Elusive Equality

Despite the critical role buffalo soldiers played in protecting settlements, trading posts, farms, and ranches throughout the region, their sacrifice and valor were not repaid with unconditional acceptance.

Traders took advantage of them with shoddy supplies, they were denied services in towns, and they were often subjected to violence from the very citizens they had protected.

According to Fort Craig burial records, at least two buffalo soldiers stationed there were killed in altercations with civilians. A third black soldier, Joseph Christian of the Ninth Cavalry, was lynched by a mob near Fort Craig after being accused of rape. The blight of Jim Crow racism had followed these men to their graves despite their years of service.

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