Tyler Wing Reports
Douglas historian strives to identify fallen
More than a dozen Buffalo Soldiers buried in a
Douglas cemetery remain unmarked. Historian Silas Griffin says his objective is to give these
military veterans the recognition they've earned.
Buffalo Soldiers date back to the colonial days.
The first servicemen were former slaves who roamed the plains after the Civil War. Some were later called upon to protect
the Arizona Mexico border during World War I.
Griffin says Apache
Indians in West Texas coined the name Buffalo Soldier. "With the type of hair the African
American has they somehow associated that with the buffalo. And of course the
darker skin color."
The only Buffalo Soldier decedents in the area
Griffin could find say they're grateful for his work.
Buffalo Soldiers were the first soldiers in Arizona pursuing Geronimo. They were most prominent here at the turn
of the 20th century. Stationed at Ft Huachuca, they were called up to guard the border and the precious copper mines.
Their graves were left unmarked because, according
to Griffin, these soldiers had no family in the area in addition
to segregation and economic hardships. "These guys earned it. They earned they're
headstone so to speak."
is getting help from Congress Woman Gabrielle Giffords to finish documenting these Buffalo Soldiers. They will then apply
to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the headstones.