Buffalo Soldiers ride again - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Buffalo Soldiers ride again

February 24, 2003

Albany - One-hundred-thirty-seven-years after their formation, Buffalo soldiers rode onto the campus of a South Georgia school Monday.

In 1866, Congress established two cavalry and four infantry regiments made up of African Americans. The Cheyenne and Comanche Indians soon nicknamed the mounted regiments the Buffalo Soldiers.

"These black soldiers explored the west, keeping the peace and chasing Indians. They also mapped vast areas and strung telegraph lines," said David Cannon of the Buffalo Soldiers Club.

Nearly 140 years later, members of the Buffalo Soldiers Club shared history with students at St. Teresa's School.

"Much of African American history isn't taught in school. I love to tell these children about the fascinating Buffalo Soldiers," said Cannon.

Dressed in traditional uniforms, Keith Ransom and David Cannon wowed students with stories of hero's like Cathay Williams, the only female Buffalo Soldier. And Henry Flipper was the first black graduate of West Point and a Thomasville native. "I learned that Cathay Williams served as Buffalo Soldier for two years before they figured out she was a woman," said student Jase Wingate.

"I learned that blacks made major contributions to American and without them, we wouldn't enjoy some technologies we do today," said student Danielle Glover.

With second hand equipment and with prejudice and the frontier against them, Buffalo Soldiers protected America for years and earned themselves a place in history. Until the early 1890s, the Buffalo Soldiers constituted 20% of all cavalry forces on the American Frontier.

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Posted at 5:40PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com