This is a follow-up to the original post about my great-uncle Crockett Sheffey, which is available here: http://genealogyadventures.net/2010/12/29/crockett-sheffey-buffalo-soldier/
I left Crockett’s story under a wee cloud of mystery. Of all my paternal great-uncles, Crockett was – and is – the most enigmatic. Information about him is scare. That being said, I still admire him. What little I do know about him strikes a chord – the perpetual wander seeking adventure far from his birthplace. It’s something we have in common. I reckon that if time could be bent, and we could actually meet, old Crockett and I would have plenty to talk about.
Crockett’s trail grew cold in 1900. He was in the army and was a serving solider in the 9th Calvary of the US Army stationed in Fort Grant, Pinal in what was then the Arizona Territory. From this point onwards, he seemed to disappear into the ether. The obvious fact was that he could have died between the 1900 and 1910 censuses. My gut told me differently. So I keep searching countless records in an attempt to find him.
His attachment to the 9th Calvary placed him amongst one of the most celebrated regiments of buffalo soldiers (the 10th Calvary being the other famous buffalo soldier regiment). Scouring the web looking for information about buffalo soldiers, I came across http://www.buffalosoldiers-washington.com/ website. In the spirit of ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’, I emailed them with the scant information I had about Crockett.
In less than 24 hours, I heard from one of one of the organisation’s executives, Mr Crawford. Needless to say I was more than a little excited about the information he provided:
Crockett Sheffey, of Wytheville, VA, described as dark brown hair, light complexion, 5’7″, age 24 1/2, enlisted into the Army and was assigned to D Troop, 9th Cavalry and that he was discharged at Fort Grant, Arizona on January 31, 1899.
One Army document lists Crockett Sheffey, 9th Cavalry.
There is a second discharge, which makes it for sure that the first discharge was for the purpose of re-enlisting. This second discharge [says] that he was assigned to A Troop of the 9th Cavalry and that he was discharged on January 29, 1902 at Nueva Caceres, Philippines. Excellent service record and discharged as a Private. Perhaps he found a home in the Philippines.
So, far from being killed in action, he left the US for the Philippines. And it’s here that the trail runs cold. He doesn’t appear in the 1920 or 1930 census returns. I doubt he’ll be in the 1940s census returns. My search for him centres on the Philippines – and the hope there might be some record of him in that country’s archives.