Did you know that Puerto Ricans fought in the American Civil War?
Download a PDF about Augusto Rodriguez, one of these soldiers.
There was trade between the U.S. and Puerto Rico in the 1800s. Puerto Ricans traveled to the United States, as we can see from ships’ records, and settled primarily on the East Coast. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, many of the Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. volunteered to serve their adopted country. Since Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain, these soldiers were identified as Spaniards.
It is not known exactly how many Puerto Rican soldiers served in the Civil War, since Spanish soldiers also included Cuban soldiers and those from various Latin American countries. However it is estimated that some 3,500 Hispanic troops fought in the Civil War.
One of the soldiers from Puerto Rico was Augusto Rodriguez, who joined the 15th Connecticut Regiment in 1862. The regiment served in Washington, D.C., defending the capital, and then moved on to Virginia and to North Carolina.
Rodriguez was mustered out in 1865 and returned to Connecticut, where he served as a firefighter. He was also a businessman, owning a cigar store and a saloon.
Puerto Ricans have fought in every U.S. conflict since that time. Isn’t it time the people of Puerto Rico gain the right to vote for their commander in chief? Puerto Rico has voted for statehood twice. It’s time the United States Congress respected the will of the people of Puerto Rico.
This post was originally written in English and may be being auto-translated by Google.