Only three African Americans graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point during the 19th century. This uniform belonged to 2nd Lt. John Hanks Alexander who in 1887 became the second African American to graduate from West Point. Lt. Alexander served in the 9th Cavalry on the western frontier for six years before he abruptly died in March 1894.

Other uniforms in the Military History Gallery include those worn by General Hazel Johnson, the first African American woman general officer; by a member of the 369th Infantry ‘Harlem Hellfighters’ in World War I; and by First Class Signalman Lorenzo DuFau, who served on the USS Mason.

Download our mobile app for more stories celebrating Military Appreciation Month

The Mobile Stories app is a complement to your Museum visit and a way to discover some of the many stories found in our collection. The app features highlighted objects from the collection, multimedia and augmented reality features to enhance your Museum experience, and new stories exploring our inaugural exhibitions.

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