Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Buffalo Soldiers in Arizona

The Indians respected the mighty buffalo they hunted; they respected the strange, dark skinned, woolly haired men who hunted and fought them who reminded them of the buffalo. The Indians called them the Buffalo Soldiers.
Their motto was Ready and Forward. They served on the Western frontier and the border of Mexico protecting the pioneers from the marauding Indians and disgruntled Mexican factions. They were regarded as highly disciplined and were acclaimed as having fought valiantly.

Buffalo Soldiers (above) were barracked on the border at Naco, Sonora, Mexico. In 1914 the 9th & 10th Calvary engaged in a two and half month battle against the Federales living under the searing desert sun in tents set up on sand among desert scrub bushes (above, right). From tents Fort Naco was established and it is the only one of twelve border forts that still exists, but it is in great disrepair falling to the harsh elements of the desert.

Cathay Williams was the only documented female Buffalo soldier. She enlisted in 1866 as William Cathay and her gender was discovered when she was admitted for medical treatment for the 5th time. Which means she managed to elude discovery 4 times. Cathay was 5'9" and worked as a cook. Medical examinations were not required when she enlisted. Shame was that when the Army discharged her they denied her any benefits. Read more about her at

Fort Huachuca near Sierra Vista, Arizona was home to the 9th &10th Calv Buffalo Soldiers. From here soldiers were discharged or retired and some settled in Arizona far from their homes in the South where they had been born. The influence of their presence in Arizona is permanent enough that today in Tucson there is an Arizona Buffalo Soldier Association,

A few of the Buffalo soldiers found their way to Globe, Arizona. The Sonoran Jackrabbit located these headstones at the Globe Cemetery in November 2009.

(Naco photos part of the collection of Garrick Bailey University Tulsa)


  1. Great post. Thanks for the history.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Great pictures, keep telling that history:

    Read the novel, Rescue at Pine Ridge, "RaPR", where Buffalo Bill Cody meets a Buffalo Soldier. A great story of black military history...the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers.

    How do you keep a people down? ‘Never' let them 'know' their history.

    The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn't for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry.

    Read the novel, “Rescue at Pine Ridge”, 5 stars Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the youtube trailer commercial...and visit the website

    I hope you’ll enjoy the novel. I wrote it from my mini-series movie of the same title, “RaPR” to keep my story alive. Hollywood has had a lot of strikes and doesn't like telling our stories...its been “his-story” of history all along…until now. The movie so far has attached, Bill Duke directing, Hill Harper, Glynn Turman and a host of other major actors in which we are in talks with…see at;

    When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for Wells Fargo in Montana, in the 1890's, “spread the word”.