News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Rodeo salutes Buffalo Soldiers

The Sisters Rodeo honored some key players in America's frontier military history last weekend. They welcomed the Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle, a reenactment group that pays tribute to the soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry - Black regiments that conducted some of the most grueling campaigns in the American West after the American Civil War.

The Buffalo Soldiers were given their name by the Plains Tribes, who respected their endurance and fighting qualities.

As the Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Houston, Texas, notes:

"Throughout the era of the Indian Wars, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. Cavalry troopers were Black, and they fought over 177 engagements. The combat prowess, bravery, tenaciousness, and looks on the battlefield, inspired the Indians to call them Buffalo Soldiers. The name symbolized the Native American's respect for the Buffalo Soldiers' bravery and valor. Buffalo Soldiers, down through the years, have worn the name with pride."

The Buffalo Soldiers campaigned across the West, including the arduous Apache Wars in the desert southwest.

At least 18 Medals of Honor were presented to Buffalo Soldiers during the Western campaigns.

Troops of the 10th Cavalry stormed the San Juan Heights in Cuba with Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War in 1898.

The Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle rode in period uniform and with period accouterments in the Sisters Rodeo Parade, and they were part of the Grand Entry at each performance of the Rodeo -thrilling the Sisters audience.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

Author photo

Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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