History of the Buffalo Soldiers

The Buffalo Soldiers were a symbol of hope for a better future. Professor Rayford Logan of Howard University commented: Negroes had little at the turn of the century to help sustain of faith in ourselves except the pride that we took in the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry, the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Infantry… They were our Ralph Bunche, Marian Anderson, Joe Louis, and Jackie Robinson.

Nearly sixteen months after the end of the Civil War, Section 3 of an Act of Congress entitled “An Act to increase and fix the Military Peace Establishment of the United States” authorized the formation to two regiments of cavalry composted of “colored” men. The act was approve on 28 July 1866. On 21 September 1866, the 9th Cavalry Regiment was activated at Greenville, Louisiana, and the 10 Cavalry Regiment was activate at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Under the competent leadership of Colonels Edward Hatch and Benjamin Grierson, First Regiment Commanders of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, respectively, both regiments were trained and equipped which began a long and proud history.

When not engaged in combat with Indians, both regiments built forts and roads, installed telegraph lines, located water holes, escorted wagon trains, and cattle drives, rode “Shotgun” on stagecoach and mail runs, and protected settlers from from renegade Indians, outlaws, and Mexican Revolutionaries. Elements of both regiments fought in Cuba during the War with Spain and participated in the famous charge on San Juan Hill. Troopers of the 10th Cavalry Regiment road with General John J. Pershing during the Punitive Expedition in Mexico in search of Pancho Villa. In 1941, the two regiments formed the 4th Cavalry Brigade, commanded by General Benjamin O. Davis Sr., at Camp Funston, Kanas. In 1944, the end came to the horse cavalry regiments and the curtain was lowered on the long and glorious past of “The Buffalo Soldiers.”