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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

Fort Lyon

Fort Lyon

Bent County, Colorado

During and after the Civil War, African American soldiers served in spite of extreme racial prejudice, and in some cases, violence at the hands of civilians and white soldiers. Yet, they served with distinction. Fort Lyon, active from 1868-1888, housed the 10th Cavalry, an early African American regiment, for battles against Indian tribes in the West. There, black troops first became nicknamed Buffalo Soldiers. The fort was an important staging point in the war against the Cheyenne. It housed both white and black troops until a fight in 1869, when the 10th Cavalry was relocated. The fort was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on May 5, 2004. Today, it is used by the State of Colorado as a minimum security prison.

Photo: Fort Lyon
– Courtesy Colorado Historic Preservation Office

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