Confederate veterans in the United States Expedition to Korea? Ex-Rebels in the US Navy by 1871?

UncleBourbon

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Is it known if there were any Confederate veterans that participated in the 1871 US Expedition to Korea?
I'm aware of various Confederate veterans who ended up rejoining US military service after the war, including General Joseph Wheeler who went on to serve in the Spanish-American War and famously called out, "Let's go, boys! We've got the **** Yankees on the run again!" to his troops in confusion during the Battle of La Guasimas. However, I've been unable to find any information regarding or evidence of Confederate veterans serving in the Korean Expedition of 1871.
I would be very interested to learn if there were any, given what an interesting and forgotten conflict the expedition was.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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This is an interesting question I wouldn't mind hearing the answer to.

That being said, I kind of doubt it. Ex-Confederates weren't exactly welcome into the US military until the Spanish-American War, though their children could be found in the ranks and officer corps by the 1880's. 1871 though, Reconstruction was at its height and anti-Southern feelings still very strong.

There could've been, but the deck's kind of stacked against the notion.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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General Joseph Wheeler who went on to serve in the Spanish-American War and famously called out, "Let's go, boys! We've got the **** Yankees on the run again!" to his troops in confusion during the Battle of La Guasimas.

For the record, I've seen a lot of arguments against Wheeler ever saying that, and that its more a myth. Popular as it may be, its not very likely. The war was long done, and he'd been a politician in DC for a long time.
 

C.W. Roden

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This is an interesting question I wouldn't mind hearing the answer to.

That being said, I kind of doubt it. Ex-Confederates weren't exactly welcome into the US military until the Spanish-American War, though their children could be found in the ranks and officer corps by the 1880's. 1871 though, Reconstruction was at its height and anti-Southern feelings still very strong.

There could've been, but the deck's kind of stacked against the notion.
Probably the only ex-Confederates in the US military after the war were those who swallowed the dog and took to oath to get out of hellholes like Camp Douglas and Elmira and became "galvanized Yankees" sent west to fight the Indian tribes. Some of those men likely stayed in the military and were a part of that expedition.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Probably the only ex-Confederates in the US military after the war were those who swallowed the dog and took to oath to get out of hellholes like Camp Douglas and Elmira and became "galvanized Yankees" sent west to fight the Indian tribes. Some of those men likely stayed in the military and were a part of that expedition.

That may be doubtful. The US Volunteer regiments that were made up of the "Galvanized Yankees" were disbanded and the men discharged by late 1865 to early 1866 if I remember right.

1865 to 1880, you could pretty much count on everyone in the US Army being a Yank, or immigrant. It was club that banned Southerners for very understandable reasons, and a club Southerners wanted no part of and were more likely to shoot at than enlist.
 

Coonewah Creek

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1865 to 1880, you could pretty much count on everyone in the US Army being a Yank, or immigrant. It was club that banned Southerners for very understandable reasons, and a club Southerners wanted no part of and were more likely to shoot at than enlist.
So I guess, in John Wayne's "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," where there's a scene where Trooper Smith, an ex-Confederate, is dying of his wounds and he calls for 'Captain Tyree' (Ben Johnson). Tyree, a Sergeant, urged on by Captain Brittles (John Wayne), assures the dying man that all's well and the day is carried. Later Trooper Smith is buried under his real identity, ex- CSA Cavalry Brigadier General Rome Clay.

Guess that never would have actually happened...although it does add a touching scene to the movie...
 

Rusk County Avengers

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So I guess, in John Wayne's "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," where there's a scene where Trooper Smith, an ex-Confederate, is dying of his wounds and he calls for 'Captain Tyree' (Ben Johnson). Tyree, a Sergeant, urged on by Captain Brittles (John Wayne), assures the dying man that all's well and the day is carried. Later Trooper Smith is buried under his real identity, ex- CSA Cavalry Brigadier General Rome Clay.

Guess that never would have actually happened...although it does add a touching scene to the movie...

Love that movie.

It was the 1950's, a time of promoting reconciliation in the aftermath of two world wars together. Promoting the idea, (that feels like some folks think it obsolete nowadays), that no matter our differences we're all Americans. Its too bad we don't have that now.

But no, I think there very little chance of that happening. Besides, soldiering is a young man's job, by the time of Custer's last stand, most folks would've been aged out of range for the job unless they were an officer. Enlisted men and NCO's it would be very rare to have a veteran of even the Union Army in the ranks, especially in that day and age where folks aged faster than today.
 

jack1492

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Is it known if there were any Confederate veterans that participated in the 1871 US Expedition to Korea?
I'm aware of various Confederate veterans who ended up rejoining US military service after the war, including General Joseph Wheeler who went on to serve in the Spanish-American War and famously called out, "Let's go, boys! We've got the **** Yankees on the run again!" to his troops in confusion during the Battle of La Guasimas. However, I've been unable to find any information regarding or evidence of Confederate veterans serving in the Korean Expedition of 1871.
I would be very interested to learn if there were any, given what an interesting and forgotten conflict the expedition was.
Where have you looked?
 

samhood

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"Alfred Cumming was a professional soldier in the U. S. Army before going on to fight through most of the Civil War as a Confederate brigadier general in the Army of Tennessee. He saw extensive combat and was wounded twice and captured once. President Grover Cleveland called upon him to serve on the United States Military Commission to Korea in 1888. The native Georgian was a West Point graduate and the nephew of Alfred Cumming, a prewar governor of the Utah Territory." (From Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War" [Savas Beatie Publishing, 2020])
 

UncleBourbon

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"Alfred Cumming was a professional soldier in the U. S. Army before going on to fight through most of the Civil War as a Confederate brigadier general in the Army of Tennessee. He saw extensive combat and was wounded twice and captured once. President Grover Cleveland called upon him to serve on the United States Military Commission to Korea in 1888. The native Georgian was a West Point graduate and the nephew of Alfred Cumming, a prewar governor of the Utah Territory." (From Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War" [Savas Beatie Publishing, 2020])

Very interesting.
The 1888 Military Commission was far different than the 1871 Military Expedition, given in the former the Koreans had called on the US to provide military advisers and in the latter the US essentially had a brief undeclared war with the Joseon Dynasty, but it's still interesting to be sure. Thanks for sharing!
 

John Hartwell

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Unlikely. Though an ex-confederate (but probably not an officer) might have enlisted illegally, under an assumed identity. In which case there would be no record.

Given the small size of the landing-force involved, 600 men (500 sailors, 100 marines), the likelihood fades essentially to nil. Most of the work was naval bombardment from 5 ships.
 
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UncleBourbon

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"Alfred Cumming was a professional soldier in the U. S. Army before going on to fight through most of the Civil War as a Confederate brigadier general in the Army of Tennessee. He saw extensive combat and was wounded twice and captured once. President Grover Cleveland called upon him to serve on the United States Military Commission to Korea in 1888. The native Georgian was a West Point graduate and the nephew of Alfred Cumming, a prewar governor of the Utah Territory." (From Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War" [Savas Beatie Publishing, 2020])

I just did some digging and found a few sources that contradict Alfred Cummings being on the United States Military Commission to Korea in 1888.
Shared Failure: American Military Advisors in Korea, 1888-1896 by Donald M. Bishop, Guns, farms, and foreign languages: the introduction of western learning and the first government schools in late nineteenth-century Korea by Leighanne Yu, and Korean-American Relations: 1866-1997 by Yur-Bok Lee and Wayne Patterson posit that the Confederate veteran on the Military Commission was Edmund H. Cummins, who had the former rank of Major and wrote The Signal Corps in the Confederate States Army for the Southern Historical Society.
I can see how your source would have confused the two given their similar surname and Alfred Cumming's higher relevance, but it definitely seems that it was Edmund Cummins on the Military Commission.

Might I add that the military commission is a comedy of failure and incompetence; firstly it took half a decade to send the advisors after the initial Korean request, the selected leader of the commission was William McEntyre Dye who needless to say was a hammer while Korea was a screw, and his two choices of subordinates in Edmund Cummins and John G. Lee were baffling, given John G. Lee's only military experience was a membership in the Pennsylvania National Guard.
Needless to say it didn't end well.

Thank you again for the post and info as it tipped me off to the 1888 United States Military Commission to Korea in the first place, however you may want to check the citations of From Patriots Twice to see if there's a better reasoning for the mixup than the similar surnames.
 
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