Last outpost of the Buffalo Soldiers

The origin of the term “Buffalo Soldiers” has several versions. The term refers to the US Army’s African American cavalry units formed after the Civil War. More than likely, it originated with Native Americans who fought fierce battles against black cavalry units during the Plains Indian Wars.

Buffalo Soldiers (Click to visit in a new window)What we do know for sure is that after 70 years of distinguished service, the last of the Buffalo Soldiers—the U.S. Army’s 4th cavalry Brigade—were stationed at Camp Lockett, near San Diego, during World War II.

As early as the 1870s, American cavalry units had camped for extended periods of time near the future location of Camp Lockett. A pass through the mountains along the U.S.-Mexico border, about 60 miles east of San Diego, made the area a favorite of rustlers and smugglers. By 1918, the Army had constructed the first permanent buildings and stationed cavalry units there due to the threat from civil war in Mexico.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, border security became critical and Camp Lockett was expanded. California’s border with Mexico was particularly sensitive, due to the many military installations and defense plants in Southern California.

Cavalry units were ideal for patrolling the rugged and remote terrain. At Camp Lockett early in 1942, the black 10th cavalry replaced the 11th cavalry, a white unit that traded in their horses for tanks. The 10th were soon joined by the black 28th cavalry, and formed the 4th Cavalry Brigade. These Buffalo Soldiers, about 2500 strong, patrolled the border with Mexico from San Diego to El Centro as the last mounted active-duty cavalry unit in the United States Army.

Beginning in late 1943, border security units at Camp Lockett were disbanded as the threat of invasion or saboteurs ended. Camp Lockett became a convalescent hospital and prisoner of war camp. The 4th Cavalry Brigade was dismounted and sent to the European theater. In the segregated army of World War II, few Buffalo Soldiers saw combat. Most were assigned to service units. Some of them became drivers in the famous “Red Ball Express,” while others built the first pontoon bridges over the Rhine.

But the days of cavalry on horseback were over.

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One Response to Last outpost of the Buffalo Soldiers

  1. Erich Hicks says:

    Keep history alive by telling that history:

    Read the greatest ‘historical novel’, Rescue at Pine Ridge, the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers. The website is: This is the greatest story of Black Military History…5 stars Amazon Internationally, and Barnes & Noble. Youtube commercials are: and

    Rescue at Pine Ridge is the story of the rescue of the famed 7th Cavalry by the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers. The 7th Cavalry was entrapped again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn’t for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry. This story is about, brutality, compassion, reprisal, bravery, heroism, redemption and gallantry.

    You’ll enjoy the novel that embodies the Native Americans, Outlaws and African-American/Black soldiers, from the south to the north, in the days of the Native American Wars with the approaching United States of America.

    The novel was taken from my mini-series movie with the same title, “RaPR” to keep the story alive. The movie so far has the interest of, Mr. Bill Duke, Hill Harper, Glynn Turman, James Whitmore Jr., Reginald T. Dorsey and a host of other major actors in which we are in talks with, in starring in this epic American story.

    When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for the US Postal System in Montana, in the 1890’s, “spread the word”.


    MODERATOR’S NOTE: Just so you know, we edited the URLs from Erich’s comment in accordance with our Comment Guidelines. Nothing else has been changed or altered in any way!

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