The Special Project Committee of the Association will pursue erection of a Buffalo Soldier statue, monument or other suitable and fitting visible memorial on West Point, in collaboration with appropriate entities of the immediate military command of the Academy and the military post.
What Supporters Are Saying
My father was a cadet from 1927 to 1931 and would have been assisted in acquiring his riding skills by the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th Cav. I don't recall my father ever expressing any views on the hours he spent in the Riding Hall, but he must have acquired a modicum of ability for there are photos of him mounted, and looking pretty comfortable, during his mid-1930s assignment in Panama.
Marshall S. Carter on "Big Berta" West Point Horse Show 1931
Making a donation to the Buffalo Soldiers project was too easy; I just had to make the time to actually go to the website. ...one of my prized pieces of Army memorabilia is a framed photograph of the Buffalo Soldiers Monument at Fort Leavenworth. Anything I can do to ensure this legacy doesn't fade from the public consciousness, I'm all in. My father was an avid history buff and was thrilled to see Buffalo Soldiers Field at West Point. Making my dedication in his memory only added a level of poignancy to the action.
Interestingly, Buffalo Soldiers built the last set of quarters we had at Fort Sill. If memory serves, circa 1870 or so. Wonderful houses still in action. Worthy cause.
My Father had a great love for horses instilled in him at the Academy during the early 30's I'm sure that was due in large part from his experience with the Buffalo Soldiers. Later at Fort Riley and Fort Sill that love continued. It was clear from my Mother that the Academy training was an important part of his life.
Many, many thanks.
These Soldiers and their families left West Point and the communities a rich heritage even after their regiments were stood down after WWII. It is now time to remember them and their units as part of our West Point heritage.
Yes, my class, 1945, had "Equestrian Classes" as did the Class of 1946, but I am not sure about '47-48.
When my class graduated in June 1945, Thayer Hall had not been rebuilt from a riding hall and the space across from the Thayer Hotel was known as "The Cavalry Plain" and faced stables where there were horses.
In a search on buildings at West Point I found this phrase about Thayer Hall; "used for equestrian instruction until riding was removed from the curriculum during WWII..."
Actually as I remember the "stern eye" was that of the Cav officers who conducted the training, while the 10th Cav troopers took care of the horses and had them saddled and ready for the cadets to mount. It seems that my dislike of horse riding has removed most of my memories of the hours in the riding hall and at the Cav Plain. The Cadet Mess waiters were troops from the 10th Cav impressed into that work when most, if not all, of the civilians found much better paying jobs in the ship building and other war businesses in NJ and other areas.
Those Buffalo soldiers were an important part of our West Point time. They were a particular part of my service. I was probably the last person to "command" Buffalo soldiers with horses. In 1951, I was in charge of training and competing for the 1952 Olympics. There were no horses at WP and the riding hall was a parking lot. I was able to arrange for 14 horses to be sent from Ft Riley to WP. They came by boxcar. We replaced the tanbark in the riding hall . I selected 3 of the waiters in the mess hall as my grooms, one of which could shoe horses. We repaired the stalls .When the weather was good they would bring the horses out to areas near the golf course and in bad weather we would train in the riding hall. They took great care of the horses and were at home. In the games we did well in the riding ,in no small way due to them. We even put on a local horse show in the riding hall. They were great soldiers and of course their history in the West was outstanding.
I appreciate the struggles with the approval—the fact that you got it done in months instead of many years is a tribute to the project and your tenacity.
... congratulations on all the progress you have made on this important project!
Great military memorial project. I will be proud to support.
More than welcome Sir — a very worthy undertaking.
I really appreciate receiving this information. The proposed monument is beautiful.
Interesting personal family history with soldiers of the 9th Cav. that were stationed at USMA to teach Cadets horseback riding, etc... my dad, Class of '31, born in 1909, his Dad, Class of 1899 was assigned to USMA in 1914 after grad school at MIT. He retired in 1940 as a Professor...so from age 5 til he entered USMA in summer 1927 my Dad lived at WP and went to the post school — with all the sons and daughters of the 9th Cav troopers who were his buddies. When he had his 9th or 10th birthday and his Mom asked who to invite to the party, his invitees were the kids he went to the Post School with.... needless to say in about 1919 that caused quite a stir along Professors Row.
My dad was class of 33. I remember him mentioning to me that there was a cadet at West Point who was silenced because he was black. Must've been plebe Benjamin Davis. Also recall vaguely that my dad was commissioned infantry because he kept falling off the horse.
Another interesting anecdote I read: Ike injured his knee playing football yearling year. He later more severely injured it trying riding tricks on horseback in the old riding hall. Apparently the injury was so severe that he almost did not get commissioned. Looking at pictures of the old riding the hall which was replaced by Thayer hall, it was simply huge. It enabled them to ride 15 to 20 horses a breast in a circular fashion around the riding hall.
God Lead Your Buffalo Soldiers Project, I will follow.
Those Buffalo Soldiers often constituted a Cadet’s first exposure to enlisted personnel, as well as being fonts of knowledge in subjects like equitation and mounted tactics, both skills highly valued in an officer in the “Old Army.” What to me is most significant is that these troopers did their jobs superbly, despite often being precluded from enjoying the full rights of citizenship in the nation they served.
My honor and privilege to support this project to honor ...the Buffalo Soldiers that served with very little recognition at West Point. Now it’s time to set the record straight.
My father loved riding as a cadet and served in the mounted Field Artillery in Panama in '37-'40. I was a platoon leader in the 1/10th Cav in 1963 with the 4th Inf Div. before a PCS to Europe where I ended up in the l/70th Armor. When I got orders in '67 to the 4th ID in VN I hope to rejoin the 1/10, but was "infused"
into the 1/22nd Infantry (Regulars By God!) I have much fonder memories of my time with the 1/10th, thus motivating my donation.
I intend to contribute for several years.... My first unit was 1/10 Cav at Ft. Carson (73-76) and have fond memories of this esteemed regiment. I found out about the Association thru (my class) News Letter from West Point so it was a good advertisement. Hopefully more of my classmates will join/contribute.