Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum


Trooper Frederick H. Williams
9th U.S. Horse Cavalry

George & Carmon Hicks
August 2007

Frederick H. Williams was born on June 4, 1922 in Cherokee, Kansas. He attended elementary and high school in Cherokee and graduated from Crawford Community High School in May 1940. He immediately went to a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Effingham, Kansas. 
Trooper Williams
On March 6, 1941, Williams enlisted in the 9th US Cavalry Regiment at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was a stenographer for the commanding officers and served as a Sergeant Major in the 1st Squadron in the 9th Cavalry. From 1941-42, he attended the Cavalry School at Fort Riley. (Pictured at left, Private First Class Frederick Williams while stationed at Fort Riley.)

In 1942, Williams was stationed at Camp Lockett, CA where he was the stenographer for Gen. Thoburn K. Brown. He also served as Chief Clerk for the Adjutant General Section in the 2nd Cavalry Division at Fort Clark, TX and in 1943-44 was assigned overseas in Oran, Algeria.  As a Master Sergeant, he was transferred to the European Theater of Operations in Naples, Italy and was assigned to the 370 Combat Team, 92nd Infantry Division, Combat Duty in 1945.

He then relocated to Headquarters of the 92nd Infantry Division, Judge Advocate Generals Section where he remained until he returned to the United States. Stateside assignments included Fort Ord, CA and the California Military District in San Francisco, CA.

Abraham Lincoln National CemeteryWilliams earned a Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Combat Infantryman Badge for meritorious service under combat conditions beyond the call of duty with the 370 Combat Team, 92nd Infantry Division (Italian Theater 1944-45). He also received the Army Commendation Medal for performance of duty in an administrative capacity above and beyond the call of duty. Williams was a lifetime member of the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association and was a member of American Legion Post 915.

We met Trooper Frederick Williams’ family members at his graveside service on Friday, July 20, 2007 at 9:30 am in Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. His sister, Doris White, and two adult children, John and Lorraine, welcomed us as we learned some personal facts about him. In addition, his caregiver for 17 years, Arturo and his wife, Brenda, joined the conversation and shared their stories. Williams enjoyed playing pinochle and he liked to win. Each person told us how they would have to play cards all night until Williams won.

roadClearly, Frederick Williams’ life was filled with many ventures. John told us that he attended the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association Reunion with Williams when they dedicated the Buffalo Soldier National Monument at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1992. Arturo mentioned that they bowled together for many years. In addition, Williams owned a business for some time and earned his masters and doctoral degrees from Governors State University.  He prepared four manuscripts about the Buffalo Soldiers from 1938-1951. We look forward to details about these publications.

Dr. Frederick H. Williams’ final resting place is in Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery (the grounds are presented below). This national cemetery was established in 1999 and serves approximately 738,000 veterans in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. It is situated on 982 acres with more than 2,000 burials every year. It is the second largest national cemetery and is located about 50 miles south of Chicago. When fully developed, this cemetery will provide 400,000 burial spaces.

Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Map

Initial construction developed approximately 150 acres including 25,000 gravesites and 2,000 lawn crypts for casketed remains, 3,000 columbaria niches and 2,300garden niches for cremated remains; a public information center; three committal service shelters; a memorial walkway; and a carillon and kiosk grave locator.

On July 17, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln enacted the law authorizing the establishment of national cemeteries. They are “for the soldiers who die in the service of the country.” Lincoln’s legacy is especially important to the people of Illinois, where he lived, worked in a law practice, and was elected State Assemblyman and Representative during the 13th Congress. Abraham Lincoln National cemetery has a memorial walkway lined with a variety of memorials that honors America’s veterans from various organizations. There are 17 memorials located throughout the grounds. They include an 18 foot granite obelisk crowned by a bronze eagle with outstretched wings commemorates the 2,403 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor. The Blue Star Memorial Marker is a tribute to American men and women who have served, are serving, or will serve this country. Its symbolism dates to World War II when families of servicemen and women displayed a square flag decorated with a blue star in their windows to signify that a loved one was in the armed forces.  One Medal of Honor recipient, First Sergeant Theodore Hyatt (Civil War) is buried there.  He was a member of the 127th Illinois Infantry, 2nd Division, 15th Army Corps and he died at the Battle of Vicksburg on May 22, 1863.

The service for Dr. Fredrick H. Williams included an 18-gun salute and presentation of the US flag to his sister, Doris White. Trooper George Hicks presented greetings on behalf of the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association and Trooper Carmon Hicks read Fiddler’s Green. To end the service, Lorraine White read the 23rd Psalms.

Presentation of the US flag

Trooper Frederick H. Williams  ~  Thank you for your service.

Fiddler’s Green

When a Buffalo Soldier dies, he begins a long march to his ultimate destination. About halfway, he enters a broad meadow dotted with trees and crossed by streams. It is known as Fiddler’s Green. As he crosses the green, he finds an old canteen, a single spur and a carbine sling. He comes upon a field camp where he finds all the troopers who have gone before him with their campfires and tents neatly laid out.  All other branches of the service must continue to march without pause. The Buffalo Soldiers, though, are authorized to dismount, unsaddle, and stay in Fiddler’s Green. Their canteens are ever full, the grass always green, as they enjoy the companionship of old friends


Personal and email communications with John White, July 16-20, and August 3, 2007.

Portrait from the 9th US Cavalry Yearbook, Fort Riley, Kansas (1942). Available from the Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum, www.buffalosoldiersresearchmuseum.org


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