One of my journalistic quests for the last two decades has been the search for any personal effects belonging to the soldier seated third from the left. The man under that hat is Medal of Honor Recipient First Sergeant George Jordan. He also held a Certificate of Merit – the two highest commendations a U.S. soldier could receive in his era.
was born in 1847 in Williamson County, Tennessee, enlisting in the Army
six months after President Andrew Johnson signed the 1866 bill allowing
African-Americans to serve in the post-Civil War Army. Jordan educated
himself, learning how to read and write, and joined K Troop four years
later. He remained there throughout his career, proving to be one of the
best field commanders in the Army west of the Mississippi. No one
buffalo soldier so epitomized their motto of “We can. We will.” The
white officers in charge of the all-black units often trusted Jordan
with half of their commands because of knowledge and skill in the field.
He served 30 years in the Army and retired.
Read it. And consider this:
Mize said during the time the sisters possessed the barrel, most of the
old photos of black soldiers, personal items and Jordan’s military
accouterments got parceled out. The Medal of Honor itself was saved only
by the shining brass that made it a useful Christmas tree decoration in
a historic home. Hundreds of people passed by it for years never
noticing what it was.