The Buffalo Soldiers

The Buffalo Soldiers(1991?) The Buffalo Soldier Monument, dedicated at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1992, and the 1994  29-cent Buffalo Soldiers U. S. Postal Service commemorative stamp were belated acknowledge of the Buffalo Soldiers. This was the name given African-American soldiers by Native Americans. These soldiers, first authorized by Congress in 1866, served in segregated U. S. Army units until 1952. Frederic Remington, in the late 1880s, provided a few covers on the Buffalo Soldiers for Harper’s Weekly  in the late 1880s, but they was scant acknowledgement of the Buffalo Soldiers’ existence.
    In the Indian wars, Buffalo Soldiers, by one estimate, fought in 85 percent of the engagements with the Native Americans. It was Buffalo Soldiers who tracked and captured Geronimo. Buffalo Soldiers were awarded thirteen Congressional Medals of Honor for their valor in the West.
    This story is told in this fascinating documentary that utilizes a rare collection of Buffalo Soldier photographs. It gives the lie to the lily-white troops commanded by John Wayne in his numerous westerners. Indeed, which the press lauded Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders for taking San Juan Hill (actually it was Kettle Hill), much of the heavy fighting, as Roosevelt briefly acknowledged, was done by the Buffalo Soldiers. They were also with General Pershing’s expeditionary force in Mexico, where they performed with distinction.
    This documentary can only touch on some of the highlights of the Buffalo Soldiers. The issues of segregation and racial discrimination are the subject of Held in Trust: The Story of Lt. Henry O. Flipper (1996), which tells the story of the first African-American graduate from West Point. In 1877 Lt. Flipper was the first African-American officer assigned to the Buffalo Soldiers. He was subsequently framed on trumped up charges and dishonorably discharged. He was granted a posthumous honorable discharge in 1976.

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