Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day 94, April 30

While the United States had established permanent African-American military units in 1866, these did not participate in the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) a peacetime role as frontier police and cavalry experts was gradually devolving into labor duties.   Some of these "Buffalo Soldiers," as they were nicknamed, did participate in a border skirmish with Mexican troops accompanied by German military advisors..

By contrast, Freddie Stowers was part of a new division that, by the end of the war, included a commissioned African-American officer, and saw substantial combat. Due to compromises with the racism of the day, this combat did not take place under American command: Although his unit arrived in France as part of the AEF, Stowers' regiment, like the others in the division, was seconded to the 157th French Army "Red Hand Division," badly in need of reinforcement, under the command of the General Mariano Goybet.

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