After the Civil War, a battalion of African-American soldiers known as the Buffalo Soldiers served in the American West. An examination of their past reveals the struggles and achievements of African Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century.
There are two possible explanations for why Native American tribes gave them the moniker “Buffalo Soldiers”: their hair resembled the curly coat of buffalo, therefore the name stuck, or their strong fighting spirit was like that of the buffalo. These men and women served as part of the U.S. Army’s push westward and were instrumental in bringing order to the frontier.
They fought in wars with Native American tribes and escorted settlers and stagecoaches. Despite being subjected to racism and segregation both on the battlefield and off, the Buffalo Soldiers became heroes for their bravery, discipline, and commitment to the cause.
In fact, they stayed in until after both the Spanish-American and World Wars were over. The Buffalo Soldiers’ story serves as an inspiring reminder of the vital role that African Americans played in securing the West and the United States as a whole.