Buffalo Soldiers at War

Did you know African Americans fought in every American war since the Revolution? During the American Revolution, War of 1812, and the Civil War they formed volunteer units and were only allowed to serve during war. That all changed on July 28, 1866.

On July 28, 1866, Congress passed legislation that allowed African Americans to enlist in the regular army. This was the start of almost 90 years of service in the U.S. Army. Buffalo Soldiers fought in America’s wars from 1866 through the Korean War of the 1950s. Discover the role these men played during war at the links below.
Sepia photo of a group of African Americans in military uniforms of the late 1800s
Buffalo Soldiers 1860s to the 1890s

Discover the stories of the Buffalo Soldiers from 1866 through the 1890s

Color drawing of African American soldiers charging during battle in Cuba 1898
Buffalo Soldiers in Spanish American War

Nearly 3,000 soldiers from the 9th Cavalry, 10th Cavalry, 24th Infantry and 25th Infantry participated in the Spanish American War.

Black and white photo of nine men in two rows shoulder to shoulder wearing WW1 uniforms
Buffalo Soldiers in World War One

Discover the stories of some of the 350,000 African American men who fought in World War One.

Two african Americans stand with artillery shells smiling at camera. They are wearing WW2 uniforms.
Buffalo Soldiers in World War Two

Discover the stories of African Americans who served in the Army during World War Two

Black and white photo of 3 African American army soldiers in a machine gun emplacement.
Buffalo Soldiers in the Korean War

The Korean War (1950 to 1953) was the last conflict in which segregated units fought for the U.S. military.

Color photograph of gold star medal hanging from blue ribbon necklace
Medal of Honor Recipients

Since the 1860s there have been over 90 African Americans awarded the Medal of Honor. Follow this link to discover their stories.

Color painting of African Americans in Civil War uniform practicing musket drill
Before the Buffalo Soldiers

From the Revolution to the present day, African Americans have fought for the United States. Learn more about their contribution here.

Silhouettes of army soldiers carrying rifles marching in line behind an American flag
The Veterans Podcast

Watch new podcast episodes featuring WWII African American vets, Mr. Harold J. Warren, Jr. & former WAC 1st Lt. Vivian "Millie" Bailey.

Last updated: January 17, 2023

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