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Civil War Muster Roll Abstract for Juan Hernandez, c. 1864

Civil War muster roll abstract for Juan Hernandez of the 39th Infantry

Civil War muster roll abstract for Juan Hernandez of the 39th Infantry

New York State Archives, NYSA_13775-83_Infantry_039_1445_Hernandez_Juan
Document Description
Civil War Muster Roll Abstract detailing the service of Juan Hernandez, ca. 1864.
What was this soldier’s rank or grade?
What regiment was this soldier serving in?
How many times was this soldier wounded? When was he wounded?
What interesting things happened to him while he was fighting in the Civil War?
What major battle did this soldier fight in?
Historical Challenges
Research the involvement of Hispanics in another war the United States fought, such as the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, or the Gulf War.
Write a news article about the Battle of Spotsylvania or Gettysburg as if you were an eyewitness.
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write an epitaph for this Civil War soldier.
Math: Look up the ethnic composition of the 39th New York Infantry. Make a bar graph depicting the information you find.
Resources New York State Library. "Selected Hispanic and Latino Websites."
Michael Aikey. “The Flamboyant Garibaldi Guards.” In America's Civil War, May 1995.
Michael Bacarella. Lincoln's Foreign Legion: The 39th New York Infantry, The Garibaldi Guard. Shippensbury, PA: White Mane Publishing Company, 1996.

Historical Context
Civil War service records typically show the rank of the soldier, the unit he fought in, the date he enlisted, and when he was discharged.  Some may also identify the battles in which the soldier fought.

Many Hispanic soldiers fought with the 39th New York Infantry. This was an all-foreign-born unit consisting of three companies of Germans, three of Hungarians, one of Swiss, one of Italians, one of Frenchmen, and one of Spaniards and Portuguese.  The unit was nicknamed “Lincoln’s Foreign Legion.”  The 39th was involved in many major engagements during the Civil War, including Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania.  The men of the unit were honored for their service at Gettysburg and are remembered with a monument placed on Cemetery Ridge.  

The inscription of the monument reads as follows:

Front: 39th New York Infantry (Garibaldi Guards), 3D Brig. 3D Div. 2D Corps.

Reverse: This regiment at about 7 o’clock P.M. July 2, 1863 being ordered to support General Sickles’ line charged and drove the enemy recapturing the guns and equipment of Battery 1, 5th U.S. Artillery. A stone tablet marks the place where this incident occurred.

Left Side: This regiment composed of 4 companies held this position July 2 and 3, 1863. Right Side: Casualties: Killed 15, Wounded 80, Total 95.

Some members of the 39th were held prisoner at the infamous Florence Stockade.  For further reading on this, and a list of the soldiers who were held in Florence Stockade, see the Resources section below.

Essential Question
How do immigrants become a part of a new society?
Check for Understanding
Summarize the information found in this document and explain how Juan Hernandez was a important member of American society.