The Yellowstone prequel 1883 showed a gritty side of American history. The Dutton family’s journey west was fraught with difficulty and violence. Their guide, Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) was only available due to his devastating family loss. And Shea’s right arm on 1883Thomas (Lamonica Garrett) was a Buffalo Soldier.
Garrett spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet on August 12 about 1883. Garrett discussed the magnitude of the Buffalo Soldier jacket that Thomas wore throughout the Yellowstone prequel. The complete series is available now on DVD and Blu-ray, and still available to stream on Paramount+.
Who were the Buffalo Soldiers in real life?
Blacks and Native Americans who fought in the Civil War for the Union were relegated to their own regiments. After the Emancipation Proclamation, the regiments continued to fight in the Indian Wars. Native American soldiers call their black partners Buffalo Soldiers.
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According to CNN, The Buffalo Soldiers became official in 1866 during the Indian Wars. They would continue well beyond 1883 into the early 20th century. The Indian Wars continued until 1924, but in 1883Thomas’ military career was in his past.
Lamonica Garrett paid tribute to the Buffalo Soldiers in ‘Yellowstone’ prequel ‘1883’
Thomas was a fictional character on 1883 but represented the story of many real people. Thomas was old enough to have been a slave. He escaped at the age of 12 and served in the army, then in the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. The magnitude of the jacket did not escape Garrett.
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“It was special,” Garrett told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “I knew it when we went to the wardrobe and I put it on for the first time, looking in a mirror, how it affected me.”
The ‘1883’ cast also reacted to Lamonica Garrett’s costume
Garrett wasn’t the only one who took the time to reflect on the Buffalo Soldiers. During filming 1883 in Texas, Garrett acknowledged the impact his costume had on other actors. Garrett took his own thoughts and reactions from those co-stars into his performance as Thomas.
“We were shooting in Fort. It’s worth it in Hell’s Half Acre,” Garrett said. “We had about 400 extras and a few black actors came to see me. A couple of actors came up to me, it was like, ‘How does it feel to wear the Buffalo Soldier jacket?’ I saw in their eyes what it meant to them and I already knew what it meant to me and I knew when it aired what it would mean to a lot of other people. So it was special for me and it didn’t go unnoticed.
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