Buffalo Soldiers are a Unique Part of US History

The Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry received the “Buffalo Soldiers” tag during the 1871 campaign against the Comanches in Indian Territory. Benjamin H. Grierson, Colonel, 10th Cavalry, 1867 to 1890, said the Comanches respected the soldiers tireless marching and dogged trail skills. Thus they earned the name of the rugged and revered buffalo.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the Buffalo Soldiers were a part of the American military forces when and where they were needed most. Buffalo Soldiers responded to every call made of them from Teddy Roosevelt’s campaigns with the Rough Riders to World War II.

Scholars of Afro-American history and Black military history question why these soldiers were fighting for a country that denied them opportunity and equality. Some say there was a “freedom” for these soldiers.

There are many stories of these brave soldiers who risked their lives for a country who oppressed their race. They are a part of the great military tradition in the US and distinct part of African American accomplishment in the US.

from The National Archives and Records Administration