Buffalo Soldiers were members of an
all-black regiment in the U.S. Army. The 10th Cavalry was formed on September 21, 1866 at
Photo courtesy U.S. Army
The United States Congress authorized the formation of several African American regular
Army regiments in 1866. The first one, the 9th Cavalry, was constituted July 28, 1866 in Louisiana. A short time later, the 10th Cavalry was formed at Fort Leavenworth September 21, 1866.
The 10th Cavalry Regiment was under the command of Brevet Major General Benjamin H. Grierson, famous for his Civil War cavalry exploits. The 10th, along with the 9th Cavalry, 24th Infantry and 25th Infantry, formed the first all-black regular regiments in the United States Army. The name eventually spread to signify all four of the African-American regiments in frontier service.
Almost immediately the 10th
was engaged in campaigning in western
The troopers quickly earned a reputation for their orderly conduct, fighting ability and determination to follow orders. Their courage under fire was commonly noted and their desertion rate was among the lowest in the Army.
The black soldiers gained respect amongst their opponents who labeled them as "Buffalo Soldiers." Taking pride in their new name the 10th Cavalry adopted the buffalo on their regimental crest, as did the 92nd Infantry Division.
The Buffalo Solders left
A little known fact about
the 10th Cavalry is they fought alongside Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough
Learning how to dismount. Photo courtesy U.S. Army
The regiment served in a
series of posts in the
On July 1, 1909, the Army formed the Command and General
Staff School Support Detachment, Colored, which became the 10th Cavalry (minus
the 2nd Squadron and the Machine Gun section) Oct. 12, 1931. From 1931 to 1940, the 1st Squadron of the
10th Cavalry served at
The 10th Cavalry joined Gen. John J. Pershing's punitive
Horse training at Ft. Leavenworth. Photo courtesy U.S. Army
Source: Robert Kerr and garrison.leavenworth.army.mil/sites/about/Buffalo.aspWHERE DID THE NAME COME FROM? Writer Walter Hill attributed the origin of the name to the Comanche. Some sources assert that the nickname was given out of respect for the fierce fighting ability of the 10th cavalry. Other sources assert that Native Americans called the black cavalry troops "buffalo soldiers" because of their dark curly hair, which resembled a buffalo's coat. The term Buffalo Soldiers became a generic term for all African-American soldiers. It is now used for U.S. Army units that trace their direct lineage back to the 9th and 10th Cavalry, units whose service earned them an honored place in U.S. history.
POINTS OF INTEREST ABOUT BUFFALO SOLDIER SITES IN KANSAS
Buffalo Soldier Monument, Ft. Leavenworth. Photo courtesy Leavenworth CVB
Circle of Firsts and
Walkway of Units. The Circle of Firsts,
located in the
Charles Young Reading
Room. The Charles Young Reading Room is
on the second floor of Combined Arms Research Library. The room is dedicated to the study of Buffalo
Soldiers. Young graduated from the U.S.
Military Academy at
Other related points of interest at Fort Leavenworth: 10th Cavalry Barracks and Stables, Gruber Gymnasium, Main Parade Field, West End Parade Field, Fort Sully, Camp Lincoln.
Click here to learn more
about the Fort Leavenworth Wayside Tour.
Call 913.684.1724 for a brochure about the attractions above.