From 1885 through 1907 the majority of the troops stationed at Fort Robinson were African American.
The first, of the Ninth Cavalry, arrived in 1885. The U.S. Army was then totally segregated, with two cavalry regiments composed of black soldiers. Fort Robinson was regimental headquarters for the Ninth Cavalry from 1887 to 1898. In the winter of 1890 the Ghost Dance movement turned attention turned to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in nearby South Dakota. The army was called in to monitor the volatile situation. The first soldiers sent to Pine Ridge were from Fort Robinson. Soldiers from the post were also sent to help quell several outbreaks of civil disorder during the 1890s.
After 1900 the fort continued as regimental headquarters for the Tenth (the other black cavalry regiment), Eighth, and Twelfth Cavalry regiments. In 1916 the remaining units at Fort Robinson were transferred for duty along the Mexican border. The post was virtually abandoned throughout the World War I years.