Buffalo Soldiers in Vermont

Black Americans have served in every conflict in American History. But it was not until the Civil War that the US Army officially recognized them. The 9th and 10th regiments formed in 1868 as the first all-Black regiments in the US Army. They served in the Spanish-American War and the War in the Philippines. The 10th cavalry earned the nickname the “fighting 10th.” Over time, these all-Black regiments have come to be known as the “Buffalo Soldiers.” The Buffalo Soldiers served in every armed conflict until 1948. The US army desegregated after World War II.

From 1909 to 1913, the 10th cavalry was stationed at Fort Ethan Allen in Winooski, Vermont. Vermont is a state with little racial diversity. Many white residents in Burlington used racist arguments against their arrival. Newspaper articles argued in support of segregating street cars in Burlington. But the city did not introduce segregation in public spaces. The 10th cavalry changed conversations about racial equality in Vermont. Many members of the 10th made Vermont their home. They created a small network of Black-owned businesses and communities in Winooski.