I stumbled upon the ‘profiles’ page at the army.mil website that specifically profiles Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. I became fascinated in the stories of Joseph L. Pierce & Edward Day Cohota who both fought for the Union during this nation’s bloody Civil War. I had not heard of either man, even though they have had a House Resolution (H.Res. 415 (110th)) passed in their honor. There’s an especially fascinating photo (above) of Joseph Pierce on Wikipedia sourced from a volunteer infantry and historic preservation tripod.com hosted site – that site lists Pierce as Corporal whereas the army.mil website lists him as Private. Regardless his story is one that deserves to be appreciated – likewise for the story of Edward Day Cohota (image below) who was a member of the 23rd Massachusetts Infantry during the Civil War and a 30-year Veteran but because of his Chinese heritage “was unable to gain American citizenship” due to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 – Cohota would live another 50+ years in the U.S. as an un-naturalized member of our society. Eight years after Cohota’s passing the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed.
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