Who Were the Buffalo Soldiers?
No one knows for certain why, but the soldiers of the all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments were dubbed “buffalo soldiers” by the Native Americans they encountered. Nonetheless, these were heroic men who fought heroic battles and changed the country as we know it.
One theory claims the nickname arose because the soldiers’ dark, curly hair resembled the fur of a buffalo. Another assumption is the soldiers fought so valiantly and fiercely that the Indians revered them as they did the mighty buffalo.
Whatever the reason, the name stuck, and African American regiments formed in 1866, including the 24th and 25th Infantry (which were consolidated from four regiments) became known as buffalo soldiers.
The 9th Cavalry Regiment
The mustering of the 9th Cavalry took place in New Orleans, Louisiana, in August and September of 1866. The soldiers spent the winter organizing and training until they were ordered to San Antonio, Texas, in April 1867. There they were joined by most of their officers and their commanding officer, Colonel Edward Hatch. To the memory of the Buffalo Soldiers, we salute you!