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16 drawings, 6 halftones, 8 maps, 15 tables

Unburied Lives

The Historical Archaeology of Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Davis, Texas, 1869–1875
By Laurie A. Wilkie

Details

Overview

According to the accounts of two white officers, on the evening of November 20, 1872, Corporal Daniel Talliafero, of the segregated Black 9th cavalry, was shot to death by an officer’s wife while attempting to break into her sleeping apartment at the military post of Fort Davis, Texas. Historians writing about Black soldiers serving in the West have long accepted the account without question, retelling the story of Daniel Talliafero, the thwarted “rapist.”

In Unburied Lives Wilkie takes a different approach, demonstrating how we can “listen” to stories found in things neglected, ignored, or disparaged—documents not consulted, architecture not studied, material traces preserved in the dirt. With a focus on Fort Davis, Wilkie brings attention to the Black enlisted men and non-commissioned officers. In her archaeological accounting, Wilkie explores the complexities of post life, racialized relationships, Black masculinity, and citizenship while also exposing the structures and practices of military life that successfully obscured these men’s stories for so long.

Contributor Bios
Laurie A. Wilkie is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Her books include Strung Out on Archaeology: An Introduction to Archaeological Research, The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi: A Historical Archaeology of Masculinity in a University Fraternity, and The Archaeology of Mothering: An African-American Midwife’s Tale.