The Buffalo Soldiers will present living history and horseback riding demonstrations and show 1870s period equipment & uniforms. In addition there is a Pecan Pie Contest (prior registration with park staff required).
Who or what are the Buffalo Soldiers?
Nearly 16 months after the Civil War ended, an Act of Congress was approved on July 28, 1866 and "authorized the formation of two regiments of cavalry composed of "colored" men. On September 21, 1866, the 9th Cavalry Regiment was activated at Greenville, Louisiana, and the 10th Cavalry Regiment was activated at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Troop I (10th Cavalry) came to Fort Verde in 1885.
The first regimental commanders were Colonel Edward Hatch (9th Cavalry) and Colonel Benjamin Grierson (10th Cavalry) under whose leadership the two units were trained, equipped and began a long and proud history. For over two decades, the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments conducted campaigns against Native American tribes on a western frontier that extended from Fore Verde State Historic Park to Texas, Montana, New Mexico, and Arizona.
They engaged in several skirmishes against such great chiefs as Quanah Parker, Victorio, Na-hah, and Geronimo. "Buffalo Soldiers" was the name given to the black troops by the Plains Indians because of the resemblance of the black man's hair to that of the buffalo's mane and also the ferocity with which they fought, much like the buffalo (bison) when cornered or wounded. When not engaged in combat on the frontier, both regiments built forts, roads, installed telegraph wires, escorted wagons trains and stage coaches, subdued rustlers, outlaws, and comancheros.
History of Fort Verde State Historic Park
Opened & Dedicated October 10, 1970
The site that is now Fort Verde State Historic Park was occupied by U.S. Army troops in the summer of 1870. Construction of the Fort began in 1871 and was completed by 1873. The Fort was an active primary military base during the Central Arizona Indian Wars and was abandoned in April 1891 and sold in small parcels at auction.
The current 11.25-acre Fort Verde State Historic Park contains four historic buildings, two ruins, three support structures, and a portion of the old parade ground, and is significant as the best surviving assemblage of Indian Wars era military architecture in the State, and is important as a unique site for interpreting a cultural conflict crucial to the development of Arizona.
For more information visit the Fort Verde State Historic Park website.