Cavalry Trooper

Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota

In December 1890, Troops D,F, I and K of the 9th Cavalry made a forced march in harsh winter conditions to the Pine Ridge Agency, from Fort McKinney, Nebraska, to Pine Ridge, South Dakota.  It was one of the greatest cavalry rides in recorded military history.  The 9th Cavalry arrived at Wounded Knee the day following the battle, on December 30, 1890.

“The 7th Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Forsyth, was besieged in a canyon on White Clay Creek, with the Sioux commanding the heights on either side and threatening the retreat of the 7th Cavalry.  Major Henry of the 9th, halted at the mouth of the canyon, unlimbered a Hotchkiss gun, divided his troops into two battalions, and ordered them to sweep both sides of the canyon.  With the Hotchkiss gun firing away, the Buffalo Soldiers surged forward, shooting with deadly effect and emitting screams of elation at getting into battle.  Confounded by the wave of black soldiers surging toward them, the Sioux took to their heels.  Without losing a man, the Buffalo Soldiers had recorded one of their most celebrated triumphs.”

This photograph shows a corporal in the 9th Cavalry while stationed on the Native American (Lakota Sioux) Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota.   Photograph circa March 1891.

2014.8.1, Courtesy of The Library of Congress