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Buffalo soldier uniform

Sioux Indian "quirt" (riding whip)

Buffalo Soldier, Field Equipment
about 1890

A cavalry soldier's gear
This field equipment belonged to a "Buffalo Soldier," an African American member of either the 9th or the 10th Cavalry regiments of the United States Army. Between 1866 and 1890, African American cavalry soldiers fought the Cheyenne, the Sioux, the Apache, and others on the Western frontier. Legend has it that the Native-American warriors named them "Buffalo Soldiers" because their tight curly hair and fighting spirit reminded them of the buffalo. The term soon came to be applied to all African American soldiers of the time. Shown here are a soldier's felt campaign hat, Springfield breech-loading carbine, Colt single-action army revolver, ammunition belt, and McClellan saddle with saddlebags.

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Learn more!
· Buffalo Soldiers
· "Buffalo Soldiers" by T. J. Stiles, "Smithsonian" magazine, December 1998

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