Talk:Black Seminole Scouts

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Black Seminole Scouts[edit]

Black Seminole Scouts were a part of the organization called United States Army Indian Scouts - while often associated with Buffalo Soldiers they were never US Army Buffalo Soldiers. Scouts served all US units. There is no documentaion that any US Army Indian Scouts were offically or documented by the military as "Buffalo Soldiers." The Buffalo Soldier template has been removed for this reason. Jrcrin001 (talk) 19:11, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Your reference ENGAGEMENTS by the BUFFALO SOLDIERS AND SEMINOLE-NEGRO INDIAN SCOUTS shows 4 times when USA Indian Scouts (These Scouts had different names like Black Seminole Scouts) fought with the 9th Cav, 10th Cav and 24th Inf out of 9 listings of engagements with them on that page. The author clearly discriminates between military units and scouts. Why? They were totally different organizations. The engagments made by the Seminole Scouts independently or working with other units far exceeded 9. Many will never be known because their role was observation and reporting to the military units.

In this cite mentions the Scouts with the 4th Cavalry Regiment and 24th Infantry and at several posts where other units were assigned. They were organized in 1870 by Major Zenas Bliss then of the 39th Infantry Regiment. "He formed the first unit of Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts, and his detailed memoirs chronicled life on the Texas frontier." See Book note below. Also be aware that the US Army was reduced in size in 1869, and the 39th and 40th were consolidated into the 25th Infantry Regiment.

From John Bullis Wiki article: "In 1867, he received an offer of a commission as a Lieutenant in the 41st (Colored) Infantry, an all-black regiment. In 1869, there was a downsizing of the Corps of Infantry from 45 regiments to 25 and he was reassigned as a Lieutenant in the 24th (Colored) Infantry.

In 1873, Bullis was re-assigned to command the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts at Fort Clark, Texas.

From 1873-1876 and 1878-1879 he served under General Ranald S. Mackenzie, where he received citations for bravery."

SEMINOLE-NEGRO INDIAN SCOUTS by Mary L. Williams, Park Ranger/Historian writes: "In 1873 Lieutenant John Bullis joined the 24th Infantry Regiment. He saw in the Seminole-Negro Scouts the type of highly mobile strike force that could take the war to the enemy. For the next eight years, the scouts served under Bullis' command. They saw combat in extremely rugged conditions on both sides of the border. During 26 expeditions they engaged in 12 battles without losing a single scout in combat." This quote is in error because Bullis was assigned to the 24th in 1869 then reassigned to the Seminole Scouts in 1873. Compare the data from the Wiki artcle on Bullis.

More from the Wikipdedia article on John Bullis: "From 1873-1876 and 1878-1879 he served under General" (then Colonel) "Ranald S. Mackenzie, where he received citations for bravery." Col. (later General) Mackenzie commanded the 4th Cav. The Seminole Scouts were under Mackenzie of the 4th with Bullis leading the Scouts for 8 years.

"Their commanders thought highly of the Scouts. Major Bliss characterized them as "excellent hunters and trailers, brave scouts...(and) splendid fighters." Colonel Edward Hatch called them "fine trailers and good marksmen." They were said to be expert at hand-to hand combat and were well known for their incredible tracking skills. In one remarkable feat of tracking, Lt. Bullis and 39 scouts trailed Mescalero Apache raiders for 34 days over 1,260 miles."

Book: The Reminiscences of Major General Zenas R. Bliss, 1854-1876: From the Texas Frontier to the Civil War and Back Again by Col. Thomas T. Smith ISBN-10: 0876112262 - refers to the Seminole Scouts "as mostly black" "with a deportment of the natives." The only references in that book to Buffalo Soldiers are mainly to the 10th Cav and a few to the 9th Cav.

Some Seminole Scouts served into the 1940s. They served with many US Army units from 1870s to the 1940s. They are documented offically as part of the United States Army Indian Scouts. They were not Buffalo Soldiers. When you delete their historic designation and make them Buffalo Soldiers you are not providing an accurate article.

I hope the information above helps better cite and complete this article. Jrcrin001 (talk) 23:53, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Scouts under the command of ...[edit]

In 1870 the United States Army invited the Black Seminoles from Mexico to serve as Indian Scouts. The first detachment was organized in July of 1870 by Major Zenas Bliss then of the 39th Infantry Regiment. [1] The the 39th and 40th were consolidated into the 25th Infantry Regiment by 1870. Because of the reorganization of the US Army during 1869-1870 the Scouts came under the juristion of the 22nd Infantry Regiment who had troops at Fort Duncan.[2]

In 1872 the majority of the Scouts moved to Fort Clark then under the juristiction of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. [3]

In 1873 the 4th Cavalry Regiment took control assigning a troop and support staff. The Scouts were semi-independent along the border region while working with different military units as they moved based upon the needs of the Army.[3]

By 1882 the general command of the Scouts shifted as they were assigned to ever wider areas of operations. Different detachments of Seminole Scouts ranged northward to Colorado and westwards into Arizona.[3][4]

I hope the above helps. Jrcrin001 (talk) 01:52, 5 November 2011 (UTC)


  1. ^ Williams, Mary L. (2010). "SEMINOLE-NEGRO INDIAN SCOUTS". Fort Davis National Historic Site, Fort Davis, Texas via LWF PUBLICATIONS. Retrieved November, 4, 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ Haenn, Bill. Fort Clark and Brackettville: land of heroes. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738520636. 
  3. ^ a b c Porter, Kenneth Wiggins. The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom-Seeking People. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. ISBN 978-0-8130-1451-7.  Edited by Alcione M. Amos and Thomas P. Senter.
  4. ^ Britten, Thomas A. A Brief History of the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts. Edwin Mellen. ISBN 0773479635. 

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