Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Chinese Soldiers in the Civil War
On this day, 150 years ago, the first shots of the American Civil War were made in Charleston, South Carolina. Regardless of one’s sympathies for either the North or South, this era of history has had, and continues to have, a great deal of fascination for most people, including myself.
Thanks in large part to the Internet (or its “inventor,” Al Gore) I’m even more intrigued by the Civil War, as I’ve recently discovered to my pleasant surprise that there were some ethnic Chinese who had fought in the war as Union and Confederate soldiers. A few details about some of these men can be found here, which is where I pulled the pictures that are imbedded in this blog post.
As you read through the above linked to site, which really could be better formatted, take notice of the distinctly non-Chinese last names used by some of the profiled soldiers: Joseph Pierce, Thomas Sylvanus, Charles K. Marshall, Edward Day Cohota. Kind of odd, right? Then again, the Confederacy’s greatest general had a Chinese-sounding last name, so maybe not.