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Hispanics- Medal of Honor Reciepients

Hispanics- Medal of Honor Reciepients

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Published by: Editor on Nov 11, 2013
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 HISPANIC RECIPIENTS OF THE U.S. CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR By Lino Garcia,Jr., Ph.D ( Tulane) Beginning with the American Revolution up to the present conflicts, Hispanics have been at the front of all battles and have enjoyed a long history of participation in all major wars and conflicts in support of the USA, and their sons and daughters have shown their allegiance to this country thought military service with many of them paying the ultimate sacrifice.
According to the “ U.S. Latino Project: From The
 American Revolution
to Afghanistan” w
hen the Civil War ( although no war is civil) (1861-1865 ) had its beginning many Hispanic soldiers either fought in the Union or in the Confederate Armies. Thousands of Hispanics made their home in the United States of American during those years, and all of a sudden this population was divided between those who preferred the Union Army and those who fought alongside the Confederacy Army. At the beginning of this conflict, approximately 3,000 Hispanics served in the Union Army, and another 1,000 in the Confederate units during the beginning stages of this war between the states, and ultimately around 9,000 served in both the Union and Confederate units. Some served under separate Hispanic companies, and of the more tha
n 40,000 books on the Civil War, only one “Vaqueros in Blue and
Gra
y” details the role of the Hispanic soldier during the Civil War.
One Hispanic officer who became famous during this conflict was Admiral of the United States Navy David Farragut, whose father was Captain Jorge Farragut , born in Minorca, Spain, but who had participated actively in the American Revolution . Admiral David Farragut was instrumental in achieving victory in the Battle of Mobile on August 5, 1864. His
cry of “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” is a statement
most school students study in history classes. In Texas the Union Army raised twenty (20) companies made up of Tejano Cavalry, and several of the captains were: George Treviño,
 
 33. Clemente Zapata, Cesario Falcón, and José María Martines; and Three ( 3) Hispanics: Phillip Bazaar from Chile , Joseph H. De Castro from Massachusetts and John Ortega from Spain, were awarded the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor for their bravery during the Civil War. They have the distinction of being the first three ( 3) of a total of forty four ( 44) Hispanics who have earned the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor since this medal was instituted. Many Hispanics also served with
the “Rough Riders”
under Theodore Roosevelt and among them were John B. Alamía, Joe T.Sandoval and Captain Maximiliano Luna, the last named was a descendant of conquistadores who had settled in New Mexico in 1650, and whose family had lived in mainland USA since the 17
th
 century. He was educated at Georgetown University and later served as Sheriff of Valencia County in New Mexico. During the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, Private France Silva from California earned the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor when in Peking, China he was instrumental in securing order during these events and helped safeguard the safety of his fellow marines. Beginning with the American Civil War when this prestigious medal was first established, Hispanics have earned the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor bestowed on individuals who , by their courage and gallantry in battle, have come to symbolize true and loyal American Patriots. World War I produced one Hispanic : David Barkley from Laredo; World War II produced thirteen Hispanics earning this U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor with four of them from Texas: Lucien Adams from Port Arthur; José M. López from Mission ; Cleto Rodríguez from San Marcos; and Macario García from Sugarland ( born in México) .
 
 34. The Korean Conflict had eight Hispanic recipients of the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor, with two from Texas: Benito Martínez from Fort Hancock and Ambrosio Guillén from El Paso. The Vietnam War had seventeen Hispanics recipients of the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor; with three from Texas: Roy P. Benavidez from Cuero; Alfredo González from Edinburg and Miguel Keith from San Antonio. This makes a total of Forty-four ( 44 ) Hispanics nationwide, with ten ( 10) of them Tejanos, who received the highest military honor
 – 
THE US CONGRESSIOMAL MEDAL OF HONOR. a.) Joseph H.De Castro was the first Hispanic to be awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1863. b.) John Ortega , born in Spain, became the first Hispanic sailor to be awarded the Medal of Honor while serving aboard the USS Saratoga in 1865. c.) Silvestre S. Herrera was awarded not only the U.S. Medal of Honor but México, his place of birth, also honored him with the prestigious
Mexican equivalent of “ Primer Mérito Militar”
becoming the only person authorized to wear both medals. d.) Macario García , Francisco Jiménez, and Alfred V. Rascón were born in México. This serves as a reminder of the gallantry in action, the unquestionable loyalty, and beyond the call of duty sacrifices exhibited by Hispanics in all wars beginning with their involvement in the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Rough Riders, the Boxer Rebellion, WW I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and up to the war in Iraq.

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