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Historic Military Talks – Buffalo Soldiers at the Vancouver Barracks

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The Historic Trust in conjunction with the Vancouver Barracks Military Association will be once again hosting Military History Talks on the third Thursday of each month from January through June of 2019. These presentations are free and run from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Marshall House. These are a great way to learn more about the rich history of the Fort and Barracks.

On Thursday, February 21st, the talk will be about African American “Buffalo Soldiers” that served at the Vancouver Barracks in the late 1890s and during World War II. Mr. Wilson Keller is currently working on putting together an interpretive sign about the Buffalo Soldiers to have installed at the Vancouver Barracks as part of his Boy Scout Eagle project.

Listen to retired U.S. Army Non-Commission Officer Frazier Raymond as he speaks about the only female Buffalo Soldier, Cathay Williams. Cathay joined the U.S. Army in 1866, but not as a woman, she posed as a man named William Cathay as women were not permitted to enlist at that time. Her unit was eventually assigned to New Mexico and she became ill. It was then that doctors discovered her secret, that she was a woman. This lead to her discharge in 1868. She made headlines in newspapers in the 1870s. In 1891 Cathay applied for a disability pension based on her military service but was denied. Sadly, she passed away shortly after.

Space is limited for the Military Talks, so book your spot today at The Historic Trust online.

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