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10th Cavalry Regiment
10 CAV COA.gif
10th Cavalry Regimental Coat Of Arms
Active 1866–1944
Country United States of America
Allegiance  United States of America
Branch Color image of the Department of the Army Seal. U.S. Army
Type Cavalry
Size Regiment
Nickname Buffalo Soldiers
Motto Ready and Forward
Engagements Indian Wars
Spanish-American War
Philippine-American War
Mexican Revolution
World War I
World War II
Vietnam War
Iraq War
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for PLEIKU PROVINCE (1st Brigade Only)
# Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for DAK TO DISTRICT (1st Brigade Only)
Presidential Unit Citation for Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2004)
Presidential Unit Citation for Operation Iraqi Freedom (2005-2006)
Valorous Unit Award for the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Divsion (1969-1972) for its actions in the II Corp Area during the Vietnam War
Valorous Unit Award (1st Brigade Combat Team & Supporting units) for Operation Red Dawn, Iraq – 2003
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1966–1969
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1969–1970
Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1966–1969
Army Superior Unit Award (Selected Units) for Force XXI Test and Evaluation (1995–1996)
Benjamin H. Grierson
Guy V. Henry
Samuel Whitside
Distinctive Unit Insignia 10 CAV DUI.gif
U.S. Cavalry Regiments
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9th Cavalry Regiment 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

The 10th Cavalry Regiment is a unit of the United States Army. Formed as a segregated African-American unit, the 10th Cavalry was one of the original "Buffalo Soldier" regiments. It served in combat during the Indian Wars in the western United States, the Spanish-American War in Cuba and in the Philippine-American War. It was the only African-American unit under American command that fought German soldiers (advisors) in World War I. The regiment was trained as a combat unit but later relegated to non-combat duty and served in that capacity in World War II until its deactivation in 1944.

The 10th Cavalry was reactivated as an integrated combat unit in 1958. Portions of the regiment have served in conflicts ranging from the Vietnam War to the current Iraq War. The current structure is by squadron, with the 1st, 4th, and 7th Squadrons assigned to three brigades of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division at Ft Carson, Colorado.


Buffalo Soldier name

The following story is one of many how the Buffalo Soldiers got their name.

In September 1867, Private John Randall of Troop G of the 10th Cavalry Regiment was assigned to escort two civilians on a hunting trip. The hunters suddenly became the hunted when a band of 70 Cheyenne warriors swept down on them. The two civilians quickly fell in the initial attack and Randall's horse was shot out from beneath him. Randall managed to scramble to safety behind a washout under the railroad tracks, where he fended off the attack with only his pistol until help from the nearby camp arrived. The Indians beat a hasty retreat, leaving behind 13 fallen warriors. Private Randall suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder and 11 lance wounds, but recovered. The Cheyenne quickly spread word of this new type of soldier, "who had fought like a cornered buffalo; who like a buffalo had suffered wound after wound, yet had not died; and who like a buffalo had a thick and shaggy mane of hair."[1][2]

Regimental Arms

  • Shield: Per pale, dexter: paly of thirteen Argent and Gules, a chief Azure charged with a Native American chief's war bonnet affronté above a tomahawk and stone axe in saltire heads down all Proper, sinister: per fess quarterly Gules and Argent in 1st and 4th a tower Or gated Azure 2d and 3d lion rampant Gules crowned with a ducal cornet Or; on an oval escutcheon Azure a fleur-de-lis Or; and Sable a triangle on its base charged with a sun ombre de soleil Or between three mullets of the like pierced of the field.[2]
  • Crest: On a wreath of the colors Or and Sable an American bison statant guardant Proper.[2]
  • Motto: READY AND FORWARD.[2]

Distinctive Unit Insignia

  • Description:
    • A gold color metal and enamel device 1 inch (2.54 cm) blazoned: On an heraldic wreath Or and Sable, a buffalo statant Proper.
    • On a scroll of the second fimbriated of the first the motto READY AND FORWARD of the like.[2]
  • Symbolism:
    • Black and gold have long been used as the regimental colors.
    • The buffalo has likewise been the emblem of the regiment for many years having its origin in the term "Buffalo soldiers" applied by the Indians to colored regiments.
    • The distinctive unit insignia is worn in pairs.[2]
  • Background:
    • The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved on 1922-03-13.
    • It was amended 1923-12-06 to change the wording in the description and the method of wear.
    • On 1951-03-19 the insignia was re-designated for the 510th Tank Battalion.
    • The distinctive unit insignia was re-designated for the 10th Cavalry on 1959-05-12.
    • The current version was re-affirmed on 22 August 1991.[2]

Regimental Song

(The Regimental Song of the Tenth Cavalry Regiment from about 1885. Sung to the tune of Stephen Foster's "Camptown Races")
A computer generated reproduction of the insignia of the Army 10th Cavalry Regiment. The insignia is displayed in gold and consists of two sheafed swords crossing over each other at a 45 degree angle pointing upwards with a Roman numeral 10
10th Cavalry Regiment
We’re fighting bulls of the Buffaloes,
Git a goin’ – git a goin’
From Kansas’ plains we’ll hunt our foes;
A trottin’ down the line.
Our range spreads west to Santa Fe,
Git a goin’ – git a goin’.
From Dakota down the Mexican way;
A trottin’ down the line.
Goin’ to drill all day
Goin’ to drill all night,
We got our money on the buffaloes,
Somebody bet on the fight.
A color photograph of the Buffalo Soldier Monument at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The sculpture was undertaken by Eddie Dixon and sits atop a waterfall. It consists of a cavalry trooper mounted on a galloping horse
The Buffalo Soldier Monument at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It honors the African-Americans Buffalo soldiers and those who led them.
Pack up your saddle and make it light.
Git a rollin’ – git a rollin’.
You are training fast for a hard fight;
A rollin’ down the line.
Untie your horse and boot and gun,
Git a goin’ – git a goin’.
Shake out your feet or you’ll miss the fun,
A rollin’ down the line.
Goin’ to drill all day
Goin’ to drill all night,
We got our money on the buffaloes,
Somebody bet on the fight.
It’s Troops in line for the Buffaloes,
Git a movin’ – git a movin’.
Then Squadron mass when the bugle blows’
A movin’ into line.
Pull in your reins and sit your horse,
Git a movin’ – git a movin’.
If you can’t ride you’ll be a corpse;
A movin’ into line.
Goin’ to drill all day
Goin’ to drill all night,
We got our money on the buffaloes,
Somebody bet on the fight.

Early history

Indian Wars 1866–1874

The 10th U.S. Cavalry was formed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1866 as an all-African-American regiment. The 10th U.S. Cavalry regiment was composed of black enlisted men and white officers, which was typical for that era. By the end of July 1867, eight companies of enlisted men had been recruited from the Departments of Missouri, Arkansas, and the Platte. Life at Leavenworth was not pleasant for the 10th Calvary. The fort's commander, who was openly opposed to African-Americans serving in the Regular Army, made life for the new troops difficult. Colonel Benjamin Grierson sought to have his regiment transferred, and subsequently received orders moving the regiment to Fort Riley, Kansas. This began on the morning of August 6, 1867 and was completed the next day in the afternoon of August 7.[3][4]

In 1867 and 1868, the 10th Cavalry participated in Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's winter campaigns against the Cheyennes, Arapahos, and Comanches. Units of the 10th prevented the Cheyenne from fleeing to the northwest, thus allowing Custer and the 7th Cavalry to defeat them at the decisive battle near Fort Cobb, Indian Territory.[3][4]

A sketch of a Cavalry officer greeting another wounded Officer on Beecher Island, Colorado with mounted trooper of the 10th Cavalry holding horse on September 25, 1868
The Rescue
A soldier offers aid to his wounded comrade after the Battle of Beecher Island. The Harper's article states that this is "Bvt. Col. Louis H. Carpenter greeting Lt. Col. G. A. Forsyth" who was twice wounded by gunfire and who had fractured his leg when his horse fell. Notice officer shoulder boards.

In September and October 1868, two notable actions happened with Troops H & I under the command of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel (Captain in the Regular Army) Louis H. Carpenter. The first was the rescue of Lieutenant Colonel G. A. Forsyth whose small party of 48 white scouts, was attacked and "corralled" by a force of about 700 Native American Indians on a sand island up the North Fork of the Republican River; this action became the Battle of Beecher Island.[5] The second was two weeks after Carpenter had returned to Fort Wallace with the survivors of Forsyth’s command. Troops H and I of the 10th Cavalry sallied forth for an escort and supply to the 5th Cavalry near Beaver Creek. Near there Carpenter combined command was attacked by a force of about 500 Indians. After a running fight and defensible stand the "hostiles" retreated. Carpenter would later receive the Medal of Honor for these two actions.[5][6][7]

For the next eight years, the 10th was stationed at numerous forts throughout Kansas and Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), including Fort Gibson starting in 1872. They provided guards for workers of the Kansas and Pacific Railroad, strung miles of new telegraph lines, and to a large extent built Fort Sill. Throughout this period, they were constantly patrolling the reservations and engaging "hostiles" in an attempt to prevent Indian raids into Texas.[3][4]

Indian Wars 1875–1884

On 17 April 1875, regimental headquarters for the 9th and 10th Cavalries were transferred to Fort Concho, Texas. Companies actually arrived at Fort Concho in May 1873. At various times from 1873 through 1885, Fort Concho housed 9th Cavalry companies A–F, K, and M, 10th Cavalry companies A, D–G, I, L, and M, 24th Infantry companies D–G, and K, and 25th Infantry companies G and K.[8]

In April 17, 1875, the 10th Cavalry moved its regimental headquarters to Fort Concho in west Texas. Other companies (later called Troops) were assigned to various forts throughout the area. At various times from 1873 through 1885, Fort Concho housed 9th Cavalry companies A–F, K, and M, 10th Cavalry companies A, D–G, I, L, and M, 24th Infantry companies D–G, and K, and 25th Infantry companies G and K.[8]

The 10th Regimental's mission in Texas was to protect mail and travel routes, control Indian movements, provide protection from Mexican revolutionaries and outlaws, and to gain knowledge of the area's terrain. The regiment proved highly successful in completing their mission. The 10th scouted 34,420 miles (55,390 km) of uncharted terrain, opened more than 300 miles (480 km) of new roads, and laid over 200 miles (320 km) of telegraph lines. The scouting activities took the troops through some of the harshest and most desolate terrain in the nation. These excursions allowed the preparation of excellent maps detailing scarce water holes, mountain passes, and grazing areas that would later allow for settlement of the area. These feats were accomplished while the troops had constantly to be on the alert for quick raids by the Apaches. The stay in west Texas produced tough soldiers who became accustomed to surviving in an area that offered few comforts and no luxuries.[4]

A black and white map of the Western United States showing fort, battle and tribe locations from 1860-1890.
Western Indian Wars 1860-1890, battles, army posts, and the general location of tribes.

The 10th Cavalry played an important role in the 1879-80 campaign (Apache Wars) against Chief Victorio and his band of Apaches. Victorio and his followers escaped from their New Mexico reservation and wreaked havoc throughout the southwest on their way to Mexico. Col. Grierson and the 10th attempted to prevent Victorio's return to the U.S., and particularly his reaching New Mexico where he could cause additional problems with the Apaches still on the reservations. Knowing the importance of water in the harsh region, Grierson decided the best way to intercept Victorio was to take control of potential water holes along his route.[4]

The campaign called for the biggest military concentration ever assembled in the Trans-Pecos area. Six troops of the 10th Cavalry were assigned to patrol the area from the Van Horn Mountains west to the Quitman Mountains, and north to the Sierra Diablo and Delaware Mountains. Encounters with the Indians usually resulted in skirmishes; however the 10th engaged in major confrontations at Tinaja de las Palmas (a water hole south of Sierra Blanca) and at Rattlesnake Springs (north of Van Horn). These two engagements halted Victorio and forced him to retreat to Mexico. Although Victorio and his band were not captured, the campaign conducted by the 10th successfully prevented them from reaching New Mexico. The 10th's efforts at containment exhausted the Apaches. Soon after they crossed the border, Victorio and many of his warriors were killed by Mexican troops on October 14, 1880.[3][4]

Indian Wars 1885–1898

In 1885, the regiment was transferred to the Department of Arizona. Once again the 10th was involved in the arduous pursuit of Apaches who left the reservations under the leadership of Geronimo, Nana, Nachez, Chihuahua and Magnus.[4]

The 10th Cavalry continued to fight Apaches after Geronimo's surrender in 1886. A detachment of 10th Cavalry would fight one of their last battles of the Apache Wars north of Globe at the Salt River during an expedition on March 7, 1890. After the battle Sergeant William McBryar, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the pursuit of the Apache warriors.[4]

After twenty years of service on posts in the southwest, the regiment, now under the command of Colonel John K. Mizner, was transferred to the Department of Dakota in 1891[3] The regiment served at various posts in Montana and Dakotas until 1898.[4] During this time, a young white lieutenant, J. Pershing (later known as "Blackjack" for his time with the unit) commanded a troop from Fort Assinniboine in north central Montana. Pershing commanded an expedition to the south and southwest that rounded up and deported a large number of Cree Indians to Canada.[3]

In summary, from 1866 to the early 1890s, the 10th Cavalry Regiment served at a variety of posts in the Southwestern United States (Apache Wars) and Great Plains regions. They participated in most of the military campaigns in these areas and earned a distinguished record. Thirteen enlisted men and six officers from the Buffalo Soldiers (four regiments including the 10th) earned the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars.[3][8]


Medal of Honor - Indian Wars

William McBryar

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. It is often colloquially referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor because the President presents the award "in the name of the Congress".[9]

Two members of the 10th Cavalry Regiment, earned the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars.[10] They were:

Louis H. Carpenter

Spanish-American War

10th Cavalry as Liberators of Cuba

The regiment served during the Spanish-American War in 1898, alongside the 24th and 25th “colored” regiments (1st Division, 1st Brigade) with the 9th Cavalry.[11]

The 9th and 10th formed a core around which volunteer units were attached in the Cavalry Division (Dismounted) under Major General Joseph Wheeler and were in the 1st Brigade under Brigadier General Samuel S. Sumner. This included Roosevelt's Rough Riders.[12][13]

They fought in the Battle of Las Guasimas, the Battle of Tayacoba (where all four members of the last rescue party were awarded the Medal of Honor), the Battle of San Juan Hill and the Siege of Santiago de Cuba.[11]

Three principal battles were fought by this brigade on the approach to the principal city of Santiago de Cuba. In many ways this was the 10th most glorious time.[13]

The first of these were the Battle of Las Guasimas on June 24, 1898 where the 10th Cavalry saved a portion of the Rough Riders from annihilation when their lead companies were ambushed and pinned down. This was where Harper's Weekly war correspondent Frederic Remington experienced the true horror of combat and heard the whistle of bullets near his head. Remington later painted the "Scream of the Shrapnel" in 1899 that represented this event.[13]

W. A. Rogers' black and white drawing of the white soldiers of the 1st Volunteer Cavalry or the Rough Riders under fire during an ambush. In the foreground is a fallen soldier; behind him is his companion returning fire with his Krag bolt action rifle. A line of soldiers fades toward the right middle ground. The background shows the leafy trees of the jungle. As a side note, the original sketch did not have Lieutenant Colonel Teddy Roosevelt in it. Another artist with Harper's Weekly added Roosevelt's face just over the left shoulder of the soldier returning fire.
"The Battle of Las Guasimas, June 24 - The heroic stand of the 'Rough Riders'" in Harper's Pictorial History of the War with Spain, 1899.

The second was the Battle of El Caney in the early morning hours of July 1 where stubborn Spanish forces held the Americans at bay for almost twelve hours. Then came infamous or famous Battle of San Juan Hill in the late afternoon.[13]

The battle of the San Juan Heights involved the 10th Cavalry Regiment who took part in the taking of the two main heights. One was on the so-called Kettle Hill by the Americans and other the main height on what would be called San Juan Hill.[13]

As the 10th moved into position, they were receiving fire from the San Juan Heights that was fortified by the Spanish defenders. Other units went into position on the left and the right. But still no orders to advance came. The waiting for other units to come online began to take a toll in men and morale.[13]

San Juan Hill

A former brigade staff officer, then assigned to D Troop of the 10th Cavarly, First Lieutenant Jules Garesche Ord (son of General E.O.C. Ord).[13] arrived and initiated an unusual discussion with his commander Brigadier General Hamilton S. Hawkins by asking, "General, if you will order a charge, I will lead it." Hawkins made no response. Ord again asked "If you do not wish to order a charge, General, I should like to volunteer. We can't stay here, can we?" "I would not ask any man to volunteer," Hawkins stated. "If you do not forbid it, I will start it," returned Ord. Hawkins again remained silent. Ord finally asked "I only ask you not to refuse permission." Hawkins responded "I will not ask for volunteers, I will not give permission and I will not refuse it," he said. "God bless you and good luck!"[13]

With that response Ord rushed to the front of the brigade advising them to support the charge of the regulars. Captain John Bigelow, Jr. commander of D Troop of the 10th with his second in command of Ord in the lead moved out of the trenches and advanced up the slope. Other units seeing the "Buffalo Soldiers" advance moved forward without commands to do so. General Hawkins apparently was not opposed to the attack since once the men began he joined in directing supporting regiments. At 150 yards from the top of the hill the troops charged, cutting their way through the barbed wire. Bigelow was hit four times before falling. There he continued to encourage his men to not stop until the top.[13]

Seeing the 'spontaneous advances' of Ord and then Roosevelt, General Wheeler (having returned to the front) gave the order for Kent to advance with his whole division while he returned to the Cavalry Division. Kent sent forward Ewers' brigade to join Hawkins' men already approaching the hill. Kent's men discovered that the Spanish had placed their trenches in faulty positions and were actually covered from their fire while the attackers climbed the hill. Ord, still in the lead, was among the first to reach the crest of San Juan Hill. The Spanish fled, as Ord began directing supporting fire into the remaining Spanish when he was shot in the throat and mortally wounded. General Hawkins was wounded shortly after.[13]

Black First Sergeant Givens then took command of D Troop on San Juan Hill and held his position until relieved. Major John J. Pershing quartermaster of the 10th took over temporary command of D Troop. Pershing had helped lead the charge up Kettle Hill with the right flank of the 10th. He was later replaced by Lieutenant A. E. Kennington. The 10th would continue to fight during the Siege of Santiago. Santiago would fall to the Americans on July 17, 1898.[13]

Kettle Hill

Kettle Hill was a smaller part of the San Juan Heights with San Juan Hill 20°01′12″N 75°47′54″W / 20.0200185°N 75.7982129°W / 20.0200185; -75.7982129 and its main blockhouses being the highest point with a dip or draw in between the two hills on a north-south axis. The heights are located about a mile east of Santiago. The Rough Riders took Kettle Hill on the American right with assistance from several troops of the "black" 10th Cavalry and the entire 3rd Cavalry ("white" volunteers). Most of the 10th supported by elements of the 24th and 25th colored infantry on the left took San Juan Hill.

The 10th had held the center position between the two hills and when they went forward they split toward the tops of the two hills. Lieutenant Ord started the regulars forward on the American left and Roosevelt claimed he started the charge on the right. Retreating Spanish troops withdrew toward San Juan Hill still being contested. The regulars fired toward them and supported their comrades fighting on the adjacent hill. A so-called myth was started that the Rough Riders alone took Kettle Hill, but this is not true.[14] Sergeant George Berry (10th Cavalry) took his unit colors and that of the 3rd Cavalry to the top of Kettle Hill before the Rough Rider's flag arrived. This is supported in the writings of "Black Jack" Pershing who fought with the 10th on Kettle Hill."[13]

1904 version of the Medal of Honor
Edward L. Baker, Jr.

Medal of Honor - Spanish-American War

Five members of the 10th Cavalry Regiment, earned the Medal of Honor during the Spanish-American War.[15] They were:

Dennis Bell

Twentieth Century

Philippine American War

Following the end of the Spanish American war, the 10th Cavalry was deployed to the Philippine Islands in what was known then as the "Philippine Insurrection", but now termed the Philippine American War, until 1902.[16][17] Although the conflict was controversial amongst many in and out of the African American community, the Regiment, alongside the 9th Cavalry and 24th and 25th Infantry, served honorably and admirably. The conflict also provided an opportunity as several senior NCOs were commissioned as Officers in the Philippine Scouts, including Edward Baker.[18] But such opportunity would be short lived as the first American Governor General, then future President, William Taft barred the four segregated "colored" regiments from continuing to serve in the Philippines.[19]

Duty in the West

The 10th Cavalry returned from the Philippines in late 1902 and settled down in different posts in the south western United States. Patrols and garrison life was the routine for the regiment. Under war plans, the 10th was designated for service in the Pacific and support in the Philippines from 1915 through 1942 but never rotated there.[2]

The 9th Cavalry Regiment (not the 10th) became “Park Rangers” in 1905 for Yosemite National Park and other state and federal lands. The Troopers' Campaign Hat, sporting the “Montana Pinch” used to help shed the tropical downpours. That “Montana Pinch” gave the hat the distinctive look we recognize today as the "Smokey Bear Hat".[20]

Mexican Expedition

The Punitive Expedition, officially known in the United States as the Mexican Expedition, was an abortive military operation conducted by the United States Army against the paramilitary forces of Francisco "Pancho" Villa from 1916 to 1917. The expedition was retaliation for Villa's invasion of the United States and attack on the village of Columbus, New Mexico in Luna County during the Mexican Revolution.[21]

More than 5,000 US troops of General John J. Pershing's forces, including elements of the 7th Cavalry and the African-American U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment, entered Mexico in hot pursuit of Villa. The campaign consisted primarily of dozens of minor skirmishes with small bands of insurgents. Gen. Pershing failed to catch up to Villa.[22] On June 21, 1916, elements of the 7th and 10th, totaling 92 troopers, attacked Mexican Federal Army troops in an engagement in the Battle of Carrizal, Chihuahua. Sixteen US troops were killed and 23 taken prisoner; 45 Federales were casualties, including the Mexican general Gomez. The incident nearly brought the US to open war with the Mexican government (the Carranza government, during that three-cornered Mexican civil war).[21]

World War I

The 10th Cavalry spent World War I in the United States. On January 9, 1918, the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment was involved in firefight with Yaqui Indians just west of Nogales, Arizona. E Troop intercepted a group of American Yaquis on their way to render aid to Yaquis of Sonora, who were in the midst of long running war with the Mexicans.[23]

Later that year, in August 1918, the 10th Cavalry fought a border skirmish with the 35th Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Ambos Nogales in which German soldiers (advisors) fought and died along with Mexican soldiers. This was the only battle during World War I where Germans fought and died in in combat against American soldiers in North America.

The 35th Infantry Regiment was stationed at Nogales, Arizona on August 27, 1918, when at about 4:10 PM, a gun battle erupted unintentionally when a Mexican civilian attempted to pass through the border, back to Mexico, without being interrogated at the U.S. Customs house. After the initial shooting, reinforcements from both sides rushed to the border. Hostilities quickly escalated and several soldiers were killed and others wounded.[24][25][26]

The U.S. 35th Infantry border post had about 15-18 men[27] and requested reinforcements from their garrison. When they arrived they requested the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry. The 10th, commanded by Frederick Herman, came to their aid from their camp outside of town. After observing the situation for a few moments, Lt. Colonel Herman ordered an attack on the Mexican and German held hilltops overlooking the border town. Defensive trenches and machine gun placements had been seen being dug there in the previous weeks. Herman wanted Americans there before Mexican reinforcements got there.[24][25]

Under heavy fire, the U.S. 35th Regimental infantry soldiers and dismounted 10th Cavalry troops advanced across the Mexican-American border through the buildings and streets of Nogales, Sonora and up onto the nearby hilltops. This was done while other units of the 35th Regiment held the main line near the border post. About 7:45 PM, the Mexicans waved a large white flag of surrender over their customs building. Lt. Colonel Herman observed and then ordered an immediate cease fire. Snipers on both sides continued shooting for a little while after the cease fire, but were eventually silenced upon orders from their superiors.[24][25][27]

World War II

At the beginning of World War II the 10th Cavalry was relegated to caretaker duties at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.[28] In 1942 the regiment was moved to Camp Lockett, California replacing the 11th Cavalry in its duties as the southern defense of the Western Defense Command, under LTG DeWitt.[29] 153 NCOs of this regiment would later be assigned to the newly organized 28th Cavalry Regiment forming its cadre,[30] and filling out the 4th Cavalry Brigade, which would remain in existence after the deactivation of the 2nd Cavalry Division, and its subsequent reactivation.[31] In 1944, the entire 2nd Cavalry Division was shipped out to Oran, North Africa; where it disembarked and was deactivated on 9 March 1944. Although trained as Combat Soldiers, the soldiers of this regiment, and other regiments of the 2nd Cavalry Division were reorganized as combat support and combat service support units. Some would see combat as replacement soldiers of the 92nd Infantry Division.[32]

Early Cold War

In 1958 the Tenth Regiment was reactivated. The unit today wears the Buffalo symbol.

2nd Squadron, 10th Cavalry was activated on July 1, 1957 and consolidated with the 7th Recon Company transferring less personnel and equipment to Korea from Germany. It was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division. It was transferred with 7th Division to Fort Ord, California in December 1976. 2nd Squadron, 10th Cavalry (Air) served as the 7th Division's helicopter borne reconnaissance asset. It had a scout troop (Kiowa), Lift Troop (Huey), Attack troop (Cobra) and a ground troop of scouts in jeeps. The Squadron was reorganized in August 1985 as a Reconnaissance Squadron under the Infantry Division (Light) configuration. The unit was deactivated and replace by an element of the 9th Cavalry prior to the 7th Divisions eventual de-activation and depart from Fort Ord.[2]


4th Infantry Division shoulder patch

1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry (Armored Reconnaissance), 4th Infantry Division, served during the Vietnam War (1969–1972) and was awarded the Valorous Unit Award for its actions while operating in the II Corp Area as part of the 4th Infantry Division.[2]

Late Cold War

E Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry (1/10 Cav) was detached from the Squadron in October 1976 and deployed as part of “Brigade 76” to Wiesbaden, Germany as the Reconnaissance Troop for the 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.[2]

3rd Battalion, 10th Cavalry (3/10 Cav) was activated in the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas in December 1981.[2]

D Troop, "BlackJack"

3rd Infantry Division patch.
D Troop, 10th Cavalry, 3rd Infantry Division.

D Troop of the 10th Cavalry Regiment was detached and moved around before settling in with the 3rd Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade.[33]

On 25 June 1958, D Troop was reconstituted in the Regular Army and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment. On 1 September 1963, the unit was redesignated as Troop D, 10th Cavalry and assigned to Fort Knox, Kentucky, and on 15 April 1968 the Troop became part of the 194th Armored Brigade.[33]

In October 1999, the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) began its transition to Limited Conversion Division XXI (LCD XXI). Under this force structure, mechanized brigades received organic cavalry organizations. On 16 June 2000, D Troop, 10th Cavalry Regiment was reactivated and assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), at Fort Benning, Georgia.[33]

In March 2003 the 3rd Brigade participated along with the rest of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) in the initial operations against Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 3rd Infantry Division returned to Georgia in late 2003. In mid-2004 it began the transformation to the US Army's new modular force structure, which saw D Troop, 10th Cavalry inactivated.[33]

Twenty-first Century

C Troop, 10th Cavalry was reactivated September 22, 2001 and served as the Brigade Reconnaissance Troop (BRT) as well as the brigade's quick reaction force (QRF) for 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. It served with distinction in OIF II, noted for its substantially large area of operations. Second Platoon set the operations tempo (OPTEMPO) for battle operations in the northeastern section of Baghdad, and with First Platoon, Outlaws, ran 24-hour route reconnaissance missions. C Troop was reportedly the only unit in Baghdad at the time clearing routes in light vehicles, with a reported 4,800 different forms of contact over the course of the year. After returning to Fort Hood, Texas, C Troop was deactivated and re-flagged as C Troop, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry.[2]

The 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, served during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003–2004 (In which it earned its second Presidential Unit Citation) and again from 2005–2006. The squadron is currently serving as the Armored Reconnaissance Squadron of the 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado.[2]

On 13 December 2003, elements of the 1st Brigade (including the 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry) of the 4th Infantry Division captured Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq.[2]

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry played an instrumental role during Operation Red Dawn, providing security for the air corridor.[34]

G Troop, 10th US Cavalry also during this operation secured the inner and outer cordons of the AO (Area of Operation) for Operation Red Dawn.[34] The 4th Division rotated out of Iraq in the Spring of 2004, and was relieved by the 1st Infantry Division.[2]

10th Cavalry Structure within the 4th Division (2009)

Order of Battle of the 4th Infantry Division

The 10th Cavalry Regiment presently comprises three active squadrons, all of which are M3 Bradley-equipped reconnaissance units within the 4th Infantry Division.[2] Present assignments are:

4 Infantry Division SSI.svg 4th Infantry Division (Fort Carson, CO)

1st Brigade Combat team

1st (Heavy) Brigade Combat Team (Raiders) (Fort Carson, CO).

1st Brigade badge of the 4th Infantry Division.

The 1st Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division includes:[2]

  • 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment (Ghost)

2nd Brigade Combat team

  • 2nd (Heavy) Brigade Combat Team (Warhorse) (Fort Carson, CO)
2nd Brigade badge of the 4th Infantry Division.

The 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division includes:[2]

  • 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment (Buffalo Soldiers)

3rd Brigade Combat team

3rd (Heavy) Brigade Combat Team (Iron)

3rd Brigade badge of the 4th Infantry Division.

The 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division includes:[2]

  • 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment (Black Jack)

4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry takes its history and lineage from D Troop, 10th Cavalry. In 2000, D Troop, 10th U.S. Cavalry, was reactivated and assigned as the Brigade Reconnaissance Troop for 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia. D Troop, 10th Cavalry was deployed with 3/3 ID to Iraq in 2003, and was deactivated upon redeployment in 2004.[2]

It was reactivated in October 2009 at Fort Carson, Colorado as the 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment with A, B, C, and HQ Troops as the Reconnaissance Squadron for 3rd Combat Brigade Team (BCT) of the 4th Infantry Division. The 4th Squadron deployed to Iraq with 3/4 ID from December 2007 to February 2009, and again in March 2010.[2]

10th Cavalry regimental campaign participation credit

Activated 1866.

In 1958 the Tenth Cavalry Regiment was reactivated.[2]

  • Vietnam War:
    • Counteroffensive, Phase II; (with the 4th Infantry Division)
    • Counteroffensive, Phase III;
    • Tet Counteroffensive;
    • Counteroffensive, Phase IV;
    • Counteroffensive, Phase V;
    • Counteroffensive, Phase VI;
    • Tet 69/Counteroffensive;
    • Summer-Fall 1969;
    • Winter-Spring 1970;
    • Sanctuary Counteroffensive (Except 3rd Brigade);
    • Counteroffensive, Phase VII (Except 3rd Brigade).
  • Iraq War:
    • Liberation of Iraq – 19 March 2003 to 1 May 2003.
    • Transition of Iraq – 2 May 2003 to 28 June 2004.
    • Iraqi Governance – 29 June 2004 to 15 December 2005.
    • National Resolution – 16 December 2005 to a date to be determined.

Regimental Decorations

Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg * Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered PLEIKU PROVINCE (1st Brigade only) Streamer PUC Army.PNG
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg * Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered DAK TO DISTRICT (1st Brigade only) Streamer PUC Army.PNG
Valorous Unit Award ribbon.svg * Valorous Unit Award, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division (1969–1972), Streamer embroidered II Corp Defense Streamer VUA Army.PNG
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg * Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1966-1969 VGCP Streamer.jpg
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg * Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1969-1970 VGCP Streamer.jpg
VNCivilActionsRibbon-2.svg * Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1966-1969 Streamer RVMUCCA.PNG
Army Superior Unit Award ribbon.svg * Army Superior Unit Award (Selected Units) for Force XXI Test and Evaluation (1995–1996)
Valorous Unit Award ribbon.svg * Valorous Unit Award, 1st Brigade Combat Team & Supporting units, 4th Infantry Division, Streamer embroidered with Operation Red Dawn, Iraq – 2003 Streamer VUA Army.PNG
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg * Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003–2004) (1st & 2nd Brigades only) Streamer PUC Army.PNG
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg * Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered Operation Iraqi Freedom (2005–2006) (1st & 2nd Brigades only) Streamer PUC Army.PNG

Notable members of the 10th Cavalry Regiment

Some members in this section are noted in the article above. If detailed in the article, they are summarized here. If not detailed, a brief expansion is provided.

  • Mark Matthews, who was the oldest living Buffalo Soldier, died at the age of 111 on September 6, 2005. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Matthews joined the 10th Cavalry Regiment when he was only 15 years old, after having been recruited at a Lexington, Kentucky racetrack and having documents forged so that he appeared to meet the minimum age of 17.[35]
  • John Bigelow, Jr., Second Lieutenant, (later Lieutenant Colonel) Bigelow served with the 9th Cavarly Regiment from 1877-1885. He was then assigned to the 10th Cavalry and stayed with them in Cuba (D Troop) until 1899. He then served again with the 9th from 1903-1904.
  • Benjamin Grierson, the first commander of the 10th Cavalry Regiment. Served 1866 to 1888.
  • Henry O. Flipper - the first African-American graduate of West Point in 1877.
  • Nicholas M. Nolan, a favorite officer of A Troop for more than a decade and who led during the Buffalo Soldier tragedy of 1877 also known as the "Staked Plains Horror."
  • Jules Garesche Ord, First Lieutenant, second in command of D Troop, who was killed in action after starting and leading the spontaneous charge of the 10th U.S. Cavalry up to the top of San Juan Hill.
  • John J. Pershing – from October 1895 until mid 1897, First Lieutenant (later General) Pershing commanded a troop of the 10th Cavalry Regiment from Fort Assinniboine in north central Montana. In 1898 in Cuba, Major Pershing served as a regimental officer who participated in the assault on Kettle Hill (part of the San Juan heights) and took over temporary command of D Troop after that battle on July 1, 1898. He was later known as “Nigger Jack” and “Black Jack” for comparing the high level of professionalism and discipline of the “Buffalo Soldiers” with other soldiers.
  • Augustus Walley served with the 9th Cavalry Regiment as a private and received the Medal of Honor. He later served with the 10th Cavalry as First Sergeant in Cuba and the Philapines.
  • Charles Young, Major (later Colonel) commanded the 2nd Squadron of the 10th during the 1916 Punitive Expedition into Mexico. He led a cavalry pistol charge that saved the wounded General Beltran and his men of the 13th Cavalry squadron, who had been outflanked.

In media & fiction

  • Tom Clancy's The Sum Of All Fears, the 10th Cavalry Regiment is reformed to serve as the Army component of the American forces defending Israel. This reformed regiment continues to play prominently in Tom Clancy's Executive Orders where it is transferred to Kuwait in order to defend that nation from the United Islamic Republic (a fictional amalgamation of Iran and Iraq). Later a movie, loosely based on the book was made.[36]
  • Sergeant Rutledge (1960) deals with a "Buffalo Soldier", the sergeant of the title, who is accused of the rape and murder of a white woman. In the film the regiment was inaccurately described as the 9th, but in fact the 10th were serving in Arizona at that time. The song included—"Captain Buffalo"—refers to the little-known western legend of a black cavalry officer.[38]
  • A reunion of former 10th cavalrymen at Camp Lockett was featured on the "California's Gold" television (TV) program primarily seen on public television stations.[40]

See also


  1. ^ 7-10 Cav Global which references “(Starr 1981:46).”
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Official 4ID History 4th Infantry Division Homepage: History". United States Army. 02-08-2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Schubert, Frank N. (2004), On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II: New and Revised Biographies of African Americans (1866-1917), Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0842050795 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bigelow, John Jr, Lieutenant, U.S.A., R.Q.M. Tenth Cavalry (no date given but about 1890). ""The Tenth Regiment of Cavalry" from "The Army of the United States Historical Sketches of Staff and Line with Portraits of Generals-in-Chief"". United States Army. Retrieved August 12, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Leckie, William H. (December 1999), The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Negro Cavalry in the West, University of Oklahoma Press, ISBN 978-0806112442 0806112441 
  6. ^ Lawton. "Buffalo Soldiers — 10th Cavalry Medal of Honor Recipients". Buffalo Soldiers. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  7. ^ Carpenter, Louis Henry, Brig. Gen, retired (1912), Carpenter's Recollections: The Battle of Beecher Island, Kansas State Historical Society,, retrieved August 1, 2009  Letter written in 1912 from Carpenter to Mr. George Martin of the Kansas State Historical Society.
  8. ^ a b c Fort Concho National Historic Landmark, San Angelo, TX: Fort Concho NHL,, retrieved 2 January 2009 
  9. ^ History of the Medal
  10. ^ Medal of Honor Recipients Indian Wars Period
  11. ^ a b Anthony L. Powell (1998). "Black Participation in the Spanish-American War". The Spanish-American War Centennial web site. Retrieved September 11, 2009. 
  12. ^ Samuel Sumner was in command of the division when the battle began as General Wheeler was ill. Wheeler returned to the front once the battle was underway.
    Longacre, Edward G. A Soldier to the Last: Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler in Blue and Gray: 2006 p.227
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kinevan, Marcos E., Brigadier General, USAF, retired (1998). Frontier Cavalryman, Lieutenant John Bigelow with the Buffalo Soldiers in Texas. Texas Western Press, The University of Texas at El Paso. ISBN 0-87404-243-7. 
  14. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore (1898). The Rough Riders, Chapter III,
  15. ^ Medal of Honor Recipients War With Spain
  16. ^ Field, Ron; Richard Hook (2005). Buffalo Soldiers 1892-1918. Osprey Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 1841768987, 9781841768984.,M1. Retrieved June 4, 2009. 
  17. ^ Plante, Trevor (Summer 2000). "Researching Service in the U.S. Army During the Philippine Insurrection". Prologue Magazine 32 (2). Retrieved 2009-06-04. "These included four units of African American soldiers who served in the Ninth U.S. Cavalry, Tenth U.S. Cavalry, Twenty-fourth U.S. Infantry, and Twenty-fifth U.S. Infantry.". 
  18. ^ "The Philippine War - A Conflict of Conscience for African Americans". Presideo of San Francisco. U.S. Department of Interior. 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  19. ^ McAllister Linn, Brian (1999). Guardians of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Pacific, 1902-1940. UNC Press. p. 60. ISBN 0807848158, 9780807848159.,M1. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  20. ^ Leckie, William H. (1967), The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Negro Cavalry in the West, Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, LCCN 67-15571 
  21. ^ a b Named Campaigns - Mexican Expedition Mexican Punitive Expedition
  22. ^ Stout, Joseph Allen. Border Conflict: Villistas, Carrancistas, and the Punitive Expedition, 1915-1920, page 1
  23. ^ "10th Cavalry Squadron History". US Army. 
  24. ^ a b c Finely, James P. (1996). Buffalo Soldiers at Huachuca: The Battle of Ambo Nogales. Fort Huachuca, AZ: Huachuca Musem Society. p. Vol. 2, part 6. ISBN 93-206790. Retrieved January 18, 2010.  Note: Library of Congress Number: 93-206790
  25. ^ a b c Wharfield, Harold B., Colonel, USAF retired (1965). Tenth Cavalry and Border Fights. El Cajon, CA: self published. pp. 85–97. 
  26. ^ Clendenen, Clarence, Colonel (US Army retired) (1969). Blood on the Border; the United States Army and the Mexican irregulars. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 002526110X, 978-0025261105. 
  27. ^ a b "The 35th Infantry Regiment at Nogales, Arizona". 35th Infantry Regiment Asociation. 1999. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  28. ^ ""1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment"". 
  29. ^ "Camp Lockett (Mitchell Convalescent Hospital)". Historic California Posts. California State Military Department. 2008-10-12. Archived from the original on 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "In 1942, the 10th Cavalry Regiment (the famed Buffalo Soldiers) moved into Camp Lockett to replace the11th Cavalry Regiment which had been converted into an armored unit." 
  30. ^ "The 28th Cavalry: The U.S. Army’s Last Horse Cavalry Regiment". History. Fort Sill Chapter. Archived from the original on 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  31. ^ "2d Cavalry Division". Center of Military History. United States Army. 2003-10-03. Archived from the original on 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  32. ^ Hargrove, Hondon B. (1985), Buffalo Soldiers in Italy: Black Americans in World War II, Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, ISBN 0-89950-116-8 
  33. ^ a b c d (2000-2009). "D Troop, 10th Cavalry Regiment "BlackJack"". Retrieved February 8, 2010. 
  34. ^ a b - Retrieved 21 September 2008
  35. ^ Shaughnessy, Larry (September 19, 2005), Oldest Buffalo Soldier to be Buried at Arlington,, retrieved 2007-04-24 
  36. ^ Tom Clancy (2002). "Sum of All Fears". Berkley. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  37. ^ Gregor Jordan (director) (2001). "Buffalo Soldiers (movie)". Internet Movie database ( Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  38. ^ John Ford (director) (1960). "Sergeant Rutledge (movie)". Internet Movie database ( Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  39. ^ Bohjalian, Chris (2003). "The Buffalo Soldier". Vintage. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  40. ^ "California's Gold #302 - A CLOSER LOOK". California's Gold. Huell Howser Productions. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 

Further reading

  • Schubert, Frank N. On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II: New and Revised Biographies of African Americans (1866–1917), Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. ISBN 0842050795.
  • Stout, Joseph Allen. Border Conflict: Villistas, Carrancistas, and the Punitive Expedition, 1915–1920, TCU Press, 1997. ISBN 087565200X.
  • Tom, Willard, Buffalo Soldiers. Tor/Forge, 1997. ISBN 0812551052.

External links


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