Cameo style silhouette of a soldier with Company L, 24th Infantry crossed guns logo

NPS image/E. Grover

Quick Facts

Significance:
Buffalo Soldier
Place of Birth:
Pulaski, Giles County, Tennessee
Date of Birth:
1851 or 1852
Place of Death:
Washington, D.C.
Date of Death:
11/26/1919
Place of Burial:
Arlington, Virginia
Cemetery Name:
Arlington National Cemetery

Edward Bordinghammer was born in Pulaski, Giles County, Tennessee in March 1851 or 1852.  In 1875 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served until the early 1900.  Edward was an African American in the segregated military, often these soldiers were collectively called “Buffalo Soldiers.”

Edward served across the country including time at:

  • Fort Thomas, Arizona
  • Fort Bayard, New Mexico
  • Camp Dyea/Camp Skagway, Alaska
  • Grierson Springs, Texas
  • Fort Grant, Arizona
  • Camp Wikoff, New York
  • Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
  • Fort Reno, Oklahoma
By the end of his first enlistment, Edward had achieved a Sergeant rank. Though all of his service was in the 24th Infantry, Edward served in Companies E, K, and L. Edward was part of a number of detachments, served as a court witness, and was given escort duty. Military records routinely describe his character as "Very Good."

In 1899 Edward joined the recently formed Company L, 24th Infantry. Company L was in the Presidio for a brief period of time before they were sent north. First they traved to the Vancouver Barracks, then set sail for Dyea, Alaska. Company L was replacing the 14th Infantry who had been in Alaska since the height of the Klondike Gold Rush. After the stampede dwindled and a fire destroyed their military camp, Company L moved 10 miles east to Skagway. The 1900 U.S. Census in Skagway shows that Edward was one of two musicians with the unit. Edward retired from the military on August 2, 1900.

We don't know much about Edward's life after he left the military. In 1905 he was living in Washington, D.C., working as a laborer at the Navy-Yards or Naval Station. He earned $1.76 a day (approximatly $49 in 2017). In 1910 he was renting a room from Amelia Barnes, a widow with two children. In December of 1915 Edward Bordinghammer married Amelia Barnes. They collected their marriage license the same day as President Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt. Edward passed away on November 26th, 1919 in Washington, D.C. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Most of what we know about Edward Bordinghammer, and the other soldiers of Company L, comes from offical government and military documents. We continue to search for documents that show the soldiers' points of view. If you have any information or family stories about Company L, 24th Infantry, U.S. Army, please contact us. Until then, this summary and others will be incomplete and unbalanced.

Last updated: June 4, 2018