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Allegany County
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Richard C. Edwards, Buffalo Soldier

Richard C. Edwards, Buffalo Soldier Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Richard C. Edwards, Buffalo Soldier

Richard C. Edwards was the son of Richard N. Edwards, the City of Cumberland's first African American police officer. Young Richard was a Buffalo Soldier. His tenure began in 1908 when he enlisted as a member of the 9th Regiment, United States Cavalry and was assigned to Company K and posted to Fort D.A. Russell in Wyoming. Richard was discharged in 1911, but re-enlisted in 1914, again serving with Company K but this time in Naco, Arizona. As documented in his enlistment and discharge papers, Richard served on the Mexican border in the days of Pancho Villa.

Upon returning to Cumberland he married Mary Mitchell of Frostburg. Richard became a barber and eventually went to work in the coal mines, as did his brother, Walter, who was killed during a mine collapse. This photograph depicts Richard C. Edwards, and the men of Company K, who are recognized today by the name, "Buffalo Soldiers". Richard is in the second row, third from the left (#35).


The information and photograph was provided by Lynda Edwards Tilley, a native of Frostburg who now teaches English in Howard County, Maryland and is the granddaughter of Richard C. Edwards. Lynda also notes that her mother's grandmother, Luanna Willis Cooper, owned a catering business from her home on Greene Street in Cumberland in the early 1900's. She was renowned for her cooking; particularly her sand tart cookies and homemade eggnog that delighted many of the wealthy families on Washington Street who relied on her to prepare food for their parties.

William O. Wilson of Hagerstown was also a Buffalo Soldier and in addition a Medal of Honor winner. He is referred to elsewhere on this site.

The 9th was among the first two Colored Calvary Regiments authorized in 1866. The American Indians referred to them as "Buffalo Soldiers" because of their courage in battle and the similarity between the hair of the soldiers and the buffalo. (Source: "Buffalo Soldiers Won Their Spurs", Wild West magazine, by Reginald E. McDaniel, February 1995)


Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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