How the Worm Turned

Frederic Remington

Artist and writer, Frederic Remington often rode and wrote about the 10th Cavalry.  The media of the day treated black men as brutes or buffoons, but Remington’s images were natural and genuine.  He had a great admiration for the men of the 10th Cavalry.  “The physique of the black soldiers must be admired – great chests, broad-shouldered, upstanding fellows…”

In a short story in Collier’s in 1901, “How the Worm Turned,” Frederic Remington responded to an early confrontation between troopers from Fort Concho and white criminals in San Angelo.  His narrator reports how white Texans shot at black soldiers “on sight.”  After a 10th Cavalry officer was shot, he and his men rode in to settle matters.  They entered the culprit’s saloon, ordered a drink, then spun and opened fire.

“When the great epic of the West is written,” wrote Remington, “this is one of the wild notes that must sound it.”

This photograph shows an illustration from the Frederic Remington article in Colliers magazine, “How the Worm Turned,” c. 1901.

2014.1.6, Courtesy of Fort Concho National Historic Landmark