Black soldiers fought so bravely and ferociously during a battle with Cheyenne warriors in 1867, that the Cheyenne nicknamed them "Wild Buffalo."
Over time, the term "Buffalo Soldiers" was used for all black soldiers who served during the Indian wars. Between battles, the "Buffalo Soldiers" built roads and telegraph lines, escorted supply trains and guarded stagecoach and mail routes.
In 1868, Cathay Williams became the first black female Buffalo Soldier - she disguised herself as a male.
Henry O. Flipper was the fifth African-American to be accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and in 1877 became the first African-American to graduate from the academy. He was the first African-American to be commissioned in the Army, or any other branch of the U.S. military. He also became the first African-American officer to command African-American soldiers in the Army when he assumed command of Troop A, 10th Calvary Regiment, also known as the Buffalo Soldiers, at Fort Sill, Okla. Before Flipper took command, all African-American units were commanded by white officers.