Buffalo Soldiers Day Celebrates Service, Dedication of Black Soldiers
On July 28th, Buffalo Soldiers Day commemorates the first regular Army regiments comprised of African American soldiers.
After the Civil War, Congress established the first all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army. Buffalo Soldiers (one of many African-American regiments raised during the Civil War) were the first to be formed.
Frontier regiments, the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalries, protected unsettled lands as pioneers moved west. They also had to deal with the hardships of the Wild West. As a result, army desertion rates remained high during and after the Civil War. Low rates prevailed, however, among Buffalo Soldiers. During the Spanish-American War and other engagements during the late 1800s, they were also noted for their dedication and commitment.
With some exceptions, each unit received stateside assignments during World War I. Neither regiment saw action during World War II. In 1944, the Army activated both regiments and transferred their service members to other units, as integration began in the military.
General Colin Powell dedicated a monument to the Buffalo Soldiers on Buffalo Soldiers Day in 1992. The 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers were based at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Houston, Texas is home to the Buffalo Soldier Museum.
The oldest living Buffalo Soldier died on September 6, 2005. Matthews lived to the age of 111. Dedicated to his service, he was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
I've seen the Buffalo Soldiers Austin Chapter at events and Buffalo Soldiers MC in Killeen. Big Shout out to them for keeping the traditions and memories alive.
If you ever get a chance, I recommend going see the Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Houston.