Erasing Black History


I always looked at statistics and wondered about the numbers I was shown. We are a nation of numbers and interpreting them can be difficult. Above is the numbers for the Spanish American War. Note the killed in action. Two officers and twenty one men. That was it. Fourteen hundred men in all and the killed was twenty three. Not a big amount when thousands were killed in other wars.

How close was Roosevelt, Teddy to being killed riding on his horse at San Juan Hill. I suspect not much. I think the publicity of the action was the main scope. This was a war caused by yellow journalism. Hearst played it up for that would sell newspapers and in fact it did. The Maine blew up and we had a cause to go to war. But it was rather limited. Roosevelt had his bully on and gathered other adventurers to his side. From the west came a lot of cowboys. From the east the adventures, guys who had prior experience and some police. Some fops and dandies. Money was not the main reason, glory was and Teddy Roosevelt had his picture planted everywhere, especially in Hearst publications as the gallant and romantic adventurer.

This in a sense was a publicity stunt.

Now note: Biography of Dennis Bell

Bell was born December 28, 1866 and joined the Army from his birth city, Washington, D.C.. By June 30, 1898 he was serving as a Private in Troop H of the 10th Cavalry Regiment. On that day, American forces aboard the Florida near Trinidad, Cuba, dispatched a landing party to provide reconnaissance on Spanish outposts in the area. The party was discovered by Spanish scouts and came under heavy fire; their boats were sunk by enemy cannon fire, leaving them stranded on shore.

The men aboard the Florida launched several rescue attempts; the first four were forced to retreat under heavy fire. The fifth attempt, manned by Bell and three other Privates of the 10th Cavalry (Fitz Lee, William H. Thompkins, and George H. Wanton) under the command of Lieutenant Ahern, launched at night and successfully found and rescued the surviving members of the landing party. One year later, on June 23, 1899, four of the rescuers were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions in what had come to be known as the Battle of Tayacoba.

Dennis Bell reached the rank of Corporal before leaving the Army. He died at age 86 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia.

Medal of Honor citation

Private Bell’s official Medal of Honor citation reads:

Voluntarily went ashore in the face of the enemy and aided in the rescue of his wounded comrades; this after several previous attempts at rescue had been frustrated.

History is made up of things that can have an agenda. This agenda can be utilized by not saying something. Here is Bell and the Medal of Honor but nowhere does it mention that Bell is a Black Man. He was with the tenth and that unit was a byproduct of the Buffalo Soldiers. Was this done on purpose? A Medal of Honor winner, Black, and no mention of his race? In fact five men of the Spanish American War received the Medal of Honor and they were all Black. Others got it including Roosevelt and truthfully it is not mentioned that he is White.

Omission or omission on purpose.

This is the horse Roosevelt rode up the hill. Named: Texas. He was the only one astride a horse. It is shown in many pictures. Bullets flying and no one shot the horse.

These were the men noted for bravery. Note they are all white. The Black men (5) given the Medal of Honor were from the tenth. One eyewitness has written: “If it had not been for the Negro Cavalry, the Rough Riders would have been exterminated. The 10th Cavalry fought for 48 hours under fire from Spaniards who were in brick forts on the hill.

Here are the White Heroes and their picture.

Can not find a picture of the five Black Guys

.” Five black soldiers of the 10th Cavalry received the Medal of Honor and 25 other black soldiers were awarded the Certificate of Merit.  For action on July 1, 1898, Private Conny Gray Co. D 25th Infantry, 1st sergeant John Jackson, Troop C, 9th cavalry, Sergeant Elisha Jackson, Troop H, 9th cavalry, corporal George W. Pumphrey, Troop H, 9th cavalry, Private James Bates, Troop H, 9th cavalry, Private Edward Davis, Troop H, 9th cavalry, 1st sergeant Charles W. Jefferson, Troop B, 9th cavalry, Saddler sergeant Jacob C. Smith, Troop C, 10th Cavalry, 1st sergeant Adam Houston, Troop C, 10th Cavalry, corporal John Walker, Troop D, 10th Cavalry, Private Luchious Smith, Troop D, 10th Cavalry, 1st sergeant Peter McCown Troop E, 10th Cavalry, sergeant Benjamin Fasit, Troop E, 10th Cavalry, sergeant Ozrow Gather, Troop E, 10th Cavalry, sergeant John Graham, Troop E, 10th Cavalry, sergeant William Payne, Troop E, 10th Cavalry, corporal Thomas H. Herbert, Troop E, 10th Cavalry, trumpeter Oscar N. Oden, Troop I, 10th Cavalry, sergeant James Satchell, Co. A, 24th Infantry, Private Scott Crosby, Co. A, 24th Infantry, Private Loney Moore, Co. A, 24th Infantry, corporal Richard Williams, Co. B, 24th Infantry, sergeant John T. Williams, Co. G, 24th Infantry, corporal Abram Hagen, Co. G, 24th Infantry,corporal Peter Jackson, Co. G, 24th Infantry, corporal William H. Thornton Co. G, 24th Infantry, Artificer Jesse E. Parker, Co. D,24th Infantry, for action June 24, 1898, Private John A. Humphrey, Troop I, 10th Cavalry. Cuba. In 1922 the War department began systematically reviewing official reports and records and 8 other black soldiers were awarded the Silver Star Citation and Medal’s, Presly Holliday, Isaac Bailey, John Buck  and Augustus Walley of the 10th Cavalry, George Driscoll, Robert L. Duvall, Elbert Wolley and Richard Curtis of the 24th Infantry.

Note the tenth and twenty fourth were Black and came from the Buffalo Soldiers.

And so omitted from prominence was the Black contribution. History can be rewritten. Nuff said.


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