Black men have been on duty selflessly since the formation of the United States. Crispus Attucks is widely sighted as the first casualty of the Boston Massacre (1770) and the subsequent American Revolution. Devotion continued through the civil war. At that time the men of color were referred to as The U.S. Colored Troops. More than 180,000 fought for the Union and more than 3,000 died.
The Buffalo Soldiers were the men of the United States Army 9th and 10th cavalry regiment. For decades they contributed mightily to the infrastructure of the emerging American West. Their name was awarded by their adversaries, the indigenous Americans whom they were tasked with marching West. The native people honored the buffalo. It’s strength and tenacity were pillars of their plight. The name was an honor and even though the two groups were put against each other by the American government a mutual respect existed.
The Buffalo Soldiers were more often than not stationed in remote outposts. They served under the worst conditions walking and riding horseback to most of their government assignments. Resources were scarce, prejudice was real, and the soldiers were cut off from civilization. Their bond grew stronger. They continued to serve fearlessly.
The Buffalo Soldiers were the first line of defense in the Wild West. They personally saw to it that areas were safe for settlement clearly land and hunting animals. The men built roads, forts, guarded mail, stagecoaches and so much more. Chaplins often served as educators when there was downtown.
Shoutout to the unsung heroes of the western frontier.