Shortly after the Civil War, Congress authorized the formation of the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st Infantry Regiments: Six African-American peacetime units. Later the four infantry regiments were merged into the 24th and 25th Infantries. At least 18 Medals of Honor were presented to Buffalo Soldiers during the Western Campaigns. Similarly, 23 African-Americans received The Nation's Highest Military Award during the Civil War. African-Americans have fought in military conflicts since colonial days. The Buffalo Soldiers comprised of former slaves, free men and Black Civil War Veterans were the first to serve during peacetime.
The Westward movement had begun, prominent among those blazing treacherous trails of the Wild West were the Buffalo Soldiers of the U.S. Army. These African-Americans were charged with and responsible for escorting settlers, cattle herds, and railroad crews. The 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments also conducted campaigns against Native American Tribes on the western frontier that extended from Montana in the Northwest to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in the Southwest. Throughout the era of the Indian Wars, approximately twenty percent of the United Sates Cavalry troopers were African Americans, and they fought in over 177 campaigns. Their combat prowess, bravery, tenaciousness, and looks on the battlefield, inspired the Indians to call them "Buffalo Soldiers." Many Indians believe the name symbolized the Native American's respect for the Buffalo Soldiers bravery and valor. Buffalo Soldiers down through the years, have worn the name with pride.
Much has changed since the days of the Buffalo Soldiers, including the integration of all military servicemen and women. However, the stories of the Buffalo Soldiers remain one of unsurpassed courage and patriotism, and will be forever a significant part of the history of The United States.