Texas Buffalo Soldiers
"We can, we will"
Motto of the Ninth U.S. Cavalry
This is a lasting tribute to the Black Soldiers of the 9th & 10th U.S. Cavalry and the 24th & 25th U.S. Infantry Regiments for their Outstanding Acts of Valor during the Indian Wars Campaign.
The Texas Buffalo Soldier program offers a variety of educational opportunities and resources. We share the story of the Buffalo Soldier, the people they encounter on the Texas Frontier as well as offer hands-on learning experiences. We also offer interpretive exhibits and curriculum for schools. Our goal is to not only share history, but Our Story.
Texas Buffalo Soldiers Program
We share the story of the Ninth Cavalry and Twenty-fourth Infantry "Buffalo Soldiers," Vaqueros, Black Cowboys, Frontier Women, Native Americans, and the many other immigrant communities that became part of nineteenth-century Texas. This program ranges from the classroom to the auditorium and from young to old. We bring their history to life through storytelling, authentic costumes, and objects.
Blazing New Trails Program
These programs emphasize outdoor skills and instruction with historical and cultural connections. We do this in order to connect youth and non-traditional park audiences with our State Parks. At a Blazing New Trails program, participants can learn about such activities as animal tracking, cane pole fishing, frontier cooking, and even how to saddle a horse (Yes, you can ride a horse at some State Parks). The goal of this program is to bring as much of the Park experience to you as possible. Below is a list of activities we offer:
Hands-on Programs offered for Blazing New Trails
- Hook'd on the Frontier
- Frontier Cooking
- Frontier Games
- Navigating on the Frontier
- Animal Trackin'
- Boots 'n Saddles
- Native American Skills
- A Soldier and His Gear
Exploring Texas Roots Program
Are you a teacher or community leader interested in educating your students or patrons more about the Buffalo Soldiers? We offer a portable exhibit and curriculum (forthcoming) that tells the story of the Buffalo Soldiers through dynamic museum-quality story panels and TEKS-related curriculum. Our exhibit can include costumed figures and object trucks if you are interested. Please contact us about setting up an exhibit for your group.
For more details about schedules, plans and updates or if you are interested in programs in your area that are not listed, contact Headquarters by e-mailing Sgt. Luis Padilla or calling (512) 389-8569.
Who are the Buffalo Soldiers
In 1867, soon after the Civil War, Congress organized the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry and the Twenty-Fourth and Twenty-Fifth Infantry Regiments for service on the western frontier. Although black slaves and freedmen had served as volunteers in previous conflicts, they were not allowed to serve in times of peace. This was the first time they served as citizens and professional soldiers in the peace-time Army.
Buffalo soldiers were stationed at frontier military posts from Texas to the Dakota territories to help with the westward expansion of the United States. In addition to the protection they offered, they helped build roads, telegraph lines, and the forts they served at. They even became some of the first Park Rangers in our National Parks. In later years, Buffalo Soldiers served in the Spanish-American War as well as both World Wars.
But why are they known as the Buffalo Soldiers? They were known by many different names, many derogatory, but "Buffalo Soldier" was the name that remained. There were many different stories of its origins, but the most common was because of the black soldier's hair. When Native Americans first encountered the Tenth Cavalry in the 1870s, they noticed the similarities between the hair of the black soldier and that of the bison and slowly the name came to represent all black American servicemen.
Separating units by race came to an end in 1948 under President Truman. Today, men and women of all races who serve in those historic regiments view "Buffalo Soldier" as a badge of honor for the strength, courage, and determination they display in service to their country.
For more information on the Texas Buffalo Soldiers, we suggest you visit the State and National Historical Sites and landmarks around the state.
Map of Texas Fort Locations