Cheyenne in Laramie County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
1st Lieutenant Vernon J. Baker
In 1866, following the American Civil War, Congress created six all African American Army units which later merged into four (9th and 10th Cavalry - 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments). Composed of former slaves, freemen, and black Civil War veterans, these units helped settle the west by escorting and protecting settlers, cattle drives, and railroad crews and tracks during westward expansion. The 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments also conducted campaigns against American Indian tribes on the western frontier. They fought in over 175 engagements. Their combat prowess, bravery, tenaciousness, and appearance on the battlefield, inspired the Indians to call them "Buffalo Soldiers" symbolizing their respect for the soldier's bravery and valor. Through the years, Buffalo Soldiers have continued to wear this name with pride.
The last segregated black regiment to see combat was deactivated in 1951. "Buffalo Soldier" has become a generic term for all African American Army soldiers and their bravery has earned them an honored place in U.S. history.
Born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on December 17, 1919 Vernon Baker would become the last of only nine World War II African Americans to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Commissioned
On January 13, 1997, 52 years after his World War II military service, President Bill Clinton presented Vernon Baker with the Metal of Honor, the Nation's highest decoration for battlefield valor. Baker was literally the last WWII Buffalo Soldier to be so recognized.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients marker series.
Location. 41° 8.718′ N, 104° 50.198′ W. Marker is in Cheyenne Click for map. This statue is in a small triangular park bounded by Randall and McComb Avenues and West 32nd Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1399 Randall Ave, Cheyenne WY 82001, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Military 1867-1890 (here, next to this marker); The Military 1867-1949 (here, next to this marker); The Military 1949-Present (a few steps from this marker); 1980 Capitol North National Historic District (approx. ¾ mile away); Early Cheyenne Reservoir (approx. 0.8 miles away); Camp Carlin (approx. 0.8 miles away); Cheyenne Frontier Days™ (Part I) (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Trails (Part III) (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cheyenne.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Buffalo Soldier - Wikipedia. Sources disagree on how the nickname "Buffalo Soldiers" began. According to the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, the name originated with the Cheyenne warriors in the winter of 1877, the actual Cheyenne translation being "Wild Buffalo". However, writer Walter Hill documented the account of Colonel (Submitted on June 13, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
2. Baker, Vernon - Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Citation: For extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy. Then Second Lieutenant Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel and equipment during his company's attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain... (Submitted on June 13, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • African Americans • Military • Wars, US Indian •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 212 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.