The regiment was constituted 28 July 1866 in the Regular Army as Company F, 9th Cavalry. On 3 August 1866, Major General Philip H. Sheridan, commanding the Military Division of the Gulf, was "authorized” to organize one regiment of African-American ‘colored’ cavalry to be designated the 9th Regiment of U. S. Cavalry.
On September 21st 1866, under the command of Colonel Edward Hatch, the 9th Cavalry begins to be mustered. Each soldier would receive a base pay of $13 a month, plus room and board. The 9th Cavalry’s motto was and remains ‘We Can : We Will.’ The organization at this location continued for 5 years. By the end of March 1867, the 9th Cavalry was nearly at full strength with a total of 885 enlisted men, or 70 men per troop, as ordered by San Antonio Texas, whereas L and M troop went directly to Brownsville Texas.
The 10th Cavalry was formed in Leavenworth, Kansas, 1866 under the command of Colonel Benjamin Grierson. By the end of July 1867, there were 8 companies and then, received orders to transfer to Fort Riley, Kansas, amidst objections of having an African-American Troop. The motto of the 10th Cavalry was ‘Ready and Forward!’