Pompey Factor was a Black Seminole who grew up in Mexico and joined the U.S. Army’s Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts. Often, skilled horsemen, Seminole scouts were able to cover a lot of land in a short amount of time and were important to the U.S. campaign to tame the West. In addition to their riding ability, they were often very good shots in a pinch.
PECOS RIVER ENGAGEMENT
Young Factor joined up at 21 and four years later fought in the Red River War in 1874, bringing the conflict between the U.S. and several plains tribes to a close. At the start of 1875, he was a private and stationed in the Pecos River area in Texas.
For reasons unknown, he and three other scouts—including fellow Medal of Honor recipients Isaac Payne and John Ward—took on 25 enemies during a patrol. Apparently, the trio of Black Seminoles was successful. They were awarded the Medal of Honor the following month.
Two years later, a friend and fellow Black Seminole Scout and Medal of Honor recipient, Adam Paine, was shot down on New Years 1877. The shooter was another Medal of Honor recipient—Brackettville Deputy Sheriff Claron A. Windus. Apparently, Paine was a murder suspect. While his involvement–if any–in this was unknown, Pompey Factor deserted the U.S. Army and headed back to Mexico. He would eventually turn himself in and was allowed to serve.
Three years later he was discharged and worked as a farmer for years in Texas and Mexico. As for Isaac Payne, he returned to Mexico in 1901 where his story basically ends. John Ward became a farmer in Texas after being discharged in 1894.
Pompey Factor died in Texas on March 29, 1928. All three men were buried in Brackettville, Texas in the Seminole Indian Scout Cemetery.