Buffalo Soldiers

Last modified: 
Thursday, February 12, 2009

Buffalo Soldiers was a nickname given to the first black cavalry regiments of the United States Army by the Native American tribes of the West. Learn more about this often-forgotten chapter of American History in these nonfiction books for adults and kids.

Related event:
"The Legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers" – Feb. 22

Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldier Regiment: History of the Twenty-Fifth United States Infantry, 1869-1926
By John H. Nankivell
Buffalo Soldier Regiment offers a detailed record of the service, exploits, travels, and traditions of one of the black infantry regiments, the "grand old Twenty-fifth." Drawing on a wealth of official records, reports, and personal recollections, this book reconstructs the experiences of the Twenty-fifth Regiment from its formation in 1869 through its service in the border town of Nogales, Arizona, in 1926.

Black Valor: Buffalo Soldiers and the Medal of Honor, 1870-1898
By Frank N. Schubert
They were U.S. Army soldiers. Just a few years earlier, some had been slaves. Several thousand African Americans served as soldiers in the Indian Wars and in the Cuban campaign of the Spanish-American War in the latter part of the 19th century. They were known as Buffalo Soldiers. Twenty-three of these men won the nation's highest award for personal bravery, the Medal of Honor. Black Valor brings the lives of these soldiers into sharp focus. Their remarkable stories are told in the collected biography. Derived from extensive historical research, Black Valor will enrich and inspire with its tales of trials and courage.

Cathy Williams: From Slave to Female Buffalo Soldier
By Phillip Thomas Tucker
Few Americans today, black or white, know about the incredible life of Cathy Williams. From her beginnings as a slave in Independence, Missouri, to her enlistment with Company A, 38th U.S. Infantry, in November 1866, the story of this remarkable woman deserves to finally be told. By disguising herself as a man and assuming the name William Cathay, Williams became a "Buffalo soldier," serving in one of the six black units formed following the Civil War. Her story tells us much about prevailing attitudes toward both race and gender in post-Civil War America.

On The Trail of the Buffalo Soldier: Biographies of African Americans in the U.S. Army, 1866-1917
Compiled and edited by Frank N. Schubert
On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier presents carefully documented biographical information on thousands of black servicemen. It gives the researcher not only glimpses of individual lives, but also documentation of the variety of African-American experiences within and outside the army.

For kids

The Buffalo Soldiers book jacket

The Buffalo Soldiers
By TaRessa Stovall
This book provides an account of the stirring achievements of the black U.S. Army regiments that distinguished themselves during numerous campaigns and played a vital role in the settlement of the American West.

Buffalo Soldiers
By Catherine Reef
Recounts the deeds of the 9th and 10th Cavalry, comprised of African American soldiers who kept peace between Indians and settlers on the western frontier, fought in the Spanish-American War, and pursued the outlaw Pancho Villa through Mexico.

The Buffalo Soldiers
By Tracy Barnett
The American West was an exciting time in our history. Meet the Buffalo Soldiers in this book, part of a 15-volume series.

Black Frontiers: A History of African American Heroes in the Old West
By Lillian Schlissel
From an informative text by expert Lillian Schlissel, young readers can learn about amazing contributions that African Americans made to the settling of the Old West, and see vintage photos of black Americans both at work and at home

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.