Identifying the Yellowstone Riders




One challenge I've been interested in is trying to identify the black soldiers from the photographs that exist. As far as I know, the men have never been identified in any of the bicycle photos. Here are my guesses:

1st on left: Corp. John G. Williams , Co. F (155 lbs.) was a corporal at the time of the Yellowstone ride. The jacket sleeve of the first rider in the photo appears to have the corporal insignia.
In the Minerva Terrace shot, I believe Williams is the furthest to the left. A stripe can, just barely, be seen on his pants. No stripes can be seen on the legs of the other riders, except Sgt. Dalbert Green, Moss and the musician. In both pictures, Williams round face and moustache are evident.
2nd from left: Sergeant Dalbert P. Green , Co. B(162 lbs.) is pictured above. This photo was taken in 1899 (courtesy of the National Archives). In the bicycle photo I think I can see a hint of a beard.
Register of Enlistments 1902
Height: 5' 7 3/4"
Eyes: Brown Hair: Dark Brown Complexion: lt. brown


4th from left: Private Elwood Forman, Co. H (165 lbs.) Forman is fourth, with the upturned hat. Compare him there to baseball photo (from Nankivell, Buffalo Soldier Regiment, pg. 165). I do not believe Forman is in the Minerva Terrace photo.

7th from left: Private John Findley, Co. F (186 lbs.) . On Findley's handlebar's are attached the big box which contained the repair tools (find a description of this)

Musician William W. Brown, Co. B (148 lbs.)
The following from On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II (Frank Schubert):
Brown, William W .; 25th Inf. Musician, B/25th Infantry, rode in 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps, Ft. Missoula, MT. Summer 1896. SOURCE: Sorenson, List of Soldiers...
Alice A. Brown, age 49, 1126 E. 53rd Street, Los Angeles, widow of William W. Brown, veteran of Spanish-American War, who served in A Company and Band/24th Infantry and 25th Infantry, is pensioned, File C 1243461; married to first husband, William H. Oliver, Band/9th Cavalry...
SOURCE: VA File C 1392575. George W. Proleau
In the Minerva Terrace picture, William Brown's trouser legs clearly have two solid strips, the insignia of a musician http://www.ushist.com/uniforms_indian-wars_us.htm

Private Frank L. Johnson, Co. B (152 lbs.)
Register of Enlistment 1895:
Height: 5' 7 1/2
Eyes: Brown Hair: Black Complexion: Brown

Private William Proctor (152 lbs.)
1897 Register of Enlistments describes him as being 5' 8 1/2" and having a "cd light" complextion.

Private William Haynes, Co. F (162 lbs.) - Haynes was a Lance Corporal during the St. Louis ride. If a picture could be found during that ride in which he is wearing the Corporal insignia, the face on that picture could perhaps be matched up with the remaining riders in this photo.
The 1899 Register of Enlistments describes him as being 5' 8" and having a dark brown complexion.

John Williams

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