From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Brownsville Affair [Texas] - 25th U.S. Regiment

In 1906, the 25th U.S. Regiment [Colored] was stationed at Fort Brown, TX; it included 20 servicemen from Kentucky among its ranks. Soon after the men arrived at the fort, tension ensued between whites in Brownsville and the soldiers. On August 13th, a bartender was killed and a police officer was wounded; the men of the 25th Regiment were blamed for both. President Theodore Roosevelt had 167 men dishonorably discharged from the service. In 1970, author John D. Weaver investigated the incident and found that the men of the 25th Regiment were all innocent; he published his investigation in The Brownsville Raid. As a result of Weaver's book, the U.S. Army conducted an investigation into the Brownsville incident and also found that the men were innocent. The Nixon Administration reversed President Roosevelt's 1906 order, and in 1972, the men of the 25th U.S. Regiment were given honorable discharges, but without backpay. In December 1972, an article was placed in the Lexington Leader seeking the descendants of the 20 men from Kentucky. Below are the names and birth locations of 19 of the men.

  • Pvt Henry W. Arrin, Pembroke
  • Corp. Ray Burdett, Yosemite
  • Pvt. Strowder Darnell, Middletown
  • Musician Hoytt Robinson, Mt. Sterling
  • Pvt Samuel Wheeler, Clark County
  • Pvt Richard Crooks, Bourbon County
  • Pvt Edward Robinson, Mulborough
  • Pvt Benjamin F. Johnson, Fayette County
  • Pvt Charles Jones, Nicholasville
  • Musician Joseph Jones, Midway
  • Pvt Thomas Taylor, Clark County
  • Sgt Luther T. Thornton, Aberdeen OH
  • Corp Preston Washington, Lexington
  • Pvt Charles E. Rudy, Dixon
  • Pvt William VanHook, Odville
  • Pvt August Williams, Hartford
  • Pvt Stansberry Roberts, Woodford County
  • Pvt William Smith, Lexington
  • Pvt John Green, Mulborough

For more see Brownsville Affair on the Wikipedia website; Brownsville Raid of 1906, at The Handbook of Texas Online; and "Descendants of cleared Black soldiers sought," Lexington Leader, 12/05/1972, p. 2B.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Brownsville Raid
NKAA Source: Lexington leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Lexington leader (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  McKay, Barney M. [McDougal]

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“Brownsville Affair [Texas] - 25th U.S. Regiment,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 24, 2018,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:42