Horace W. Bivins was born in Virginia of free ancestry and was college educated. He enlisted in the Tenth Cavalry, the famous Buffalo Soldiers, in 1887 as a noncommissioned officer. Bivins served in Arizona in campaigns against Geronimo. The Tenth Cavalry was reassigned to Fort Custer in Montana. There Bivins became famous as such an expert marksman that Buffalo Bill Cody tried to entice him to travel with his show. Bivins preferred the military. He was a veteran of two Cuban wars and three Philippine engagements. At the attack on San Juan Hill, he fought beside Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and later received the Silver Star for his heroic actions. Some years later when Roosevelt visited Billings, he was disappointed to learn that Bivins was not at home, but at Camp Dix, New Jersey, commanding a labor battalion.
|Photo from BlackPast.org|
From Montana Moments: History on the Go
P.S. Remember the accomplishments of another Buffalo Soldier?
P.P.S. Here are a few places to start your own research into our state's black history:
The Montana Historical Society has a lot of resources on African Americans in Montana.
And of course, you can always look back at all the Montana moments labeled black history.
I'd love to know what you turn up in your research. Leave a comment!