Shortly after the Civil War, Congress authorized
the formation of the 9th and 10th Cavalry and
the 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st Infantry
Regiments: Six all Black peacetime units.
Later the four infantry regiments were merged
into the 24th and 25th Infantries.
At least 18 Medals of
Honor were presented to Buffalo Soldiers during
the Western Campaigns. Similarly, 23
African-Americans received the nation's highest
military award during the Civil War.
fought in military conflicts since colonial
days. However, the Buffalo Soldiers, comprised
of former slaves, free men and Black Civil War
soldiers, were the first to serve during
Once the Westward
movement had begun, and prominent among those
blazing treacherous trails of the Wild West,
were the Buffalo Soldiers of the U.S. Army.
These African-Americans were charged with and
responsible for escorting settlers, cattle
herds, and railroad crews.
The 9th and 10th
Cavalry Regiments also conducted campaigns
against American Indian tribes on a western
frontier that extended from Montana in the
Northwest to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in
the Southwest. Throughout the era of the Indian
Wars, approximately twenty percent of the U.S.
Cavalry troopers were Black, and they fought
over 177 engagements. The combat prowess,
bravery, tenaciousness, and looks on the
battlefield, inspired the Indians to call them
"Buffalo Soldiers." Many Indians believe the
name symbolized the Native American's respect
for the Buffalo Soldiers' bravery and valor.
Buffalo Soldiers, down through the years, have
worn the name with pride.
participated in many other military campaigns:
The Spanish American War, The Philippine
Insurrection, The Mexican Expedition, World War
I, World War II, and the Korean Police Action.
Much have changed since
the days of the Buffalo Soldiers, including the
integration of all military servicemen and
women. However, the stories of the Buffalo
Soldiers remain one of unsurpassed courage and
patriotism, and will be forever a significant
part of the history of America.