Buffalo Soldiers

Topics: Buffalo Soldier, 10th Cavalry Regiment, John J. Pershing Pages: 3 (1102 words) Published: April 15, 2012
The Buffalo Soldiers were African American soldiers who served in the United States Army after the Civil War. They were the first African Americans to serve in a peacetime army. They mostly served in the Western territories of the United States where they escorted settlers and worked to protect and help railroad crews and cattle herders. They were organized into all-black regiments with white commanding officers. These men were eager to sign up because the Army offered them a chance to better themselves both economically and socially. The soldiers were paid thirteen dollars a month, they were given a place to live, and were given food and clothing, so this was considered a golden opportunity for these men (Rand). Nearly sixteen months after the end of the Civil War, Section 3 of an Act of Congress entitled "An Act to increase and fix the Military Peace Establishment of the United States" authorized the formation of two regiments of cavalry composed of "colored" men. The act was approved in July of 1866. In September of 1866, the 9th Cavalry Regiment was activated at Greenville, Louisiana, and the 10th Cavalry Regiment was activated at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. They were lead by Colonels Edward Hatch and Benjamin Grierson. (www.whc.net) For over twenty years, the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments fought 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 Nana. "Buffalo Soldiers" was the name given the black cavalrymen by the Plains Indians. The reason for the name is unknown to this day but one view of it is that the Indians saw a resemblance between the black man's hair and the mane of a buffalo and 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...
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