Although it is not generally acknowledged, thousands of soldiers of Hispanic ancestry fought on behalf of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. As a result of the Spanish colonial settlement of the Gulf Coast states and Mexican control of the territories that were to become Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, a significant number of Hispanic-Americans were affected by the outbreak of the Civil War. As John O’Donnell-Rosales explains in the Introduction to the new Third Edition of his ground-breaking list of Hispanic Confederate soldiers, many of these individuals (including businessmen and sailors living in cities like New Orleans, St. Louis, Natchez, Biloxi, and Mobile) would have to choose between their cultural aversion to American slavery–which had been outlawed throughout Latin America prior to 1860–and the desire to protect their way of life in the South.
After consulting a number of primary and secondary sources, including numerous rosters of Confederate soldiers, the author has compiled the only comprehensive roster of Hispanic Confederate soldiers in print. The number of soldiers listed here has grown to 6,175 men, a number nearly twice as large as identified in the first edition. Included among the soldiers are (1) persons of Jewish descent whose ancestors were expelled from Spain in 1492, (2) mestizos of Spanish/Native American ancestry who joined many of the Texas regular and militia units, (3) mulattos of Spanish/African ancestry, (4) soldiers of Asian descent whose forebears had emigrated from the Philippines to Louisiana and other places along the Gulf of Mexico, (5) Minorcans of Florida whose ancestors had intermarried with Italians, Corsicans, and Greeks and settled in Florida under British rule, and (6) white Spaniards.
The author has arranged the Hispanic Confederates in alphabetical order. For each person he gives the individual’s full name, rank, and unit. In many cases we also learn something about the individual’s tour of duty (e.g., “Confederate Spy in Baltimore from 1861-1862,” “captured on the Blockade Runner Stingaree off the Brazos River, TX” and so on.) At the back of the book is a bibliography of the sources the author used in compiling this unique list.