article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)
Sacramento – To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Buffalo Soldiers, an historic group of African American service members, California State Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) and State Senator Isadore Hall III (D–Compton), Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, hosted a reception on June 6th in the State Capitol and presented Senate Concurrent Resolution 128, which recognizes the Soldiers for their unique contributions to the United States and its military.
“I am honored to recognize the great accomplishments and service of the Buffalo Soldiers. These men made history by breaking barriers and serving our country with honor and distinction during war and peacetime under tremendously challenging circumstances,” said Senator Tony Mendoza.
The Buffalo Soldiers were established on July 28, 1866 by an Act of Congress. It was officially known as the 9th and 10th Calvary regiment and was comprised of former slaves, free men, and black Civil War soldiers. The Buffalo Soldiers were the first African Americans to serve in the United States Army during peacetime.
During the latter part of the nineteenth century, the Buffalo Soldiers were assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas, and other areas of the Midwest, where they endeavored to maintain order between Native Americans and the settlers arriving in those areas, built forts and roads, patrolled borders, and protected mail coaches and railroad construction crews.
When the campaigns against Native Americans ended in the 1890s, they went on to fight in Cuba during the 1898 Spanish-American War and served as Park Rangers in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.
To read the resolution in full, go to: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SCR128
To see more photos of the descendants of the Buffalo Soldiers, go to: http://sd32.senate.ca.gov/150th-anniversary-buffalo-soldiers-honored-state-senate-capitol-ceremony-reception-june-6-2016