Honoring Buffalo Soldiers and their Contributions to Colorado's History

May 9, 2016

Buffalo soldiers of the 25th Infantry, some wearing buffalo robes, Ft. Keogh, Montana
Credit Chr. Barthelmess, photographer, Fort Keogh, Montana. / Library of Congress, Public Domain

The statehouse recently voted to commemorate four historical African American army units. 

A resolution to designate a portion of Highway 24 in Colorado Springs as the "Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Highway" passed unanimously in the state house and senate along with a recognition of the units' importance in the state's early history.

Willie Breazell chairs the group "Buffalo Soldiers Community Memorial" and led the effort. He says his father taught him about the soldiers when he was a child.

"They rode stagecoach, they carried the mail, they built roads, they protected telegraph," Breazell says. "They protected surveyors who were surveying what Colorado looks like geographically. So there are a lot of things that the history books overlooked."

Since 2013, Breazell says he and members of his team have worked closely with state leaders, raising $30,000 for the project.

The "Buffalo Soldiers Community Memorial" group plans to have a dedication ceremony this summer on July 28, the day that will mark the 150th anniversary of the congressional authorization of the army units.