May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 331

Price Realized: $ 2,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,200 - $ 1,800
(MILITARY--WORLD WAR ONE.) West, A.B. Diary of a Buffalo Soldier stationed in the Philippines. 95 manuscript pages numbered 376-470. 4to notebook, stitched at top, original "Homespun Linen Bond" front wrapper and cardboard rear, moderate wear and soiling; moderate toning and minor wear to contents. 2 September to 1 November [1914]

Additional Details

This diary was written by a soldier in the 24th United States Infantry, one of the famed Buffalo Soldier regiments, while stationed at Camp McGrath near Batangas in the Philippines. The regiment was not involved in any combat during this period, but the author eagerly reports news from Europe and any clues regarding the eventual involvement of the United States. He reports very detailed information on troop assignments and action in his own regiment, such as "Private Morton of K Company . . . broke into the post exchange and was in the act of burgling but he was arested by the post guard and confind . . . to await for trial" (6 September) or "Musical consert at 8:00 p.m. by the 24th Infantry band" (14 September). He took some note of the surrounding population: "Stormy weather which several persons lost their lives in the little towns which sits on the banks of different rivers in the Philippine Islands" (10 September). On 13 October, the soldiers were banned from visiting the nearby town of Batangas because of a cholera epidemic.
The author describes a baseball game against the 3rd Battalion on 26 September. He also makes several mentions of one particular fellow soldier. On 9 October, he describes "a big smoker given in honor of Corporal Wilber Rogan and the company baseball team. . . . regimental Sergeant Williams made a speech to the guest in the regards of Corporal Wilber Rogan's influince as a athletic man in the 24th Infantry and also throughout the Philippine Islands." Rogan returned to the United States the next day. He was not merely a good ballplayer; as Bullet Joe Rogan, he went on to star as one of the best hitters and pitchers in baseball's Negro Leagues from 1917 to 1938. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.