Buffalo soldier; or the colored man in the fight.

WDT 4 11 1917 WW1 soldier Farrior

Wilson Daily Times, 11 April 1917.


Rev. Owen L.W. Smith was a teacher, pastor of Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church, and United States consul general in Liberia.

In the 1900 census of Lisbon township, Sampson County, North Carolina: Virginia-born preacher Hennry Farrior, 39, wife Izzy, 37, children Lillie, 17, Dallas, 15, and Diane, 5, and divorced brother-in-law Richard Robinson, 50. Dallas and Richard worked as farm laborers. [Henry W. Farrior was an A.M.E. Zion minister.]

It appears that soon thereafter Dalley tried his luck up North and, on 4 October 1903, this tiny ad appeared in the classified ads of the Philadelphia Inquirer:


On 15 May 1905, in Manhattan, New York City, William H.D. Farrior [Dalley’s full name] married Florence Seel.

Before long, though, he returned to North Carolina. In the 1910 census of Lisbon township, Sampson County, North Carolina: house carpenter Dalley Farrior, 26, wife Florance, 22, and children James, 3, and Florance (Jr.), 1. [I have not found a marriage license for Dalley and Florence. Their daughters Florence Elizabeth, born 15 January 1909, and Sadie Carolina, born 6 November 1910, filed delayed birth certificates in Cumberland and Sampson Counties, respectively.]

At an unknown date, Dally Farrior enlisted in the United States Army’s Tenth Cavalry Regiment, a segregated unit that was one of the original regiments of Buffalo Soldiers. His role in the Army’s Mexican Expedition would garner him a measure of recognition and probably helped him secure government employment.

As adapted from Wikipedia: the Punitive Expedition, officially known in the United States as the Mexican Expedition, was an abortive military operation conducted by the United States Army against the paramilitary forces of Francisco “Pancho” Villa from 1916 to 1917. The expedition was retaliation for Villa’s invasion of the United States and attack on the village of Columbus, New Mexico, during the Mexican Revolution. More than 5,000 U.S. troops under General John J. Pershing, including elements of the 7th Cavalry and the 10th Cavalry Regiment, entered Mexico in hot pursuit of Villa. The campaign consisted primarily of dozens of minor skirmishes with small bands of insurgents. On 21 June 1916, two troops of the 10th, totaling 92 troopers, attacked Mexican Federal Army troops in the Battle of Carrizal, Chihuahua. Twelve U.S. troops were killed and 23 taken prisoner; 45 Federales were casualties, including the Mexican general Gomez. The engagement nearly precipitated open war with Venustiano Carranza’s Mexican government, but both governments immediately moved to lessen tensions and open negotiations for U.S. withdrawal, preventing war. The Carrancista government repatriated the American prisoners at El Paso, Texas.


Washington Post, 1 July 1916.

Dalley was one of the highest-ranking enlisted men in the Tenth Cavalry and, as an escapee from the bloodshed, was called upon to testify to the debacle. He gave the affidavit below to then Major Charles Young, the African-American commander of the Tenth Cavalry’s Second Squadron.*


State of Chihuahua, Camp U.S. Troops, Colonia Dublan, Mex.  }  ss.

Personally appeared before me the undersigned authority, one Dalley Farrior, Q.M. Sergeant, Troop C, 10th Cavalry, who being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says, concerning the engagement between American troops commanded by Capt. Charles R. Boyd, 10th cavalry, and Carranza troops near Ahumada, Mexico, on June 21st, 1916, that “when we arrived near Carrizal, the Captain had us load our rifles and pistols. We halted and sent a messenger in to ask permission to pass thru the town. When the messenger returned several Mexicans came with him, and they [illegible] our point. The Captain went forward and talked to them. He returned to us and said that “It looked favorable, but we could only go north.” He said that his orders were to go east, and he meant to go that way. By this time the general of the Carranza troops had come out and the Captain went forward to talk to him. When he returned he said the general had given us permission to go thru the town, but we could go thru as foragers. As we formed line of foragers, the general called him back again. When he returned he said he would execute fight on foot and advance in that formation. We did this and ordered no man to fire until fired upon. As we moved forward K Troop was on the right and C on the left. The Captain cautioned Sergeant Winrow, who organized the right of C Troop to keep his men on a zigzag line. The Mexicans during this time had formed a line out front about 200 yards away and opened fire on us. We laid down and fired back. Then we advanced by rushes. As to the second rush I was wounded in the right arm, and staid where I was. The line I had been on kept moving forward. On their third rush they reached the Mexican’s front line of defense, where there were two machine guns. By this time Captain Boyd had been shot in the hand and shoulder. Sergeant Winrow had been wounded in the leg and [illegible] Wilhoit had also been wounded in the knee. The Captain tried to get K Troop, which was in our rear, to move up to us. He was shot and killed at this time. Lieut. Adair had gone with his man and was out of sight. Captain Morey said to assemble K Troop on him and we would all surrender. But several men in K Troop remonstrated with Capt. Morey and induced him to make towards an adobe house on our left rear, where we could possibly make a stand. Capt. Morey was very weak from loss of blood and fainted once. From there I finally made my way to the Santa Domingo ranch. From here I finally reached the 11th Cavalry about [illegible] miles west of San Luis.

Further deponent sayeth not,  /s/ Dalley Farrior, Q.M. Sergeant, Troop C, 10th Cavalry.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 27 day of June 1916. /s/ Chas. Young, Major, 10th Cavalry, Summary Court.

A year later, on 15 June 1917, in the Nashville Globe‘s “News of the Nation’s Capital”:


Dalley Farrior registered for the World War I draft in Washington, D.C. on 12 September 1918. His draft card reports that he resided at 1830 – 9th Street N.W.; was born 3 September 1984; and worked as a messenger for the federal government at 4 1/2 & Missouri Avenue, S.W., Aircraft Production Division. His nearest relative was Isia Farrior, 11 Winter Street, Hartford, Connecticut. The card also reveals that he was more seriously injured at Carrizal than the Post reported — “gunshot wound in right forearm, hand almost totally paralyzed, in action with US troops in Mexico.”

On 9 January 1918, this tiny listing appeared in the Washington Post:


It appears to be notice of a suit for maintenance by Dalley’s wife Florence Farrior, and William H. Dalley Farrior seems to have been his full name.

Two days later, on 11 January, the Washington Herald ran this brief:


Two months later, Dalley threw down the gauntlet with a legal notice naming as defendants his wife and three men, presumably those with whom Dalley believed she had committed adultery.


Washington Post, 20 March 1918. 

The suit was successful. In the 1920 census of Washington, D.C.: boarders Dalley Farrior, 25, divorced, messenger for War Department; and son James Farrior, 12.

Dalley’s father Henry W. Farrior appeared in Wilson city directories as early as 1916 and throughout the 1920s. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Christian Church minister Henry W. Farrior, 60, and wife Aria, 60, with boarders tobacco factory stemmer Earnest Bulluck, 35, his wife Lena, 30, and children Earnest Jr., 12, Paul T., 8, and Lee, 7.

Henry William Farrior died 6 March 1937 in Wilson. Per his death certificate: he was born 12 August 1859 in Powhatan, Virginia, to Henry and Sylvia Farrior; resided at 203 Pender Street, Wilson; was married Isiebell Farrior; and was a preacher. Dalley Farrior was informant.

In 1942, Dalley Farrior registered for the World War II draft. His draft card reports that he resided at 2319 Druid Hills Avenue, Baltimore; was born 10 April 1884 in Garland, North Carolina; was employed by Samuel Plato, Turner’s Station, Baltimore; and his nearest relative was Pearl Farrior.

Per the Social Security Death Index, Dalley Farrior died in Baltimore on 7 May 1971. He was survived by daughters Florence E. Farrior and Sadie Farrior Izquierdo. Sadie died in 1995. Florence died 14 October 2015 in New York City at the age of 106.

*A copy of this affidavit is included in the draft of Ann T. Gustavson’s The Question of Pershing’s Verbal Orders: Carrizal 1916, published at http://www.barbarabeatty.com. The original is held by the National Archives and Records Administration.


    1. Dalley Farrior is my grandfather Iam gordon farrior son of Florence Farrior you
      right Linda, Dalley was a bad man.I remember being with him as a boy he was
      warm and kind to me, fond memories, proud.

Leave a Reply