After further research on Luther James Dorsey who is buried in the Conroe Community Cemetery I discovered that he was what was called a “Buffalo Soldier” during his service in the 10th Cavalry from 1873 to 1878. The Buffalo Soldiers were an all black regiment commissioned by Congress in 1866 to help keep peace in the Indian territories.
Mr. Dorsey joined Company E, 10th US Cavalry on November 14, 1873 in Washington DC, and was discharged on November 14, 1878, in San Felipe, Texas. During his time in the Buffalo Soldiers he fought Indians and bandits all along West Texas and even crossed into Mexico several times chasing after Indians and cattle thieves.
After being discharged he decided to stay in Texas and met his wife, Emma, in Chappell Hill, Texas, and eventually settling in Conroe, Texas, somewhere around 1890. His family have remained there since.
On Saturday (11 Oct 2014) I met Mr. Foerster, the chairman of the Montgomery County Historical Commission over breakfast to discuss the Conroe Community Cemetery. He was very interested in what I had discovered and believes there will be much more support for the restoration and care of the cemetery once folks know that not only is there a Buffalo Soldier buried there, but as far as he knows it is the only Buffalo soldier buried in Montgomery County.
The discussion eventually led to the fact that getting folks to volunteer to clean the cemetery was not the problem; the problem lies in the maintenance of it. People have no problem volunteering for the big project, but when it comes to simple maintenance once it has been cleaned out and restored, people are not so ready to help out.
Following breakfast we went to the cemetery. Now granted, it has been a while since I was out there, but in that time it has become even more overgrown than could be imagined. The woods had become so overgrown I was not able to make my way to some of the tombstones I know of. Luckily I was able to get to Luther Dorsey’s and show Mr. Foerster the stone.
A lot of work is required to even clean the cemetery out and then even more work to locate the graves. Luckily, some help may be there in the location department.
On Friday evening I spoke with a nice young lady from K-9 Search and Rescue Texas who said her organization would be very happy to utilize their cadaver/search dogs to help in locating graves. She did state that because of the area being a graveyard that it may be difficult to locate the graves exactly, but the dogs will do a good job of indicating where they may be. I expressed a desire to find someone who would volunteer using ground penetrating radar to assist locating graves and she said she may actually know someone who can help with that.
So, as things keep moving forward at a break-neck speed, I am excited to find that this cemetery and those buried there will finally get at least some respect and recognition they deserve. When we forget those who have passed on before us, we chance being forgotten ourselves.
If you are interested in helping out in any way with the restoration of the Conroe Community Cemetery, please contact me at huntingforbears at gmail.com.