A collaboration between the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, The US Bureau of Reclamations, Nationally recognized Forensic Sculptor Amanda Danning and the University of Houston’s Dr. Ali Kamrani is set to debut in Houston. Dr. Ali Kamrani along with his team in the Industrial Engineering department will replicate the skulls of Civil War and Buffalo Soldiers. Forensic Sculptor Amanda Danning will use one of the models to perform live progressive reconstruction of the face of U.S Army Pvt. Thomas Smith, a Buffalo Soldier.This awesome story of grave robbers, forensic science and redemption will be on exhibit through February 28, 2010. Bureau of Reclamations Anthropologists Jeff Hanson and Mark Hungerford were onsite when the remains were discovered in Fort Craig and are leading contributors to this project. Federal officials shipped 39 sets of well-preserved remains from New Mexico to Washington. The Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Natural History, Division of Physical Anthropology Head, Doug Owsley, along with other scientists examined the bones with microscopes, CT scanners, X-ray machines and digital measuring devices intending to determine the identities of the fallen soldiers. The study provided clues to the isolated existence at Fort Craig from the 1850s to the 1880s. Through the use of modern technology, scientists were able to positively identify 3 of the soldiers by comparing the details of their remains with the military enlistment records. After concluding the examination of the remains, they shipped back to New Mexico, where they were re-buried with full military honors at the Military Cemetery in Santa Fe.
Our 6000 square foot theatre style exhibit will allow visitors to experience first hand the science behind how forensic anthropologists and sculptors exam human remains to determine identities and complete facial reconstructions. Come and see the artifacts and photos from Fort Craig as well as the Civil War. This is the story of how once forgotten soldiers become the center of attention and admiration. The exhibit is bound to capture all the excitement and wonderment that can only be described as incredible. Our story begins with one soldier, Thomas Smith.