Who Was “Major Graham?”

While my husband was stationed at Ft Leavenworth, KS in 2010, my inquisitive mind had to keep busy. I wrote a travel/history column for the Fort Leavenworth Lamp, researched my 100 year old home on McClellan Ave, and began helping the Frontier Army Museum with its photograph collection.

I spent hours, days even, researching those men, those faces, most of them staring at me from two centuries past. A few looked away, thoughts on their minds, thoughts of war. Thoughts of promotion. Wives. Office banter. Judging by some pictures, the people are obviously thinking of the speaker, the coffee, the cake or the whatever unnamed event was being celebrated.

The man labeled Major G W Graham would not look at me. Rather handsome in that Old West way, his Kepi style hat sitting at a slightly jaunty angle, with an embroidered, nonissue Tenth Cavalry insignia, and a scar here and there on his florid face. It wasn’t the looks, the eyes, the hat that struck me. Something about this look made me feel he wasn’t your typical Buffalo Soldiers officer. He had stories. He had a past. He could charm a lady and speak like an educated Easterner. Or he could swig a brew, grab a floozy for a dance, and pull a Colt on someone. 

It would take me years to separate his revision from the truth. I have been to the National Archives. Kansas. North Carolina. Colorado. Searching the Archives in Utah. Where next?

My book is on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.