WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Representatives of the Lawton-Fort Sill chapter of Buffalo Soldiers presented some of the soldiers’ history at New Jerusalem Baptist Church.
The Buffalo Soldiers were segregated all Black regiments in the U.S. Army.
The regiments were active from 1866 to 1944 and were reactivated in 1958 as an integrated unit.
Buffalo Soldiers were also prominent in Texoma, constructing most of the stone buildings currently on Fort Sill.
Association President Tony Washington explained how the former slaves turned soldiers were used for many missions in the Army but were still treated poorly by officers because of racism.
“They provide shelter, medical, education and a steady pension at the end. So this was a kind of life that they could live with more security,” Washington said. “They wanted to be still treated as equal even if they did enlist and that transition wasn’t so easy for them.”
The main tasks of the Buffalo Soldiers were to help control the Native Americans of the plains, capture cattle rustlers and thieves and protect settlers, stagecoaches and wagon trains along the western front.