publications

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado Historical Society, is considered by many experts to be the finest presentation in the country on this important subject. The exhibit, curated by Bill Gwaltney, himself a descendant of a buffalo soldier, tells the fascinating story of African American soldiers in the American West after the Civil War.

In 1866 Congress authorized the recruitment of African American soldiers to man isolated outposts in the western frontier that were established to help create permanent settled communities. Having recently been freed from slavery, black men eagerly responded to the government’s postwar call for troops and saw military service as an opportunity for a steady income, education, self-respect, equality, and unquestionable status as a U.S. citizen. In 1866 the black cavalry units and four black infantry regiments were formed to man western outposts (including Fort Robinson, Nebraska) and from 1866 until 1892, more than 10,000 black soldiers moved west to help create a new way of life.

The importance of these men in the development of the American West went beyond serving in combat; they helped build frontier forts, constructed telegraph lines, patrolled the Mexican border, arrested whiskey peddlers, removed unauthorized settlers, and captured thieves and outlaw gangs. Their name, the name that may have been a source of pride, was given to them by their Plains Indian opponents: Buffalo Soldiers.

Buffalo Soldiers West uses an extraordinary collection of photographs, uniforms, weapons, and accoutrements of life on the post and on the campaign. The exhibit will run through Labor Day of 1997. 

 

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Other Publications

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society RG2955.ph). In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...

Buffalo Hunt, by J. E. Johnson

Joseph E. Johnson, editor and publisher of The Huntsman's Echo of Wood River Centre in Buffalo County, took a hunting and exploring trip with friends during the summer ...

Buffalo Hunt at Niagara Falls

In 1872 James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok acted as master of ceremonies for a "Grand Buffalo Hunt" at Niagara Falls. Joseph G. Rosa's article on the hunt in the Spring ...

Buffalo Hunt, 1871

Buffalo were still relatively plentiful in western Nebraska in the early 1870s, and Nebraskans from more settled areas often went on hunting excursions. The exploits of ...

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, 1883

The first public performance of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody's Wild West show was May 19, 1883, in Omaha. A dress rehearsal had taken place May 10 in Columbus. Several ...
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