Looted Troops' Remains to be Reburied

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Toward the end of the Civil War, former slave Thomas Smith joined the 125th United States Colored Troops unit in Butler County, Kentucky.

Within two years of his 1864 enlistment, he was dead at age 23. The surgeon listed the cause as inflammation of the bowels from cholera. He was a private at Fort Craig, N.M., an Army post along the Rio Grande south of Socorro.

Well over a century later, a brown paper grocery bag containing the Buffalo Soldier's skull was handed over to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation archaeologists at a meeting in Peralta, with a Bureau of Land Management agent, a historian and a member of the medical examiner's office.

And come July 28, the remains of more than 60 people who died at Fort Craig will be reburied -- this time with pomp and ceremony -- at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

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