Augustus Walley: Buffalo Soldier, veteran of Indian Wars, Spanish American War, World War I, and Medal of Honor recipient

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Augustus Walley: Buffalo Soldier, veteran of Indian Wars, Spanish American War, World War I, and Medal of Honor recipient

The other day I did a piece on African American war heroes, and naturally I missed this guy.  In my defense, it was posted to Stripes after I wrote the post, but wow, this guy was some kind of special.  Born a slave in 1856, he would later join the famous Buffalo Soldiers who fought in the Indian Wars.  As Stripes noted:

As one of the fabled Buffalo Soldiers, members of all-black regiments formed in the years following the Civil War, the Maryland-born Walley was part of a segregated Army. Though they fought in the same battles as their white counterparts, their options were limited, their status unequal, their advancement hard-fought. They were fighting for civil rights before people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were born, and they laid the groundwork for much of what their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren would later achieve.

His heroism was astonishing:

Walley earned his Medal of Honor during an August 1881 engagement with Apaches in the Cuchillo Negro Mountains (known today as the Sierra Cuchillo), in what is now Southwestern New Mexico. Sent after a band of Apaches had attacked a nearby ranch, Walley was among a troop called upon to provide cover for a group of trapped soldiers. Although many were able to escape, one was too badly injured and remained behind.

“Walley grasped the situation,” reads a plaque hanging inside the armory, “and in the greatest tradition of the cavalry mounted his horse and galloped to the fallen soldier, rescuing him and withdrawing under enemy fire to the rest of his unit.”

And he wasn’t even close to done:

Discharged from the 9th Cavalry in November 1883, he re-enlisted the next day in the 10th Cavalry, another Buffalo Soldier regiment. While fighting in Cuba during the 1898 Spanish-American War, he helped rescue a squadron commander, Maj. James Bell, under similar circumstances. Nominated for a second Medal of Honor, he was awarded instead a “certificate for gallantry in the preservation of human life” from his regimental commander.

Not only did he fight there, he also fought in the Philippine–American War

Later, at the age of 61 (after retiring as a First Sergeant), Walley even volunteered for World War I, but being that old, they sent him to Camp Beauregard, La., to train draftees for the “War to End all Wars.”

Go to Stripes and read the whole thing, but what a hero.

Posted in the burner | 7 comments
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YES - Augustus Walley should be recognized for a 2nd MoH.....right is right!!! And wrong is wrong!!! It will ALWAYS be!

Abso-dam-lutely! Can the Legion not somehow get a reconsideration moving?

A 2nd Medal of Honor for trooper walley, this brave trooper deserves.

Proud of him and all Black Americans who chose to serve and persevere rather than us inequality as an excuse to avoid serving. We don't mind serving to safeguard the freedoms that, eventually, all will equally benefit from.

Having served in the 1st Sqdn, 10 Cav (HHT) , from 73-75 , I was very proud to read this article , I got to see up close the two guide arm bearers with all the battle ribbons . 10th CAV was indeed the best unit that I served in .

This gentleman deserves the highest medal that can be awarded, period. Let the exception for him become the rule. He should be held in the highest esteem, as a model all could strive to be.

I think he deserves his second moh, he earned it,,

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.