The Civil War was one that changed the landscape of modern landscape of the United States, and we’re not talking about superheroes fighting each other, either. For four long years, the country clashed between various issues, including slavery and expansion. During this battle, some unexpected people managed to get their hands a bit dirty.
Joining the fight
Many Mexican Americans didn’t have many kind things to say about America. Years before the Civil War, the Mexican-American War was a battle for the land right of Texas. In the end, over 1,700 were killed in battle with 25,000 civilians caught in the crossfire.
Looking at the Civil War, some Mexican Americans felt like they had to step in. Unfortunately, they were seen as turncoats from the start by both sides. They could’ve easily sat with a nice tequila and watched both sides simply destroy each other. Instead, several of them decided to showcase their newfound loyalty to the country.
Friends into enemies
With the split, many friends and family chose to fight for their own beliefs. While this was mainly about doing what’s right, Mexican Americans saw this as a great payday. Many of them stood with the Union during this tough time. Those that served with them gained a $300 bonus.
While $300 might not be a lot now, it was a huge paycheck for soldiers. That kind of money was enough to cover rent for the whole year. With the inflation rate, that paycheck would be $9,124.30 today.
This too shall pass
One major situation involving Mexican American soldiers was the Battle of Glorieta Pass. This three-day battle took place in a somewhat familiar territory: New Mexico. Armies of Mexican Americans cranked things up on the battlefield with a victory for the Union.
In the end, the Union took it home following Robert E. Lee surrendering. Unfortunately, this war had one of the biggest casualty rates with 750,000 people dead. Any remaining Mexican American soldiers reunited with loved ones they once faced on the field. The only battle they were ready to face was the one between enchiladas and chalupas.