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The Carolina times. (Durham, N.C.) 1919-current, February 27, 1982, Image 18

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:.VA TIMES SAT,, FEBRUARY 27, 1982 (Continued frm Page 17). American Wars, the frontier was expanding rapidly Westward. The army was used to assure the safety of Americans, moving westward, from Indian tribes. This duty Tell torgf iy to the black regiments. ' Little known is the fact that fourteen Medals of Honor weic won , b biacks in the period , from 1869-1890. Four of these medals' were won by a group known as the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts; men who had lied to Mexico after the Seminole Wars. They had been recruited by Major Zenas Blis of lite 25th Infantry and served under Lt. John Bullis. In 26 major expeditions against the Indians, not one death was experienced by theScouts. They were without peer during this period. The black troops, called Buffalo Soldiers by the Indians, were involved in all phases of opening the West . They guarded the mails and rails, opened new roads, mapped and charted new territories and fought the Indians. BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPECIAL SECTION, PART HI 0 'V It , Qr: J- 1 S i r Harriet Tubman, master spy Spanish American War " - "Back Home" (the Northeast and South), things were nott faring well for the blacks. Stronger Black Codes were being enforced throughout the nation, ' the KKK was ruling some municipal and state " governments, and suffrage was almost non existent. 1 ' ; ; - The entrance into the Spanish-American War saw . the usage of the four Black Regiments: Despite the -strict isolation from their white counterparts (ex-' cept in the thick of battle), and the harassment they suffered enroute to battta, ' . Col. Theodore Roosevelt, commander of the Rough Riders; was impressed with their spirit and ability.- Later, Roosevelt was to declare that the black soldier was a malingerer in battle; for, at one point, he asserted that he had to order them to the front a gun-point. He did not point out the black soldiers were obeying . orders to move to the rear to get supplies or remove casualties. This information was backed up by white soldiers, but Roosevelt never retracted his statement. , In addition to the Black Regulars, .several units'. , from state militias (National Guard) were activated. Among them were: the 9th Ohio, commanded by West Pointer Charles Young; the 3rd Alabama In fantry; the 6th Virginia Infantry, thousands from .Indiana and Company L of the 6th Massachusetts. Eight men of color won the Congressional Medal ", of Honor in the war in Cuba; and these Smoked , Yankees, as they came to be called by the Cubans, were the last to receive the Medal until the Korean War. World War! At the end of the Spanish American War, volunteers were mustered out of the service. Any vacancies in the regular army ranks were quickly filled by volunteer veterans. Not so were the vacan cies in the commissioned officer ranks. The practice of promoting black volunteer non-commissioned officers to officer status during a crisis and return ing them to their original appointment (or civilian status) was renewed. However, white volunteers were actively recruited as officers in the regular ar my. This device of passing over qualified blacks was perceived as a deliberate act of racism by the black community. In. order to prevent anger from erup ting into violence, John R. Lynch was appointed a captain in the regular army as the first and only black paymaster. Benjamin O. Davis, elevated to the lieutenancy as a volunteer in the Spanish American War, was reduced to sergeant with' the 9th cavalry, a position he had prior held. After Lynch's appointment as paymaster, Davis was com missioned a second lieutenant. Corporal John Green of the 24th Infantry passed the exam for lieutenancy, and was so appointed. .All three ap- (Oft. l 4 0- 1-11 1 4: ' tar - . s v-: jr.. I A r t J " y if IS r pointments were made in 1901; there would be no more for sixteen years. Matters steadily worsened for blacks both in and out of the service. The infamous Brownsville (Texas) affairs in 1903 found 167 black soldiers guilty of an ugly accusation, even after proof was offered to the corurary. All were given dishonorable discharges. Among the dismissed soldiers, who were part of the 25th Infantry Regiment, were six Medal of Honor winners, and thirteen who were cited for bravery. After several years of debate concerning the man ner in which the matter was handled, a new court ot inquiry of five white Southern officers, was formed in 1909. About half of the dishonored soldiers were called upon to testify, the remainder were dismiss ed. Arbitrarily, the army reversed its call on four teen of the 167. It Would not be until 1972 that the balance of the men would be vindicated. At that time, only one bitter, elderly gentleman, Dorse Willis of Minneapolis, was living. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, once more blacks answered the cause. Once more they sought a chance to prove that the black man was willing to sacrifice his life, if necessary, to achieve his rights as an American citizen. Black citizens demanded a chance to prove their patriotism, and a form of appeasement was of fered. The black unit of the Washington, D.C. Na tional Guard was called upon to secure important ; sections of the Nation's Capital; building important-, to the government (including the White House), water and electricity supplies,-bridges and roads. ' This action; by the . government was greeted with group was indicated by the formal opening of such a camp in Des Moines, Iowa in June, 1917. In Oc tober, 639 were graduated as officers. The total number of blacks commissioned as officers during the war was 1353.. As the highest ranking black officer at the start of 1 V t w if MUM Nil .f k A"- '-.. I r- Pd?-HQever.ijh;eam4 :V j;-.' I : ' 1 ) V 1 7 wo ,A lobbying conirtiittee was also formed to seek training for blacks as officers. The success of this William Tillman commandered a ship captured by The Confederates Recruiin poster during the Civil War YOUn DOG HEEDS VITAIllirJSJOO. SlVMll StfSnitl SmwMi wthhtj mm2 Miwnj A Sergeants - the pet care people We Salute s- Black History '"" ' '''"" ": '.':--: .'' ,'''?,'.i-ri -i'---. V" -(.-' :. ''...:'.'..'':'"':;-;:, ,"f''".. "'..;. . k Month Fishe; f uneral Funo 3137 Fayctteville Street mmmmmmmm m iiiij ii iifl 1 1 m 682-3276 Success doesn't come easy in our comDetitiw ' society. It takes talent, guts, perseverance and ' hard work to rise to the top. But everybody-regardless of race, creed, color or sex-deserves a chance to make it on t heir own. The National Urban League is dedicated to achieving inai. ana mere are tnings you can cl: ' o T' find (.tit exalv what you can ,v't 1 cal Urban 1 -eat . to oui . ji!-. j n....dtjuarcers.' : tl. National Urban League 500 East 62nd Street" ( New. York, NY. 10021 ;t.i rat CnuKil A Public Service of This Newspaper & The Advertising Council

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