Friday, September 28, 2012
Asians in the War…
Eng and Chang Bunker famous “Siamese twins,”
married sisters, Adelaide and Sarah (Sally) Yates and between them fathered 22 children.
Two of their boys, Christopher Wren Bunker (Chang’s son) and Stephen Decatur Bunker (Eng’s son), enlisted in the Confederate Army and fought in several battles, both being wounded, but both surviving, although Stephen spent considerable time as a prisoner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio. Their service in the 37th Virginia Cavalry was apparently no more than that of the average brave soldier, but their parentage set them apart.
They were raised as brothers when actually they were cousins, but the fact that their fathers had married sisters, makes them, in some weird genealogical scheme of things double first cousins, we are told.
On the Union side…John Tommy, born in mainland China, one of the numerous “foreigners,” to whom a promise was made by the U. S. Government: service on behalf of the Union would be rewarded with full American citizenship when the war was over and if the Union won. But it never happened. In some cases there were whole Union regiments of men who could not speak English.
Remembering that there were few Asians in the U.S. at this period of time, it is easy to understand why a Confederate general inquired of the captured Tommy, “What are you--a Mulatto, Indian or what?”