Submitted by

Isiah Edwards
Long Beach, Mississippi


U.S. Senator
Mary L. Landrieu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2002

CONTACT: Lindsay Ellenbogen
202-224-4893

LANDRIEU HONORS MILITARY HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICANS

Memorial for Louisiana's Buffalo Soldiers Proposed

WASHINGTON, DC - (February 28, 2002) - The Buffalo Soldiers, who in 1866 inaugurated a rich tradition of professional African-American service in the United States Army, deserve a memorial and today U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) introduced legislation to see that they get it. The move comes as the nation celebrates the end of Black History month, a time to recognize the many contributions African Americans have made to make America the most powerful and successful country in the world today.

"The bravery and service of these soldiers has been, to this date, insufficiently memorialized,'' said Senator Landrieu. "The Buffalo Soldiers, many of which were from Louisiana, served their nation in the harshest environments, under the most difficult conditions, with bravery and fortitude. While their efforts will be remembered throughout history as the work of free men in defense of our nation, for far too long this extraordinary contribution went underappreciated. I am glad that is changing. Their efforts deserve prominent recognition."

The Army Reorganization Act of 1866 authorized the creation of six regiments of black troops, two cavalry and four infantry units. These included the Ninth and Tenth Calvary Regiments as well as the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments. The Ninth Cavalry regiment was activated at New Orleans, Louisiana under command of Colonel Edward Hatch.

These regiments fought in virtually every significant campaign of the Indian Wars, as well as the Spanish-American War, The Philippine insurrection and the Raids against Poncho Villa. In addition to fighting, many were sent West to fulfill the government's mission of developing the desserts, mountains and great plains. They helped explore and map uncharted areas, built military posts which eventually became commercial centers, provided protection for railroad construction crews and policed major lines of transportation and communication.

The name "Buffalo Soldiers" was received from the Plains Indians, who associated the soldiers' determination with the fighting spirit of their sacred buffalo. The troops accepted the title as a measure of respect and wore it proudly.

The bill now heads to the Senate Committee on Energy and the Environment for consideration.


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Posted by:

Bennie J. McRae, Jr.
LWF Communications
Trotwood, Ohio


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