They helped tame the West.
Twelve of them earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.
And they were proud to be called "Buffalo Soldiers."
They were the black troops of the Ninth and Tenth U.S. Cavalry and the 24th and 25th U.S. Infantry. Comprised entirely of African-American soldiers these four regiments compiled a notable record of military accomplishments. In the late 19th Century, they patrolled the turbulent Western frontier from Arizona to Montana, and distinguished themselves in campaigns against the Apache, Cheyenne and Sioux.
The black soldiers were often ferocious and courageous in battle, even when outnumbered. Out of respect, it was the Cheyenne who first referred to these hard-fightingblack men in blue as "Buffalo Soldiers" - reportedly because their hair resembled that of the revered bison. To the Plains Indians, the buffalo was a symbol of strength and courage - characteristics easily identified with the black troops of the West.
Because the Buffalo was a sacred animal to the Indians the Cavalrymen accepted the title with great pride. Proudly adopted, the name became a highly respected American legacy.