Lewis J. Cook (ca. 1857–1885) was born in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and worked in the coal industry prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army. He was recruited in Baltimore, Maryland, at age 26 and joined Company H, 9th U.S. Cavalry, one of the all-black units known as Buffalo Soldiers. By November 1883, Private Cook was stationed with his regiment in Fort Riley, Kansas. In June 1884, however, Cook was discharged under a surgeon's certificate. The regimental discharge record does not specify his disability, although his mother, Courtney, applied for a pension in May 1885. Cook is buried in Alexandria National Cemetery (Section B, Site 3560).
George Foster (1844–1893) lived on North Patrick Street in the Uptown neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, first with his family and after his marriage in 1883. He and his brother Lorenzo are buried in Alexandria National Cemetery. Foster worked as a waiter and laborer before enlisting during the Civil War. He served in Company E, 1st U.S. Colored Troops Infantry, from 1863 to 1865. After the war, the U.S. Army established segregated regiments for blacks that became known as Buffalo Soldiers. Foster reenlisted in 1867, joining Company E, 1st U.S. Cavalry, then Company C, 10th U.S. Cavalry, alongside his brother. He was discharged in 1870 after a stay in the post hospital and returned home (Section B, Site 3565).
Born in Alexandria, Virginia, Lorenzo Foster (ca. 1850–1903) lived on North Patrick Street in the Uptown neighborhood; he and his brother George are buried in Alexandria National Cemetery. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in June 1867 for a five-year term, along with his brother. The men served in Company C of the all-black 10th U.S. Cavalry. Like other Buffalo Soldiers, as these troops became known, Foster was posted to garrisons on the western frontier. After Corporal Foster was discharged in 1872 he returned to Alexandria and his family (Section B, Site 3581).
Born in Alexandria City, Virginia, Conny Gray (1863–1907) lived in a vibrant community of African Americans, many of whom were free blacks prior to the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil War. His wife, Sarah Jane Derrick, taught at the Hallowell School, which was funded initially by the Freedmen Bureau and consolidated in 1920 as the city's Parker-Gray School. Gray enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1883 at age 20 and became a career soldier. Private Gray was with the 25th Infantry, one of the all-black regiments established in 1866 and known as Buffalo Soldiers, for most of his service. Gray also did a tour of duty with the Hospital Corps and 24th Infantry before sailing with Company H, 25th Infantry, to the Philippines where he died. Gray is buried in Alexandria National Cemetery (Section B, Site 3587).
Buffalo Soldier John T. Stevenson (ca.1850–1912) was born in Culpeper County and worked as a laborer before enlisting in 1869. Private Stevenson joined the 10th U.S. Cavalry, initially assigned to Company A and then to Company C. He served multiple enlistments, primarily at Forts Griffin and Concho, Texas, in the 1870s through the mid-1880s. After military service, Stevenson returned to Virginia and settled in the city of Alexandria, where he married and had a family. He worked as a laborer doing odd jobs but suffered from back pain. By 1910 his wife, Rebecca, had died and two of their children lived with him on Princess Street in the black neighborhood known as Uptown. Stevenson died January 31 and is buried in Alexandria National Cemetery (Section B, Site 3592).
Joseph F. Whelen was born at Fort Meade, SD, in December 1883 (his headstone shows 1890). He was a farm laborer in Montana when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1904. Whelen served in Companies L and G, 24th Infantry, as a private then as a musician, until 1911. His service in the all-black 24th Infantry makes him a Buffalo Soldier—though by this time the regiment no longer patrolled the American West. Records note his good character, and posts at Fort Missoula, MT, and Fort Ontario, NY. After his third enlistment, he moved to Alexandria, VA, and worked as a laborer. About 1920, Whelen married Annie Lee under his assumed surname of Wheeler, and they lived at 400 N. Patrick St. He died April 4, 1926, of stomach cancer. Annie remained in Alexandria with their children and received a widow's pension. She died in 1965 and was buried with Musician Whelen (Section B, Site 3606).
Lillian Estelle Edwards (1892–1967) was born in Maryland and lived in Richmond, Virginia. During World War I, Edwards enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves Corps and held the rank of chief yeoman. She served from 1918 to 1919. This conflict was the first time women were permitted to enlist in the military outside of the Nurses Corps. After the war, Edwards lived in Buckingham Village in Arlington, Virginia, and worked as a typist for a hardware store before clerking for the government. She spent her career at the Department of Veterans Affairs and retired in 1957 after 35 years. Edwards died on March 5 and is buried in Alexandria National Cemetery (Section D, Site 14).
Lulu Mae Hogue (1876–1967) was born in West Virginia and by 1910 was living in Washington, DC, and working as a stenographer for a department store. In 1917, after the United States entered World War I, she joined the U.S. Naval Reserves and served a year. This conflict was the first time women were permitted to enlist in the military outside of the Nurses Corps. Hogue held the rank of yeoman third class. As a civilian she remained in Washington, DC, and was employed as a stenographer or clerk at the Navy Yard in 1919, and then the Internal Revenue Service in the 1920s and 1930s. She died March 10 and is buried in Alexandria National Cemetery (Section B, Site 5076).
Rosalie Myrtle Smith (1897–1967) was born in Maryland and moved to Virginia as a child. After the United States entered World War I, Smith enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves as a female yeoman in 1918. This conflict was the first time women were permitted to enlist in the military outside of the Nurses Corps. As a civilian, Smith lived and worked in Washington, DC, clerking for the Treasury Department. She married U.S. Navy veteran, Seaman William Herndon (1896–1959) and they lived in Alexandria, Virginia, with their young family through the 1930s. Herndon returned to the workplace by 1940 and remained in the area after her husband died. She died on November 27 and is buried in Alexandria National Cemetery (Section C, Site 18).