Chiricahua National Monument celebrates the contribution of Buff - Tucson News Now

Chiricahua National Monument celebrates the contribution of Buffalo Soldiers

(Source: National Park Service) (Source: National Park Service)
(Source: National Park Service) (Source: National Park Service)
COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Special exhibits will be displayed at the Chiricahua Visitor Center from September 4 to 30, to honor Buffalo Soldiers.  

One exhibit describes the past and future archaeological work in Bonita Canyon to document the Buffalo Soldiers’ encampment.  Buffalo Soldiers patrolled Bonita Canyon from 1885-1886, an area that became part of Chiricahua National Monument when it was established in 1924. 

The park archaeologist developed this exhibit.  Another exhibit focuses on the Buffalo Soldiers and Colonel Charles Young, the highest ranking African-American officer in the US Army until his death in 1922.  Young was a West Point graduate, a university professor, a military attaché to Haiti under President Theodore Roosevelt, and the first African-American national park Superintendent at Sequoia National Park.  This exhibit is on loan from the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio.  
 
The story of the Buffalo Soldiers at Chiricahua National Monument is not widely known. The first troop of Buffalo Soldiers (Troop E of the 10th Cavalry) was sent to Bonita Canyon in September, 1885 in response to a report of a band of Apaches in the area.  

Troops H and I were also stationed in Bonita Canyon.  Geronimo surrendered on September 3, 1886 and on September 15, 1886 the Buffalo Soldiers' camp in Bonita Canyon was abandoned. 

The Buffalo Soldiers stationed in Bonita Canyon built a memorial to President James Garfield by inscribing their names on stones.  This monument fell into disrepair but the stones were preserved as part of a fireplace in the Faraway Ranch house, leaving a lasting legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers.
 
The Garfield fireplace and the Buffalo Soldiers will be highlighted as part of guided tours of Faraway Ranch held every Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 2 pm throughout September.

An evening program at the Bonita Canyon Campground Amphitheater on Sept. 30, National Public Lands Day, will tell the history of the Buffalo Soldiers at Chiricahua National Monument and include the unique stories of several soldiers who served here.  

Please join in celebrating the contributions of Buffalo Soldiers.

For more information about Chiricahua National Monument, go to www.nps.gov/chir or call the visitor center at (520) 824-3560 x9302.  For further information about Charles Young or the Buffalo Soldiers, go to www.nps.gov/chyo.

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