Buffalo Soldiers History

"Preserve, Protect and Perpetuate the great legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers"

On July 28, 1866 Congress passed a legislation to establish additional regular Army Regiments. The 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments and the four Infantry Regiments, the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st, were composed of all Black enlisted troops with all White officers.  This opened a new door in the history by designating Negros to serve for the first time as regular Army Soldiers.  The four infantry units were confirmed by an Act of Congress on March 3, 1869 were combined to two infantry regiments.

 

On September 21, 1866, the 9th Cavalry Regiment was activated at Greenville, Louisiana, and the 10th Cavalry Regiment was activated at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas under the leadership of Colonels' Edward Hatch and Benjamin Grierson.   These two men became the first Regimental Commanders of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, and authorized eight Regiments of Infantry.

 

As the frontier expanded so did the mission of the Negro Soldiers as they were assigned to patrol, explore and map the rugged western territory, helped settlers travel across to the west, strung telegraph lines, and build Forts and Outposts, which would eventually become towns and cities.  The name Buffalo Soldiers originated with the Cheyenne warriors who called them “Wild Buffalo,” which translated to Buffalo Soldiers out of respect for their fierce fighting spirit, dark complexion, and curly hair.  The majority of the new recruits had served in all Black units during the war.  The mounted regiments were the 9th and 10th Cavalry, soon nicknamed Buffalo Soldiers by the Cheyenne and Comanche.  Until the early 1890’s, they constituted 20 percent of all Cavalry forces on the American frontier.  The majority of the new recruits had served in all Black units during the war.  The mounted regiments were the 9th and 10th Cavalry, soon nicknamed Buffalo Soldiers by the Cheyenne and Comanche.  he name Buffalo Soldiers originated with the Cheyenne warriors who called them “Wild Buffalo,” which translated to Buffalo Soldiers out of respect for their fierce fighting spirit, dark complexion, and curly hair.

 

Until the early 1890’s, they constituted 20 percent of all Cavalry forces on the American frontier. The 9th & 10th Cavalry’s service in the subduing Mexican revolutionaries, hostile Native Americans, outlaws, Comancheros and rustlers was as invaluable as it was unrecognized.  It was also accomplished over some of the most rugged and inhospitable country in North America.  A list of their adversaries – Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Victorio, Lone Wolf, Billy the Kid, and Poncho Villa – reads like a “Who’s Who” of the American West.  Lesser known, but equally important, the Buffalo Soldiers explored and mapped vast territory, are of the southwest and strung hundreds of miles of telegraph lines.  They built and repaired frontier outposts around which future towns and cities sprung to life.

 

The black soldiers known as “Buffalo Soldiers” were organized and served in the United States military during perhaps the most volatile period in the history of America, the post–Civil War era. Often the victims of racial discrimination, the Buffalo Soldiers conducted themselves with dignity and honor. Their efforts during peacetime, as well as during conflicts such as the Indian Wars and the Spanish American War, clearly established that blacks were capable soldiers, and thus aided in the desegregation of the armed forces.

National Association was established by Veterans that served with the original separate units that became known as the Buffalo Soldiers in 1966. (501C3)

 

CAMP LOCKETT 

Camp Lockett was named in honor of Colonel James R. Lockett. In 1940, under President Roosevelt, the United States began preparation for war.  It was the last U.S. Cavalry post built to protect the America/Mexico border during WWII.  The 10th Cavalry Regiment was transferred to occupy and patrol on horseback from Calexico to Otay Lakes in Chula Vista, California.  These Buffalo Soldiers were the last horse soldier units to dismount, ending a long-distinguished era of the horse soldiers in American History used to defend our nation from its enemies.  The Army’s decision to deploy the cavalry along the United States-Mexico border.  This plan was vital to San Diego.  This was also in preparation to stop an invasion that military strategists feared might come through Mexico.  The U.S. military between 1941 and 1945 protect the border in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II.   Without the protection provided by the 10th Cavalry, crews building the ever-expanding railroads were at the mercy of outlaws and hostile Indians, the Buffalo Soldiers consistently received some of the worst assignments of the Army had to offer.  The also faced fierce prejudice in both the colors of the Union uniforms and their skin by many of the citizens of the post-war frontier towns.  Despite this, the troopers of the 9th & 10th Cavalry developed into two of the most distinguished fighting units in the U.S. Army.

 

Over 180,000 African Americans served in the Union Army during the Civil War.  Of these, more than 33,000 died.  After the war, the future of African-Americans in the U.S. Army was in doubt.