Recently, a historical marker was unveiled on the campus of historically Black Tennessee State University that honors William McBryar, an alumnus of the university and the winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
A Buffalo Soldier, Lt. McBryar earned the Medal of Honor for his “coolness, bravery and marksmanship” on March 7, 1890 when his 10th Cavalry troop was engaged with Apache warriors in the Arizona Territory.
McBryar later served in the Spanish-American War. After leaving the Army, McBryar was a military instructor at St. Paul’s College in Virginia. At the age of 74, he earned a bachelor’s degree at what is now Tennessee State University.
McBryar died in 1941 at the age of 80 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
To date, 3,498 individuals have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Of those, 90, or 2.6 percent, have been African Americans.