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Foenander's research 1

Terry Foenander's research

The research and findings of this segment are exclusively credited to the Australian researcher, Terry Foenander, and an obsessed researcher on Asian serving in the ACW. He is also one of the pioneers and an avid researcher of this particular subject. Given the fact that in the place where he lives, not much access of such information are readily available, his accomplishment is even more remarkable. I have been corresponding with Terry and would summarize and edit our discussions in the following report. Again, all the credit and research sources belong to Mr. Foenander, and to his friend, Mr. Ed Milligan, who was, at Terry's request, searching the papers at the U.S. National Archives for mention of Asians.

 

The followings are Terry's writing.

I know of at least two and perhaps more men whom I am quite certain were Chinese, but other researchers have had their doubts about Chinese serving in the Colored regiments, although I believe that they were. The two persons were Juan Lodigo and Ab Dola, both of the 31st US Colored Troops, who are shown on the rolls as being born in China, one in Nanking. Unfortunately both gentlemen deserted in July 1865, and therefore nothing concrete is known about them. One researcher is not convinced that Chinese soldiers may have indeed served with the Colored Troops, but I believe it is quite possible. There are another three soldiers in the Colored Troops who are shown as being born in the East Indies, so they may also have been Chinese soldiers. Then there is one who is shown as being born in Salom, Asia, from the 102nd US Colored Troops. I have no idea where this is, but once again it shows that there were some from Asia who also served in the Colored Troops.

Over the years I have come across several references to Chinese serving in the Civil War, such as the following:
Page 209 of the book GLORIOUS CONTENTMENT mentions that "One [GAR] post in Pennsylvania, for example, bragged that it could 'claim as a member what no post heretofore heard from can, to wit, a full-fledged Chinaman,'"
Page 205 of the book FALLEN LEAVES mentions that "Desertion in the field & worst of all, desertion to the enemy, was almost unknown before this jumble of French, Italians, Germans, & in some cases, Chinese came to us." --- This last reference, written in a letter to his family, by an officer in the Army of the Potomac, in September, 1863, seems to indicate that the writer may have seen quite a few Chinese serving in the army.

There are also references to John Tomney in the book ON THE BLOODSTAINED FIELD, as well as the articles in Civil War Times Illustrated, North and South, and elsewhere.

Over the years I have also collected several articles from Newspapers of the Civil War period, including the ones on John Tomney, and others. In fact, the article on John Fouenty, who served in the Confederate army before deserting to the Union, was my original discovery.

Gordon, I recently found a reference to a Malay who had served aboard the CSS SUMTER with Commander Raphael Semmes in 1861, but only a few days ago, I managed to find his name, and I believe that he may have been a Chinese, and not Malay, as his name was Edward Lee. Semmes mentions in a despatch included in the Official Records of the Navies, that this gentleman was a Malay and had deserted together with another steward of the SUMTER, at Surinam. Perhaps Lee might have been a Chinese born in Malaya, and was referred to as a Malay. I am attempting to corroborate all the facts, but, once again, because of the distance it will take some time.

By the way, all the names of the East Indians and Chinese, as well as other Asians in the Civil War can be seen at my web page, which you have linked. I do realise that some of these gentlemen may have actually been Caucasians born in China or the Far East, but until evidence of such comes to hand, I will leave their names on my site. Since I first put up the site a year or two ago, I have corrected some errors, including one name which was removed, after I was advised that he was actually Caucasian who was born in the East.

I also know that Ab Dola is actually a corruption of the Islamic name Abdullah, but his papers do indeed state that he was born in China, and that he was a sailor, so perhaps he came to America aboard a ship before the war.

Gordon, I don't know if you ever saw a letter written to the editor and printed in the Civil War Times Illustrated of Jan/Feb 1995, page 16, by Michael J. Aberle, of San Jose, California, mentioning Joseph Pierce and John Tomney, as well as an unnamed Chinese soldier in the 43rd New York. In another source this soldier of the 43rd is stated to be a native of Hindostan, but recently, with the very able help of Ed Milligan, I have confirmed that he was actually born in Persia, and not Chinese or Hindostani.

Over the years I have also purchased several muster rolls mainly of Naval vessels and found a number of Asians as well, including at least one from Singapore. Perhaps they may be Chinese, but it is impossible to tell from the names, as most of them were Anglicized. The muster roll of the USS HARTFORD for July 1864 shows a Charles Mine (or Mnie?), born in Singapore. Also, since the East Indies covered a large area of the Far East, it is impossible to tell if someone shown as being from the East Indies was Chinese or not, so there are probably a lot more than we know of.

I have the regimental history of the Richmond Otey Battery, 13th Virginia Battalion and it shows a Samuel Cornelius Clopton, who is noted as being born in China, but as far as I can tell, there is no town named China in Virginia, so is he from the Far East or not?

I have been scanning the Civil War period newspapers from several American cities which we have available on microfilm at the Queensland University Library in Brisbane.

Ed Milligan, the co-author of the article in NORTH & SOUTH. Ed is the one whom I originally requested assistance in searching the rosters in the National Archives for the names and details of all Asians who served in the Navy, and he has been doing an absolutely marvellous job. I am much indebted to him.

I did make a copy of your web site for my files, and have read the article that you wrote. Well done. Please continue to do much research on the subject as there are many such aspects of the war that need to be made available to interested parties.

By the way, you query the nativities of John Robinson and Samuel Sheets of the 120th New York Infantry, whom I noted as being born in China.
So I have deleted them from my list.
Terry Foenander
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Response from the Webmaster:
Dear Terry, The purpose of my site is to honor people of my heritage serving in the American Civil War. It is meant to collect data from all sources, from many people, to build an electronic momument commemorating their deeds.
We have very little information to work on, since documentations are sporatic and not complete. Sometimes, logical conjecture may be needed to identify the Chinese serving in the C.W. I support your view and disagree with other researchers. Juan Lodigo could have mixed Chinese and "dark skin" Spanish blood, who could pass as a light skin black in the Colored Troops. Ab Dola sounds like a distorted Arab name, Abdulla. Perhaps a mixed blood of an a "dark skin" Arab and Chinese? I believe it is quite possible that they could join the Color Troop. You mentioned that there are 3 being born from East Indies. Do you know their names? A mixed Malay and Chinese blood, that could pass as a "negro"? I intend to update my site from time to time, with proper credit going to the contributer. Again, thank you for your response. This gave me a lot of encouragement. Sincerely, Gordon Kwok

Webmaster: I did a little research to find out whether there are any town named China in the U.S., and here is what I have found.
China (a township), Maine zip code 04926. I knew about this for quite a while since I live in the New England area.
China (a township), Michigan 48079
China, Indiana 47250
China, Texas 77613
There is a China Hill in Georgia 31077; a China Grove in North Carolina 28023; another China Grove in Tennessee 38233; China Grove in Bexar County, Texas 78223; and China Grove in Scurry County, Texas 79526.
I still have to find out when these towns were named; pre-1830 or post-1830?

 


 

The Official Records of the Navy mentioned that the US Navy did charter a steamer by the name of TA KIANG (meaning Big and Strong), armed her, and used her against the Japanese for the short while, during the Civil War years. These details can be found in Series 1, Volume 3, pages 202-203. Thanks for the input from my friend, Terry Foenander, who is the source of this piece of information. The webmaster summarized the story as follows: The American steamer, TA KIANG, was chartered at the rate of $9,500 per month by Captain Price, U.S. Navy, commander of U.S. ship Jamestown, and General Pruyn. She was to carry a landing party to land in Japan, on September 6, 1864. the action was related to opening the Strait of Shimonoseki, Japan. TA KIANG was commanded by Ensign Frederick Pearson, U.S. Navy. The Japanese opened fire and the fleet returned fire. An expedition of nine British, three French and four Dutch steamships of war, with a landing force of about 1,200 men, were organized to protect Yokohama and its foreign residents towards the Tycoon's Government which was not strong enough to overcome the rebellious Prince of Nagato unaided, who owned and had fortified the western side of the strait. U.S. steamer TA KIANG would proceed to the strait of Shimonoseki to act in concert with the treaty powers, showing the American flag and demanding the right of passage. TA KIANG fired eighteen shells from her Parrott gun in the attack upon the forts, thus identifying herself in this respect with the expedition. TA KIANG returned to this anchorage on the evening of September 23, 1864, having on board twenty-four wounded English from Shimonoseki. (Summarized by the Webmaster Gordon Kwok)

{Note: Special thanks to reader Carl Masthay from St. Louis, for providing the correct spelling and meaning of the word: Shimonoseki.}
Shimonoseki ("shimo-no-seki" is 'lower part of a dam')

 

Correspondence with Terry Foenander

The following are the edited correspondence from Terry Foenander, focusing on the discussion on Chinese / Asians / Research on the American Civil War. Credit Terry on his work. Thank you, Terry, for giving me permission to use the work product of your research. Terry Foenander has an excellent website on Asians in the Civil War http://www.tfoenander.com/asians.html
He also has another superb website on US Civil War Navies  http://www.tfoenander.com/

Subj: Book and TA KIANG correspondence.
Date: 3/2/00 7:31:38 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, I have made xerox copies of the correspondence from the OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE NAVIES IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION relating to the TA KIANG, and will be sending it, along with a copy of my softcover book which was released yesterday to you, gratis. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Raphael Semmes Viewpoint on Slavery.
Date: 2/22/00 12:14:50 AM Eastern Standard Time
Gordon, While perusing volume 2 of Series 1 of the OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE NAVIES IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION, I found the following transcript from the journal of Commander Semmes of the CSS ALABAMA, while he was around the Far East. The passage was written about his conversation with a French colonialist who had several oriental slaves under his care, and shows the backward views of the caucasians of that period: He told me that he had 140 forcats (slave prisoners) at the village, whom he meant to put to good use in constructing store and dwelling houses, etc., upon which I rallied him upon his system of slavery away off here in Cochin China, and told him he was worse than we, since the Cochin Chinese were quasi white people, whereas we enslaved only the African. I have also found some entries about Singapore and a description of the island and people at that time which I will probably include on my web site soon. I intend to include some notes to go with it. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Re: Just a quick note
Date: 2/9/00 3:37:47 AM Eastern Standard Time
Gordon, Thank you for your messages of Tuesday. I am glad to see that you site is a spotlight of the Washington College web site on the Civil War. Maybe you will get more feedback from this exposure and I wish you lots of luck. Just remember, keep up the research and keep searching for those elusive soldiers and sailors from the Far East. By the way, Ed Milligan actually resides in Alexandria, Virginia, nearer to where you live, than I do. That is why he is able to do a lot of good research at the National Archives in Washington. Take care, Terry.

Date: 2/6/00 2:57:13 PM Eastern Standard Time
Gordon, By the way, I was talking last night on the phone to Len Traynor in Sydney, who is quite well known in Civil War circles, and he mentioned that many, many years ago he had seen mentioned in one of Bruce Catton's books the name of another Chinese whom Catton had noted (wrongly, of course) as being the only Chinese in the Army of the Potomac. Len couldn't remember which book it was in, but thinks his name may have been Peter Phillips. I only have two books in my collection by Catton, and, although they both have indexes, I have begun to scan the volumes, page by page, in case Len got the name wrong, and also in case the name isn't in the index. Ed Milligan knows Len Traynor quite well. Len started studying the Civil War when he was eleven years old, and he is now in his sixties, so he has been at it a long time. He often gives lectures on the subject to interested parties here in Australia, and I think he is also a well known member of the American group, the Company of Military Historians. I am glad you have your site linked to several CW index sites, and if you can, do get it linked to many more, to help in our cause. I will go back and check out my previous e-mail messages saved on floppy disks to see if I can locate the message about Ed and Tom's comments, and will send you an extract once I find it. Also I guess you have already seen the article about Ed and Tom's lecture (on Chinese in the CW) at the National Archives in last year's Washington Post. If not let me know and I will send you the date and page it was in. I found your site when it was first listed at the American Civil War Homepage, as I try to check the CW index pages for new entries. I also make sure I check Cyndi's Genealogy page, on which your site was listed yesterday or the day before. Gordon, do you have the three volume set of Booth's Louisiana rosters? If so, perhaps you could check page by page for mention of the Chinese soldier whom Burke Davis mentions as having served in the Avegno Zouaves. I remember seeing mention of this years ago, and making a note of it, but I do not have the Louisiana rosters. A co-researcher in Melbourne, Barry Crompton has the set, but I did not want to bother him about making a page by page search. I would like to purchase the set, but do not know of any place that sells it for a reasonable amount. One day I might put all my notes and listings of the Asians on computer and then I will be able to send you a copy, as an attachment. At the moment I have most of the details on paper, such as copies of documents ordered from the National Archives, letters to other historical societies, museums, archives, National Parks (as you mentioned having seen), and other state repositories. All these have been collected over many years in my quest for information, and to be honest with you, I think this quest will never end, as I keep learning more and more as time passes. There is so much knowledge to be gained on the subject, and I am sure that we will never know everything in our lifetimes. Keep well, and keep in touch. Regards, Terry.

Date: 2/2/00 4:17:39 PM Eastern Standard Time
Gordon, Thanks for your message and I will get a message off to Ted Alexander, as soon as I have completed some of my current projects, the most important being the finishing touches to my Civil War book which should, hopefully be ready by the end of February. It is mainly a collection of articles from American newspapers of the Civil War period, mainly relating to the more obscure subjects. There are at least two articles on Chinese, namely John Fouenty (please see below) and John Tommey (please see below). You have already seen these newspaper articles. If you could advise some of your members about the book I would very much appreciate it. Regards, Terry.

(Webmaster's note: The quotation came from Terry's book, "Civil War News, a Collection of Articles reprinted from Newspapers of the period." Collected and Compiled by (c) Terry Foenander, Harrison Printing Company, Pty. Ltd., 2000. Terry is the researcher who first discovered John Founty in the modern era. John Tommy is also Terry's independent discovery.)

John Fouenty
A CHINAMAN IN REBELDOM. A young man named JOHN FOUNTY, a native of Hong Kong, China, recently arrived in this City, having made his escape from Savannah, Georgia, where he was conscripted. John speaks but little English. His story, which is undoubtedly true, is somewhat interesting. He said his people are quite "well to do in China, but owing to some arrangement which he could never exactly understand, he found himself at seven years of age shipped as a coolie on board a vessel bound for Cuba. His term of "apprenticeship" being out at the expiration of four years, he was furnished with money to pay his passage home. He made an arrangement with the captain of a bark which was, as he was informed, to sail direct for China. He paid $30 for his passage, and in four or five days afterward was surprised to find himself in St. Augustine, Florida. The captain explained the matter by saying his passenger shipped under a mistake, and that his vessel was going no further. This was in 1852. Some kind gentlemen, residents of St. Augustine, hearing JOHN's story, took him in charge and sent him to school for a year, when he moved to Savannah. There he learned the cigar-maker's trade. At the breaking out of the rebellion, he was induced to join the rebel army, in which he served for a year. He was then mustered out, being under age. The last rebel Conscription Act brought JOHN under the rule, and he was accordingly notified. Determined not to fight any more under the rebel flag, he seized the first favourable opportunity to make his escape to St. Augustine. The Provost Mershal of that place kindly furnished him with transportation to New York. JOHN is now trying to get passage to China, hoping to see his people once more. His news is not of a very late date. He says that before he left Savannah JEFF DAVIS came there and addressed the people. He was asked the question, "When will the war be over?" JEFF replied, "Don't, for Heaven's sake, ask me such a question. Not until the Yankees give up." In the later part of January, there were but three regiments in the city and the fortifications surrounding it. There are but two forts on the river, but the channel has been obstructed in several places, the obstructions extending seven or eight miles below the city. When he left Savannah, flour was $120 per bbl.; beef, $100 do.; boots, $150 a pair; Havana cigars, $2 a piece; board at hotels, $15 per day; mixed drinks, $3 each.

Terry's notes: [From the New York Times, Saturday, March 12, 1864, page 1. A search of the index volume of Lillian Henderson's multi-volumed set, ROSTER OF THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS OF GEORGIA, 1861-1865, failed to turned up any soldier of this name, or of a similar sounding name. Mr. Frank T. Wheeler, Senior Archivist of the Georgia Historical Society Library, in a letter to the author (Terry Foenander), dated March 4, 1997, states: "I am unable to locate any information on John Fouenty in our collections. I have searched our listing of soldiers, the index to the collections, the newspaper index, and a few other sources."]
Webmaster's notes: Even if the "official records" did not include these information, it doesn't necessary means that John Fouenty did not serve. It only means that this piece of information had fallen through the cracks and was not collected and not recorded by the Authority.

John Tommy
CHINA AT GETTYSBURG. Among the killed at Gettysburg was a young Chinaman, known as John Tommy. He was attached to the First Regiment Excelsior brigade, Capt. Price's company. John Tommy was the only representative of the Central Flowery Kingdom in the Army of the Potomac, and was widely known both from that circumstance and certain peculiarities of his own. John Tommy came to this country immediately after the breaking out of the war, and was induced to enlist in Gen. Sickles' brigade, at that time being raised in this city. He was then a mere lad, entirely ignorantof our language. Being bright, smart and honest, he soon became a favourite at Red Hook, Staten Island, and was at once the butt and wit of the whole regiment. Before he became located on the Maryland shore of the Potomac opposite Aquia creek, in one of the reconnoissances of the south side of the river, Tommy was taken prisoner, and soon became a lion in the rebel camp. He was brought before General Magruder, who, surprised at his appearance and colour, asked him was he a mulatto, Indian or what? When Tommy told him he was from China, Magruder was very much amused, and asked him how much he would take to join the Confederate army. "Not unless you would make me a Brigadier General," said Tommy, to the great delight of the secesh officers, who treated him very kindly and sent him to Fredericksburg. Here Tommy became a great lion and his picture was published in the Federicksburg papers. Subsequently he was sent to the Libby prison, Richmond, where he met his captain, Benjamin Price, who had been taken prisoner at Williamsburg. After his parole, Tommy came to New York city, where he employedhis time in attending upon his sick and wounded comrades. He was the kindest of nurses, and expended his little means in providing delicacies for his sick fellow soldiers. In the subsequent engagements at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and last at Gettysburg, John Tommy was one of the bravest soldiers in that bravest of brigades, the Excelsior. He had not been wounded up to Gettysburg, but in Friday's fight he was struck by a shell which tore off both legs at the thighs, and shortly bled to death. The company he was in went into the action with twenty-eight men, and lost twenty in killed and wounded. Tommy's case is peculiar, as he was the only representative of the empire of China in the finest army on the planet. -- N.Y. World, 9th.
Terry's notes: {From the Chicago Tribune, Monday, July 13, 1863, page 2. The claim that Tommy (shown elsewhere as Tomney) was the only oriental soldier in the army was incorrect -------.}

Subj: More Chinese Servicemen?
Date: 1/27/00 3:05:13 PM Eastern Standard Time
Ed and Gordon, I do hope you re-introduced yourselves to each other, after my message introducing you to each other, a couple of days or so ago. Anyway, I think both of you might wish to know that some months ago, while down in Melbourne, I visited Barry Crompton, and had a quick perusal of a lot of his books and papers. While doing this, I came across copies of one of the pension lists, I think it may have been the 1883 list, or perhaps the 1890 list. Anyway, while perusing the list of names, I came across two gentlemen amongst the foreign residents collecting the pension from the US government, who were more than likely Chinese servicemen, and it seemed that they were from the Civil War period. I did e-mail Barry, after I got back to Toowoomba, to ask him to send me a copy of this particular page, but he must have forgotten, as I have not received it. If you do have access to the Pension lists of either of those years, check out the foreign residents section, and you might be quite happy with what you find. Ed, I think I might have already informed you, yesterday, of my locating another Asian who was on a Confederate privateer, the SAVANNAH, and if he was regularly enlisted in the CSN, then this is another addition to my list. I found his name in the OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE ARMY of all places. In fact I found several CSN names there. I am also quite estatic about having been given an award for excellent research for my page on Billy Bugg, by the Confederate Webring. I will have to get the award uploaded by my Service provider. Regards, Terry.

Date: 1/27/00 2:30:54 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, I have just received an award for excellent research, from the webmaster of the Confederate Webring for my page on the African American Confederate Navy Officer, Billy Bugg. The award will go up in the next few days hopefully. So I am really quite happy about my recent achievements. I think I have found the name of another Filipino who served in the Confederate Navy, named Joseph Cruz Del Cano, born in Manila. He served aboard the Confederate privateer SAVANNAH, but I am not sure if he was regularly enlisted into the CSN or not. If he was then his name will also be added to my list of Asians. I located in name in the OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE ARMIES, which does include a few Confederate Navy names. Anyway, Gordon, take care and keep in touch. Regards, Terry.

Date: 1/23/00 4:02:54 AM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, Thanks for your reply, and I hope you do not mind, as I have taken the liberty of providing your e-mail address to Ed Milligan, the co-author of the article in NORTH & SOUTH. Ed is the one whom I originally requested assistance in searching the rosters in the National Archives for the names and details of all Asians who served in the Navy, and he has been doing an absolutely marvellous job. I am much indebted to him. Yes, you are absolutely correct, Raphael Semmes did indeed command the CSS SUMTER when she first sailed the high seas during the war. I did make a copy of your web site for my files, and have read the article that you wrote. Well done. Please continue to do much research on the subject as there are many such aspects of the war that need to be made available to interested parties. Michael Musick stated that the Chinese were the last unexplored ethnic group of the war. As I note amongst my research papers that there were quite a number of Filipinos who served also. There were also many Indians (from that continent) in both arms of service. The Washington Post article states that Lowry had said that a higher percentage of Chinese served than in any other ethnic group, but he neglects the fact that Filipinos and Indians, as well as some Indonesians, Singaporeans, and even Sandwich Islanders also served, and I am sure the percentage amongst these were much higher in relation to their communities at that time. What do you think? By the way, you query the nativities of John Robinson and Samuel Sheets of the 120th New York Infantry, whom I noted as being born in China, but apparently this was a little town in NY State, so I have deleted them from my list. Please advise the gentlemen whom you mentioned as being interested in the navy (both North and South) of my interest, as I wish to correspond with as many like minded persons as possible. Also let him know of my web site. Anyway, I will keep you informed of my research and any further discoveries. Best wishes, Terry.

Date: 1/22/00 2:45:41 PM Eastern Standard Time
Gordon, This is just in addition to my previous message posted a few minutes ago. I will try and contact Ted Alexander, but perhaps you could also introduce us by e-mail if he is online, please. The details of the Asians on my website is just the basic facts. I do have a lot more information on file, but there is too much to include on the site. I think I do have some names which are not on your site or in the N&S article. By the way, Ed Milligan, who co-authored the article is a regular correspondent of mine, and he has helped me a lot. He is a decent gentleman and I am very grateful for his assistance. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Re: Chinese in the Civil War
Date: 1/21/00 4:33:47 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, Thanks for your quick reply of Thursday. Over the years I have come across several references to Chinese serving in the Civil War, such as the following: Page 209 of the book GLORIOUS CONTENTMENT mentions that "One [GAR] post in Pennsylvania, for example, bragged that it could 'claim as a member what no post heretofore heard from can, to wit, a full-fledged Chinaman,'" Page 205 of the book FALLEN LEAVES mentions that "Desertion in the field & worst of all, desertion to the enemy, was almost unknown before this jumble of French, Italians, Germans, & in some cases, Chinese came to us." --- This last reference, written in a letter to his family, by an officer in the Army of the Potomac, in September, 1863, seems to indicate that the writer may have seen quite a few Chinese serving in the army. There are also references to John Tomney in the book ON THE BLOODSTAINED FIELD, as well as the articles in Civil War Times Illustrated, North and South, and elsewhere. Over the years I have also collected several articles from Newspapers of the Civil War period, including the ones on John Tomney, and others. In fact, the article on John Fouenty, who served in the Confederate army before deserting to the Union, was my discovery. Gordon, I recently found a reference to a Malay who had served aboard the CSS SUMTER with Commander Raphael Semmes in 1861, but only a few days ago, I managed to find his name, and I believe that he may have been a Chinese, and not Malay, as his name was Edward Lee. Semmes mentions in a despatch included in the Official Records of the Navies, that this gentleman was a Malay and had deserted together with another steward of the SUMTER, at Surinam. Perhaps Lee might have been a Chinese born in Malaya, and was referred to as a Malay. I am attempting to corroborate all the facts, but, once again, because of the distance it will take some time. By the way, all the names of the East Indians and Chinese, as well as other Asians in the Civil War can be seen at my web page, which you have linked. I do realise that some of these gentlemen may have actually been Caucasians born in China or the Far East, but until evidence of such comes to hand, I will leave their names on my site. Since I first put up the site a year or two ago, I have corrected some errors, including one name which was removed, after I was advised that he was actually Caucasian who was born in the East. Gordon, I don't know if you ever saw a letter written to the editor and printed in the Civil War Times Illustrated of Jan/Feb 1995, page 16, by Michael J. Aberle, of San Jose, California, mentioning Joseph Pierce and John Tomney, as well as an unnamed Chinese soldier in the 43rd New York. In another source this soldier of the 43rd is stated to be a native of Hindostan, but recently, with the very able help of Ed Milligan, I have confirmed that he was actually born in Persia, and not Chinese or Hindostani. Over the years I have also purchased several muster rolls mainly of Naval vessels and found a number of Asians as well, including at least one from Singapore. Perhaps they may be Chinese, but it is impossible to tell from the names, as most of them were Anglicized. The muster roll of the USS HARTFORD for July 1864 shows a Charles Mine (or Mnie?), born in Singapore. Also, since the East Indies covered a large area of the Far East, it is impossible to tell if someone shown as being from the East Indies was Chinese or not, so there are probably a lot more than we know of. I have the regimental history of the Richmond Otey Battery, 13th Virginia Battalion and it shows a Samuel Cornelius Clopton, who is noted as being born in China, but as far as I can tell, there is no town named China in Virginia, so is he from the Far East or not? Take care, keep up the good work and keep in touch. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Chinese in the Civil War.
Date: 1/20/00 4:21:09 AM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, I have checked out your site and I am quite honored that you have linked to my site on Asians in the CW. Thank you for crediting me with some of the details. I have indeed been researching the subject of Chinese and later, Asians in the Civil War since the early nineties. The reason I am quite fascinated with this, as well as other interesting (but almost unknown) subjects relating to the war, is because I myself was born in Singapore. I lived amongst these very wonderful people for over two decades, and still keep in touch with many friends from childhood, and my early working years, who still live in Singapore. Anyway, I am still researching the subject, although I have diverted my research lately to other intriguing matters relating to the Civil War, some of the results of which can be seen on my web pages, which you have already visited. One very important bit of information which I recently discovered, and which almost no one knew about, was the execution of a Confederate army officer, which may be the only case of its kind in either army during the war. Anyway, I am very glad to see that you are also getting fully involved in the research on the Chinese who fought. I also know of at least two and perhaps more men whom I am quite certain were Chinese, but whom Ed and Tom do not believe are of this nationality, who served in the Colored Troops amongst the African Americans. They were Juan Lodigo and Ab Dola, both of the 31st US Colored Troops, who are shown on the rolls as being born in China, one in Nanking. Unfortunately both gentlemen deserted in July 1865, and therefore nothing concrete is known about them. Tom is not convinced that Chinese soldiers may have indeed served with the Colored Troops, but I believe it is quite possible. There are another three soldiers in the Colored Troops who are shown as being born in the East Indies, so they may also have been Chinese soldiers. Then there is one who is shown as being born in Salom, Asia, from the 102nd US Colored Troops. I have no idea where this is, but once again it shows that there were some from Asia who also served in the Colored Troops. Unfortunately, because of the fact that I reside over here (Australia), it is often quite a problem proving much of this is true. Perhaps you could dig up further information. Anyway, Gordon, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, and please continue the research, as it is an important subject that needs wider exposure. Regards, Terry.


 

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Webmaster, editor and author, Gordon Kwok
email address: gordoncwrt@gmail.com
July 20, 2000
 
Revised and uploaded on January 26, 2009
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