Volunteer Spotlight: Horace P. Williams, Buffalo Soldiers/First Ladies of Texas

Horace P. Williams is the President and co-founder of the Company A, 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers/First Ladies of Texas. The Buffalo Soldiers are part of the Texas State Parks, Heritage & Outreach Program. 

Horace is a retired Army veteran who is a civilian employee working at Camp Mabry. He served two tours in Vietnam and was wounded in 1996 while serving in Company C, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry (Wolfhounds), 25th Infantry Division.

What did the Buffalo Soldiers do?

The Ninth and Tenth Cavalry and the Twenty-Fourth and Twenty-Fifth Infantry Regiments served on the western frontier. Their posts ranged from Texas to the Dakota territories.

Their main job was to support the westward expansion of the United States. Buffalo Soldiers built roads, telegraph lines and forts. One group worked as some of the first park rangers in national parks. The Iron Riders pioneered off-road biking for the Army, riding thousands of miles across the country.

The Ninth Cavalry came to Texas in 1867 and set up camp in forts along the frontier.

In later years, Buffalo Soldiers fought in the Spanish-American War and both World Wars. They served their country with strength, courage and determination.

Separating units by race came to an end in 1948, thanks to President Harry Truman. Today, men and women of all races serve in these historic regiments.

What the Buffalo Soldiers do now?

As part of the Texas State Parks, Living History Program, you can join the Buffalo Soldiers and  learn how to track an animal, fish with a cane pole or cook over a campfire. They play traditional games, use the sun to find directions, learn Native American skills, and even saddle a horse.

They make connections between history and the outdoors. Their goal is to not only share history, but to share their story.

You might also see the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers attend parades, rodeos, historical commemorations and ceremonies and make appearances in public schools. Coming of Age would also like to congratulate the group on tying for first place in the Coming of Age Agency Recruitment Contest.