Buffalo Soldiers: Corporal Isiah Mays

Buffalo Soldiers: Corporal Isiah Mays


Buffalo Soldier in the United States Army and recipient of America’s highest military decoration (1858-1925)

A Buffalo Soldier in the Indian Wars, Corporal Isiah Mays was the first African-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic action in combat. Born into slavery in 1858, Mays Corporal ranking by 1889. Thirty three years after receiving America’s highest military decoration, Mays applied for federal pension but was denied. Mays died at the age of sixty-seven and was buried in the Arizona State Hospital grave. In 2001, Mays finally received a Medal of Honor headstone and a formal memorial service.


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