Hispanic Figures in America's Wars
From Spanish colonists in the Americas to Mexicans who suddenly found themselves Americans in the wake of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to wealthy Creole planters in the deep South, Hispanics both played an important role in and were shaped by America’s early military conflicts. The term Hispanic is used to refer to any person who has at least one ancestor from Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central or South America.
Consider the impact of Spanish Governor Bernardo de Gálvez, whose military aid and leadership at places like Mobile and Pensacola helped bolster the Patriot cause during the Revolution. Think about the service of Jorge Farragut (also known as Jordi Ferragut Mesquida), father of Civil War Vice Admiral David G. Farragut, during both the Revolution and War of 1812, as the experienced seaman helped defend pivotal ports from the threat of the British. Look to the nearly 10,000 Hispanics that took up arms for both sides throughout the course of the Civil War, including Joseph H. De Castro who was the first Hispanic to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863 — two other Hispanic soldiers would be awarded the honor by the war’s end. Hispanic figures were — and continue to be — a force, helping to weave the fabric of our American story.
Explore some of the contributions that Hispanic figures made to America’s first 100 years.