Subj: Franklin Pierce
Subj: Franklin Pierce - Irving Moy
Subj: RE: Franklin Pierce
Subj: On Joseph Pierce
Many researchers have contributed in compiling information on your great grandfather Joseph Pierce and I would like to tell you what they are, to the extent of my knowledge. Obviously the most in depth researcher on the subject is my friend Irving Moy. When I received his 100-page research papers, I almost fell on the floor. It is such a tremendous outstanding work. Plus he is doing re-enacting, lecturing, educating and commemorating that makes him a number one fan of Joseph Pierce. His work could be found in Part 15, 16, 17 and 24.
Another friend of mine, the pre-eminent author/novelist/historian Ruthanne Lum McCunn also did excellent independent research on Pierce. She published her findings on a Journal, Chinese American: History and Perspective, 1996; Title: Chinese in the Civil War: Ten who served. You could find it in Part 5.
Pierce's first photograph (the one with a queue) is the property of his comrade, Private Edwin Stroud's grandson, Harald Harrison, of East Berlin. The picture was published in History of the Fourteenth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, by Charles D. Page, in 1906.
The picture was reproduced in Herbert J. Stoekel's, More About the Chinese Yankee; The Courant Magazine (Aug 4, 1963); and Stoekel wrote another article in the same magazine (June 30, 1963); Oriental Yank from Berlin. Also see Charles P. Hamblen, Connecticut Yankees at Gettysburg, Kent State University Press, 1933.
Seventy-six years later, John Dynia, a retired U.S. Army colonel and Civil War enthusiast from Connecticut, became interested in Pierce when he read George Stewart's Pickett's Charge that Pierce was (believed to be) the only Chinese in the Army of the Potomac. (Not quite correct!) Figuring Pierce was then likely the only such person in the approximately 160,000 men taking part in the Battle of Gettysburg, Dynia submitted Pierce's photograph along with a recommendation for the veteran's inclusion in the The Faces of Gettysburg; at the Visitor's Center, in the Gettysburg National Military Park in 1993.
In 2001, Michael J. McAfee, Senior Editor of the Military Images magazine and Curator of the Museum of United States Military Academy published Joeseph Pierce’s photograph in Union uniform on the cover page of the Military Images magazine. He also wrote a short article on Pierce.
In early 1990, my friend, the Australian researcher Terry Foenander had started researching Asians serving in the Civil War, and Joseph Pierce was one of his research subject.
An article called; An Oriental Yankee Soldier; by John M. Archer, of Collinsville, Connecticut was printed in the Civil War Times Illustrated, September/October 1994 issue, on the page; Time Lapse. You could find it in Part 24.
In 1997, I heard from my Olde Colony Civil War Round Table friends mentioning that there were Chinese serving in the Civil War. Not knowing there were works on Joseph Pierce out there, I tried to collect as much information as possible. Scott Hartwig, National Park Service in Gettysburg gave me some assistance. In May 1998, I wrote a little article on Pierce and printed it in our Civil War Round Table Newsletter.
Dr. Qingsong Zhang, a Ph.D. in History from University of Virginia, wrote a book Dragon In The Land Of The Eagle in Chinese, in 1997. One Chapter talks about Joseph Pierce serving in the Civil War. The Chinese language book would provide an opportunity for the Chinese in China to read about Pierce’s deed. Dr. Zhang also submitted a short description on Pierce in Chinese American Soldiers in an Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, A Comprehensive Reference from ABC-CCLIO, Colorado Springs, in 1999. You could find it in Part 8. In April 1999, Civil War author Tom Lowry and CW Navy researcher Edward Milligan wrote an article on Chinese in the Civil War in the North and South magazine, of which, Pierce was one of their focal point. Tom referenced on Ruthanne’s work.
Independent Documentary Film Producer and Director, Montgomery Hom, gathered a handful of scholars who had done research on Chinese serving in the American Civil War, and requested them to discuss the topic in his Documentary Film, "Men Without A Country: Chinese in the Civil War" The shooting was done in December, 2000. The documentary film will be shown in October 2002 in PBS nationwide.
There are several people re-enacting Joseph Pierce. You have already known that Irving re-enacted Pierce in the 14 th CT Regiment in Connecticut. I know there are at least 3 more Asians portraying Pierce and they are from Maryland, Georgia and California.
In January 2000, I launched my web site with the intention of spreading the message to the public. The internet also provides a medium of dialogue with readers. It serves me well in finding people with similar interest, and Joseph Pierce is one of the historical focal point. My web site address is at
Sincerely, Gordon Kwok
Subj: Joseph Pierce
Date: 6/30/2002 6:48:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Patricia W. (Wadsworth) Haight (Pierce)
To: Gordon Kwok
CC: Irving Moy
I read with interest your email on above subject.. I can't tell you how awestricken I still am at the number of people that know of and documented what they have found out about Joseph Pierce. I have contacted our local PBS network to see if they know of a date for the documentary. At present, I haven't heard from them..Do you know if it will be aired at different times and dates in different areas? If so, my sisters will have to contact their local station and find out when it will be on. Hopefully we will all have our VCR and tape ready to go... I feel so honored to be a descendant of such a renowned person. I have read (not printed yet) all of the parts you mentioned in your email.. I am waiting for some information in the mail from Irving Moy - should get in a day or so. My sisters and I have gone thru old photo's and told Mr Moy we would be happy to send them to him along with our" MEMORIES", if he is still interested.. Thanks again and feel free to write me anytime. Sincerely, Patricia W. (Wadsworth) Haight (Pierce)
Subj: RE: On Joseph Pierce
Subj: Joseph Pierce - update
Subj: thanks for this website
Subj: Chinese Civil war soldiers
Ahsoo, John 22 en Jamaica pri co B 133 reg 10/3/l864 tran co B 90 inf 6/2/l865 also Ashwoo - agr
Ahwoo, John 24 en Jamaica pri co B 133 reg 10/3/l864 tran co B 90 inf - trans 5/31/1865, out 10/18/1865 Savannah Ga also Ashwoo - agr
John AhSoo; age 22; 133rd New York and later consolidated into 90th Battalion New York Veteran Infantry. he joined the regiment as a substitute, at Cedar Creek in Feb 1864. Two more Chinese joined the same regiment. All three were former sailors.
Ahusoo, John en New York pri co G 134 inf 3/27/l865 trans co F 102 inf 6/10/l865 -agr
Ahusoo, John pri co G 134 inf, tran co F 102 reg 6/3/1865 out 7/21/1865 Alexandria va also Ahusor -agr
Subj: Chinese Historical Project
Date: 7/6/2002 1:10:47 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: thank you
Subj: Your Site
Subj: Need information
Subj: Belated Congratulations on your website
Gordon... what fun!! I just found your website this morning and decided I shouldn't just dip my toe in your pond without letting you know I had visited. Clearly I will have to visit many times in future because there is so much read... and yes I will be wanting to cross index with some of my old research files from twenty years ago. Your website touches on so many of my interests that it is a little spooky. And to think you were not even into historical research until you watched Ken Burns' PBS documentary on the Civil War ! Who says television doesn't contribute to culture?
From 1977-1981 I was a student at the University of New Brunswick (That's New Brunswick, Canada - not New Jersey) researching a history of the Chinese in that Canadian province. My goal, later dropped, was to do an MA thesis on the subject. Naturally enough the research spread along a dozen avenues and before I knew it I was researching Chinese immigration as far away as New England, California, the Mississippi Delta, and even the Carribean islands and South America. I knew from Wallace's book THE TWO, that the Eng/Bunkers family had a Civil War connection and I did a little archival research on them, just to satisfy the need to know. I tested the love of my Chinese girlfriend (now my long suffering wife of 21 years) by asking her to copy articles from bound newspapers which had not been microfilmed. I still treasure those reseasrch notes in her handwriting. I finally settled on researching a book on the Chinese Labour Corps, B.E.F. in World War One, and all the old research on immigration, Chinese in western military forces, etc is all stored away in subject boxes. Who knows but that your website might encourage me to take up an old research interest. When I think of all the thousands of dollars and the thousands of kilometres of travel I put into the work, it staggers me to consider how one research passion can be overtaken by another, and then another.
I had too much energy in those early days and opened many of what I called "collecting files", such as researching Chinese and Japanese and Americans who served in the Canadian army in World War One, etc. I joined useful organisations, like C.A.M.P. and enjoyed productive correspondence with Americans. I did subscribe to MILITARY IMAGES magazine in 1981, and am pleased to see that they have helped you with photo discoveries. I had a letter published in the Sept-October 1981 issue in which I noted "I am particularly interested in seeing material on Chinese-Americans in uniform." Round about 1980 I photocopied Ella Lonn's book FOREIGNERS IN THE UNION ARMY AND NAVY (Greenwood Press, New York, 1951) which was an excellent starting point for an undergrad student. I think it important that your website acknowledge that there has been a long standing academic interest in the ethnic composition of Northern and Southern forces. The rest of us are latecomers to a well established field.
Here in Canada there is a small but enthusiastic circle researching Canadians in the U.S. Civil War. I long ago came to the conclusion that the ACW was also a Canadian war, but having no interest in drawing the asinine remarks of Canadian nationalists, I keep my thoughts to myself. Linking Chinese, Japanese, Sikh, and Aboriginal communities to early large scale national events like participation in the World Wars, is a stock in trade of many historical socities across Canada, which is an officially acknowledged multicultural country. Sleuthing out ethnic veterans is one of several categories of historical research in Canada which has genuine political utility. I hope your site manages to remain free of poltical entanglement, Gordon.
It is my hope that just as Ken Burns turned you on to history and biography, your web publication may inspire others to take up a research thread of their own. I haven't written any articles in my areas of expertise for several years. Several times I have been tempted when newcomers to an intriguing research topic have published 'quickie' articles announcing their "discoveries" ... material I've had for decades, or dipping lightly into official files that I've had archives declassiify and open. Alas, if you want to be thorough you have to be disciplined and resist that temptation to join the "everything I could find out in a year", school of history. More to the point, if you study law you find that history is the most difficult category of literature to protect with copyright. So if we want to recoup our investment in time and money, we must avoid chumming the water with teasers, until the book we've obsessed over is accepted by a publisher.
Well, I've gone on longer than intended. I'm sorry for that. I wish you well with the project. It's fascinating.
Best Wishes, Ronald J. Jack, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Subj: Asian-American history
Hi! PBS Station affiliate, WLIW (New York) showed Asian-American documentary early this month that I found interesting. The story of Coolie trade not to the US but to the Caribbean and South America. Some of descendant now just immigrated to the United States were interviewed. Very revealing.
1838 - 1918 INDIAN and CHINESE COOLIE TRADE to the Americas and Caribbean 1856 - 1874 China’s loss of control over its own seaports (Treaty Ports) including British regulation of Chinese emigration -- is the necessary condition for the beginning of the Chinese Coolie Trade. It launched the global movement of CHINESE COOLIE LABORERS that lay the foundation for their diasporic presence in the Americas and Caribbean to this day. ... And that is how the Chinese laborer, industrious and honorable, became the Chinese Coolie; someone both sought after and despised... (Everyman Narrator) 1874 CHINA’S CUBA COMMISSION reports their findings after three months travel on the island and direct interrogation of Chinese workers. It is noteworthy that Chinese free migration and free labor entering California’s American West, 1850 - 1882, happens virtually simultaneously with the Chinese Coolie indentured labor being shipped unwillingly to the Americas and the Caribbean, 1850 - 1874. Within a single family one son could end up in Cuba or Peru, while the other son ends up in California, to quite different fates. The specific character and significance of Asian immigration is complex and conditional on the specific economic and political forces at play.
INDIAN COOLIES are sent to FIJIS in PACIFIC; BRITISH GUIANA in SOUTH AMERICA; JAMAICA, TRINIDAD, BERMUDA, ST. THOMAS in the BRITISH WEST INDIES. In colonial India the British implement a policy of global labor migration that includes INDIAN WOMEN COOLIES. Their purpose is to populate the colony (e.g. Fiji), and/or to stabilize the work force with family formation. (E.g. former British Guiana, present day Guyana, 60% Indo-Guyanese). The Indian Coolie experience in this aspect of family formation is unlike that of the Chinese Coolies who were only male, and who over time devised other adaptations to create forms of family and community life. By 1850s Hong Kong Governor John Bowring, reports seeing Chinese Coolies being shipped out of Macao jails with the letters of their destinations painted on their bare chests... 'C' for Cuba, 'P' for Peru, 'S' for the Sandwich Islands... (Hawaii)
ANCESTORS IN THE AMERICAS producer Loni Ding offers a trail blazing global perspective of U.S. history, viewing Asian American and American history as one and the same. Exploring the centuries-old relationships between East and West, Ding makes bold connections between the parallel experiences of various groups of Asian Americans, and also between the experiences of Chinese and Indian indentured workers and those of African slaves.
Nestor Palugod Enriquez
Revised and uploaded on February 2, 2009