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The legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers. 10 th Cav. Montana. Who were the Buffalo Soldiers?. “Buffalo Soldiers” A letter in 1872 references black troops as “buffalo soldiers” Named out of respect for the “Courage of the buffalo”. History of the Buffalo Soldiers. 1792

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The legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers

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The legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers


10th Cav. Montana


Who were the Buffalo Soldiers?

  • “Buffalo Soldiers”

    • A letter in 1872 references black troops as “buffalo soldiers”

    • Named out of respect for the “Courage of the buffalo”


History of the Buffalo Soldiers

  • 1792

    • Federal Law barred blacks from bearing arms for the US Army

  • 1863

    • Emancipation Proclamation

    • Government established the Bureau of Colored Troops

    • General Order 233

      • Threatened against mistreatment of black troops by Confederate POWs

  • 1866

    • Congress passed a law creating the all black 9th & 10th Cavalry regiments


U.S. Army Recruitment Poster


WWI

Recruitment Poster


9th Cav., Pine ridge, S.D.


Buffalo Soldiers Statistics

  • By the end of the Civil War

    • 179,000 black men (10% of the army)

    • 19,000 served in the Navy

    • ~40,000 black soldiers died

  • During the Indian Wars;

    • 20% of the Calvary troops were black

    • Fought in over 177 engagements

  • In early 1890s Buffalo Soldiers earned $13 a month


Buffalo Soldier Campaigns

  • Western Frontier

    • Movement of Native Americans

    • Settlement of the frontier

    • Indian Wars

  • Spanish-American War

  • Philippine American War

  • Military Campaign to capture Pancho Villa

  • Resource Protection of the National Parks

  • WWI


Troops in Tampa-Spanish American War


Black Settlement of the West

  • By 1890, at least half a million blacks lived in TX and OK.

  • After the Homestead Act of 1862 many blacks moved to KS, NE and the territories of Colorado, Oklahoma and Utah

    • African American towns communities formed in Kansas and Oklahoma

    • Local officials were elected in the towns


24th Infantry on Patrol at Yosemite, 1898


Discrimination in the West

  • Jim Crow laws were in effect

    • Even for soliders

  • African American troops continued to be segregated on posts located in the United States, Hawaii, and the Philippines.

    • Most were relegated to labor and service battalions

    • In 1941 there were only five Black officers in the regular army


Buffalo Soldier Sites on the Presidio


Medal of Honor

  • 23 African Americans earned the MOH during the Civil War

    • 18 Buffalo Soldiers during the Western campaigns

    • Including several Seminole Negros

    • awarded to troops for service in

  • the Spanish American War


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