Skip to main content
Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Military historian to speak on Buffalo Soldiers at URI on March 7

Media Contact:

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 16, 2005 -- Frank N. “Mickey” Schubert, former chief of joint operational history with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., will speak on the history of Buffalo Soldiers on Monday, March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Galanti Lounge of the University of Rhode Island Library. The talk is free and open to the public.

Formed during the reconstruction era, four of the African-American regiments serving in the U.S. Army - the 9th and 10th Cavalries, and the 24th and the 25th infantries – were deployed to the American West to play a central role in the United States war against Native Americans.

According to legend, these black soldiers were called Buffalo Soldiers by the Native Americans because their tightly wound hair and fighting spirit were said to resemble attributes of the buffalo. Well into the 20th century, the name “Buffalo Soldier” continued to be embraced by African-American units of the U.S. Army as a term of respect.

Schubert’s talk will address some of the myths and realities that have emerged from the many romantic portrayals of the complex history of the “Buffalo Soldiers.”

Born in Washington, D.C., Schubert graduated from Howard University, later earning his master’s degree from the University of Wyoming, and his doctorate from the University of Toledo.

From 1965 to 1968, he served in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of captain. He was a historian in the Department of Defense from 1974 until his retirement as chief of the Joint Operational History Branch in the Joint History Office, Office of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, in June 2003.

Schubert has written extensively on military subjects, including African- American soldiers, frontier exploration, and military construction. He has lectured throughout the U.S. and Europe and spent the 2003/4 academic year as a Fulbright Fellow at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania.

His books include On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier: Biographies of African-American in the U.S. Army, 1866-1917 (1995); Black Valor: Buffalo Soldiers and the Medal of Honor, 1870-1898 (1997); and Voices of the Buffalo Soldier; Records, Reports, and Recollections of Military Service in the West (2003).

The event is jointly sponsored by URI’s Military Science Program, Honors Program, the Office of Graduate Study, Research, and Outreach, the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, and Multicultural Center.

For additional information, contact Louis Kirschenbaum at 401-874-2340.