Smithsonian unearths Buffalo Soldier's story
He was a Buffalo Soldier: one of the legendary African American members of the U.S. Army who served at remote military outposts in the years after the Civil War.
But his grave outside an abandoned New Mexico fort had been violated. His bones were scrambled. And investigators think his skull, still with most of its hair, became a relic hunter's trophy before it was returned to authorities in a paper bag.
Last month, experts working at the Smithsonian Institution matched the young man's skull with a skeleton exhumed from the fort's cemetery, solving a gruesome mystery of looted graves, purloined artifacts, and life and death on the frontier.
It was part of a project of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and federal land, water and law enforcement agencies looking into the decadeslong ransacking of the cemetery outside Fort Craig, in New Mexico.
Federal officials shipped 39 sets of well-preserved remains last month from New Mexico to Washington. Scientists pored over the bones with microscopes, CT scanners, X-ray machines and digital measuring devices for insights into the lives of the fort's dead.
comments powered by Disqus
- Most Millennials Resist the ‘Millennial’ Label
- China military parade commemorates WW2 victory over Japan
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- Historian Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham wins National Humanities Medal
- AHA President Vicki L. Ruiz named National Humanities Medalist
- Historians of Color Are Revolutionizing the Narrative of ‘American Exceptionalism’
- Henry VIII voted worst monarch in history
- The Fuhrer style: Historian says press coverage of Hitler’s lavish life fueled his rise to power