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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sullivan Museum to host descendants of Buffalo Soldiers

For Immediate Release
June 3, 2010
Contact: Daphne Larkin

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Sullivan Museum to host descendants of Buffalo Soldiers

Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum and History Center (SMHC) will host two “dessert and discussion” evening programs this month in which descendants of the Buffalo Soldiers will present the stories of their ancestors.

On Wednesday, June 23, at 6:30 p.m. Michelle Graveline-Welch, the great granddaughter of a 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldier, John Ralph Lyons, will present the amazing story of the Buffalo Soldiers at Ft. Ethan Allen.

And on Wednesday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. descendants Sharon and Bee McCollum, will share stories of the Buffalo Soldiers in Vermont and what it meant to be black in Vermont during the early 20th century.

“These two programs offer the rare opportunity to learn about these remarkable Buffalo Soldiers from their descendants, their great granddaughters, who are sharing the stories of their amazing ancestors with insight and personal historical perspective,” said Director Marilyn Solvay.

These programs are presented in conjunction with SMHC’s special exhibition on the Buffalo Soldiers.

The current special exhibit presents a glimpse of the two cavalry regiments of African American enlisted men, the 9th and 10th, which were authorized by Congress in 1866.
The Buffalo Soldiers, named by the Native Americans for their well-honed fighting skills, were called upon for some of the most dangerous duties including escorting stage coaches and wagon trains, assisting railroad crews, installing military posts, roads or telegraph lines, and surveying large areas of unexplored land. They took part in the Indian Campaign, the Spanish American War and received over 12 Congressional Medals of Honor.

Norwich University’s alumnus, Colonel Edward Hatch (NU’1850) who had a brilliant Civil War record, was recommended by General Grant to command the new 9th Regiment. John “Duke” Nazzaro (NU’1941) was the last Commanding Officer of the United States Military Cavalry Detachment (10th) at West Point and he said: “Serving as the last commanding officer of the Cavalry Detachment at West Point, without question, was my most memorable and rewarding assignment in the Army.”

The program is free and open to the public and the SMHC is wheelchair accessible. Refreshments will be served prior to the program in the Museum Rotunda. The exhibition will be on view at the Museum through August 2010. Call the SMHC at 802-485-2448 or 2379 for more information or directions.


Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army. Norwich University is the oldest private military college in the United States of America and the birthplace of our nation's Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu