African American Buffalo Soldiers

 

En route to Yosemite the Buffalo Soldiers camped at Coarsegold Village.

 

For three years, 1898, 1903 and 1904, the Buffalo Soldiers patrolled Yosemite Valley, Sequoia and General Grant Parks (Kings Canyon). They were to settle problems with the tourists and also to make sure the ranchers did not bring more livestock to the high country than their permits allowed.

They also built and maintained the roads going to Kings Canyon. En route to the parks from the Presidio in San Francisco, they camped at what is now the Historic Village in Coarsegold.

The term "Buffalo Soldiers" came from the INdians who thought the culry dark hair looked like buffalo hair. Buffalo Soldiers were prevalent in the Midwest and Eastern United States.

There was Capt. Charles Young, who was born to former slaves in Kentucky. His father had escaped bondage during the Civil War to enlist in the Union army, and Young followed his father's example or military service, becoming only the third black man to graduate from West Point - and the first to be put in charge of a national park. Young commanded the African American Buffalo Soldiers, he served with distinction and his troops loved him.

The Buffalo Soldiers saddle and equipment is on display at the Coarsegold Historic Museum.

 


 

For more information on the Buffalo Soldiers in the Yosemite area

National Park Service's website on the Buffalo Soldiers near Yosemite