This weekend in Houston, Texas, the army units known as the Buffalo Soldiers celebrated their 150th Anniversary. The Buffalo Soldiers, originally composed of former slaves and free men, were the first Black troops established during peacetime after the conclusion of the Civil War.
On July 28,1866, the U.S. Army was reorganized for peacetime service a year after the Civil War. Six regiments were established for Black soldiers and had various assignments. One of the functions of the 9th and 10th Calvary units were to aid in the assistance of travel westward. Along the way, the troops faced off with American Indians, who dubbed the fighters “Buffalo Soldiers” as a result of their fierce fighting style and the clothes they wore.
Over time, the term was applied to all Black Army units. Up until the Korean War, the nickname was applied to several different units. The last segregated unit of Buffalo Soldiers was established in 1951, according to historic records.
The celebration in Houston was a parade that concluded at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, the only one of its kind in the United States. Along with the history of the soldiers and the many accolades and medals the troops received, there is also an exhibit that honors Cathay Williams, the only woman to serve as a Buffalo Solider while pretending to be a man.
(Photo: Public Domain)