January 31, 2017 – Members of the Camp Mabry Buffalo Soldiers, Company A – 9th Cavalry visited Canyon Vista Middle School today to educate students about the history of Texas Buffalo Soldiers and their unit in particular. African Americans have fought in military conflicts since colonial days. However, the Buffalo Soldiers, comprised of former slaves, freemen and Black Civil War soldiers, were the first to serve during peacetime, after the end of military campaigns. Throughout the era of the “Indian Wars,” approximately twenty percent of the U.S. Cavalry troopers were Black. The combat prowess, bravery, tenaciousness, and looks on the battlefield, inspired the Indians to call them “Buffalo Soldiers.” Many Indians believe the name symbolized the Native American’s respect for the Buffalo Soldiers’ bravery and valor.
Living History actors presented to 7th graders as part of the Civil War and Reconstruction (Post-War Era) units in Texas History. Dressed in Civil War era uniforms, they showed 7th grade Texas History students their equipment, told how they lived and what they did, answered student questions about life in the 1800s on the frontier as a Buffalo Soldier, and put on a living history demonstration of the Buffalo Soldiers. The Canyon Vista Junior Historian Club has invited living history actors for various units of study, including Civil War era soldiers, Vietnam-era soldiers, and World War II era soldiers. It was created to bring museum curation and exhibits, public history professionals, Civil War reenactors, and other authentic learning experiences to our students’ study of the Civil War. Students are able to learn about the shared history of our community, state, and nation. It also gives an opportunity for students to experience museum-quality experiences to which they might not have access.