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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
National Historic Trails Interpretive Center
 
Release Date: 01/25/11
Contacts: Lesley A. Collins    
  307-261-7603    

Trails Center Celebrates Black History Month with Temporary Exhibit, "Buffalo Soldiers:
Forgotten Troops of the Western Frontier"


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC) is recognizing Black History Month with a temporary exhibit entitled, “Buffalo Soldiers: Forgotten Troops of the Western Frontier.” The exhibit opens Feb.1 and will run through Feb. 26.

Buffalo Soldier, wearing a uniform with a marksman badge & sharpshooter medal. Source: Library of Congress
Buffalo Soldier, wearing a uniform with a marksman badge & sharpshooter medal. Source: Library of Congress
An African-American soldier, 9th Cavalry, Company D. His collar has the sharpshooter insignia. Photographer: C.C. McBride. Source: Library of Congress
An African-American soldier, 9th Cavalry, Company D. His collar has the sharpshooter insignia. Photographer: C.C. McBride. Source: Library of Congress
Buffalo Soldiers of the 25th Infantry, Fort Keough, MT.
Buffalo Soldiers of the 25th Infantry, Fort Keough, MT.
Photographer: Chr. Barthelmess.
Source: Library of Congress
9th Cavalry, World War I, Fort D.A. Russell, WY.
9th Cavalry, World War I, Fort D.A. Russell, WY.
Source: Wyoming State Archives, Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources
“The exhibit recognizes the service and contributions of Buffalo Soldiers to U.S. and Wyoming history,” said Trails Center Director Mike Abel.

In the frontier West, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. Cavalry troopers were black. These black soldiers were given the name “Buffalo Soldiers” by their enemies, the Plains Indians.

It is said Indians gave them this name due to their curly, dark hair, which resembled the fur of a buffalo, an animal revered by the Plains Indians. Another theory claims that Buffalo Soldiers fought like fierce, enraged buffalo. Either way, Buffalo Soldiers took the name with pride.

Black soldiers served throughout the West. Their job was to keep order among homesteaders, cowboys, townspeople, buffalo hunters, horse thieves, and highly mobile bands of Desert and Plains Indians – whose raids grew more daring and desperate as their primary food source, buffalo, was hunted to near extinction.

The exhibit was created by Trails Center staff, along with Tom Rea and Kylie McCormick. Rea is a Casper editor, historian, and author of the award-winning book, “Devil’s Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story.” McCormick is a Casper resident, Trails Center intern, and student at Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.

Part of the exhibit, which tells the story of the all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments, is on loan from the public affairs office of Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

For more information, contact Alex Rose at (307) 261-7700.

The NHTIC is a part of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The areas of the NLCS are specifically designed to conserve, protect and restore the exceptional scientific, natural, cultural, ecological, historical, and recreation values of these treasured landscapes.

The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The facility is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo. The Center is currently operating on winter hours, and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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National Historic Trails Interpretive Center   1501 North Poplar Street      Casper, WY 82601  

Last updated: 01-25-2011