Buffalo Soldier Uniform Coat

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted: 9/3/2008

African American soldiers were allowed to enlist in the regular peacetime army of the United States for the first time at the end of the Civil War. Many of the new regulars had fought as United States Colored Troops during the war. By 1869, four African American regiments—the 9th and 10th Cavalry, the 24th and 25 Infantry—had been dispatched to the western frontier wars. Their duties were not limited to fighting Indians, who first called them "buffalo soldiers." In garrison, they drilled, stood guard, and maintained horses, barracks, weapons, and equipment. In the field, they patrolled harsh terrain in every extreme of weather, built or rebuilt army posts, strung telegraph wire, and escorted settlers, cattle herds, and railroad crews.