Charles Chon, Chinese Confederate

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Thread: Charles Chon, Chinese Confederate

  1. #1
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    Charles Chon, Chinese Confederate

    Charles Chon was born in Shanghai, moved to Yorktown, Texas, and found himself caught up in the American Civil War. He enlisted at age 20 in the 24th Texas Cavalry and fought in the army of Tennessee. His unit fought valiantly at Franklin, where he gave his life for his newly adopted country. He is buried in McGavock Cemetery.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Charles Chon, Chinese Confederate-chon3-jpg  

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    Texas provided three cavalry regiments for every one infantry regiment to the Confederate army, the reverse of most states. You had to ride if you lived in Texas. But when the horses wore out or were shot, Texas was cut off by the Union blockade on the Mississippi, and the cavalry units were dismounted.

    Although lacking horses, the Texas Cavalry continued to hold on to the equestrian tradition. They were designated 'dismounted cavalry' instead of 'infantry.' And continued to wear sabre belts & mounted boots, yellow cavalry trim, and carry the cavalry weapons, Southern copies of the enfield carbine and the colt revolver. The Lone Star on the hat and buckle designated Texas.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Charles Chon, Chinese Confederate-chon4-jpg  

  4. #3
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    "Texans always move 'em!"

    Robert E. Lee
    Maintiens le Droits

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  6. #4
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    interesting character.

    was charles chon a real person?
    eeeeeeeee.

  7. #5
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    An amazing tale. So many men have found acceptance in war that they didn't receive in peace. Fine work on the uni.
    You are
    What you do
    When it counts---The Masao
    - Ryan Bonaminio lived his life this way -

  8. #6
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    Yes, Charles Chon was a real person, one of maybe a couple dozen Chinese Americans who served in the Southern Army. Romedome found the research on Chon for me on the web, there doesn't seem to be much information left about him, nor a picture. I hope my tribute has done justice to him.

    The kitbash breakdown:

    Dragon figure
    Marx hat
    TUS jackboots
    SOTW revolver & enfield musket cut down to make a carbine.
    sideshow canteen

    custom leather belt, cap pouch, holster, texas buckle, texas hat star, confederate cavalry shell jacket, homespun trousers, haversack
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Charles Chon, Chinese Confederate-chon2-jpg  

  9. #7
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    Interesting fact:

    Eng and Chang Bunker -- the world's most famous connected twins, the ones who gave us the term "Siamese twins" -- had died on a cold January night in 1874. They left the world virtually the same way they had entered it 63 years before: simultaneously and not without scandal. Their lives had raised not only eyebrows, but numerous medical and philosophical questions. At least one of these -- Would the death of one precipitate the death of the other? -- was settled with their passing.

    Or was it?

    The cause of death -- half of it, that is -- remains a riddle. Chang had suffered a stroke four years before and his health had become frail. He also had been drinking heavily for some time, had recently been injured in a carriage spill and had acquired a bad case of bronchitis. Eng, on the other hand had been in top form, seemingly unaffected by his brother's declining health.

    After their death, one medical camp held that while Chang had died of a blood clot, Eng had died of shock. In other words, believing that the death of his brother would cause his own demise, Eng was scared literally to death. Another theory held that the five-inch-long and three-inch-wide band that connected the twins was a lifeline which, barring immediate surgical intervention, would pass death from one to the other. An autopsy found the blood clot in Chang's brain, but it couldn't resolve the debate over the cause of Eng's death.

    This was not the only controversy surrounding the event. But perhaps these extraordinary lives should be put into context. Refer to the "Guinness Book of World Records," and you find a paltry seven-line paragraph. From this, you may learn that the twins were born near Bangkok, in the isolated kingdom of Siam (which became Thailand in 1939), to Chinese parents; they were named "right" and "left," later married sisters from Wilkes County, N.C., and fathered 22 children between them (no pun intended).

  10. #8
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    Interesting story about Charles Chon, and nice work, too. I wonder how his fellow soldiers received him. In later years, Congress passed legislation to prevent Chinese from becoming citizens, and that law stayed on the books for decades.

    My grandfather was the first Chinese graduate of West Point, Class of 1909. From what I've heard, he was a popular member of the class, perhaps, as one very elderly widow told me with a twinkle in her eye, because he somehow figured out a way to heat rifles and pass them to his fellow cadets who were walking off their demerits in the cold New York winters!

  11. #9
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    F A N T A S T I C , Kevin !!!
    Thanks for taking the tip above and beyond - what a great friend you are!!
    Charles Chon's graveyard marker is mentioned in a recent National Geographic magazine article on the Civil War. It made me do the initial research and I thought of Kevin being the go-to guy who could do it. And he did. My hero, dude!

  12. #10
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    thanks everyone!

    romedome thank you for doing all the research for me! it was fun to collaborate with you on this figure.

  13. #11
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    Very interesting, I would like to hear more info about Asian Americans in past conflicts.

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