Just west of the main route through Sierra Vista is Fort Huachuca, headquarters for the U.S. Army’s Strategic Communications Command and the home of two fine military museums housed in three building on the fort.
One museum is dedicated to the history of the U.S. Army in the American Southwest. Of particular importance, it tells the story of the Army’s 10th Cavalry Regiment, the fighting unit more famously known as the Buffalo Soldiers, the all-Black regiment established immediately after the Civil War.
The other museum takes you through the evolution of Army intelligence-gathering capabilities. Both have excellent exhibits.
“Buffalo Soldier” is a term bestowed on Black soldiers by the Native Americans they fought: the Cheyenne, Comanche, and Apache, among others. One can reasonably assume that the Indians thought the dark, curly hair of these men resembled the thick, black hair of the American Bison.
Over and over again, the soldiers of the 10th Cav. Distinguished themselves, despite horrific racial prejudice.
The last surviving Buffalo Soldier, Mark Matthews, died in 2005 at the age of 111. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.