Buffalo Soldier~First Sgt. Augustus Walley
Born March 10, 1856 into slavery in Reisterstown, Maryland, this African American spent his time in slavery until the end of the civil war in 1865. From 1865 to November 26, 1878 he worked as a laborer in the Reisterstown area. On November 26, 1878 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers as a private with Troop I. He served with this regiment until his discharge on November 25, 1883.
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MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT
When he enlisted in Baltimore, Maryland he was shipped west. He never imagined that he would return home a hero.
After roll call in August 31, 1881, he was present for duty and records show that his troop had been in battle with hostile Indians on August 16, 1881 in the Cuchullo Negro Mountains. He was discharged at Fort Reno, Arizona on November 25, 1883 on expiration of service with a character rating of excellence. He re-enlisted November 26, 1883 and served continuously until his retirement in 1907, with 29 years of service.
Application for a medal of honor was cited by Lieutenant George R. Burnett, 9th Cavalry for his bravery in action on August 16, 1881 against hostile Apaches at Cuchillo Negro Mountains, New Mexico. Lt. Burnette stated:
During the fight, the horse of a Private Burton became unmanageable and carried the Private directly into Indian fire. To avoid this Burton dropped from his saddle injured and inactive. Assumed dead the command was given to fall back and take another position, but Burton called out for help to be rescued. This soldier without regard for his own safety under heavy enemy fire went to Private Burton's assistance and brought him to safety. Lt. Burnett cited many numerous minor instances of this soldier's gallantry during the two years under his command. Walley was always found to be reliable, trustworthy and efficient which warranted a recommendation for the medal of honor.
While these acts of bravery were approved and recommended by the Regimental Commander, Colonel Edward Hatch also recommended that he be awarded a certificate of merit for distinguished service, whether in action or otherwise. These honors were to represent his extraordinary exertion in the preservation of human life. The nation's highest award, the Medal of Honore was awarded to private Augustus Walley on October 1, 1890 with a Certificate of Merit. First Sgt. Augustus Walley was sent to Cuba in the Spanish American War with the 10th Cavalry and was awarded another certificate of merit for gallantry under enemy fire. He spent two years in the Philippines insurrection in the 10th Cavalry and retired from the "Buffalo Soldiers" in 1907.
Sgt. Augustus Walley took up residence in Butte, Montana. He was recalled to active duty on May 1, 1918 assigned as First Sgt. Sanitary Corps at Camp Beaunegard, Louisiana until he retired on March 8, 1919. He lived the rest of his life on Etting Avenue in Baltimore City until his death on April 9, 1938
BORN: Mar. 10, 1856
DIED: Apr. 9, 1938
BURIED: Saint Lukes Cemetery
A Day of Honor BY Don Stivers
24 Jun 1898 | Las Guasimas, Cuba
During the Battle of Las Guasimas, Cuba, June 24, 1898, Major Bell of the 1st Cavalry had gone down with a wound to the leg. Captain C.G. Ayers attempted to carry him from the field, but his shattered leg bone broke through the skin causing so much pain that Ayers had to let him down.
The fire was so intense that in one plot of ground fifty feet square sixteen men were killed or wounded. Still, there was a fellow American soldier badly hurt and in need of assistance, and Private Augustus Walley-of the famed "Buffalo Soldiers,"-his compassion overcoming self-preservation, ran to help. Between Ayers and Walley, Bell was dragged to safety.
The 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry-"Buffalo Soldiers"-were recipients of Hand-me-down uniforms, equipment, weapons...and discrimination. Of all American soldiers, they had the hardest fight. There was not only the enemy to defeat, but the hearts and minds of their fellow soldiers to be won.