Historical Marker for Asian Soldiers in American Civil War

April 26, 2003 (Saturday)
4:30pm - Franklin Park - Unveiling ceremony
7:00 - 11:00pm  - Hyatt on Capitol Square - Banquet, speeches and ballroom dance

Event | Purpose | Location and pictures | Marker text | Chinese version | Banquet info  

News coverage: Dispatch  WorldJournalCeremony pictures

The Unveiling Ceremony of the Historical Marker was a huge success, thanks to the support of all the members and volunteers. If you missed it, you can click on the news coverage and the ceremony pictures to get some impression. 

Co-chaired by Roderick G. W. Chu (Chancellor of Ohio Board of Regents) and former Columbus Mayor Gregory S. Lashutka, the unveiling was done by Chancellor Chu and Mr. Steven Abels representing the Ohio Governor Bob Taft. Mr. Jim Stowe read the proclamation from the Columbus Mayor's office. Other than  the Governor and the Mayor, Congressmen Deborah Pryce and  Patrick Tiberi, Senators Mike DeWine and George V Voinovich, Kristina Markel of Ohio Historical Society, Paul Redman of Franklin Park also sent in their congratulations and citations.  Over 200 people including some 50 OCA leaders from other sister chapters, participated at the unveiling ceremony at Franklin Park. Some twenty adopted children from China with their parents added to the significance of this event.  Through this event, we also reached the membership of over 100, which means the Columbus chapter will be represented at the OCA National meeting with two votes.  We have written a page of history. 


(Pictures are courtesy of Helen Lan, Yick Lui, Dan Wan, and Mulan)  You may download the pictures and expand it to the full size on your computer. There are more pictures than can be placed on the website. 

The following now is more a record of our effort.


Please show your support for erecting a historical marker in commemorating the Chinese American soldiers who served in the American civil war. This will be a significant event in 2003 for the bicentennial of Ohio.  The historical marker will be placed permanently at Franklin Park.  A minimum of $3000 has to be raised for the marker. Any surplus will be used in hosting the dedication ceremony.  The state of Ohio will maintain the marker. Your donation is tax-deductible.  Please contact us via email or call any of the board members for details.

The Event

OCA-Columbus will host an unveiling ceremony for the historical marker followed by a formal banquet 
It will be attended by Congressman Mike Honda, representatives from the national headquarter and more than 50 chapters of OCA, Ohio community leaders, We have invited the Governor of Ohio, the Mayor of Columbus and many others.

The event will be filmed as a documentary.  We are writing a page of American history! 

Unveiling ceremony: April 26, 2003, Franklin Park. 4:30pm. All are welcome.
Banquet: Hyatt on Capitol Square.
6:30 pm cash bar; 7:00pm banquet and keynote speeches. 9-11pm ballroom dance.
Tickets:  Members and students $50, non-members: $75.


A historic, educational, and patriotic event will be held on April 26, 2003 in Columbus, Ohio.  The event is to unveil an Ohio Historical Marker commemorating American Civil War soldiers of Asian Descent and to celebrate Ohio's bicentennial.  Following the unveiling ceremony, a banquet will be held to continue the celebration and to kick off the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration.  The Historical Marker is sponsored by the Columbus Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) and approved by the Ohio Bicentennial Commission's Multicultural and Ethnic Communities Advisory Council.

For the event, we plan to invite Governor Taft, Mayor Coleman, U.S. Congressman Honda, the Ohio Bicentennial Commission, the Ohio Historical Society, and Civil War historians.  OCA leadership from 85 chapters and affiliates across the nation and representatives from the Asian American communities throughout the state will join us for the celebration.  The ROTC color guard will be invited for the event.

The American Civil War is one of the most important events in U.S. history.   Research by Gordon Kwok resulted in a list of the Union Civil War soldiers with last names suggesting Chinese. (http://hometown.aol.com/gordonkwok/cacwpart20.html).  From Kwok's list, 17 soldiers who served in the State of Ohio are identified.  The list is by no means inclusive; further research should discover more Asian American Civil War soldiers. 


The Purpose

The Ohio Historical Marker will be the first official marker, permanently displayed in public, recognizing Civil War soldiers of Asian descent.  It has several levels of significance: 

1)      To recognize the soldiers' bravery and honorary services fighting for liberty and equality for the United States, despite exclusionary laws denying citizenship - significance at the national level. 

2)      To commemorate their contributions to Ohio's Civil War history and to celebrate Ohio's long history of ethnic diversity - significance at the state level.

[It reflects the fact that Ohio, as well as the country, has long been more diverse than people would have perceived.] 

3)      To help educate the public about Asian American contributions to U.S. history - significance to the Asian American population and all Americans.

[Records of Asian American contributions to this country have long been missing in history (MIH).  The historical marker is a step forward to remedy the situation.] 

4)      To help change the perception of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners - significance to the Asian American population and all Americans.

[Because of their looks and physical features, Asian Americans are perceived as "perpetual foreigners" regardless of how many generations they have been in the United States as lawful citizens.  Recognizing the fact, ancestors of today's Asian Americans played a part in U.S. history, helps change the perception of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners.]

 Note:  Soldier pictures taken from http://hometown.aol.com/gordonkwok/cacwpart20.html

Location and pictures  

The Ohio Historical marker is a brown, cast-metal sign measuring 46 inches by 42 inches with raised gold lettering, similar to the picture shown on right.  The marker will be located in the Franklin Park of Columbus, Ohio, near the site of the Asian Festival.  The Asian Festival is an annual event visited by 75,000 people from Ohio and seven neighboring states.  


The Marker Text

Marker Name

Commemorating Asians and Asian Americans Who Served in the American Civil War

Suggested Marker Text

Marker Text (side a):



 Despite exclusionary laws preventing U.S. citizenship, Asians served in the Union and Confederate armies and navies during the American Civil War (1861-1865).  Many of these soldiers were denied citizenship following their services due to the anti-Asian sentiment, which culminated in the Naturalization Act of 1870 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.  The exclusionary laws continued until 1943, and all restrictions on national origin or race were abolished in 1965.  In April 2003, House Joint Resolution 45 was introduced to Congress to posthumously proclaim Civil War soldiers of Asian descent to be honorary citizens of the United States as recognition of their honorable services.  (continued on other side)




               2003                                                                                                                                       (Seq Code) 

Marker Text (side b):



(continued from other side)

The official roster of Civil War soldiers of the State of Ohio contains soldiers with Chinese surnames.  Records of Asian soldiers are incomplete and difficult to find because many were denied pensions.  Some adopted European names, non-Chinese names, or nicknames as their family names.  Nonetheless, many Civil War soldiers of Asian descent have been identified and some have been confirmed in literature.  Since the Civil War, Asian descendants have served our nation with loyalty in many wars, despite generations of exclusion and discrimination.





                                                          2003                                                   (Seq Code)



For more information, please contact the Columbus Chapter of OCA:  


Dr. C. Ping Chen
Unveiling Ceremony Chair
(614) 890-4024
Grace Chen
Banquet Chair
(614) 793-3162
Theresa Lee
(614) 326-0888



2003年4 月26 日應該是每個美國華裔記得的日子.
FRANKLIN PARK. 美華協會將舉辦一項隆重揭幕典禮及晚宴. 被邀請參与揭幕儀式的包括俄州州長TAFT,哥市市長COLEMAN,眾議員HONDA,俄州歷史學會,南北戰爭歷史學家,來自本州各地的亞裔團體代表,美華協會總會會長暨全美八十分會代表,及美國軍人儀仗隊等.

1. 表彰華裔戰士在沒有公民身份的條件下為美國爭取自由平等的立國史中英勇的表現.
2. 紀念俄州多族裔的悠久歷史.
3. 申明華裔在美國歷史中的貢獻.
4. 改變亞裔在美國永遠是外國人的錯誤觀點.

該紀念碑為金屬鑄造,46吋乘42吋,永遠樹立在FRANKLIN PARK. 每年亞洲節來自七個鄰州的八萬觀眾及本地的市民將永遠景仰這些戰士及以他們代表的華裔在美國的貢獻.



雖然受美國種族排外政策,沒有得到公民權,亞裔曾參与了美國1861-65年的南北戰爭. 由于1870年反亞裔的和1882年排華的法律,這許多士兵不能獲得公民權. 二零零二年十一月美國眾議院提交法案,追認參与戰役的亞裔戰士為公民,并表彰他們光榮服役. 由于他們無法獲得退役金,有些采用了歐化名字,資料不全. 但在俄州美國內戰的名錄裏載有華人姓氏,而且其他檔案中确認華人參与美國內戰的資料. 自美國內戰開始,亞裔後人不顧排華歧視,忠誠參与多次戰役,特立此碑為誌.

2002 年.

揭幕儀式:下午4:30 FRANKLIN PARK 歡迎公眾參加

晚上 6:30 自費酒吧 7:00 晚宴及嘉賓講演 9-11:00 舞會
OCA會員及學生:$50 非會員:$75

或 電郵:
C. Ping Chen, PhD oca@columbus.rr.com (event chair) (614) 890-4024
Grace Chen gchen53377@aol.com (banquet chair) (614) 793-3162
Theresa Lee ocacolumbus7@yahoo.com (chapter president) (614) 326-0888