African American soldiers wishing to remain in the United States Army following the Civil War were organized eventually into the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry regiments. Their service during the conflict with the American Indians of the Great Plains proved invaluable, but went unpraised until recent times.
Called many names, most of them derogatory, the soldiers of these two regiments were dubbed "Buffalo Soldiers." Men of both regiments were proud of the title and the 10th prominently featured a figure of a buffalo on its regimental crest. Between 1867 and 1891, the conclusion of Sioux Indian troubles and the fight of the Drexel Mission in South Dakota, the Ninth and Tenth operated out of Forts Riley and Leavenworth as well as Forts Hays, Larned and Dodge. They had fought on the plains of Kansas and in Indian territory, in the vast expanse of West Texas, along the Rio Grande and in Mexico, in the desert and mountains of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and finally in the rugged grandeur of the Dakotas.
Their labors were not limited to the battlefield. They built or renovated dozens of posts, strung thousands of miles of wire and escorted stages, trains, cattle herds, railroad crews and surveying parties. Their scouts and patrols opened new roads and mapped vast areas of uncharted country. The record of the Ninth and 10th speaks for itself.
These sites provide more on the history of Buffalo Soldiers:
- Buffalo Soldier Monument and Circle of Firsts, Fort Leavenworth
- Richard Allen Cultural Center and Museum, Leavenworth
Entry: Buffalo Soldiers
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: June 2003
Date Modified: February 2017
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.