Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
Buffalo Soldiers Honored in Ohio Town
The Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio was added to the list of United States National Monuments by President Barack Obama in 2013.
The facility is located near Xenia, to the near south of the growing Springfield Metro Area and north of the Ohio Space Corridor.
Wilberforce was already the location of two traditionally African American colleges and the site of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center. The national monument brings light to an additional chapter of our nation's history in the lives of the Buffalo Soldiers, African Americans that fought for the Union Army from just after the American Civil War forward through time until they were disbanded in 1951.
The Charles Young monument is important in that it celebrates the life and contributions of Colonel Charles Young (1864 - 1922). He was the third West Point graduate to be African American and the first Black national park superintendent in America. Colonel Young also continued to be the highest-ranked Black officer in the US Army during his lifetime. After his military service, he became a professor at Wilberforce University.
The Buffalo Soldiers were more contemporary than most of the public is aware. Although Colonel Young lived until 1922, the oldest member of that group was Mr. Mark Matthews, who lived to the age of 111 in 2005.
Traditional Black Colleges/Universities and Museum
Wilberforce Monuments and Museums
The National Afro-American Museum in Wilberforce is a particularly powerful place to visit. While teaching Adult Education classes for over a decade, my staff and I included this historical site on yearly field trips provided to our GED (General Equivalency Diploma) students.
The Buffalo Soldiers served as America's first park rangers, before the job title even existed, after the American Civil War. Colonel Young a US Army superintendent of parks at Sequioa and General Grant National Parks before the establishment of the National Parks Service under President Teddy Roosevelt's Administration in 1916.
Arlington National Cemetery
COL US ARMY
DATE OF DEATH: 01/08/1922
BURIED AT: SECTION 3 SITE 1730-B
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Adding to the Central State University complex, Colonel Young's final home was donated as a site for the Buffalo Soldier National Monument. It is also the National Museum of African American Military History and has been a National Historic Landmark since 1974.
Young's command assignments included both white and black enlisted men in Cuba, Haiti, Liberia, Mexico, the Philippines, and the USA for 37 years. In Cuba, he managed troops stationed for gathering military intelligence.
In America, he served in California, Montana, Nebraska, and Utah before serving as a national park superintendent and then accepting an assignment to teach military science, French, and mathematics in Wilberforce. The Colonel also directed the then-college band and wrote music.
After retiring from the military, Young rode his horse Blacksmith 500 miles from Wilberforce to Washington DC to illustrate his fitness for duty for WWI at age 54. Reinstated to active duty, he unfortunately died of an illness during a research expedition to Lagos, Nigeria in 1922.
Horseback Ride of Charles Young
The Reenactment Ride
Colonel Charles Young
Democrats and Republicans Agree
Both of Ohio's US Senators agreed that Colonel Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers deserve honors in addition to those afforded previously by Senate Resolution 97. That resolution honored both the individual and the group officially from the US Federal Government.
Ohio's Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, and Rob Portman, a Republican, sponsored the legislation to add Colonel Charles Young's Wilberforce home to the US National Park System as a National Monument in 2013.
Please feel free to visit as soon as you can. The Wilberforce - Central State University District is just southeast of the Dayton-Fairborn hub and the National Aviation Trail.
Antioch College is located a few miles north of Wilberforce in Yellow Springs. The college recently reopened after financial problems closed it for a time. It helps to celebrate the arts by sponsoring public arts projects in the town. Yellow Springs is also a gathering and celebration place for the United Remnant Band of Algonquian Native Americans in the area as well.
Western Ohio is full of travel delights and astounding history!
The Real Buffalo Soldiers
For an acurate time line, maps of engagements, photos, and history of the Buffalo Soldiers and their lives, please see the link below.
The History Of the Buffalo Soldiers
- The Role of "Buffalo Soldiers" in the Native-American Wars and more -- Buffalo Soldiers received their nickname as an honor from Native Americans for several reasons. The Buffalo Soldiers were not all men, either. Overall, 20 soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalries received the Medal of Honor.