The names below are only a sample of the total number of Hispanics serving in the Southern army. Nevertheless, it illustrates the significance of the Hispanic contribution to the Confederate armed forces. Alabama Division Commander of the SCV, David Toifel, correctly observes that, "For too many years the Confederate soldier was portrayed only as white, predominately Scots-Irish and Protestant. New studies are not so much changing a myth as they are adding the color and diversity which has always existed in the South to its proper place in our history. "Not only was there diversity in Confederate ranks, but there was a broad racial makeup of Hispanics living in the Old South. Hispanics, then and now, include members of European, Indian, African races or even more commonly of mixed ethnicity.
Note: It should not be forgotten that many
more Hispanics served as non-commissioned officers and enlisted men. It should
be emphasized that since Confederate records are frequently fragmentary,
this list of officers certainly is not complete. The following includes officers
serving in State units as well as those in regular CSA units. A few names may
appear twice, if they served in more than one unit, been promoted, or if there
were two soldiers by the same name. For a much more complete listing of Hispanic
Confederates (officers and enlisted men), see a roster (ninety pages) compiled
by Cuban exile, John O'Donnell-Rosales, (also a descendant of a Hispanic
Confederate and member of the SCV). It has been called "a must for
genealogist", especially if Texas, Lousiana, and Florida are your areas of
One special addition to this list, even though the Cuban revolutionary journalist, John Thrasher, had no Hispanic surname, he was the son of an American father and a Cuban mother. Thrasher served as Superintendent of the Confederate Press Association. This and other information on Hispanic Confederates comes from Sterling Price Camp member Darryl Brock. Like John Thrasher, Darryl is of mixed Anglo-Hispanic roots (Puerto Rico) and has taken up the pen for the cause of the South.
Hispanic Surnamed Confederate Officers:
**Pvt. Ferdinand Alvarez is listed as serving in both Co A, Boone's Reg't, Missouri Mounted Infantry and Co. G, 9th Missouri Infantry. Ferdinand Alvarez was a resident of Florissant (St. Louis Co.), the grandson of Eugenio Alvarez, the military storekeeper for the Royal Spanish Government (that governed Louisiana Territory before the Louisiana Purchase). According to an article in the "St. Louis Republican", Alvarez, as one of the 49 Confederate Guerillas, under command of Capt. Nathaniel Ferguson, that was captured 20 Aug 1862 near Manchester (along Meramec River in St. Louis County)( Alvarez was also a member of Von Phul's Company, Missouri Light Artillery). Alvarez's boyhood home is located at 289 Rue St. Dennis, overlooking the Spanish Land Grant Park in the City of Florissant. The family attended St. Ferdinand Catholic Church, whose original building still stands nearby.
"Hispanics in Gray and Blue"
This fact sheet is prepared by the Education Committee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for distribution by its members to professors, teachers, librarians, principals, superintendents, ethnic leaders, city officials, members of the press, and other groups interested in promoting an understanding of Hispanic contributions to United States history. The SCV hopes this information will enrich the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. This sheet may be freely copied and distributed without permission or notice; if republished in part or whole, please credit the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
• The Cuban patriot Narciso López approached Mexican War heroes Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee in 1848 with the request to head a liberation army to free Cuba from Spain -- Lee seriously considered the offer, but turned it down.
• José Agustín Quintero, a Cuban poet and revolutionary, ably served Confederate President Jefferson Davis as the C.S. Commissioner to Northern Mexico, ensuring critical supplies from Europe flowed through Mexican ports to the CSA.
• Santiago Vidaurri, governor of the border states of Coahuila and Nuevo León, offered to secede northern Mexico and join the Confederacy; Jefferson Davis declined, afraid the valuable "neutral" Mexican ports would be then blockaded.
• The Spanish inventor Narciso Monturiol offered the Confederacy his advanced submarine Ictineo to smash the Federal blockade. Never purchased, Jules Verne apparently based the Nautilus on this, the world's most advanced vessel of the day.
• Ambrosio José González, a famous Cuban revolutionary, served Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard as his artillery officer in Charleston; earlier, in New York, he helped design the modern Cuban and (inversed) Puerto Rican flags.
• The Mexican Santos Benavides, a former Texas ranger, commanded the Confederate 33rd Texas Cavalry, a Mexican- American unit which defeated the Union in the 1864 Battle of Laredo, Texas. He became the only Mexican C.S. colonel.
• Thomas Jordan, a Confederate general responsible for early codes used in spying on Washington, after the war led the Cuban revolutionary army as Commander-in-Chief, training its generals and in 1870 routing the Spaniards at two-to-one odds.
• Lola Sanchez, of a Cuban family living near St. Augustine, had her sisters serve dinner to visiting Federals, while she raced out at night and warned the nearest Confederate camp. The Yankees thus lost a general, his unit and a gunboat the next day.
• Loretta Janeta Velazquez, a Cuban woman, claimed to have fought in the war disguised as a Confederate soldier, Lt. Harry Buford. She chronicled her amazing and harrowing adventures in an account called The Woman in Battle.
• James Hamilton Tomb, a Confederate engineer on the innovative semi-submarine ship David, accepted a post-war offer from the Brazilian emperor as technical expert on torpedoes (submarine mines) in the Paraguayan War of 1865-1870.
• Hunter Davidson, a Confederate torpedo (submarine mine) scientist, assumed the head of the Argentine Torpedo and Hydrographic Bureau for some years, training its leadership, and retired to Asunción, Paraguay, where he is buried.
• John Randolph Tucker, head of the Charleston Confederate Naval Squadron, accepted a post-war position as Vice-Admiral heading the combined Peruvian-Chilean fleets in a Pacific conflict against Spanish coastal incursions.
• John Newland Maffitt, who before the war captured illegal slave-trading ships, served the Confederacy as the CSS Florida's commander. Afterwards, he served in the Paraguayan war and commanded the Cuban gun-runner Hornet.
• Thomas Jefferson Page, a Confederate naval commander who learned of the war's end in Cuba after sailing the ironclad CSS Stonewall from Spain, settled in Argentina, his son becoming an Argentine naval commander, his grandson an admiral.
• Mexican service influenced Confederate general Stonewall Jackson; he often spoke Spanish endearments to his wife, Anna. • After the war, many prominent governors and other Confederates established a colony, Carlotta, in Mexico.
• Admiral David G. Farragut, a Southerner, was also Hispanic, his father
Jorge Ferragut being from Spain. Fluent in Spanish, the admiral served the Union
navy and is remembered for saying "Damn the torpedoes, full speed
• Federico Fernández Cavada, a Cuban, served the Union army with distinction at Gettysburg, and later wrote his famous Libby Life, describing Confederate prison. After the war, he led the Cuban revolution, but was captured and executed.
• Julio P. Garesché du Rocher, a promising Cuban of French extraction, designed Washington's defenses and served General William Rosecrans as chief of staff. At Stone's River (Tenn.), a cannon ball decapitated Garesché, ending a brilliant career.
• Bernardo de Gálvez, Governor of Spanish Louisiana, defeated the British during the American Revolution at Baton Rouge, Mobile, Pensacola, St. Louis and in Michigan, diverting away thousands of British troops as America's forgotten ally.
More Info? Check Out These Fine Books:
• Richard H. Bradford, The Virginius Affair, 1980
• Light Townsend Cummins, Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783, 1991
• James W. Daddysman, The Matamoros Trade: Confederate Commerce, Diplomacy and Intrigue, 1984
• Ella Lonn, Foreigners in the Confederacy, 1965 (reprint, 1940 edition)
• Andrew Rolle, The Lost Cause: The Confederate Exodus to Mexico, 1965
• Ronnie C. Tyler, Santiago Vidaurri and the Southern Confederacy, 1973
• Frank de Varona (ed.), Hispanic Presence in the United States: Historical Beginnings, 1993
• David Werlich, Admiral of the Amazon: John Randolph Tucker - His Confederate Colleagues and Peru, 1990
Sons of Confederate Veterans
The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) is a patriotic, historical, and educational organization, founded in 1896, dedicated to honoring the sacrifices of the Confederate soldier and sailor, and to preserving Southern Culture. Its projects include educational talks, grave-site dedications, medical research scholarships, and publication of Confederate Veteran magazine. The SCV is not affiliated with any other organization, except for its officers corps, the MOSB. For more information, call 1-800-380-1896 or visit the SCV website at http://www.scv.org.