Buffalo Soldiers

Last week, the US House passed a proposal to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of alternatives for commemorating and interpreting the role of the Buffalo Soldiers in the early years of the National Parks and for other purposes.  These men were African-Americans in the US Army. Their contributions included service in: the American Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War and World War I and 2.

Buffalo Soldiers

The name “Buffalo Soldier” was believed to be coined by American Indians who thought their hair resembled the tight black weave found on bison.  In 1899 through 1903, they managed Sequoia and Yosemite parks before the creation of the Park Service.

Editorial note: Be sure to page back for blogs that do not appear on the front page. I will be posting shorter snippets occasionally.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: Buffalo soldier, dreadlock rasta. There was a buffalo soldier in the heart of America, stolen from Africa, brought to America. Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival.” – Bob Marley


*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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One Response to Buffalo Soldiers

  1. Maureen L says:

    Ranger Shelton Johnson’s one man play at the Yosemite Theater is called
    “A Buffalo Soldier in Yosemite 1904,” so we can add at least one more summer to their service in Yosemite.

    The leader in Sequoia was Capt (later Colonel, apparently) Charles Young, the third African American graduate of West Point.

    The photo caption here at the Sequoia Kings Canyon website calls him the “first African American superintendent of a national park.” He was only there one summer, 1903, but got an amazing amount of road building done.


    There’s a good bit about him in the Dayton Duncan Ken Burns PBS series and book through their interviews with Shelton Johnson.

    Did the cavalry patrol Yosemite clear down through 1916 when the park service was founded (and then they were needed when we entered the idiocy of World War I in 1917?)

    the Park has just released a video with Ranger Yenyen Chan on the history of Chinese cooks and roadbuilders in Yosemite:


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