By Mark McConville
STRIKING images have emerged of America’s brave Buffalo Soldiers who paved the way for African Americans in the US military.
The incredible pictures show the first African American soldiers in a series of full and half-length portraits while others show the whole unit wearing buffalo robes in Keogh, Montana.
Other rare photographs show the soldiers who came after as Black troops are pictured serving in World War One and World War Two.
The black and white snaps showcase members of the US 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, which was formed on September 21st 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Their nickname, Buffalo Soldiers, was given to them by the Native American tribes they fought in the Indian Wars along the frontier.
The name eventually became synonymous with all of the African American regiments formed in 1866 including the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments and the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments.
The term was popularised by singer-songwriter Bob Marley in his 1983 song Buffalo Soldier.
Although several African American regiments were raised during the Civil War as part of the Union Army, the Buffalo Soldiers were established by Congress as the first peacetime all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army.
On September 6th 2005, Mark Matthews, who was the last living Buffalo Soldier, died at the age of 111. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.