Program about Buffalo Soldiers taking place Sunday in commemoration of Fort Hays milestone

Feb 15, 2017

Credit Douglas Pancoast, HABS delineator

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Fort Hays in its present location, a program about Buffalo Soldiers will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Historic Fort Hays Visitor’s center in Hays, Kansas.  

The program is free and open to the public and will be presented by Barrie Tompkins, a founder of the Nicodemus Buffalo Soldier Association, who has appeared in two TNT movies as a buffalo soldier – 1997’s “Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders,” and 1998’s “The Buffalo Soldiers.”

As the Hays Daily News reports, the garrison of Fort Hays usually was comprised of cavalry and infantry regiments, sometimes supplemented with an artillery battery. Black troops were present when companies of the black regiments (38th Infantry and Ninth and Tenth cavalries) were stationed at the fort.

At times, the garrison was comprised mostly of black soldiers and although they faced prejudice from the civilian population and fellow white soldiers and generally were given inferior equipment and the least desirable duty assignments, they proved themselves to be exceptionally good soldiers.

Fort Hays State Historic Site is located four miles south of Interstate 70 Exit 157 in Hays. For more information, contact Fort Hays State Historic Site, 1472 U.S. Highway 183 Alt., Hays, KS 67601-9212, call (785) 625-6812 or email thefort@kshs.org