In 1875, the “Cantonment on the Sweetwater,” in today’s Wheeler County, Texas, was renamed Fort Elliott. By 1879, companies of the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry and the 24th U.S. Infantry garrisoned at Fort Elliott. From November 1881 to February 1884 all Fort Elliott’s enlisted men were African American.
In 1877 Henry O. Flipper, the first Black graduate of West Point, began serving as an officer in the 10th Cavalry, at forts Elliott, Concho, Quitman, and Davis, Texas, and at Fort Sill, Indian Territory. In the early 1880s, 9th Cavalry “Buffalo Soldiers” and Indian scouts from Fort Reno, Oklahoma Territory, arrested those who illegally entered the Territory (called “boomers.”)