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Oxford Reference

“Buffalo” Soldiers

In the post–Civil War regular army, Congress set aside six regiments for black enlisted men in the reorganization act of 28 July 1866. These were the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st Infantry Regiments. The act marked the first inclusion of black units in the regular army. It was seen as recognition of the contribution black units of the Union army had made in the Civil War. In the spring of 1869, the 38th and 41st were merged into the 24th Infantry Regiment; the 39th and 40th became the 25th. Commissioned officers of the black units were white (the only exceptions before 1901 were Henry Flipper, Charles Young, and John Alexander).

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