BALTIMORE — A new exhibit will be unveiled at the Maryland Museum of Military History on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 10 a.m. to celebrate Black History Month.
To honor one of Maryland’s finest soldiers, Augustus Walley, the exhibit will be officially opened by Major General Linda L. Singh, the Adjutant General of Maryland, who will also make brief remarks. The Museum’s ‘Gilded Age’ room will be named for Walley and include a museum-grade mannequin in his likeness, outfitted in a U.S. Cavalry uniform.
The celebration, which is open to the public, will include a Maryland National Guard quartet performing the National Anthem. Local “Buffalo Soldier” veterans groups have been invited to participate and Maryland National Guardsmen will be available to answer all questions.
Augustus Walley, a slave from birth until he was nine years old, was born in Reisterstown, Maryland on March 10, 1856. Walley enlisted in the 9th U.S. Cavalry of the U.S. Army in 1878. His unit and other African-American regiments earned the nickname “Buffalo Soldiers” by the Native American tribes who they fought in the Indian Wars.
On August 16, 1881, Walley earned America’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor for helping rescue stranded soldiers under heavy fire. Walley, a career soldier, also served in the Spanish–American War, the Philippine–American War, and World War I. He died in 1938 at age 82 and was buried at Saint Luke’s Cemetery in Reisterstown, Maryland.
Also, as a part of the Black History Month celebration, Rosalyn Gaines with the Kuumba Ensemble will portray Cathay Williams, an African-American soldier who enlisted in the U.S. Army under the pseudonym William Cathay, the only documented woman to serve in the U.S. Army posing as a man.
The Maryland Museum of Military History showcases the key role played by Marylanders from the colonial period to present, focusing on the Maryland National Guard and the other four services, branches, including the 29th Division in both World Wars.
The museum is located at 219 – 29th Division Street in Baltimore City.