Buffalo Soldiers

buffalo soldiers, name given to the African-American U.S. army regiments commissioned by Congress to patrol the American West after the Civil War. Consisting of two infantry and two cavalry regiments, they were the first such units chartered in peacetime. The troops, which formed one fifth of the army's forces in the West, served as guards for pioneer wagon trains and helped in the development of Western towns. Still known as buffalo soldiers, the all-black regiments distinguished themselves in the Spanish-American War and World War II. They continued in army service until the U.S. armed forces were integrated in 1952. Largely unsung until the late 20th cent., they were memorialized in a 1994 bronze monument at Fort Leavenworth, Kans.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Ferment on the Frontier: The Story of the Buffalo Soldiers
Branson, Branley Allan; Branson, Mary Lou.
The World and I, Vol. 13, No. 2, February 1998
Buffalo Soldier Regiment: History of the Twenty-Fifth United States Infantry, 1869-1926
John H. Nankivell.
University of Nebraska Press, 2001
Hidden Heroism: Black Soldiers in America's Wars
Robert B. Edgerton.
Westview Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Buffalo Soldiers begins on p. 41
Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young
Brian G. Shellum.
University of Nebraska Press, 2010
In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, 1528-1990
Quintard Taylor.
W. W. Norton, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Buffalo Soldiers in the West, 1866-1917"
The Buffalo Soldier Tragedy of 1877
Paul H. Carlson.
Texas A & M University Press, 2003
Black Soldiers, White Wars: Black Warriors from Antiquity to the Present
William E. Alt; Betty L. Alt.
Praeger, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Go West, Young Man, Go West!"
What They Didn't Teach You about the Wild West
Mike Wright.
Presidio Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Nine "America's Black West: Buffalo Soldiers and Maroons"
Blacks in the West
W. Sherman Savage.
Greenwood Press, 1977
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Blacks in the Military"
The Texas Military Experience: From the Texas Revolution through World War II
Joseph G. Dawson III.
Texas A&M University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Black Regulars on the Texas Frontier, 1866-85"
Respite from War: Buffalo Soldiers at Vancouver Barracks, 1899-1900
Shine, Gregory Paynter.
Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 107, No. 2, Summer 2006
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