Augustus Walley, who is buried in the cemetery of St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Reisterstown, Maryland. He died in early 1900s in Baltimore City after serving more than thirty years in the military, beginning in the late 1800s. In the 1800s, while assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment on the Western Frontier, Augustus Walley was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving one of his fellow Buffalo Soldiers while the unit was under attack by the Native Indians. This recognition was not noted on his tombstone. In the early 1990s, Houston D. Wedlock, in his research for former Buffalo Soldiers, discovered this serious ommision, and in 1995, he and John Craig made elaborate arrangements to have this fallen, neglected hero recognized. With all the glitter of the news media, Augustus Walley was formally recognized for his award of the Congressional Medal of Honor at lengthy ceremonies in the Bond Avenue area of Reisterstown, Maryland.
Present at the activities were his niece, 90 year old, Mrs. Inez Lee, and a great-niece, Betty Stokes. The entire story on Augustus Walley has been written in a historical book on Bond Avenue, by Louis S. Diggs, a charter member of the Chapter. A title for his book has not yet been established. His book will be published in late 1996. Please continue to monitor this web page for the date of the publication of Trooper Diggs' book and the title of it.
Press here to view Re-enactor John Craig lead a riderless horse to the gravesite of Augustus Walley
Press here to view a Junior ROTC Cadet Corps unit march in the parade honoring Augustus Walley.
Press here to view the Buffalo Soldiers Re-enactors marching to the gravesite of Augustus Walley
Thomas Elzey Polk, Sr., the third child of free parents, James Morris Polk and Rebecca Carolina Black Polk, was born on June 11, 1860 in Allen, Maryland. He was born the year before the eruption of the Civil War. As a young man he had many interesting adventures in his life, Thomas expired June 24, 1940.
In 1880, he became a sailor, but later enlisted in the army on March 2, 1882 in Baltimore, Maryland. Thomas reached the rank of sergeant, with C/9th Cavalry. He was discharged from the army at Fort Robinson, Nebraska on March 1i 1887, Thomas's character was noted as excellent.
Thomas's second enlistment in the army was September 6, 1887 with A/9th Cavalry, which he also held the rank of sergeant. He was discharged from the army at Leavenworth, Kansas on September 5, 1892 with excellent character.
Thomas was unable to read and write at the time of his first enlistment in 1882, but when he re-enlisted in 1887 he signed his name himself on his recruitment certificate, With the assistance of the Chaplains, many black soldiers had the opportunity to become literate. While enlisted in the army, his tasks included garrison duty, escort duty, redirecting intruders, cook, marksman guarding troop property and miles of marching.
In 1887, Thomas married Alice King of Allen, MD. The children born to this union were Viola Polk Banks, Leila Polk Hayman, Ulysses Polk, Sr., Winifred Polk Dennis and Bicille Polk (twins). After Alice's death he married Hattie Boone of Trappe, MD. The children born to this union were Celestine Polk Church, Thomas Polk, Jr., and Everett Polk of Jacksonville, Florida, the only surviving child.
Thomas was a proud soldier, who served his country well. He was so proud of his country, that he gave the initials of U.S.A. to one of his children after our great country and the initials of three presidents. His military life has been of great interest to his descendants. Several family members have done extensive research into the history of the buffalo soldiers for the past three or four years. Some family members have also joined chapters of the Buffalo Soldiers and have given presentations on the famed Buffalo Soldiers.
Press here to view photograph of Thomas Elzey Polk, Sr.
Press here to view photograph of Alice King Polk, wife of Thomas Elzey Polk., Sr.
(The above information was provided by Mrs. Leoner Polk Battle, a descendant of Thomas Elzey Polk, Sr.)
Photograph of Betty Stokes and Sergeant Major Johnson