Last surviving Buffalo Soldier from SC dies at 92

Taft Henry
Taft Henry(Nelson's Funeral Home)
Updated: Jul. 1, 2020 at 10:03 AM EDT
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LIVE: Funeral for last surviving Buffalo Soldier from SC >>

Posted by WIS TV on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Funeral arrangements for the last surviving Buffalo Soldier from South Carolina are set to take place on July 1.

Taft Henry, 92, died on June 26 at his home in Winnsboro. He served in World War II and was a Buffalo Soldier of the 24th Infantry Regiment.

Henry entered the military on June 30, 1946 and served until Sept. 30, 1968.

His commendations include Combat Infantry Badge, World War II, Korean Medals and Letter of Appreciation from the South Korea Army Chief for the sacrificial service in defense of South Korea.

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, there will be no in-person viewing for the public.

The family of Henry will be having a private service.

Henry’s funeral is expected to begin at 10 a.m. at Nelson’s Funeral Home Chapel located at 270 N. Dogwood Ave. Ridgeway, South Carolina.

To honor Henry’s memory, his family is allowing the purchase of memorial trees that would be planted in areas of need.

If you would like to purchase a tree to be planted as a tribute to Henry, click here.

You can read Henry’s obituary below:

The Buffalo Soldiers were African American soldiers who served in the U.S. Military during the Civil War up until the Korean War. They also served as caretakers for the national parks in the country.

The units were identified as the 9th and 10th Calvary and the 38th , 40th and 41st infantry regiments. The four infantry regiments were later combined to form the 24th and 25th infantry regiments. These fighting men represented the first Black professional soldiers in a peacetime Army.

The last of the Buffalo Soldier regiments came to an end in 1951 following the disbandment of the 27th Calvary following President Truman’s executive order that eliminated racial segregation in the military.

The name was originally dubbed by Native Americans who encountered the Black soldiers in the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments. All Black regiments formed in 1866 and thereafter were referred to as the Buffalo Soldiers.

Today, you can visit the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, Texas, a museum dedicated to the history of their military service.

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