Subj: re. Kwantung witnessed Naval fight
Date: 8/9/2003 11:52:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Kevin Foster
What an informative website.
A British ship Kwantung was in South Africa at the same time as CSS Alabama, and again in the South China Sea, and the officers entertained each other on board their respective ships. I have been doing a lot of research into Kwantung and other ships of the same group and their possible connections to the Confederacy.
Kevin J. Foster
Subj: re. Kwantung witnessed Naval fight
Date: 8/11/2003 3:15:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Kevin Foster
Hello Mr. Kwok, Thank you for your reply.
The connections between that ship with the Chinese name and the Confederate navy were more than just coincidence. The story of the Chinese plans to buy a naval squadron from Britain to fight the Taiping rebellion in seacoast areas is an interesting story. About half of the nine ships that had been purchased for the Sherard Osborne Anglo Chinese Fleet made it to India or the South China Sea. At that time the Chinese government refused the ship when they saw the (ridiculous) terms of the contract which gave the Chinese government scant control of their own ships. The British government then acted to prevent the Confederates or any other belligerents from buying the ships through general caution, but only found out after the war that there were real plans by southerners to buy the fleet and hire the mercenary crews for Confederate service. One of those ships was the Kwantung, a fine large paddle dispatch vessel. On her way out to China her officers entertained the Alabama officers on board and they exchanged visits, IIRC at Table Bay. This is mentioned by Semmes in Memoirs of Service Afloat. Later Kwantung witnessed the capture and burning of the Martaban in one of the straits near Malasyia. There is an Illustrated London News woodcut view of the three ships. Would you like a scan of it to use on your website?
A departed friend, Frank Merli, was working on a book about the Anglo-Chinese fleet and found a few connections with Confederate ambitions; I have since found more. He only finished an article hinting at the Confederate interest in the fleet, but was working on a book as well. I am now working on a book about broad Confederate efforts to acquire ships from Europe that will discuss just what was up. It will cover Yankee efforts to stop the Confederate purchasing as well as rebel efforts to buy ships. An article that serves as sort of a summary of the story was published by National Archieves Prologue Magazine. It is online with some other interesting articles about the naval side of the War Between the States at:
Dr. Reidy, who did the last article, has led a fantastic research effort to develop a database of all African-American sailors in the U.S. Navy during the war. Lots of good articles and several books are coming out of that effort. There may be some helpful ideas in his paper for your webpages.
Keep up the good work, your webpages have lots of interesting reading.
Sincerely, Kevin Foster
Subj: CHINESE-AMERICAN CIVIL WAR VETS WEBSITE
Date: 3/28/2003 7:16:46 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: K GRUENEICHCAREY
DEAR GORDON, HI! THANKS VERY MUCH FOR A MOST INTERESTING WEBSITE. I LIKE CHINESE HISTORY, GENEALOGY, & ETHNIC STUDIES...& YOUR SITE HAS IT ALL. IN RESPONSE TO A COUPLE OF ITEMS APPEARING THERE, I AM TAKING THE LIBERTY OF MENTIONING A FEW TANTALIZING BITS TO PIQUE FURTHER RESEARCH, IF DESIRED. (I AM TEMPORARILY AWAY FROM MY PERMANENT RESIDENCE FOR A WHILE, SO I AM RECALLING MY SOURCES FROM MEMORY ONLY). 1) ABOUT THE BIRTHPLACE "OTAHITI" FOR A POSSIBLE CIVIL WAR VET-- WOULD IT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO W/ CURRENT TAHITI (FRENCH POLYNESIA)?? I CAME ACROSS SOMETHING IN THE EARLY 1970S (WHEN I WAS IN ALASKA) ABOUT "OWAYHEE" BEING THE HOMELAND OF MANY FOREIGN SAILORS COMING TO THE KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH... IT TURNED OUT THAT MANY HAD COME AS SHIPS' CREWS TO THE FAR NORTH, & WERE SAID TO BE THE 2ND LARGEST GROUP OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS OUTSIDE THE ISLANDS... 2) ABOUT THE GROUP OF JAPANESE SAILORS BEING SHIPWRECKED ON THE WESTERN NORTH AMERICAN COAST -- ABOUT THE MID 1990S,AS I RECALL, THE ASIAN REPORTER, A PORTLAND OREGON WEEKLY ETHNIC (ASIAN/ASIAN-AMERICAN) NEWSPAPER, RAN AN ARTICLE ON A SPECIAL EXHIBIT UP AT THE WING LUKE MUSEUM IN SEATTLE (FAMOUS FOR ITS ASIAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY EXHIBITS) ABOUT THESE SAILORS... IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST,OF COURSE,THE TALE IS THAT THE MAKAH INDIANS RESCUED THEM, LET THEM STAY SEVERAL MONTHS DURING THE WINTER, TILL THEY WERE WELL ENOUGH TO SEND DOWN TO THE SPANISH SETTLEMENTS IN BAJA CALIFORNIA, TO GET RETURN PASSAGE BACK TO THE EAST. THE MAKAH HAD GOTTEN A LOT OF FLAK OVER THEIR RESUMPTION OF TRADITIONAL WHALE HUNTING, IN THE FACE OF DEPLETED MARITIME STOCKS, SO IT WAS NICE TO SEE THAT THE MAKAH PEOPLE WERE CREDITED W/SOME GOOD NEWS, FOR A CHANGE... 3)MY SISTER ADOPTED A CHINESE ORPHAN GIRL SEVERAL YEARS AGO & IS ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR CHINESE HERITAGE ITEMS TO REINFORCE KAYLA'S MULTICULTURAL BACKGROUND, SO I WILL FORWARD YOUR WEBSITE ADDRESS TO SHARE W/ MY SISTER'S "ADOPTIVE PARENTS OF CHILDREN FROM CHINA" GROUP, AS WELL.
BEST REGARDS & KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK,
Subj: CIVIL WAR VETS -- CITIZENSHIP BILL
Date: 3/29/2003 1:22:08 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: K GRUENEICHCAREY
MARCH 29, 2003
DEAR MS LEE,
I SAW MR GORDON KWOK'S WEBSITE ON THE ASIAN AMERICAN CIVIL WAR VETS (hometown.aol.com/gordonkwok/accsacw.html). I AM ASKING ABOUT THE STATUS OF REP MIKE HONDA'S BILL FOR GRANTING CITIZENSHIP TO THESE CIVIL WAR VETS. SEVERAL DIED IN THE WAR & THE SURVIVORS DID GREAT SERVICE FOR A COUNTRY THAT DIDN'T ALLOW THEM TO EVEN APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP, DUE TO THE VARIOUS EXCLUSIONARY ACTS OF THE TIME. CURRENTLY, FOREIGN BORN USA ARMED FORCES SERVICE PEOPLE ARE GRANTED CITIZENSHIP AFTER SERVING, ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IN THE CURRENT CONFLICT W/ IRAQ. PRESIDENT LINCOLN HAD THE SAME IDEA, BUT WAS KILLED BEFORE BEING ABLE TO IMPLEMENT HIS PLANS... I REMEMBER THAT WINSTON CHURCHILL WAS GRANTED HONORARY CITIZENSHIP & ADDRESSED A JOINT SESSION OF THE US CONGRESS, FOR HIS WORK IN WWII. IT IS IRONIC THAT CHURCHILL'S AMERICAN BORN MOTHER AUTOMATICALLY LOST HER AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP PERMANENTLY UPON MARRIAGE TO HIS FATHER, SO SHE COULDN'T PASS IT ON TO HER SON. NOW IS THE TIME FOR OUR COUNTRY TO MAKE AMENDS TO THESE VETS & THEIR DESCENDANTS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS MATTER.
SINCERELY YOURS, K GRUENEICHCAREY
Subj: RE: CIVIL WAR VETS -- CITIZENSHIP BILL
Date: 3/31/2003 11:10:30 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Elizabeth.Lee@mail.house.gov (Lee, Elizabeth)
To: K GRUENEICHCAREY
File: HJRes125.pdf (24770 bytes) DL Time (115200 bps): < 1 minute
Thank you for contacting me regarding this bill. As you may know, Congressman Honda introduced the bill in the 107th Congress, and it did generate some interest by 25 other Members of Congress. We are currently gearing up to reintroduce the resolution to grant posthumous citizenship to these heroic veterans within the next week. The resolution currently has 32 cosponsors. I will keep you updated when it is introduced with a new number. Also, I have attached a PDF document which was the resolution introduced last session of Congress. It would be really helpful if you could contact your Member of Congress, to urge them to sign on as cosponsor to the bill. Again, thanks for contacting me and I will let you know when it is introduced.
Office of Congressman Michael Honda, CA-15
1713 Longworth House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
Subj: Joseph Pierce
Date: 3/31/2003 3:48:08 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: Charles Earp
I have enjoyed browsing your web site and never realized there were so many Asians in the civil war. I research and write on the civil war and once did an article on Joseph Pierce after seeing his portrait in the picture galley at Gettysburg. It appeared on the Civil War Page of the Washington Times Nov 2, l996. I was very interested in your entries on Pierce including the two photos. I used the one in civilian dress and had never seen the one in uniform before. My specialty is Marylanders in the war and I wonder if you have any asians on either side who served from Maryland. Would like to include such sources in my collection and could perhaps add something to it.
Charles A. Earp
Subj: Re: Great Site
Date: 4/22/2003 7:52:01 PM Eastern Standard Time
No problem. It was very informative & helpful for my writing, so thank you for putting up the site! The Taiping Rebellion has always fascinated me, because this was a rebellion with a FOREIGN religion as it's rallying point. (Funny, since China was not only invaded by the British & French, but the ruling Manchus were really "foreigners" themselves.) I wish I could find a movie, a historical drama about the Taiping Rebellion. I went on-line & joined a Hong-Kong movie-fan group, but they couldn't help out. The closest thing I could find as far as films were concerned was the 1974 Shaw Brothers martial-arts film "Blood Brothers", but that movie contained very little historical references, other than saying that the title character was fighting the rebels called "Heavenly Peace." Oh well.....(I do have BOOKS on the Taiping, including Caleb Carr's "Devil Soldier", which you mention in your site.) Back on the American Civil War, very interesting that some of the Chinese who served didn't encounter the same level of prejudice that Chinese in the West did (& it was around the same time period.) Mike
Subj: Chinese serving in the American Civil War
Date: 5/9/2003 5:49:26 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Kia Tang
Dear Mr. Gordon Kwok,
My name is Kia Tang and I am a student at UCD. I came upon your website as I was doing a class project for my Asian American Experience class at the University of California, Davis. Now I am currently doing an independent study on the topic because it was an unforgetable learning experience. There were so many information on your site and I was wondering if you can give me some more references such as books to look at. I have been through many of the web sites but there is a lack of book references. If I can point me to the right direction, I greatly appreciate your help. Thank you for your time. A fan of your web site, Kia Tang
Subj: Chinese and Civil War
Date: 5/13/2003 11:04:45 AM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon Kwok, My name is Tommy Ng and I am a Canadian of Chinese background, 2nd generation. I am a professional archaeologist. It was brought to my attention that the Chinese had served in the US Civil, which surprises me. I have been long interested in the history of the overseas Chinese, most specifically their history in Canada and Peru. I have read about the Chinese serving in the Canadian army, a book by Marjorie Wong called the "The Dragon and the Maple Leaf," which is now out of print. I myself have served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a combat engineer, my uncle served in the British Army as a cook, and I believe I had an obscurd uncle who served in the US Navy in the 1940s (however I do not know whether this is true). I would like to lend help and my experience as a archaeologist in this very interesting history of the Chinese in America. Thank you. Tom
Subj: Chinese serving during the ACW
Date: 5/20/2003 9:13:12 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: James Africa
Dear Mr Kwok, My name is James Africa, moderator for the Winds of Valor weekly discussion series. We would like to invite you to present a talk or question and answer session in the month of June. Winds of Valor, LLC is the Compendium Project for the Battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War. We are a company whose goal is to provide a means for battlefield Preservation, pledging a minimal 10% of all gross proceeds to this worthy cause. The format is presented as a public service with Virtual Gettysburg ( Virtual Gettysburg-Online Chat Rooms ), and is very easy to use. Live Chats are scheduled for about 45 minutes to an hour in total length, and we enjoy a good audience of about 20 folks. We currently schedule our series on each Thursday night at 9:00 pm EST, but we would be glad to work around your schedule. In the past, we have featured Live Chats with authors like John Imhof, Philip Cole, Eric J. Wittenberg, and battlefield guides like Wayne Wachsmuth and many others. Our transcripts, schedule, and complete Live Chat instructions can be seen at our web site at http://www.windsofvalor.com/ in the Live Chats Section. Basically, you have material prepared ahead of time and present one or two paragraphs at a time to the audience about every two minutes to allow them time to read it. You may then pause for any questions or comments, and then continue, or you may choose to present all of your material with a question/answer session at the end. We hope that you will consider joining and sharing your knowledge with us through our Live Chat Series. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and we hope to hear from you soon. Your obedient servant, James Africa ( firstname.lastname@example.org), Moderator, Live Chats Program Winds of Valor, LLC http://www.windsofvalor.com/ "It's All About Honor"
Subj: Chinese American Veteran Memorial Museum
Date: 5/22/2003 2:02:22 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Bok Pon
Dear All, Cathay Post 384 of the American Legion in San Francisco is seeking location inside the SF War Memorial Building to establish a CAVMM (Chinese American Veteran Memorial Museum. This building was built for veterans uses after WWI. Cathay Post 384 is a Chinese American veteran post established since 1933 by WWI Chinese veterans. We are located at 1524 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94133. Commander is Bok Pon
<(415) 386-3544 or mailto:email@example.com> The SFWMB is the founding place of the United Nations and is located in the heart Civic Center across the SF City Hall and next to the world famous SF Opera House. Location, location, & location.
Cathay Post 384 intended to display the history of Chinese Americans in defense of American since the American Civil to the present time. Cathay Post 384 needs all Chinese Americans and veterans to assist us on this dream into establishing this CAVMM project. WWII austrocities against humanity and killing of American POW in the Pacific area should also be told. History must not be re-written by fiction writer in some Pacific country.
Please keep me and Cathay Post 384 updated or let us know how we Chinese American veterans can help you.
BOK PON, Commander of Cathay Post 384
Subj: Asians in the American Civil War
Date: 6/17/2003 4:30:25 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Juli D
Hi, I am a Civil War enthuasit. I was wondering if you know if their were any Asians serving in any WI regiments. I would love to be involved in Civil War reanacting, but everyone tells me, I am Asian and Asians aren't part of the Civil War. Thanks, JaniceJoo
Subj: ACCSACW website
Date: 6/9/2003 6:38:37 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: Cynthia Wu
Dear Mr. Kwok,
Hello! I am a historian based in the American studies program at the University of Michigan, and I came upon your web site while doing research on Chang and Eng Bunker as two of their sons fought in the Confederate Army. Can you tell me a little bit about your organization and how it got started? Thank you. Sincerely, Cynthia Wu
Subj: Chinese Civil War soldier, Indiana, Pa.
Date: 6/18/2003 2:57:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Chris Catalfamo, Indiana Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County
Dear Mr. Kwok, Indiana, Pennsylvania had a Chinese Civil War soldier who served with the 81st Pa. Vol. Inf. as well as the 42nd NY. He was born in Hong Kong in 1845. His Chinese name was Ching Lee and his Christian name was Thomas Sylvanus. He also was imprisoned at Andersonville. We are opening a new museum and would like to include Sergeant Sylvanus (Lee) in our Civil War exhibit. Please keep us in mind if any other documents or information surface about Sylvanus. He came to Indiana, Pa. after the war, belonged to GAR Post #28 and is buried in a local cemetery. Thank you for your efforts in preserving our multiethnic heritage.
President, Board of Directors, Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County,
Indiana County Civil War Roundtable