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Buffalo Soldier History

The U.S. congress authorized the establishment of six, segregated NEGRO REGIMENTS, on July 28, 1866. They recognized the military merits of African Americans by creating two cavalry and four infantry regiments.


In 1869, Congress enacted a troop reduction; the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry Regiments were consolidated into the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments. Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry and 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments were called BUFFALO SOLDIERS by the American Indians. Some say this was because of the tenacity with which they fought, and others say it was because the texture of their hair reminded them of the buffalo.


Buffalo Soldiers units were located in Arizona, Colorado, the Dakotas, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.


Settlement of the American West

During the period of the Indian Wars, the Buffalo Soldiers fought against the Cheyenne, Apache, Kiowa, Ute, Comanche and Sioux Native American Tribes.


Other duties included patrolling the borders, protecting transportation routes, pursuing outlaws, installing telegraph lines, and delivering the mail longer than the Pony Express.


The Buffalo Soldiers Regiments served with distinction and dedication during the Indian Wars, settling of the west, and Spanish American War that helped to lead to the integration of the U.S. military by Executive Order No. 9981 on July 26, 1948.


Medal of Honor Recipients

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. The deed performed is one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life.


Below are the 23 Buffalo Soldiers Medal of Honor recipients:

  • Sergeant Major Edward Baker 10th Cavalry

  • Private Dennis Bell 10th Cavalry

  • Sergeant Thomas Boyne (1849-1896) 9th Cavalry

  • Sergeant Benjamin Brown 9th Cavalry

  • Sergeant John Denny (1846-1901) 9th Cavalry

  • Private Pompey Factor (1849-1928) Indian Scout

  • Corporal Clinton Greaves (1855-1906) 9th Cavalry

  • Sergeant Henry Johnson 9th Cavalry

  • Sergeant George Jordan (1847-1904) 9th Cavalry

  • Private Lee Fitz 10th Cavalry

  • Corporal Isaiah Mays (1858-1925) 24th Infantry

  • Sergeant William McBryar (1861-1941) 10th Cavalry

  • Private Isaac Payne (1854-1904) Indian Scout

  • Private Adam Payne (1843-1877) Indian Scout

  • Sergeant Thomas Shaw (1856-1895) 9th Cavalry

  • Sergeant Emanuel Stance (1847-1887) 9th Cavalry

  • Corporal William H. Thompkins 10th Cavalry

  • Private Augustus Walley (1856-1938) 9th Cavalry

  • Private George H. Wanton M Troop/10th Cavalry

  • Sergeant John Ward (1847-1911) Indian Scout

  • First Sergeant Moses Williams (1849-1899) 9th Cavalry

  • Corporal William Othello Wilson (1867-1928) 9th Cavalry

  • Sergeant Brent Woods 9th Cavalry

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