The contributions of Asian Americans to the Civil War never made it onto the pages of American history books, but the National Park Service is working to make sure their stories are told.
“It is our job to keep those stories alive so that the places where the values of our nation were forged are preserved,” National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis said to the Pacific Citizen. “[Places] like Pearl Harbor and the incarceration camps of World War II, places like Gettysburg and Fort Sumter — [they] will now carry new meaning, especially for APIs.”
There are 58 known Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who fought in the Civil War, including five who fought for the Confederacy.
Cpl Joseph Pierce enlisted in the cavalry the first year of the Civil War in 1862. He was among those who fought at Gettysburg and even marched in the Grand Review of the Armies in Washington when the Civil War ended in 1865.
You can read about the stories of other AAPI soldiers in the Civil War such as Edward Day Cohota, Thomas Slyvanus, and Christopher and Stephen Bunker in the Pacific Citizen.