The 15th Buffalo Soldier

THE 15th BUFFALO SOLDIER (Art by Quinn McGowan)Part of the fun (and the challenge) of creating T.A.S.K. has been the world building. That means not only rewriting the world of today, it also means tweaking the world that's gone before. Let's show you what that looks like. This is a sample of some of the stuff that's gone into creating a faaaar background character called the Buffalo Soldier.After President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Civil Rights Act of 1871, noted African-American social reformer, writer, and statesman Frederick Douglass journeyed to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where the 10th Cavalry Regiment (the Negro Cavalry who would come to be known as the Buffalo Soldiers) were stationed.Armed white insurgents had arisen in the South after the Civil War and were violently reasserting white supremacy and groups such as the KKK, the White League and the Red Shirts were running rampant over the South. Although the President sent to troops to South Carolina and other endangered states, Douglass believed that Negroes in the South needed additional protection. It was with this intention that he secured orders for members of the 10th Cavalry to be deployed in areas where Negro lives were in imminent danger. These soldiers would eventually become the founding members of The Buffalo Soldier Corps.Over time The Buffalo Soldier Corps. became a secret Negro military, scientific, philosophical and legislative think tank. Notable members and advisers included Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Robert Heberton Terrell (the first African-American to serve on a Federal court bench) and French Legion of Honor recipient, Eugene Jacques Bullard (the combat pilot known in WW I as "the Black Swallow of Death"). The Tuskegee Institute was its scientific arm and in later years would go on to create technologically advanced armaments for Buffalo Soldier operatives.Of course where the Buffalo Soldier Corps. was most active was in the training of suitable candidates to protect Negro communities and the organization was especially tested during the Summer of 1919; the so-called "Red Summer." Over 50 Buffalo Soldiers were lost in defensive actions in race riots across the United States and a further 11 died attempting to defend the Black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma (the famed Black Wall Street) in 1921.After such devastating losses and the very real threat of the organization's exposure, the Buffalo Soldier Corps. changed it focus from one of guard action to a new two pronged directive; preemptive strikes and targeted punitive actions against violent white supremacist groups. In light of how many operatives they had lost it was decided that while many candidates would be trained, there would only be one "Buffalo Soldier" at a time. That operative would be active until too injured to continue or lost in action and would then be replaced by the next available candidate.There have been 14 "Buffalo Soldiers" since 1923.The present Buffalo Soldier is "disgraced" former Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander Hercules Quintrell. He is seen here leaping into action outfitted with mobile infantry tech and weapons developed by the "Tuskegee Institute."
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