Buffalo Soldier by Sculptor Eddie Dixon

Buffalo Soldier by Sculptor Eddie Dixon

“Buffalo Soldier” the name given by the Indians because of their short curly hair and their courage and fortitude, much admired qualities of the buffalo. Kiowa Indians in western Kansas after encounters with Black soldiers of the 10th Cavalry Regiment in 1866, gave them their name. It was a compliment by the troops and the 10th Cavalry adopted a picture of the buffalo as its regiment’s crest.

Black cavalry and infantry troops known as buffalo soldiers were sent to the west to take part in the Indian wars and the protection of settlers at the end of the Civil War. In June 1862 the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry was organized by Kansas Senator.

In 1866 Congress authorized the formation of two new regiments of Black cavalry with the designations 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry, and four regiments of Black infantry, designated the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry Regiments (Colored). The 38th and 41st were later reorganized as the 25th Infantry Regiment, with headquarters in Jackson Barracks, Louisiana, in November 1869.

In August 1866 eight Black companies of the 125th Infantry marched to New Mexico and soon were serving at seven Army forts throughout the territory, most of them in southern New Mexico. In September 1867 they were replaced by six companies of Black troops from the newly organized 38th Infantry who had seen action earlier in the year against the Cheyenne Indians in Kansas.

These first buffalo soldiers to be stationed in frontier New Mexico also had many more menial responsibilities. They (as well as White soldiers) were responsible, in some cases for major construction and renovations at the forts where they were stationed and served as carpenters, plasterers, painters, and bricklayers. At Fort McCrae, for instance, Black soldiers built several new buildings, put a new roof on the hospital, and made 25,000 adobe bricks for new officers’ quarters, which they also built.

In the years 1879 and 1880 Black cavalrymen of the 9th Cavalry played a major role in the pursuit of the Apache leader Victorio. They engaged in numerous fights against the Apaches and at least twelve men were killed in action. Eight Black soldiers received the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery during this campaign.

Among their final duties in New Mexico was the closing and dismantling of Fort Selden in 1891 and Fort Stanton in 1896, an indication of the peaceable conditions now reigning in the territory. Here ended the role of the buffalo soldiers in New Mexico in the Indian Wars of the nineteenth century.

Here is the 1880 census extraction of Buffalo Soldiers, not a complete list.
The first group is of Fort Stanton in Lincoln County.

SurnameGiven NameAgeOccupationPlace BornFather BornMother Born
JamesIsaac31Gvt. teamsterNJDENJ
WilliamsGeorge34Gvt teamsterLALALA
CooperWilliam28Gvt teamsterLALALA
BurnsideJohn29Gvt teamsterGAKYKY
WilliamsFrank32Serg't USAMSMEME
WilliamsSarah26WifeKYKYKY
WilliamsLaura10daughterTXMSKY
WilliamsMattie7daughterTXMSKY
WilliamsFrancis1yrdaughterNMMSKY
JohnsonDaniel28Serg't USAVAVAVA
AldridgeJames31Soldier USAMDMDMD
AdamsLewis31Soldier USAMDMDMD
BrooksWilliams24Soldier USAVAVAVA
JonesThomas21Soldier USAMDMDMD
BlackOliver26Soldier USAMDMDMD
CornishSolomon27Soldier USAMDMDMD
JacksonRichard22Soldier USAVAVAVA
NickersonWilliam23Soldier USANCNCNC
HolmesCharles23Soldier USANJNJNJ
ReedJames26Soldier USAVAVAVA
WoodenJames22Soldier USAVAVAVA
WrightCharles22Soldier USAMNVAVA
GreenThomas26Soldier USARIRIRI
SpadyLewis27Soldier USAVAVAVA
AlexanderAlbert26Soldier USASCSCSC
NancWilliam31Soldier USANCNCNC
MorganJerry22Soldier USAALALAL
JonesThomas26Soldier USAVAVAVA
LyleGeorge28Soldier USAKYKYKY
KirkleySamuel31Soldier USASCSCSC
ConnerFranklin22Soldier USAPAPAPA
RussellJulius29Soldier USAWest IndiesW IndiesW Indies
CanddaAlbert27Soldier USAKYKYKY
JonesJames21Soldier USAPAPAPA
KeyJames27Soldier USAARMSMS
MooreGeorge22Soldier USAVAVAVA
CrossMonroe30Soldier USANCNCNC
Hillsboro-Dona Ana Co
WashingtonJeff24Co.M 9th CavBoil Co.,KYVAKY
BriscoeW.H.22Co C 9th CavWoodford Co KYNCKY
BushW H22Serg't Co C 9thCavAmherstberg CaKYKY
WashingtonGeorge41Co M 9th CavVAVAVA
WrightTom28Co M 9th CavKYKYKY
KenneyTom27Co M 9th CavKYKYKY
WashingtonWilliam23Co M 9th CavVAVAVA
CollinsWilliam23Co C 9th CavMDMDMD
BrooksIrving22Co C 9th CavMDMDMD
NumanFrank34Co C 9th CavWashington DCW-DCVA
BoltBenjamin38Co M 9th CavLaFayette INVAKY
SimmonsJoe31Co M 9th CavRaleigh NCVANC
SmithWilliam29Corp'l. Co M 9thCaKYKYKY
SmithJohn21Co M 9th CavChicago ILILIL
Santa Fe-Santa Fe Co
JohnsonAmos34Soldier USAMDMDMD
MarshallJoseph31Soldier USALAVALA
DoaneSamuel29Soldier USAKYKYKY
CampbellGeorge29Soldier USAMDMDMD
LeeWilliam25Soldier USAKYKYKY
LeeEdward25Soldier USAOHOHOH
WhiteJames B22Soldier USAVAVAVA
RobinsonAlexander27Soldier USAVAVAVA
StrongPatrick31Soldier USAALALAL
PhillipsMarshall34Soldier USAVAVAVA
AstburySamuel29Soldier USAPAPAPA
ReedRichard32Soldier USAMOKYKY
BoothA.H.23Soldier USASCSCSC
StambergNicholas28Soldier USAKYKYKY
NorrisStephen35Soldier USATNTNTN
Croft (wounded)Atwood34Soldier USASCSCSC
WiseJames29Soldier USAVAVAVA
CunninghamCharles33Soldier USAPAPAVA
Canada Alamosa-Socorro Co.
BrownOscar31Soldier USAVAVAVA
ButlerJohn William27Soldier USAMDMDMD
GwynGeorge34Soldier USAPAPAPA
Palomas-Socorro Co
CampbellThomas35Soldier USATNTNTN
McFemmickCharles31Soldier USATNTNTN

Contributed by Charles Barnum and Janet Wesson