BSMC Fort Carson Colorado Buffalo Soldier History
BUFFALO SOLDIERS HISTORY
The 9th Cavalry was formed in New Orleans, Louisiana in August 3, 1866. By the orders of Gen Phillip Sheridan, it was authorized to raise one regiment of "colored" cavalry. The new recruits came from Louisville, Kentucky. They were ex-Civil War veterans. Enlistment was for 5 years, with recruits receiving 13 dollars a month, plus room, board, and clothing. They later were named "Buffalo Soldiers", motto: "We Can, We Will".
Shortly after the American Civil War on July 28th, 1866, provisions were made for the Negroes to serve in the regular peacetime army. Six regiments, 2 of Cavalry and 4 of infantry were authorized. For twenty- four years these regiments campaigned on the Great Plains along the Rio Grande, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and finally in the Dakotas. The Ninth (9th) and Tenth (10th) U.S. Cavalry Regiments duties included guarding the mail, escorting and / or guarding stage coaches, cattle drives, railroads crews and surveyors. They built roads and telegraph lines, mapped and explored. They played a major part in building the west and making it safe for the coming westward expansion.
In 1866, just one year after the end of the Civil War and less than seven months after the 13th Amendment was legislated, Congress had the need to reorganize the peacetime regular Army. The reorganization of the military resulted in four black infantry regiments (The 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st) and two segregated regiments of black cavalry (The 47th and 48th). The Units, composed of former slaves and Black Civil War Soldier, began the Legend of the BUFFALO SOLDIERS, the first African Americans to serve during peacetime. Buffalo Soldiers’ honorable service exceeded other regiments in the contemporary army in combat effectiveness, soldiery, and loyalty. The Ninth and Tenth Cavalry Regiments were destined to become the most decorated of all U.S. Military Regiments.
The nickname "BUFFALO SOLDIER" was originally given to the 10th Cavalry by Cheyenne Warriors out of respect for their fierce fighting in 1867. The Native-American term used was actually "Wild Buffaloes", which translated to "Buffalo Soldiers." In time, all African-American Soldiers became known as "Buffalo Soldiers." Despite second-class treatment these Soldiers made up first-rate regiments of the highest caliber and had the lowest desertion rate in the Army.