"Day of Honor"(detail)
by Don Stivers
Copyright Stivers Publishing
Private Augustus Walley, Nominated for His second Medal of Honor
San Juan Hill, Cuba June 24, 1898
Image size:17" x 23 1/2"
Edition size: 3600 Signed and numbered
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The 9th and 10th Cavalry - the "Buffalo Soldiers" - were recipients of hand-me-down uniforms, equipment, weapons,..., and discrimination. Of all American soldiers, they had the hardest fight. There was not only the enemy to defeat, but the hearts and minds of their fellow soldiers to be won.
During the Battle of Las Guasimas, Cuba, June 24, 1898, Major Bell of the 1st Cavalry had gone down with a wound to the leg. Captain C.G. Ayers attempted to carry him from the field, but his shattered leg bone broke through the skin causing so much pain that Ayers had to let him down.
The fire was so intense that in one plot of ground fifty feet square - sixteen men were killed or wounded. Still, there was a fellow American soldier badly hurt and in need of assistance, and PVT Augustus Walley - of the famed "Buffalo Soldiers", - his compassion overcoming self-preservation, ran to help. Between Ayers and Walley, Bell was dragged to safety.
But "consicuous gallantry under fire" was no new thing to Augustus Walley. During the Indian Campaigns in New Mexico with the 9th Cavalry in 1881, for his actions he won no less than the Congressional Medal of Honor. For his role in saving Major Bell at Las Guasimas in the Spanish American War, Walley was recommended for his second Medal of Honor, but instead was awarded the Certificate of Merit for distinguished service for his "extroardinary exertion nin the preservation of human life."
When in the great cauldren of combat, the men who wore the name "Buffalo Soldiers" saw beyond and above what they were forced to endure, that higher brotherhood of warriors and of mankind.