Fort Concho celebrates Buffalo Soldier Heritage Day from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, in the fort's Commissary Building, marking the contributions of the famed black troops of the western frontier. There is no charge to attend.

The Plains Indians gave soldiers the nickname of “buffalo soldiers” as the troops’ matted hair reminded the warriors of their sacred buffalo. The troops eventually adopted this as a formal part of their regimental crest.

African-American troops of four of the U.S. Army's infantry and cavalry regiments served on the western frontier after the Civil War. At Fort Concho, they staffed the post with various units from 1869-85, and for many years comprised a majority of the soldiers assigned to San Angelo’s installation. Fort Concho served as the regimental headquarters for the 10th Cavalry, the most noted of the Buffalo Soldier units, from 1875-82.

“We portray the Buffalo Soldiers all year,” noted fort staff member Paul Cook, “but we like to take a day during Black History Month to honor these men for their special service to the west and to San Angelo.”

Members of the Fort Concho Buffalo Soldiers living history program will host the program, which will feature displays of period uniforms and equipment, refreshments, living history opportunities for younger guests, and a dancing performance by the ASU Step Team. Also, the display of frontier military photos and prints featuring many Buffalo Soldier images will be open in the nearby Living History Stables classroom.

The fort's Commissary Building is located at Flipper and Burgess streets. For more information, call Paul Cook at 325-315-3550 or Bob Bluthardt at 325-234-0316.