In 1866, Congress created six segregated US Army regiments, which were later consolidated into four. Though African Americans had participated in US military conflicts since the Revolutionary War, this marked the first time that Black men could enlist in the Regular Army. Soldiers from these units - the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry - became known as "Buffalo Soldiers."
In 1899, soldiers from Company B of the 24th Infantry were assigned to Vancouver Barracks.
The company arrived at the barracks during the brief period of time when respect for African American soldiers was buoyed by their recent success in the Spanish-American War in Cuba.While in the Northwest, the soldiers participated in military, political, and social activities, introducing many residents of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to Blacks and raising local awareness of the national policies and practices that beleaguered African Americans.
Because of its significance in United States history a plan was put together to preserve the location.
The HBC Fort Vancouver was declared a U.S. National Monument on June 19, 1948, and redesignated as Fort Vancouver National Historic Site on June 30, 1961. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.