Fine Collection of Cabinet Photographs of Buffalo Soldiers & Their Families, Including MOH Recipient
Lot of 62 photographs, 12 of which are cabinet cards of Buffalo Soldiers in uniform. Three of the views are from O.S. Goff's studios in Fort Custer, MN, and Dickinson, ND, and two were taken in Laredo and San Antonio, TX. The remaining photographs are of African-American men, women, and children. The majority of the civilian photos have Huntsville, AL studio imprints, but some portraits were also taken by Goff.
One photograph is a full-length portrait of man wearing a corporal or sergeant's jacket pinned with the Medal of Honor. The image came to Cowan's identified as Fitz Lee, who was awarded the MOH for actions at the Battle of Tayocoba in Cuba in 1899, but Lee died three months after being awarded the medal and was never promoted above the rank of private. The lack of a photographer's imprint makes a conclusive identification difficult, but the medal in the photograph is the version with vertical stripes on the ribbon, which was issued only from 1896 to 1904. Just seven African-Americans were awarded the Medal of Honor in that period, though some awardees from the Civil War and Indian Wars-era were given replacement ribbons of the same design.
The other images of uniformed Buffalo Soldiers include a portrait of a soldier displaying a 10th Cavalry campaign hat and trumpet, and with a guitar and cartridge belt on the chair beside him; a soldier wearing a 10th Cavalry kepi and great coat; a sergeant with his cavalry kepi displayed on the tree stump beside him; a private photographed in Manzanillo, Cuba; a corporal posed with a cane; a private photographed in San Antonio, TX; a soldier posed with two African-American women and a soldier who appears to be white; a sergeant photographed in Laredo, TX; a man wearing a military jacket and posed with three women, one of whom holds a guitar; a private photographed by itinerant photographer Thos. H. Kennedy; and a gray-haired soldier from the 1900s or World War I era.
Most with moderate soiling and edge/corner wear. Some with heavy soiling and stains.