Students get lesson on Buffalo Soldiers
Approximately 95 students at Treasure Lake Job Corps Center learned how Buffalo Soldiers kept the peace on the Plains when living history interpreters Robert McClain and Wallace C. Moore Sr. visited on Friday.
McClain came wearing a mid-Indian Wars garrison uniform, and Moore had the same, only dressed for field. They are both members of the 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association, and their program was one of many celebrating African American/Black History Month.
The presenters showed students their sabers and brought examples of the simple foodstuffs that kept body and soul together over long periods on horseback. The first of these was hardtack, which Moore said was made out of "flour and water, and flour and water, and a whole lot more flour." It got its name because it was hard enough to break teeth. Soldiers wouldn't touch it if they were in sight of the barracks, but after three days on the open range it was fit to eat, even without preservatives.
Moore also passed around an unappetizing lump he called "salt pork." After boiling, it would taste much like pork rinds. Then there was the molasses he grew up on.
Treasure Laker Rhonda Anderson introduced McClain as a former command sergeant major who retired from the Army in 1992 and then went to work as MacArthur High School's Junior ROTC instructor for 19 years. He is a life member of Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association.