Sergeant, Company K, 9th U.S. Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers). For actions at Fort Tularosa, NM, May 14, 1880; at Carrizo Canyon, NM, in 1881.
August 12, 1881
Born in Williamson County, TN, Jordan entered service in Nashville and became one of the famed "Buffalo Soldiers," the U.S. Army's first peacetime regiment made up entirely of African-American soldiers. From 1866 to the early 1890s, the Buffalo regiments served in the Southwestern United States and the Great Plains regions, building roads, escorting U.S. mail deliveries and participating in most of the military campaigns. They earned a distinguished record, with 13 enlisted men and six officers from the four Buffalo regiments earning the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars.
While commanding a detachment of 25 men at Fort Tularosa, NM, on May 14, 1881, Sgt. Jordan fought off a force of more than 100 Apaches. Jordan wrote that "on the evening of the 14th, while I was standing outside the fort conversing with one of the citizens, the Indians came upon us unexpectedly and attacked." The town's residents ran for safety in the fort and stockade. Apache leader Victorio's forces fired volleys of arrows towards the town and attacked the fort in rounds. Jordan's men repelled the attacks and made a daring rescue to save the town's cattle. The Buffalo Soldiers suffered no casualties.
Shortly after the battle, men from the 9th Cavalry arrived at the fort, and a large contingent pursued Victorio but were unable to follow the Chiricahua forces after they escaped into Mexico.
At Carrizo Canyon, NM, on August 12, 1881, Jordan, commanding the right of a detachment of 19 men, held his ground in an extremely exposed position and forced back a much larger number of Apaches, preventing them from surrounding the command.
The United States Army recently renamed a facility and a street in Nevada after Jordan, who is one of three minorities from Tennessee to receive the Medal of Honor.