"Buffalo Soldier" was, according to newspaper accounts of the day, the name given to the black soldiers of the ninth cavalry
by the plains Indian
s during the Indian Wars
of the late nineteeth century
. The name was later extended to the tenth cavalry
, then to the black infantrymen who served in the Indian Wars.
In 1866, Congress authorized the creation of two segregated regiments of black cavalry, the Ninth United States Cavalry and the Tenth United States Cavalry and the 24th, 25th , 38th , 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry Regiments. This was the foundation of the Buffalo Soldiers. Later budget cuts resulted in the consolidation of the Infantry regiments into the 24th and 25th.
Buffalo soldiers were known for their fierce fighting and bravery. They have long been celebrated within much of the black community. This celebration, unfortunately, ignores the fact that these soldiers, knowingly or unknowingly, were instruments of an evil, imperial, and genocidal policy against Native Americans.
Sources: http://www.buffalosoldiers.net, http://www.thehistorynet.com