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Sun April 22, 2007
Lt. Albert Bly Helped Preserve Buffalo Soldier History
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – A man who devoted his life to preserving the memory of Kansas' Buffalo Soldiers and other all-black military units died almost two weeks ago in Kansas City. The 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments of the US Army were known as the Buffalo Soldiers in the years after the Civil War. They served in conflicts throughout the region between whites and Native Americans.
Albert Bly was born in Chicago in 1918 and moved to Leavenworth as a child. He followed in the footsteps of his father, a World War I veteran, and enlisted in the 10th Cavalry at the age of 18. Seven years later, Bly became one of the first black soldiers to attend Officer Candidate Cavalry School at Fort Riley. After an honorable discharge, Bly went on to work for 21 years with the US Postal Service. He spent his free time studying and archiving the history of the segregated units of the army.
His close friend and colleague Jimmie Johnson, who studies black military history, remembers long conversations with Lieutenant Bly.
Lieutenant Albert Bly's funeral was in Kansas City on Thursday, November 9, 2006. He was buried at Leavenworth National Cemetery. This story was originally produced in November 2006 for KC Currents.