Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Buﬀalo Soldiers in Tampa Heights
African-Americans have served valiantly in all of America's wars. Although black soldiers fought and died in previous conflicts, they were not permitted to enlist as army regulars until after the Civil War. Organized into separate infantry and cavalry units, the black regiments were assigned to protect settlers in the American West. Native Americans, in honor of the fighting spirit of the African-American troops, called them "Buffalo Soldiers."
In April 1898, the United States declared war against Spain. Thousands of U.S. soldiers arrived in Tampa to prepare for an invasion of Cuba. Ten regiments, including two black units, camped on the fringes of the elegant Tampa Heights neighborhood. The Twenty-fourth Infantry was located just north of this marker, while the Twenty-fifth camped to the southeast.
The Buffalo Soldiers fostered pride among local blacks while encountering hostility in Tampa. On the eve of the army's embarkation for Cuba, Tampa was the scene of a serious clash between the black and white troops. Overcoming racial obstacles, the Buffalo Soldiers distinguished themselves on the battlefield in Cuba and the Philippines, earning five medals of honor for valor at San Juan and El Caney.
Erected by The Hillsborough County Historical Advisory Council
The Tampa Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Buffalo Soldiers marker series.
Location. 27° 58.016′ N, 82° 27.313′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is at the intersection of East Columbus Drive and North Central Avenue, on the left when traveling east on East Columbus Drive. Click for map. The marker is on the northeast corner of the intersection, beside a grassy field enclosed by a fence (the field in which the Twenty-fourth Infantry made camp, as noted by the marker). The field is within the boundaries of the Tampa Heights Historic District (a National and Local Historic District). Marker is in this post office area: Tampa FL 33602, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George Washington Junior High School (approx. 0.2 miles away); German-American Club (approx. 0.3 miles away); El Centro Asturiano de Tampa (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hillsborough County High School (approx. 0.4 miles away); Old People's Home (approx. 0.6 miles away); Cueto Boarding House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Greater New Salem Primitive Baptist Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Ybor City Historic District (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Tampa.
More Across North Central Avenue from the marker stands St. James House of Prayer Episcopal Church. The distinctive stone chapel, built in 1922 in the Gothic Revival style, and otherwise known as the Episcopal House of Prayer or "The Rock Church" (for its construction), was listed with the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 (#91000105). It is also a contributing structure to the Tampa Heights Historic District and a City of Tampa Local Landmark Structure.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . .
1. "Buffalo Soldiers" Woods & Wanton Chapter, Inc. of Tampa Bay of the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry. The Buffalo Soldiers are a non-profit organization that is committed to fostering patriotism, courage, and self reliance in our youth by community involvement, supporting local schools and youth organizations, promoting sound mind, body, and spirit, and exemplifying high moral standards, and respect for God and country.
2. "A Mystery Unburied". Racial conflict in Tampa on the eve of the army's departure for Cuba.