“American Hispanics Fight For America”
America was born…General Galvez and his Mexican, Spanish, Puerto Rican and Cuban troops were its godfathers.”
November 10th is the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
November 11th is Veteran’s Day (a national holiday) which commemorates all veterans.
American Hispanics earned their place in America’s freedom and liberty by fighting European despots, 18th Century North African Muslim terrorists, Asians, German Imperialists, Italian Fascists, German Nazis and militaristic Japanese, European and Asian Communists and a return to the Middle East to combat Muslim despots and terrorists.
American Hispanics have been in every war, each and every battle on land, sea and air since before the United States of America became a country.
St. Louis (MO), 1779: 200 Mexican, Spanish and Cuban militiamen sailed up the Mississippi River from New Orleans when Spain entered the American War of Independence and battled 1200 British soldiers and Indian allies, defeated them and chased t
Mexican, Spanish and Cuban troops led by Spanish Governor General Bernardo Galvez defeated the British at Baton Rouge on the Mississippi, Mobile Bay (1780) and Pensacola (March, 1781) the largest British fort south of Philadelphia.
General Galvez took forty Spanish ships filled with troops and presented them to General George Washington for use at Yorktown. Galvez and the Bishop of Havana filled 9 Spanish ships with silver and gold melted down from contributions from the people of Havana. He gifted the silver/gold to General Washington so he could pay his and French troops at Yorktown.
The British were defeated, America was born and General Galvez and his Mexican, Spanish, Puerto Rican and Cuban troops were its godfathers.
American Civil War, 1861-1865. Mexican Americans fought in the war on both sides. The last battle of the war (June 1865) occurred between Mexican American cavalry (Union and Confederate) outside Brownsville, Texas.
In California, Governor Leland Stanford (Stanford University) appointed State Senator Romualdo Pacheco Brigadier General and Commanding officer of the Union-sponsored Native Cavalry that disarmed Confederates in Southern California and garrisoned forts in Arizona to fend off Confederate raiders.
Brigadier General Pacheco was the highest ranking Union-affiliated Army officer of the war.
In New Mexico, Colonel Miguel Pino organized the Second Regiment of the New Mexico Volunteers (one of seven infantry and cavalry units) that had as many as 4,000 Mexican Americans serve during the war.
At the victory over Confederates at Glorietta Pass, the hero was veteran Indian fighter Lt. Col. Manuel Chaves who led a Special Force through a mountain blizzard and located the Confederate supply train behind Confederate lines during the battle. He and his men destroyed the supply train and forced the defeated Confederates to walk back to Texas, never to return.
In Texas, the Union raised 12 companies of Mexican American cavalry complete with some Mexican American officers.
Confederates also raised all-Hispanic units including four companies from New Mexico and units from Texas, Alabama, New Orleans and Florida.
The highest ranking Mexican American Confederate officer was Colonel Santos Benavides, the former mayor of Laredo.
Hispanic heroes of the Civil War: Medal of Honor awardees, Chilean born Phillip Bazaar and Spanish-born Juan Ortega, both Naval enlisted. Admiral of the Navy (Five stars), David Farragut (Father Jorge Farragut, Admiral of the Continental Navy in the American Revolution) is a legendary Navy officer from that war who could have been President if he chose to be.
Spanish-American War: Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders included Mexican American men from New Mexico and California with Company Commander Maximiliano Luna commanding a company.
Boxer Rebellion, China, 1900: United States Marine Mexican American France Silva (CA) was awarded the Medal of Honor for 55 days of “Meritorious service” against Chinese forces.
World War I: Congress passed a law making Puerto Ricans citizens in 1917 so they could be drafted. Medal of Honor awardee 19 year-old Texan David Barkley died returning from a secret mission behind German lines hours before the Armistice. No one knew he was Hispanic by a Mexican mother for decades because of Army maltreatment of Mexicans.
More WWI Heroes: Mexican American Nicolas Lucero, a 19 year old from New Mexico was awarded the French Croix de Guerre as was Texan Marcelino Serna who also was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Victory Medal with three bars and two Purple Hearts. He was not awarded the Medal of Honor for capturing 25 German soldiers because he was a “Private” and did not speak English well.
WWII: Medal of Honor awardees – Mexican American soldiers Lucien Adams, Marcario Garcia (Mexican born), David M. Gonzalez, Silvestre Herrera, Jose M. Lopez, Joe P. Martinez, Manuel Perez, Jr., Cleto Rodriguez (Second most decorated soldier of the war), Alejandro R. Ruiz, Jose Valdez, Ysmael R. Villegas and U.S. Marine Harold Gonsalves.
Korean War: Puerto Rican – U.S. Marines Fernando Luis Garcia, Baldomero Lopez; Mexican American U.S. Marines Edward Gomez, Ambrosio Guillen, Eugene Arnold Obregon. Soldiers- Rodolfo P. Hernandez, Benito Martinez and Joseph C. Rodriguez.
Vietnam War: Medal of Honor awardees – U.S. Marine Mexican Americans, Emilio A. De La Garza, Ralph E. Dias, Alfredo Gonzalez (U.S. Navy Ship named after him), Jose Francisco Jimenez (Mexican born), Miguel Keith, Jay R. Vargas, Jr.; soldiers – Daniel Fernandez, Carlos James Lozado, Louis Rocco, Maximo Yabes, Roy P. Benavides and Illegal alien from Mexico, Alfredo Rascon. Puerto Rican soldiers – Euripides Rubio and Hector Santiago-Colon.
Iraq: United States Marine Staff Sgt. Rafael Peralta (Mexico born) awarded Silver Star for bravery despite being recommended for Medal of Honor by the Commandant of the U.S. Marines. Navy is naming a ship for him.
November 10 is the Marine Corps birthday and November 11th celebrates all veterans.
American Hispanics fighting for America is best defined in a single sentence from SEMPER FIDELIS, THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS by Professor Allan Millet (Colonel, USMCR):
1919, Dominican Republic: “Operating in the Eastern area was a patrol of Mexican and Puerto Rican Marines…this group, disguised as bandits, was the terror of Seibo Province.”
238 years of military service to the United States by American Hispanics rates attention from us all. ###
Revolutionary America: A Political History, Francis D. Gagliano, Routledge, 2000
America’s Major Wars: Crusaders, Critics, and Scholars, Volume 1 (1775-1865), Adison-/Wesley, 1973
A Few Bloody Noses: The Realities and Mythologies of the American Revolution, Robert Harvey, The Overlook Press, 2002
The American Revolution: A Global War, R. Ernest Dupuy, Gay Hammerman, Grace P.Hayes, David McCay Company, 1977
The Frontier War for American Independence, William Nester, Stackpole Books, 2004
Hispanics in America’s Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, 1982
Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps, Allan R. Millett, The Free Press -Macmillan, 1980-1991