Buffalo Soldiers Day

Commemorated on July 28th, Buffalo Soldiers Day is a holiday that honors the formation of the first regular U.S. Army regiments composed of African-American soldiers back in 1866. The Buffalo Soldiers were just one of many African-American regiments raised to fight for the North during the American Civil War and served on the western frontier. Their main job was to control Native American populations on the Great Plains, protect settlers from attacks, and capture thieves and cattle rustlers.

The History of Buffalo Soldiers Day

Buffalo Soldiers Day was created by the U.S. Congress in 1992. They designated July 28th as the day to commemorate and honor the U.S. Army regiments of the 9th, 10th, 24th, 25th, and the Second 38th Infantry Regiments.

The History of Buffalo Soldiers

The Buffalo Soldiers were six all-black cavalry and infantry regiments created after the United States Congress passed the Army Organization Act. The main purpose of these regiments was to control the movement of Native Americans on the Great Plains and protect settlers from thieves, but they also were used to capture cattle rustlers and protect railroad crews, wagon trains, and stagecoaches on the western front of the U.S.

The term “Buffalo Soldiers” came from Native Americans who gave them this nickname when they met them. One of the reasons people believe they were given this name is because these soldiers fought as fiercely and bravely as the buffalo that roamed the plains. No matter why they were given this name, however, it stuck, and people all over began to know these units as Buffalo Soldiers.

Even though black soldiers have fought in military conflicts since colonial days, Buffalo Soldiers were the first black professional soldiers used in a peacetime capacity. Their ranks were filled with recruits from all over the U.S., including not only former veterans who served during the Civil War but also former slaves as well.

Facts About the Buffalo Soldiers

  • Below are some facts that we’ve learned about Buffalo Soldiers during our research for Buffalo Soldiers Day.
  • Buffalo Soldiers had the lowest court-martial and desertion rates of any regiments in the U.S. Army.
  • Between 1870-1890, 14 Buffalo Soldiers were awarded Medals of Honor.
  • The 9th Regiment was sent to Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma) to deal with whites illegally settling on Indian lands.

Observing Buffalo Soldiers Day

On this holiday, people and organizations all over the United States recognize the achievements of the Buffalo Soldiers and organize a variety of commemoration services. If you want to observe this holiday, all you have to do is attend any of these services. You can also observe this holiday by learning more about the Buffalo Soldiers and the history of African-American soldiers in the U.S. military by visiting Buffalosoldiermuseum.com. While you’re observing this holiday, be sure to use the hashtag #BuffaloSoldiersDay to let everyone know about this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
United States (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
July 28 Sunday
Next year (2025)
July 28 Monday
Last year (2023)
July 28 Friday