Monterey Museum Presidio Plans Buffalo Soldier Exhibit and Seeks Information | Article
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (July 25, 2022) – A City of Monterey artifacts specialist seeks more information for a future museum exhibit about the Buffalo Soldiers stationed at the Presidio of Monterey in the early 1900s.
“We want to complete the story,” said Jordan Leininger, who works in the city’s museums and cultural arts division. He encourages family members of soldiers of the 9th Cavalry Regiment stationed in Monterey in 1902-1904 to contact him using the information provided at the end of this story.
Leininger is researching the Buffalo Soldiers for an exhibit at the city’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, which is in Lower Presidio Historic Park, off-post and adjacent to the Presidio of Monterey military installation. City and facility officials created the museum through a partnership, and the city operates the museum.
The free museum shows visitors Monterey’s military history, from the area’s indigenous peoples to the modern PoM and the Defense Language Institute’s Foreign Language Center, but apart from a small information panel included in a historical walk behind the museum , there’s nothing about the Buffalo Soldiers, Leininger said.
Museum officials want to remedy the omission and familiarize visitors with the Buffalo Soldiers and their place in Monterey’s history.
The history of the Buffalo Soldiers begins after the Civil War when, on July 28, Congress passed the Army Organization Act of 1866 and created four all-black units, the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments. The army sent the units to the western border of the United States, where, according to many people, people began to call them the “buffalo soldiers” because their hair resembled the fur of buffaloes and because of their ferocity in battle.
Leininger said the Buffalo Soldiers are an important part of American history and their time in Monterey contributes to a better understanding of that history.
“When you think of the Civil War and westward expansion, one of the big things you think of when the United States moves west is the Buffalo Soldiers, how they got out and who these men were,” Leininger said.
Leininger said he began researching the Monterey Buffalo Soldiers in January 2020 and hopes to complete the exhibit by the end of the year. The exhibit will include a mannequin wearing a uniform, photos, a map and other items.
Leininger is also in the process of completing a nearly 20-page article titled “The Lost History of the Buffalo Soldiers at the Presidio of Monterey” which he will make available to the public when he is finished.
Cameron Binkley, command historian for DLIFLC, said the museum is a great way to learn about the history of the military in Monterey, and adding a Buffalo Soldiers exhibit is a great idea. of Monterey.
The exhibit will use interesting artifacts and images to help museum visitors see changes over time, Binkley said.
“Creating an exhibit about them automatically touches on important diversity topics that are still very relevant to today’s men and women of service and the public as well,” Binkley said.
Leininger said there wasn’t a lot of information available about the Buffalo Soldiers in Monterey, but he was able to establish a basic timeline through historical records from the DLIFLC and digitized journals from the Monterey Public Library and the Dr. Martin Luther King of San Jose State University, Junior, Library.
After the Philippine-American War, Buffalo Soldiers assigned to Companies A, B, C, and D, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment landed in San Francisco in 1902 and came to the military installation that is now the Presidio of Monterey, Leininger said.
The 15th Infantry Regiment camped in what is now Soldier Field, and the Buffalo Soldiers were not allowed to camp in the same area as the 15th Inf. Regt., so they set up camp at Pacific Grove in what is now the Hopkins Marine Station area, Leininger said.
They stayed in the camp from around November 1902 until December 1903, when the barracks were ready and they moved in, Leininger said. The barracks, in buildings 450, 451, 452, and 453 of the Presidio, are currently Asian language classrooms.
Leininger said he learned from local newspapers that the Buffalo Soldiers were training, improving their marksmanship and beginning to break new horses in the summer of 1903. A photo shows them marching in a parade in Pacific Grove, a municipality next to Monterey.
They also served as the first park rangers, and in 1904 the Army sent them to Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks, where they herded sheep, kept poachers out of the parks, and helped develop the first marked national park trail in the United States, Leininger said. .
“They did this all summer and came back and about a month later they were shipped,” Leininger said.
Leininger said he would like more details about why the Buffalo Soldiers were in Monterey, where they went and what the soldiers and their families felt about their time here.
“I’m not asking people to give us anything,” Leininger said. “I would like to at least take a look at these items just to get a better picture, and to be able to scan them, take a picture of them, so that we can use it for this history and complete it.”
Contact Leininger at [email protected] or (831) 646-5648. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit https://monterey.org/city_facilities/museums/discover_museums/presidio_of_monterey_museum.php