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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: Harlem Hellfighters
In Response To: Re: Harlem Hellfighters ()

Bennie et al.

I will defer this one to Mr. Anthony Powell. He is probably the most knowledgeable person I can think of on the specifics. In my mind, I link the Buffalo Soldiers with the Indian Wars-not only the 9th and 10th Cavalry, but the 24th and 25th Infantry, who were consolidated from the 38th-39th-40th and 41st Infantry as well.

After the end of the Civil War, the Regular Army was reorganized, and six regiments of Black troops were formed. Remember the Army was still segregated for almost another hundred years. Two of cavalry and four of infantry (9-10 Cav, 38-41st Inf.) For several reasons, the infantry were consolidated into two regiments. What many people don't realize is how scattered they were, and how few men of any given company or regiment might be at a particular fort or post. Regardless of the movies, and other media hype, they were not anywhere in large numbers. But they manned, at various times virtually every outpost in the West-at least for short periods of time.

I won't go into the details of the "Indian Wars"-but for all intents and purposes they were over about 10 years before the Spanish American War. Mr. Powell is the person who can really address the issue of Black troops in the Phillipines, the Boxer Rebellion and the Spanish-American War. How anyone defines the "end" of usage of the term Buffalo Soldiers, I will leave to Mr. Powell and others who have studied this for many years.

Bennie has many excellent resources on his site-Lest We Forget, as does Mr. Powell, on his site-Portraits in Black. I respect and honor both of them for their vast knowledge of Black Military service. There are others, as well, but I wouldn't use their names without permission.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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