Horace Bivins

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Horace Bivins
Birth name Horace Wayman Bivins
Born May 8, 1862
Accomack County, Virginia, Confederate States of America
Died 1937 (aged c.75)
Billings, Montana, United States of America
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1887–1913, 1918–1919
Rank Captain
Unit 10th Cavalry

Indian Wars
Spanish–American War

Horace Wayman Bivins (or Bivens or Bivans or Bevans) (May 8, 1862, Accomack County, Virginia – 1937, Billings, Montana) was a Buffalo Soldier who fought in the Indian Wars and the Spanish–American War.

Early life[edit]

Bivins was born on May 8, 1862, in Accomack County, Virginia to a farming family. After attending Hampton Institute in Virginia, he joined the United States Army in 1887.[1]

Military career[edit]

Assigned to the 10th Cavalry, Bivins participated in the campaign against Geronimo in Arizona, before fighting in Cuba during the Spanish–American War. He was commended for his bravery, receiving a silver star for valor, during the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, during which he suffered a head wound.[1] In 1899, he was one of the contributors to the book, Under the Fire with Tenth Cavalry, covering the experiences of the 10th Cavalry in the war.[2]

After serving in a number of posts, including the Philippines, Bivins retired from the army in 1913. He had "distinguished himself as a national revolver and carbine marksmanship champion, proudly wearing his many awards."[3] During an examination of Army records at some point after the establishment of the Distinguished Pistol Program in 1903, it was determined that Bivins won at least three pistol marksmanship championship awards, accomplishing this 9 years previously in 1894. This qualified him for the newly established Distinguished Pistol badge and he was retroactively awarded the first Army Distinguished Pistol Shot badge for his distinction in marksmanship competition.[4] He is the only shooter to have been retroactively awarded the medal for accomplishments before 1903.

Bivins briefly returned to active duty in 1918 upon the entry of the United States into World War I. Promoted to Captain, he served at Camp Dix, New Jersey for a six-month period. He retired again in 1919[5] to Billings, Montana where he died in 1937.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Cabiao, Howard. "Bivins, Horace W. (1862–1937)". www.blackpast.org. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Bivins, Horace W.(1862–1937) – Soldier, Joins the Tenth Cavalry, Writes about Military Life, Chronology". encyclopedia.jrank.org. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Powder Magazine at Northern Rockies Heritage Center Campus". Northern Rockies Heritage Centre. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ William Emerson, Marksmanship in the U.S. Army: A History of Medals, Shooting Programs, and Training, University of Oklahoma, Norman, 2004.
  5. ^ Kimmick, Ed. "Much-decorated soldier served many …Years of adventure". Montana Lee Newspapers. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 

External links[edit]