During the Civil War era there were brave African Americans that chose to fight in the Civil War. They were called the Buffalo Soldiers. Over two hundred thousand serviceman fought in that war. In 1866, six all African American army units were formed to serve in the war. The troops were led by white in which many of them refused to command black officers. Nevertheless, the black regiments served and prevailed with helping secure the victory of the North. The Buffalo Soldiers were tasked with protecting the settlers that moved west and to protect several expansions.
“The name “Buffalo Soldiers” has become interesting lore in itself. There seem to be three possible reasons for the name. One, it is said that the curly hair of the soldiers reminded them of the Buffalo. Two, they were given the name because their fierce, brave nature reminded them of the way buffalo\’s fought. Third, it may have been because they wore thick coats made from buffalo hide during winter. Whatever the reason, the term was used respectfully and with honor.”
The last of the brave soldiers to fight has passed recently. He was the last of a dying breed of African American solders that fought to survive and preserve the battle between slavery and no slavery.
Mr. Tomie Louis Gaines, Age 93, one of the last Buffalo Soldiers has been laid to rest. He was a medic in the 2nd Calvary and patched wounds for soldiers on the beach of Normandy on D-Day. This brave soldier endured the trying times of hatred, segregation, and discrimination during his time serving but he held strong to his morals.
To not acknowledge this American icon would be a travesty. So for Black History Month, we at The DC voice recognize Tomie L. Gaines as a warrior and icon of history that has served his country.