Urban American Outdoors was invited to the Black History Month’s celebration honoring of the remaining Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The event took place Thursday, February 27, 2009 starting off with the National Anthem, followed by The Negro National Anthem and the reading of the Proclamation by President Barack Obama. The main guest of honor was Buffalo Soldier James Madison who had a long and distinguished career in the military. There were many in attendance who came to pay homage from the enlisted to officers, to young people, who for the first time got the opportunity to meet a real Buffalo Soldier. All came to give thanks to a fellow who had served his country well. Wayne Hubbard said, “I was very happy to meet the Buffalo Soldiers and some of our military men and women who serve and protect us .
The history of the Buffalo Soldiers began in 1866 after the Civil War with an act of Congress which authorized the creation of six all African American Army units. These units were the 9th, 10th, 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st infantry regiments. Later four of the regiments were merged into the 24th and 25th infantries. Even though African Americans had fought in past military battles, these men were the first Black professional soldiers who were formed during peacetime and may even be considered the original homeland security. These soldiers came from various backgrounds. Some were former slaves, some were freemen, and others were soldiers from the Civil war. They were considered to be some of the most impressive regiments of their time.
Their mission was to escort and protect settlers, cattle herds, and railroad crews. They fought Mexican revolutionaries, outlaws, rustlers and comercheros. Many times when people were looking for the Calvary to help or rescue them it was the Buffalo Soldiers who would show up. Often in History books in the telling of the westward expansion, stories about the experience of the African American were excluded. The Buffalo Soldier assignments were often in the areas of the harshest and most desolate areas of uncharted places. They had to explore and map the Southwest and establish future towns and outposts. These soldiers fought over 117 engagements during the Indian Wars and were so unstoppable; the Cheyenne warriors actually gave the men the name “Wild Buffalo” out of respect of their fierce and brave combat ability. The name became a name of honor and was used for all the African American Soldiers in those regiments.
The Buffalo Soldiers fought in many other campaigns’ such as the Spanish American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Expedition, World War I and World War II. The Buffalo Soldier Monument in Fort Leavenworth Kansas was dedicated by General Colin L. Powell. The Buffalo Soldiers were defenders of our nation from 1866 to 1945 and today their numbers are dwindling so it is an honor to give honor to these great men.