The Buffalo Soldier Story

The proud history of the 9th and 10th Cavalry.
Nearly sixteen months after the end of the Civil War, Section 3 of the Act of Congress entitled "An Act to increase and fix the Military Peace Establishment of the United States" authorized the formation of the two regiments of cavalry composed of "colored" men. The Act was approved on 28 July 1866. 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 competent leadership of Colonels Edward Hatch and Benjamin Grierson, first Regimental Commanders of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments,repectively, both regiments were trained and equipped and began a long and proud history.


battleFor over two decades, the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments conducted campaigns against American Indian tribes on a western frontier that extended from Montana in the Northwest to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in the Southwest. They engaged in several skirmishes against such great Indian Chiefs as Victorio, Geronimo, and Nan."Buffalo Soldiers" was the name given the black cavalrymen by the plains indians. Reason for the name is uncertain. One view is that the Indians saw a resemblance between the black man's hair and the mane of the buffalo. Another view is that when a buffalo was wounded or cornered, it fought ferociously, displaying unusual stamina and courage. This was the same fighting spirit Indians saw in combat with black cavalrymen. Since Indians held the buffalo in such high regard, it wasfelt that the name was not given in contempt.

decal When not engaged in combat with Native Americans, both regiments built forts and roads, installed telegraph lines, located water holes, escorted wagon trains and cattle drives, rode "shotgun" on stagecoach and mail runs and protected settlers from renegade Indians, outlaws, and Mexican revolutionaries. Elements of both regiments fought in Cuba during the War with Spain and participated in the famous charge on San Juan Hill. Troopers of the 10th Cavalry Regiments rode with General John J. Pershing during the punitive Expedition in Mexico in search of the outlaw Pancho Villa.
decalIn 1941, the two regiments formed the 4th Cavalry Brigade, commanded by General Benjamin O. Davis Sr., at camp Funston, Kansas. In 1944, the end came to the cavalry regiments and the curtain was lowered on the long and glorious past of the "Buffalo Soldiers". The 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association traces its begining to the year 1966 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Baltimore Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers Association hosted the 132nd Anniversary Reunion in Baltimore last July 27th thru August 2nd of 1998.

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