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Black Soldiers in the West

1865

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
Twenty thousand African American troops are among the 32,000 U.S. soldiers sent to the Rio Grande as a show of force against Emperor Maximilian's French troops occupying Mexico. Some discharged black soldiers join the forces of Mexican resistance leader Benito Juarez.

1866

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
Congress authorizes the strength of the regular (post-Civil War) army at 25,000 men in ten cavalry regiments and twenty five infantry regiments. It also designates four of those units, the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry and Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Infantry as all-black enlisted men led mostly by white officers. These men, eventually called Buffalo Soldiers, will initiate the first period in U.S. history when African American soldiers are a permanent component of the U.S. military.

1870

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
On June 28, twenty-three-year-old Emanuel Stance of F Troop, Ninth Cavalry becomes the first Buffalo Soldier to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. The award is given for his action against Apache Indians at Kickapoo Springs, Texas on May 20, 1870.

1877

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
On June 15, Henry O. Flipper becomes the first African American to graduate from West Point. He will be followed at the academy by John Hanks Alexander (1887) and Charles Young (1889). Flipper is assigned to the Tenth Cavalry at Fort Concho, Texas, becoming the first black officer to command Buffalo Soldiers.

1877

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
On December 19, Col. Edward Hatch leads the Ninth Cavalry into El Paso to end the Salt War, a racial and economic conflict between the Latino majority and Anglo minority in the city.

1880

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
On May 14, Sgt. George Jordan of the Ninth Cavalry, commanding a detachment of Buffalo Soldiers, leads a successful defense of Tularosa, New Mexico Territory, against Apache Indians. Jordan will later receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

1882

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
Lt. Henry O. Flipper is court-martialed at Fort Davis, Texas for accounting irregularities as commissary officer. After leaving the Army, Flipper works for the next thirty seven years as a mining engineer in New Mexico and Mexico, becoming the first African American to gain distinction in that profession.

1890

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
In June, troops of the Ninth Cavalry are sent from Fort Robinson, Nebraska to reestablish order during the Johnson County, Wyoming Range War.

1892

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
On July 14 three companies of the Twenty-fourth Infantry occupy the Coeur d'Alene Mining District in northern Idaho which has been declared under martial law following a violent strike by silver miners. They remain for four months.

1899

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
In May, the Twenty-fourth Infantry returns to occupy the Coeur d'Alene Mining District in northern Idaho after violence again erupts.

1900

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
Buffalo Soldiers are among the U.S. military forces sent to suppress the Boxer Rebellion in Peking, China.

1906

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
On August 13 in Brownsville, Texas, approximately a dozen black troops riot against segregation and in the process kill a local citizen in an incident that will be called the Brownsville Affray. When the identity of the killer cannot be determined President Theodore Roosevelt discharges three companies of black soldiers on November 6.

1916

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
In March the Tenth Cavalry is one of two cavalry units under the command of General John J. Pershing given the assignment to capture Mexican revolutionary leader Pancho Villa. The Seventh Cavalry is the other. They are unsuccessful.

1917

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
On August 23, a riot erupts in Houston between black soldiers and white citizens; two blacks and 11 whites are killed. Twenty nine black soldiers are executed for participation in what will be known as the Houston Mutiny.

1942

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
Three African American soldiers are killed in Phoenix, Arizona during the Thanksgiving Day Riot against what local residents and black military personnel term brutality by the Phoenix police force.

1943

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
By summer fourteen thousand African American soldiers of the 93rd Infantry Division and the 32nd and 33rd companies of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (approximately 300 women) are stationed in the Arizona desert at Fort Huachuca for training. They are the largest concentration of black military personnel in the history of the nation.

1944

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
The Port Chicago Mutiny evolves after an horrendous explosion on an ammunition ship docked at the Port Chicago Naval Base on San Francisco Bay. The explosion on July 17 kills 320 men including 202 African American sailors who comprise half of the black personnel at the naval facility. When 50 black sailors refuse to return to the ships until their safety concerns are addressed, the Navy court-martials them for mutiny. All are convicted and sentenced to prison. After World War II ended, most of the convicted sailors are quietly released.

1944

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
On August 14, African American soldiers initiate the Ft. Lawton Riot in a military base in Seattle because they believe Italian POW's are receiving better treatment and facilities. One Italian POW is lynched during the riot prompting an investigation that results in the court martial and conviction of 23 black soldiers.

1948

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
On July 26, President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9981 directing the desegregation of the armed forces.
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