any easier by his visit to the emergency room with a bad cut to his left hand. Notice the black sling around his neck, that’s no neckerchief. He had fun anyway telling the kids he was wounded.

JR estimated we escorted seventy-five or more little troopers in three separate groups. They were full of third grade questions like, does the cannon fire or how many wars was the cannon in? And most of all they seemed to like the story of Cathay Williams more than any other. Twice, little girls related that story to the movie Mulan. Intuitive and sensitive.

Most of all it appeared to me that the entire class looked up to and wanted to touch the magnificent bust of General Colin Powell as his commanding position in the center of the Circle of First prompted additional attention.

 

The best part of the day was the smiles, thanks and even occasional hug from a young trooper and an expression of joy at having had the Buffalo Soldier story relayed to them by a Buffalo Soldier.

We look forward to a different but just as enthusiastic reception from the members of the Buffalo Soldier 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association at the 151st Annual National Reunion here at the Buffalo Soldier Monument and Circle of First. A rededication ceremony is in the planning stage for July 28, 2017. Look for more details and make sure you are present and accounted for. You don’t want to miss it!

Trooper James Orville West Rests In Fiddler’s Green

Trooper Jimmy West was laid to rest and entered Fiddler’s Green to reminisce with his fellow troopers, as only a Buffalo Soldier can.

Following high school Trooper West entered the Army, then Navy, and then the Air Force! Something few of us have ever done. He was adventurous. He retired following 25 years of service with the United State Post Office.

An outdoorsman, Jimmy loved to fish and hunt. Loving horses, he was a member of the Alexander/Madison Chapter of Kansas City Area Buffalo Soldiers Association and the Rough Riders Saddle Club. Trooper James West was a Master Mason in Prudence Lodge #6 and served there for 25 years.

Trooper James Orville West passed away April 27, 2017 with his service and interment at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery held on May 5, 2017.

Scouts Out

Trooper Rev. Willie Gene Bailey, Sr. Passed on to Fiddler’s Green

Trooper Willie G. Bailey, Sr married the love of his life and remained happily married to his wife Carnie for 73 years. Together they had seven children. After retirement from the Post

Trooper Willie G. Bailey, Sr married the love of his life and remained happily married to his wife Carnie for 73 years. Together they had seven children. After retirement from the Post Office, he again volunteered in the service of the Lord and became Pastor of several churches in Missouri. His seven children gave him and his wife eleven grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

A man of action Trooper Bailey distinguished himself in service as a Buffalo Soldier, PFC HQ Troop B, 9th Cavalry, and in Troop A, 10th Cavalry before volunteering for tank training. He defended his country in southwest Asiatic Pacific, Philippines, and in India. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he was reassigned to the Air Force in Massachusetts. When General MacArthur visited his camp, he volunteered for tank training and became an expert with tanks. He went overseas in 1943 and spent time in combat in the Pacific. In 1945, Trooper Bailey was wounded and returned home to the United States.

Trooper Willie Gene Bailey, Sr. received the Good Conduct Medal, expert/sharpshooter, two Purple Hearts, Oak Clusters and American Service, an Honor Guard Citation from Mrs. Roosevelt and a Flag 76 for Beyond the Call of Duty from President Carter.

We know Trooper Bailey is resting well in the company and fellowship of his comrades in the cool, fresh fields of Fiddler’s Green. Rest in Peace Trooper Willie Gene Bailey.

Buffalo Soldier Trooper Willie G. Bailey, Sr.

The National Buffalo Soldiers Monument at Fort Leavenworth 

July 28th marks two important anniversaries this year. First, the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the 10th Cavalry and 38th Infantry regiments at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Second, the 25th anniversary of the National Buffalo Soldiers Monument dedication by then General Colin Powell. 

The integration of the regular peace time army on July 28, 1866 called for six segregated  regiments of African-Americans. The 9th and 10th Cavalry, and the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry. 

Recruitment started in earnest in 1867 before most companies were full strength. Then again in 1869 the Army reorganized, mixing the 38th and 41st Infantry into the 24th,  and the 39th and 40th into the 25th. 

This realignment remained in place through the Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War and the Mexican Boarder Conflicts. 

Altogether, the Buffalo Soldiers were engaged in every war from 1866 to 1944. They were victorious, heroic warriors and tacticians unequaled in honor and Valor. Our mission is to bring this important image to life before your eyes, and entreat your heart with oral history in complete period attire. We are Buffalo Soldiers!