Buffalo Soldiers Day on July 28th commemorates the formation of the first regular Army regiments comprising African American soldiers in 1866, seventeen months after the end of the Civil War. Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalries were frontier regiments that protected unsettled lands as pioneers moved westward as they endured the hardships of the Wild West. They were recognized for their strong efforts during the Spanish-American War and other engagements in the late 1800s. During World War I, each unit received stateside assignments, with some exceptions. Neither unit saw action during World War II. In 1944, the Army activated both regiments and transferred service members to other units, as integration in the military began.
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress