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Skull of Buffalo Soldier reunited with body

The skull of an African American soldier in the Civil War has been reunited with the rest of his skeleton, exhumed from the Fort Craig cemetary.

There turned out to be dozens of bodies still at the cemetery. All were exhumed by the government two years ago and placed in storage. But for Smith, only his skull could be found — it was dropped off anonymously for investigators in a paper bag. The rest of his body remained unaccounted for until last month.

On May 22, Alaina Goff, a University of New Mexico graduate student, was examining Smith’s skull at the Smithsonian. She knew there was a chance that Brecheisen had reburied Smith’s body but kept his skull.

Four of the skeletons in the lab were missing skulls, and Goff decided to see whether Smith’s fit any of them. The first three were much too big. But when she put his skull with the fourth, it matched perfectly. “It absolutely solves the mystery,” she said.

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