Modern Day Buffalo Soldier Preserves History

By: Greg Palmer
By: Greg Palmer

BRENHAM, Tex. (KTBX)-- Brenham resident Eddie Harrison served his country for more than three decades in the army and reserve units.

"While I served in the Army, I was eventually stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas, which was one of the Buffalo Soldier camps of early days," Harrison said.

While stationed at Ft. Riley, Harrison's interest in history led him to explore his surroundings.

"I happen to go down to the old cavalry section and there was a museum there and all of a sudden all of these black soldiers pictures were on the wall," he said. "I decided I had to investigate those guys and see who they are, what they are and what they was all about. In doing so, I found out this fascinating story of a group of men and few women who served the country in a very unique way."

Harrison learned these men were Buffalo Soldiers and the more he studied, the more he learned of their dedication and service to their country. He was proud of their valor and honored to know he was part of their history.

"One reason I classify myself as a Buffalo Soldier is that my father was a Buffalo Soldier....he was in World War I," he said.

Of those who were Buffalo Soldiers, Harrison learned many had been slaves before joining the military and had helped to settle the west. It was during this time in history where the name "Buffalo Soldiers" had been bestowed on them by Native Americans for the way they fought in battle like the sacred buffalo.

"They used the methods they had been taught and had been brought down since their African days, if you see the enemy, you charge the enemy and you attack him before he attacks you and you probably had a better chance of winning," Harrison said.

And of of the most important battles to win was that of settling the West.

"They laid out the railroad lines, they mapped all the country, they established forts, they captured bandits and railroad thieves, bank robbers, but the most prolific thing they did that they probably didn't like was that they had to resettle the Native Americans," he said.

No matter the job, Buffalo Soldiers completed their missions and earned their place in history.

"They felt if they would do their job well, if they would complete the mission they be honorable, if they would respect themselves then eventually they would have success in their missions," he said.

For Harrison, his place in history and preserving the past is a mission that is lifelong.

"A Buffalo Soldier then becomes a person who has certain zeal, desire and ability to complete a mission," he said.


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