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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: Name origins
In Response To: Name origins ()

I thought I'd take a look at Accessible Archives concerning the topic, and though I did not find specific references to the term Buffalo Soldier, I did find an interesting item that reveals a little of how African American soldiers and Native American fighters viewed each other.

The item is from the Christian Recorder newspaper, in Philadelphia, which regularly printed letters from Henry Carpenter, an African American cavalryman at Fort Hays, Kansas.

The letter reads, in part:

"I will now let you know something concerning the courage of the colored regulars in Kansas. A few months ago you could not convince a ranchman that there was any fight in colored troops. It is different now. I have not seen a single frontiersman who has seen the dusky patriots go for the Indians. Why, quoth one of them, but it is loud in their praise, plague gone my cats if they don't like it. They have come to regard the black soldier with holy horror. A body of them lately attacked Wilson Creek Station; each time there were a few colored troops there. A few days since the savages made a third attack evidently under the impression that the dangerous darkies had left; there was indeed a small squad of colored soldiers, under the command of a colored sergeant, present, but they had nerve, and showed it. As soon as the Indians were observed in the distance the sergeant led his men away from the station by the ravine, near which the Indians would pass if they intended to attack the station. As soon as the red skins came sufficiently near to be within easy range, the black skins rose and opened a rapid fire from their breechloaders, the Indians turned and fled, shouting nigger, nigger, nigger, and ignominiously abandoned the field." ("Letter From Kansas," The Christian Recorder, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
November 16, 1867)

This is from Accessible Archives, www.accessible,com. The letter also describes guarding the Irish railroad workers as they extended the line, and it describes relatively cordial relations between the African American company and a company of white cavalry.

I'll see what else I can find.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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