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Foenander's research 2

Correspondence with Terry Foenander

Subj: Re: Cape Anne Historical Association declined to give permission
Date: 2/3/01 3:45:15 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, Thank you for your message of Friday, and I am so sorry to hear that the Cape Anne Historical Association has declined to permit the use of the Cohota images online. I guess some images are still under strict control and the family members do not wish their use except in private research. As for the Joseph Pierce research material, I am glad the author has permitted you to use it. I think I do already have Joseph Pierce's pension papers here, as I purchased copies from the National Archives a few years ago. I guess there must be further material at Connecticut repositories which the author has used. I am most certainly looking forwards to seeing the additional data on the Confederate and Union Chinese soldiers from Louisiana that Ms. Temple has located. I wonder if they include the three Chinese from the colored regiments, that had served in Louisiana? Anyway, I think you are doing absolutely great in locating all this material and images. Keep it up and I hope you find a lot more. Isn't it great that you have the proof that the armies and navies of that period were not as white orientated as a lot of researchers like to assume? Keep in touch, Terry.

Subj: Re: More Union vessels with Chinese names.
Date: 11/19/00 6:53:42 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, Thank you for your reply of Sunday. I checked my volumes titled DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS but could find no mention of the Kiu Kiang, then, when I read the article on Hong Neok Woo, I understood the reason why. That vessel was not in the Union Navy but was a merchant vessel. It was obviously a passenger vessel plying between the U.S. and China. Union Navy vessels names were prefixed by the initials USS, and they were commissioned for armed conflict. I do not have a list of all the merchant marine vessels of that period, but I am sure there would have been a lot more with Chinese names. However, merchant marine vessels and personnel are outside the scope of my research. Regards, Terry.

Subj: More Union vessels with Chinese names.
Date: 11/19/00 3:35:28 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, Series 2, Volume 1 of the OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE NAVIES IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION contains a listing of the Union vessels during the war, and I have found at least two more with Chinese names. I guess the reason these were not listed in Silverstone volume WARSHIPS OF THE CIVIL WAR NAVIES was because the names were eventually changed to American sounding names. Anyway, the vessels were the USS CHIH KING (name changed to the TULIP on June 4, 1864) and the USS KIANG SOO (name changed to FUCHSIA). There were only about 200 or so vessels in the Confederate Navy, and none with Chinese names. Regards, Terry.

{Webmaster's reply: I am going to guess what the names mean, to match the phonetic in Cantonese dialect. CHIH KING could mean the First Emperor. CHIH means "Beginning". The First Emperor of the Chuen Dynasty after he devoured 7 Warring States and established the "Beginning Chuen" Emperor, and hoped his Empire would last 1,000 years. But it ended with his son. the Empire lasted less than 20 to 30 years, at around 200 B.C. Then , the Han Dynasty took over, and lated about 400 to 500 years. I have to look at the Chinese character writing in order to determine the exact meaning. KIANG SOO could be the name of a Province (similar to a state in the U.S.)}

Date: 11/1/00 3:16:53 PM Eastern Standard Time
Gordon, All else is going well over here. I received an e-mail from a Japanese gentleman living in Georgia who is a Civil War re-enactor. He says many of his fellow re-enactors doubt that there were Asians who served in the Civil War, but after coming across my site, he says he will advise them how wrong they are. I also told him to check your site too, so you may hear from him as well. I added another page to my site yesterday, mainly a transcription of the Muster Roll of the USS FLORIDA. I have quite a number of copies of Muster Rolls of Union vessels purchased from the National Archives over the last decade or so, so I will start transcribing them and placing them on the net. I had purchased mainly the ones for the very large Union vessels, and also for those vessels I knew to have served in foreign waters during the war, for the purpose of locating Asian seaman who served, and some of them do contain such sailors. (The Florida had one Asian born sailor - William G. Cruise). Keep in touch. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Re: Have you heard of "The Celestial Warriors" ?
Date: 10/28/00 4:44:34 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Dear Gordon, Thanks for your message of Saturday, and the e-mail detailing information on the CELESTIAL WARRIORS. I had never heard the term before or any such reference elsewhere. On receipt of your e-mail I checked my CD ROM copy of the Army Official Records, but there is no reference to that term or unit. Perhaps if there were a number of recruits with Chinese sounding names who enlisted in one particular unit, it would pay to check out the regimental history of that unit for any clues. The only other way to find out is to go through, page by page one of the major New York newspapers of the period for some reference to them. However, I myself have already scanned numerous New York newspapers and the only references to Asians are what I have sent you copies of. There is the possibility that I may have missed something, but I feel that I have been thorough enough to have picked out all items of interest. Its a pity that people often refer to books or newspaper articles relating to an interesting subject but are unable to give an exact reference that will lead a researcher directly to the source. It would be best to approach such claims cautiously until you can find absolute proof that such a group or unit did indeed exist. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Re: I got a new Award
Date: 10/26/00 4:58:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Dear Gordon, Thank you for your message, and congratulations on receiving the CIVIL WAR IN MINIATURE Historic Site Award. Keep up the good work, and I hope you get many more such awards for your sites. I think I did advise you that I could not find the name of any Chinese resident of Monroe County in the 1860 census, so was unable to find out who the Chinese gentleman was who served in Captain Mulrenan's Coast Guard unit. However, I have already written to the Florida State Archives which holds the Robert Watson Diary, and have requested permission to quote that particular entry on my site to let others know that there was another Chinese mentioned as having served in the Confederate service. Hope all is going well with you. Take care, and send my best regards to Ruthann next time you speak to her. Regards, Terry.

Date: 10/18/00 4:37:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Dear Gordon, I did receive the microfilm from Ed Milligan showing census records of 1860 for Monroe County, Florida, where Captain Mulrenan's Coast Guard unit was mainly recruited, but there is no Chinese born resident of that County listed unfortunately. Thus I am unable to find out who it was that was mentioned in the entry in Robert Watson's diary. He may have been a mariner who happened to be in Key West when Mulrenan recruited his unit, and decided to join, so unless there is some other source of research I cannot, at this point in time, find out who exactly was the

Chinese (Feb 23, 1862) mentioned in the diary. Hope all is well with you. Keep well and keep in touch. Regards, Terry.

Date: 10/16/00 3:52:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Dear Gordon, Thank you for your message of Monday, and the information on your newest link to the Chinese site. I did see that a couple of days ago, and would like to thank you for the kind words on my site. I still haven't received the microfilm copy sent by Ed {Milligan} covering the 1860 Florida census of Monroe and the other counties, which should (keeping my fingers crossed!!) include the name of the Chinese soldier who served in Captain Mulrenan's Coast Guard unit, as the majority of personnel in his unit were from Monroe county. Keep going with the important information you are putting online. Regards, Terry.

Date: 10/7/00 4:08:55 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Dear Gordon, I want to let you know that I came across a description of a manuscript collection, held at the Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University, which may be of some interest to you. Here are the details, in full, as taken off the Internet site: Knighton, Josiah, 1796-1868. Family papers, 1793-1909 (bulk 1861-1896). 270 items, 4 ms. vols. Location: E:21. Available (with some ommissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 11. Resident of Clinton, East Feliciana Parish, Lousiana. Family member James H. Knighton was a private in the 4th Lousiana Infantry during the Civil War. Personal papers of the Knighton family consist chiefly of correspondence. Civil War letters of James H. Knighton describe Camp Neafus, Camp Lovell, Confederate deserters, campaigns at Vicksburg and Atlanta, and the Battle of Shiloh. Letters (1867-1886) describe the Chinese population of Lake Providence, East Carroll Parish, Reconstruction, and African American voters. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 651. Hope this information is of some use to you. Regards, Terry.

Date: 10/6/00 5:20:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Dear Gordon, --------- By the way, I have already purchased, from the National Archives, and through Ed Milligan, the microfilm reel which includes the 1860 census of Florida, the Monroe County names, which should include most, if not all, of the names of the personnel who served in Captain Mulrenan's Coast Guard unit, in which the Chinese soldier is mentioned as having served. Ed says the microfilm should be here within a week, and once I get it, I will compare the names of the personnel on the census, with those on the roster of Mulrenan's unit, which I have. If I get a positive result, I will let you know immediately, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Keep well, and keep in touch. Regards, Terry.

Subj:Another mention of Chinese in a Confederate Unit.
Date:9/16/00 2:55:07 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Dear Ruthanne, Gordon and Ed, I have come across another mention of a Chinese (or perhaps more) serving in a Confederate unit. For sometime now, I have had a small interest in the diary of a Robert Watson, who was a soldier from Florida, before being transferred into the Confederate Navy in early 1864. I originally came across mention of his diary in a list of items available at the Florida State Archives, and had originally intended obtaining copies of the pages relating to his naval service, until I happened to correspond with an American gentleman who mentioned in one of his e-mail messages that he was going to publish the diary later this year, or next year, at which point I decided to await publication of the diary before purchasing a copy. However, and very fortunately, while surfing the net looking for items relating to the navies, I came across extracts of this very same diary, available on the Internet, and while reading some of the entries this morning, chanced upon a very exciting entry, which indicates that there were one or more Chinese (besides several other races mentioned) who were obviously serving with Robert Watson, while he was still in the Florida 'Coast Guard' Company, which was later to become Company K, 7th Florida Infantry. I won't ramble on any further, but will give you the direct link to the page at which this important entry can be read:

http://fpc.dos.state.fl.us/learning/CivilWar/documents/Watson_1862.html
Once you get to that page, read the entry for February 23, 1862. I have the book SOLDIERS OF FLORIDA, and will check for the personnel, both in the Coast Guard Company, and Company K, 7th Florida Infantry, and try to figure out which one (or more) of those personnel were the Chinese soldiers referred to, but it may not be so simple, as I assume the names would have, once again, been Anglicized. Anyway, I have made a copy of that particular page for my files on Asians. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Joseph L. Pierce in Military Images magazine.
Date: 7/28/00 9:09:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Gordon, I received my copy of the July-August 2000 issue of Military Images magazine yesterday, and on the front cover is a copy of a CDV photograph of Joseph L. Pierce of the 14th Connecticut Infantry in his Corporal's uniform. There is also a little article in the magazine about the immigrants who fought in the Union Army, including the Asian-Americans. It seems that more and more people are recognizing the fact that it was not a wholly American war. Thank goodness the Asians are being recognized. Now I hope someone realizes that there were also Pacific Islanders and other unrecognized groups as well, who fought. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Re: Chinese in Avegno Zouaves
Date: 7/25/00 3:24:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Dear Gordon, You are probably correct in assuming that some of the Filipino and Chinese residents of New Orleans may have served in the Confederate Army (and perhaps Navy?), but how do we prove it and obtain names?
Unfortunately I do not own the 3 volume set of the Louisiana rosters, because if I did I would scan the names one by one for any clues. Perhaps collecting a list of all the names of the personnel who served in the Avegno Zouaves, and then a slow process of elimination (such as removing the names of officers, then other names which might indicate 100% non-Chinese personnel - such as French names, as I am sure many of the Arcadians would have enlisted) might help to at least indicate who may have been the Chinese member - more than likely he may have taken on an American name. Pity it has become so hard to identify these long forgotten persons. By the way, Ed Milligan sent me the names of two more Asians (actually one may have been a Pacific Islander, as he was born in Otahiti, where ever that is). Here is the relevant part of Milligan's message:

I was checking for Chinese and found these two. Geo. Rozaris took 3 as a ic boy in Macau on 10/5/65. b. Panang, 16 bk,dk,dk,5'5". In supply ship Relief. A bit late but too close to miss. James Williams a seaman took three in NYC 24/5/64. b Otahiti,48,hz,dk,dk 5'113/4" in Pinola. I may be repeating but I have no recollection of when I began to send things to you so ya get it anyway.
It would seem that George Rozaris, who enlisted at Macau, but was born in Panang (probably Penang), may have actually been a Malayan, but with the small possibility of him being Chinese, as we both know that many Chinese were living in Malaya at that time. Could the name Rozaris actually be a typo of Rozario, a common Eurasian name in Singapore and Malaysia? I think the name Rozario is originally Portugese or Spanish, and I did know one or two people of that name when I lived in Singapore. Even if he did prove to be Asian, I do not think I would include his name in my list, as he enlisted in May 1865, after the war was all but over.
Anyway, Gordon, continue with your research and I hope all your efforts prove very fruitful. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Chinese in Avegno Zouaves
Date: 7/24/00 3:25:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Gordon, That gentlemen named Kelley who owns the 37th Texas site is just repeating what Burke Davis mentioned in his book Strange and Fascinating Facts of the Civil War about a Chinese having served in the Avegno Zouaves, but I believe sometime ago that when someone wrote to Burke Davis for a name or confirmation, he said he could not give a name and had lost his notes relating to that subject. Barry Crompton, in Melbourne, who has the set of Louisiana Rosters, checked the rosters and could not find a reference anywhere to a Chinese in the Avegno Zouaves or in any other Louisiana unit. I also wrote to a couple of sources in Louisiana some time ago, and they too could not identify this person. So the identity is left in limbo. Until an identity is fully confirmed, I think we should just take this with a grain of salt. Regards, Terry

Subj: Re: Fwd: ASIAN CIVIL WAR QUESTION
Date: 5/24/00 10:35:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Gordon, Thanks for your messages, and the attachment from Lew. Perhaps he may be interested in the fact that there were quite a number of Sandwich Islanders (Hawaiians) who served in both the Union and Confederate Navies. The ones located so far are named on my sites ASIANS IN THE CIVIL WAR and CSN TRIVIA. I think the Asians were paid the usual sum paid for the ratings they held aboard ship. I don't know about the ones in the army, but one way to find out is to check out all their military papers at the National Archives, some of which I am sure would show payments made. There probably was a bit of prejudice to them during their service, as there is at least one account by an officer in the army which seems to show a certain amount of disgust at the service of the Chinese. I have the reference in my files somewhere, as I have the book from which it is taken in my library. However, I think in most cases, the Caucasians found it rather amusing when they saw an Asian in service. Unfortunately this amusement did not extend to the African Americans, who seemed to cop the major amount of prejudice. Over the years I have kept a number of references to the service of Asians in general and find that there is less prejudice than against the African Americans. Regards, Terry.

Date: 3/27/00 2:49:46 PM Eastern Standard Time
Gordon, Hope all is going well with you. I am updating my page on the Asians in the Civil War, and will be including additional information. However, I will be concentrating on bringing to recognition the other Asians, Middle Easterners, Pacific Islanders, and other obscure ethnic groups who participated, since the Chinese are adequately covered in your site. All goes well over here. I am continuing to find interesting information which I will add to my site when I have the opportunity. Keep well and keep in touch. Regards, Terry.

Date: 3/23/00 8:42:39 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, I hope Ms. McCunn gives her permission for you to use her information with no problems. I think she was just trying to protect her research, as many people like to use the work of others without proper or any credit at all. I know he spoke the truth as it has happened to me many times. So I guess Ruth Anne is just being cautious with good reason. I try my utmost to ensure that I give credit where it belongs when I put up web pages, as it saves me from future court cases. Anyway, I am sure that if you are polite to Ms McCunn and send her a decent request she would give her permission with no trouble at all. Good luck. Regards, Terry.

Webmaster: I credit the research work of all authors. I try my best to get the expressed or implied permission of other people's work and give them credit accordingly.

Date: 3/17/00 8:40:18 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, I am looking forwards to your link to Ruthanne Lum McCunn's article, but please be careful and try to obtain her permission to use the article. If I lived over there I would also be able to include much more research material on my studies, but because I am over here, it is rather difficult. However, I try to do the best that I can with the resource material that I have at hand. I have been able to extract much material out of the American newspapers of the Civil War period that we have available at our libraries in Brisbane and elsewhere, but this is insufficient. However, I have been able to dig out some documents relating to the Civil War and its connection to Australia from the Queensland State Archives in Brisbane. I am now awaiting permission to place this material on the Internet. I wrote to them some time ago but have not heard from them for about two or three weeks. I will be patient and hopefully they will give permission soon. Hope all is well and Ms. McCunn gives her permission soon. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Re: Translate Chinese into English
Date: 3/8/00 8:39:40 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dear Gordon, Thanks for a copy of the message you sent to Ed, and the translation of the Chinese document. When you mentioned Mosby being Consul in Hong Kong, it reminded me of my perusal of the US Consul despatches sent from Singapore, in 1997 when I was on holiday in Singapore. I visited the Singapore National Archives many times to read much of the historical material they had there, and while scanning the US Consul despatches sent during the late 1800's I came across many documents and letters relating to the CSS Alabama which had stopped over there for a short while in December, 1863. I also came across much correspondence sent out by the various consuls in Singapore after the war, and found several interesting despatches sent by a Consul by the name of Studer (I think, can't remember offhand, although I have copies of the correspondence somewhere amongst my files), who had served in a Union regiment during the war. Anyway, Studer apparently did not get along with Mosby, who was the consul in HK at the time, and he (Studer) sent some complaints about Mosby to the Secretary of State in the US. You also mentioned Grant on his world tour, and I have an account of his visit to Singapore at the time, in one of my books. It was quite interesting. The next addition to my web page is titled Confederate States Navy Trivia, and it will include some of the bits and pieces I have picked up while perusing the Official Records, as well as the other reference volumes in my collection. You may find it rather interesting. I also include mention of the Malays and Sandwich Islanders who had served aboard the Confederate vessels. Anyway, take care and keep in touch. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Re: A Chinese enlisted in a colored regiment?
Date: 3/7/00 3:00:11 PM Eastern Standard Time
Gordon, I am not trying to discourage you from looking for more names with Chinese surnames, but am only advising caution, as I have fallen into the same trap so many times. However you are doing a good job, and I think you should continue placing the names on your page, as it might bring some research results from others who see your page, and may be descendants of those named, or are at least aware of the birth places of those named. I did manage to locate my short list of names taken from the colored regiment site, and have two Tans: Isaac Tan of the 52nd Regiment, US Colored Infantry and William H. Tan of the 36th Regiment, US Colored Infantry. There is a Fernandus Lee from the 127th Regiment, US Colored Infantry and 12 Chins (let me know if you'd like all these names. Also James C. Quow served in the 54th Regiment, Massachusetts Colored Infantry. Besides these there are dozens of Manuels, Silvas and other Asian names. Once again, keep up the good work. Regards, Terry.

Subj: Re: A Chinese enlisted in a colored regiment?
Date: 3/6/00 10:52:23 PM Eastern Standard Time
Gordon, Thanks for the details on Charles Chin of the 1st Infantry Colored Regiment. However, I must advise you to be very cautious when accepting this information at face value. I did check the Colored regiments site some months ago, and came across many Tans, Lees and other Chinese sounding names, but until their place of birth is shown as China or some other eastern nation, I would still not accept them as being actually Chinese. Remember the three men from the colored regiments who were born in China that I have on file actually did not have very Chinese sounding names. I would first advise you to collect these names and then slowly check some other sources to see if you can find places of birth. I have a two or three page list somewhere in my files of personnel in the colored units who had Chinese surnames, but I am absolutely sure that many of these were in fact African Americans, or even some Mexicans, etc. If I can find the list again, I can give you some examples of the names I found. I even found a soldier with the surname Quow in one of the Massachusetts colored regiments, either the 54th or 55th. Unfortunately the process of researching these names is very involved, and you would have to search birth places for each individual before confirmation can be had. Through the years I have had many negative results when I applied for Pension records or when trying to find out if a person was born in Asia. I have many copies of Military and Pension files, but there are many more I need to obtain to find out if a person with a Chinese surnames was indeed Chinese or Asian born. Please approach the research cautiously, as I have been let down many times when assuming a person with an Asian name was indeed Asian born. Regards, Terry.


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Webmaster and editor, Gordon Kwok (
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July 23, 2000

Revised and uploaded on January 26, 2009

 

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