Community leaders discuss history of Fort Sill and Buffalo Soldiers

Lawton and Fort Sill leaders offer perspectives on Buffalo Soldiers
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 10:16 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - While the post has been here longer than the city, Lawton and Fort Sill are joined together in history.

Scott Neel, Director of the Fort Sill Museums, says there have always been people in Lawton, noting Native American connections in the area.

The post, named after Brigadier General Joshua W. Sill, was established 154 years ago.

“The Army came here in 1869. They’ve come through a couple other times prior to that, but 1869 was the establishment of Fort Sill,” said Neel. “They started building the officers quarters and all the barracks and the infantry barracks and the headquarters from 1869 to about 1875.”

Neel also discussed the 9th & 10th Calvary, 24th and 25th infantry of the Buffalo Soldiers.

“All four of the Black regiments have some time come to Fort Sill, but it’s primarily the 10th Calvary who did most of the building at Fort Sill. They started with the officer’s quarters and barracks on the westside.”

Tony Washington, Lawton/Fort Sill 9th and 10th Horse Calvary Chapter President, expressed the importance of understanding the vital role the Buffalo Soldiers played in history.

“They have a real significant history in America, not just Black history, but American history,” said Washington. “They were out there to defend the plains as people were merging west from the east.”