The post was named in honor of General George D. Bayard, who died from wounds received in the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1862. He had previously served as a lieutenant in the New Mexico and Arizona territories where he had sustained arrow wounds in Indian confrontations.
Fort Bayard was one of many installations throughout the Southwest that was garrisoned by the so called Buffalo Soldiers. Company B of the 125th United States Colored Infantry Regiment established the post, and they were joined by other black units, including troops from the 9th Cavalry Regiment. Corporal Clinton Greaves, stationed at Fort Bayard with C Company, 9th Cavalry Regiment, received the Medal of Honor for his actions against Apache raiders on January 24, 1877. A monument to the Buffalo Soldiers was erected on the old parade field of Fort Bayard in 1992.
At this time, roving Apache bands headed by Mangas Coloradas, Victorio, and later on, Geronimo, were desperately resisting settlers and miners who were encroaching on their hunting grounds. The army answered this threat with the men of the 125th who were first organized at Louisville, Kentucky between February and June of 1865. Individual companies were stationed at Forts Cummings, Bayard, and Pinos Altos. By the end of August, there were approximately fifty enlisted men at Fort Bayard, but by October of the same year, the number had increased to over two hundred men.
Following the capture of Geronimo in 1886, the Apache were no longer considered a major threat. Fort Bayard’s continued usefulness, like that many posts in the southwest, thus came under scrutiny. Due to its distance from the border with Mexico, the fort was selected for deactivation. However, U.S. Army Surgeon General George Miller Sternberg, noting the excellent health record of the post, chose Fort Bayard as an Army tuberculosis hospital and research center. The fort was transferred to the Surgeon General’s Department in 1900. In 1922 the hospital became the part of the Veteran’s Administration, and the cemetery officially became Fort Bayard Cemetery.
Buffalo Soldiers who served at Ft. Bayard, New Mexico.
Buffalo Soldiers buried at Fort Bayard National Cemetery, Grant County.
Last name First name Rank Company Regiment Date of Death Alexander James Serg't H 10th US Cav Oct. 1,1906 Bailey Charles D I 10th US Cav Dec 19,1914 Baldwin Buster B L 25th US Inf February 8,1908 Ballentine Cyrus D 25th US Inf February 5,1919 Bardison George D 10th US Cav May 15,1902 Bartlett Squire H 9th US Cav Sept 27,1877 Bettis James Corpl C 9th US Cav Oct 3, 1877 Boyd Hampton A 24th US Inf June 2,1906 Boyd Thomas W F 24th US Inf March 31,1895 Boyer George W D 24th US Inf June 22,1894 Brown Creed E 24th US Inf March 20,1893 Carter Frank F 25th US Inf May 16,1913 Chase Levi Corpl L 9th US Cav May 16,1905 Clark Cornelius Corpl E 9th US Cav May 6,1907 Clay Matthew G M 9th US Cav December 19,1916 Clements Charles F H 24th US Inf July 11,1915 Cunningham George H 10th US Cav Jan 29,1905 Dawson John W I 24th US Inf Jan 19,1911 Derchild Joseph C 9th US Cav June 13, 1879 Derrick Samuel Serg't C 24th US Inf Jan 15,1892 Edwards John H 24th US Inf January 23,1902 Ellis Robert E 24th US Inf Mar 23,1893 Evans Elijah F 10th US Cav June 20,1903 Finney Will M 10th US Cav Dec. 24, 1907 Forman And'w Corpl D 24th US Inf January 7, 1893 Foster Leon D A 9th US Cav January 24, 1910 Fowler Arthur 25th US Inf Sept 14,1917 Frazier Lewis Serg't D 10th US Cav May 3,1914 Frisby J T G 24th US Inf Mar 12,1906 Gant John H 24th US Inf May 9,1904 Gaskins William E D 9th US Cav Jul 12,1906 Grant George L 10th US Cav Feb 27,1901 Gray Gilbert Cas Det 9th US Cav Feb 28,1909 Gray Robert Corpl Band 25th US Inf July 6,1905 Green George H 25th US Inf Nov 18,1902 Hampton George W Band 25th US Inf Mar 6,1903 Harrison Julius H 24th US Inf June 23,1891 Hawkins William H L 24th US Inf May 18,1905 Henry Oscar D L 24th US Inf May 4,1901 Hood John Serg't E 9th US Cav Feb 14,1907 Huddleston William Band 24th US Inf Nov 10,1901 Johnson E C 9th US Cav Dec 25,1878 Johnson John L 9th US Cav Sept 30,1879 Johnson Thomas D 24th US Inf Apr 4,1911 Jones Edmund E 25th US Inf Apr 1,1905 Jones William F 25th US Inf Nov 27,1898 Kelley Joseph Jr K 24th US Inf Apr 14,1902 Lankford Henry E 25th US Inf Oct 20,1904 Lawrence James O E 24th US Inf Aug 24,1892 Leonard Thomas F 24th US Inf Apr 15,1893 Long Gideon L 10th US Cav Sept 15,1901 Mack William L 24th US Inf Nov 5,1901 Martin John G 9th US Cav Apr 17,1907 Marts Harry F 10th US Cav Nov 9,1914 Mason Charles F 25th US Inf June 10,1912 Mason Henry A 24th US Inf Sept 29,1905 Mathigley Henry Serg't C 9th US Cav June 13,1879 McCalley Wiley D 25th US Inf Nov 23,1902 Miles James F 25th US Inf Nov 17,1896 Miller Sylvester I 25th US Inf Sept 7,1900 Moore Arthur L M 10th US Cav May 9,1907 Nicherson Floyd F 25th US Inf Mar 9,1899 Norris Jefferson M 24th US Inf June 18,1909 Raines Henry R Cas Det 10th US Cav July 17,1908 Reed Charles Serg't L 24th US Inf Nov 29,1915 Reed Charles D 24th US Inf Jan 22,1903 Rhodes Roy Band 24th US Inf June 4,1904 Robinson James Cas Det 9th US Cav Jan 30,1909 Robinson Soloman Corpl F 9th US Cav Aug 11,1880 Ross Leon B 9th US Cav Mar 1,1907 Ross William H H 10th US Cav Feb 2,1914 Russel Solomon B 25th US Inf Apr 11,1901 Schwab Charles Chf Mus 24th US Inf Apr 7,1893 Shaw Perry D 10th US Cav Nov 21,1891 Smith G W Lieut 9th US Cav Aug 19,1881 Swan Edward C 9th US Cav Apr 4,1901 Taylor John A 25th US Inf June 21,1867 Thompson Robert A 24th US Inf Nov 4,1906 Underwood Clifford I 24th US Inf Mar 17,1913 Underwood Elisha M B 24th US Inf Mar 27.1913 Vanleer Percy L E 24th US Inf Mar 12,1915 Washington Ernest A 10th US Cav not found Washington John G 25th US Inf Aug 22,1903 Westley L Cas Det 10th US Cav Feb 8,1908 White Isaac Serg't F 25th US Inf Nov 21,1909 Williams Jonas Trumpter E 9th US Cav Aug 15,1903 Woodward Major L 9th US Cav Aug 13,1879 Worrell William Saddler F 9th US Cav Jan 4,1903 Wright James Serg't M 9th US Cav Dec 12,1900 Wright Thomas B 9th US Cav Feb 8,1906
This is not intended to be a complete list. Source: Janet Wasson and Charles Barnum