MARCH 24, 1911


Ward was born in 1848, near El Moral, Mexico where many Black Seminoles fled to avoid slavery.  In return for fighting hostile tribes, Mexico gave them land.  After the Civil War, the U.S. Army promised them land, food, and pay to serve as scouts.  In August, 1870, Ward enlisted at Fort Duncan, Texas.  He was cited for bravery for the Remolino Raid into Mexico and the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon and became a Sergeant in December 1874.  In April 1875, after an Indian attack on a stage coach, Lt. John L. Bullis, with Ward, Pompey Factor & Isaac Payne, tracked the Indians.  They attacked though outnumbered 10:1.   When Bullis was thrown from his horse, the 3 scouts rescued him and escaped.  Bullis put all 3 in for the Congressional MOH in 1875.  From 1884-94, Ward served in South Texas and Northern Mexico against smugglers, border bandits, and Mexican revolutionaries.  Discharged in 1894, Ward ran a farm near the Black Seminole village in Brackettville, Texas.  He received a pension through Bullis’ aid.

Source:  “Black Seminole scout John Ward born,” People, Locations, Episodes, African American Registry.  Retrieved 11/23/2020, Black Seminole scout John Ward born - African American Registry (
Photo:  Author unknown, circa 1890s.  Public Domain.

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