Fort Ringgold

Ninth Cavalry NCOs (1889)
[Buffalo Soldier, 9th Cavalry, Company D, sharpshooter collar insignia] / C. C. McBride, Crawford, Nebraska.
"The Fort Ringgold Trouble" (PDF)
Eyewitness account of the "Trouble at Fort Ringgold"

Dublin Core


Fort Ringgold


Civil rights
Segregation in military


Racial tension between residents of Rio Grande City and black soldiers of Troop D, Ninth Cavalry stationed at Fort Ringgold escalated following the October 16, 1899 shooting of two soldiers after a gambling dispute. The two injured soldiers were charged, tried, and fined for inciting the crime against them.

Subsequently, Troop D was increasingly harrassed and violence was threatened against them on Nov. 20, 1899. Presuming an assault on the garrison that evening, Post Commander 2d Lt. E. H. Rubottom ordered extra guards and scouts as gunfire erupted between residents and soldiers. When the gunfire exchange escalated, Rubottom ordered a Gatling gun to be shot to quell the violence, resulting in one minor injury.

Official federal and state investigations and proceedings failed to assign culpability to the citizens of Rio Grande City, and unsurprisingly, the Starr County grand jury found the soldiers acted without provocation and the US Army stated Rubottom had acted unwisely.




“Fort Ringgold,” UTRGV Digital Exhibits, accessed December 8, 2023,