John J. Pershing Died
July 15, 1948
After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Pershing commanded the 6th Cavalry Regiment in the West, where he participated in the campaigns against the Apache and Sioux Indians.
When a new law authorized the U.S. Army to form cavalry and infantry regiments of black soldiers, Pershing became first lieutenant of the 10th Cavalry Regiment in Montana, one of several segregated regiments. The African American troops of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Divisions played a prominent role in the battles of Santiago and San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Pershing was awarded a Silver Star Citation for gallantry in both those battles, but he had yet to meet the notorious Pancho Villa.
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