Arizona’s Buffalo Soldiers in Art and Photos

“Buffalo Soldier” is the nickname given to the first African-American members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Buffalo Soldiers, usually mounted on horses, were common figures in Arizona near the U.S./Mexico border at the turn of the twentieth century. Henry Flipper, the first African-American graduate of the U.S. Military Academy was stationed at the barely tamed outpost of Fort Huachuca in Arizona.

Buffalo soldiers, Arizona c. 1890

Buffalo soldier in the ninth cavalry, 1890

Buffalo soldiers, Tombstone, AZ

Buffalo soldier

The ONLY World War I battle fought on American soil involved the Buffalo Soldiers! In August of 1918, armed Mexican troops were seen in Nogales, Sonora with several men thought to be advisors to the German military. It appeared that the Germans were planning an attack on Nogales, Arizona! On August 27, 1918, Buffalo soldiers briefly exchanged sniper fire across the international border. Yes, a skirmish, but this is considered to be the only World War I battle fought on American soil!

Fortunately there are a few old photographs of Buffalo soldiers and they have ALSO been dramatically and beautifully depicted in paintings, most notably by the famous American artist, Frederick Remington.  

For more information you can visit The Buffalo Soldier Museum, Fort Huachuca, Arizona

Carol Fenn 5-2017