The Buffalo Soldiers-After the Civil War, Congress passed a bill to establish a peacetime military, Provisions in this bill created six regiments of colored troops—

Four infantry (foot soldiers) and two cavalry (on horseback)—of about 1,000 men each. The troops were placed under the command of Colonels Benjamin Grierson and Edward Hatch. African Americans from the North and South, many of them freed slaves, enlisted in what were organized as the 9th and 10th Cavalries. The Buffalo Soldiers served at Wounded Knee and with Teddy Roosevelt in Cuba, battled Crazy Horse, helped capture Geronimo and Billy the Kid and strung telegraph lines across the West.

First Photo-Buffalo Soldiers of Company D, 8th Illinois Volunteer Regiment, 1899.

Second Photo: Taken at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, of non-commissioned officers from the United States Army’s 9th Cavalry Regiment. Standing, left to right: Sergeant James Wilson, I Troop; First Sergeant David Badie, B Troop; Sergeant Thomas Shaw, K Troop; First Sergeant Nathan Fletcher, F Troop.

Seated, left to right: Chief Trumpeter Stephen Taylor; Sergeant Edward McKenzie, I Troop; Sergeant Robert Burley, D Troop; Sergeant Zekiel Sykes, B Troop.