Born March 10, 1856 into slavery in Reisterstown, Maryland. This African American spent his time in slavery until the end of the civil war in 1865. From 1865 to November 26, 1878 he worked as a laborer in the Reisterstown area. On November 26, 1878 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the ~ 9th Cavalry Regiment of the famous Buffalo Soldiers as a private with Troop I. He served with this regiment until his discharge on November25, 1883. When he enlisted in Baltimore, Maryland he was then shipped west. He never imagined that he would return home a hero. After roll call in August 31, 1881, he was present for duty and records show that his troop had been in battle with hostile Indians on August 16, 1881 in the Cuchiullo Negro Mountains. He was discharged at Fort Reno, Arizona on November 25, 1883 on expiration of serve with a character rating of excellence.He re-enlisted November 26, 1883 and served continuously until his 1 retirement in 1907, with 29 years of service. Application for a medal of honor was cited by Lieut. George R. Burnett, 9th Cavalry for his braver on August 16, 1881 in action against hostile apaches at Cuchillo Negro Mountains, New Mexico. Events leading to this application follow: During the fight a horse of a Private Burton became unmanageable and carried the Private directly into Indian fire. To avoid this Burton dropped from his saddle injured and inactive. Assumed dead the command was given to fall back and take another position, but Burton called out for help and to be rescued. This soldier without regard for his own safety under heavy enemy fire went to Private Burton's assistance and brought him to safety. Lt. Burnett cited many numerous minor instances of this soldier's gallantry during the two years under Lt. Burnett's command. He was always found to be reliable, trustworthy and efficient which warranted a recommendation for the medal of honor.While these acts of bravery were approved and recommended by the Regimental Commander, Colonel Edward Hatch he also recommended that he also be awarded a certificate of merit for distinguished service, whether in action or otherwise. These honors were to represent his extraordinary exertion in the preservation of human life. The nation's highest award THE MEDAL OF HONOR was awarded to private Augustus Walley on October 1, 1890 with a Certificate of Merit. 1st Sgt. Augustus Walley was sent to Cuba in the Spanish American was with the 10th Cavalry and was awarded another certificate of merit for gallantry under enemy fire. He spent two years in the Philippines insurrection in the 10th Cavalry and retired from the "Buffalo Soldiers" in 1907. Sgt. Augustus Walley took up residence in Butte, Montana. He was recalled to active duty on May 1, 1918 assigned as 1st Sgt. Sanitary Corps at Camp Beaunegard, Louisiana until he retired on March 8, 1919. He lived the rest of his life on Etting Avenue in Baltimore City until his death on April 9, 1938. Sgt. Augustus Walley has a niece lnez Lee, Great nieces-Betty Stokes, Beulah Johnson, Talaya Johnson, and Great nephews-Water Johnson and Michael Johnson all who reside in Maryland.
Corporal William O. Wilson
Wilson, a native of Hagerstown was born on September 16, 1867. He enlisted in the United States Army on August 21, 1889. He earned the Medal of Honor on December 30, 1890 for "gallantry in action" voluntarily, for successfully carrying a message to the battalion commander at the Pine Ridge Indian Agency in South Dakota. He carried the dispatch when reinforcements were needed when the wagon supply train of Captain John S. Loud came under Indian attack. His Medal of Honor was awarded on September 17, 1891. William Wilson returned to Hagerstown in 1898 and married. The marriage produced seven children. Two of his daughters, Mrs. Anna V. Jones and Mrs. Elsie Comer currently reside in Hagerstown. In Hagerstown, Mr. Wilson was a "jack of all trades" and worked as a carpenter and upholsterer. He died in January 1928. The grassy triangle at the intersection of Jonathan Street, Charles Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown, was dedicated to his honor in 1988. His home was located near the corner of Sumans Av. and North St., adjacent to the Martin Luther King Center. Although his family knew of his courageous military act, his actual burial site was unknown until Mrs. Mary Jones, Mr. Wilson's daughter in law began to research his endeavor. Mrs. Jones research led her to the Washington County Free Library on February 28, 1997. Mr. Don Brown, by coincidence overheard her inquiry's and joined the investigation. Don Brown discovered Mr. Wilson's gravesite in Rose Hill Cemetery on April 16, 1997. The grave marker was provided by the Veterans Administration. Thus far, Mr. Wilson is the only Washington County, Maryland resident to receive the Med~l of Honor, our nations highest military decoration. The MOH is awarded to a soldier, sailor, airman or marine who in actual combat, distinguishes himself conspicuously at the risk of life, by gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. Mr. Wilson's military funeral symbolizes a sense of family and community pride and perfect conclusion to his heroic act of bravery.