Buffalo Soldier Day- July 28. Honoring their Service

 In History

The first regiment of black Army soldiers was established in 1866. Six all black cavalry and infantry regiments were created by Congress to “help control the Native Americans of the Plains, capture cattle rustlers and thieves and protect settlers, stagecoaches, wagon trains and railroad crews along the Western front.” The name  “Buffalo soldiers” came from Native Americans who nicknamed them after their beloved buffalo.

But they didn’t only battle Natives. They were ordered to Oklahoma to prevent white settles from encroaching on Indian lands. They also fought wildlife poachers and  battled wildfires in the Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, according to the National Park Service.

History.com wrote:

In the late 1890s, with the “Indian problem” mostly settled, the 9th and 10thCalvary and the 24th and 25th Infantry headed to Florida at the start of the Spanish-American War.

Even facing blatant racism and enduring brutal weather conditions, buffalo soldiers earned a reputation for serving courageously. They fought heroically in the Battle of San Juan Hill, the Battle of El Caney and the Battle of Las Guasimas.

The 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments served in the Philippines in the early 1900s. Despite proving their military worth time and again, they continued to experience racial discrimination. During World War I, they were mostly relegated to defending the Mexican border.

The Buffalo Soldiers had the lowest desertion and court martial rates of their time. Many of their members earned the Medal of Honor. The regiments were dissolved after President Truman signed the law integrating the Armed Forces.

 

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