October 11, 1931
China-Born Veteran of Civil War Living
Special Dispatch to The World-Herald.
Parmalee, S.D., Oct. 10.—Edward Day Cohota, 89, civil war veteran living here, is believed to be the only Chinese who served in the union army during that conflict. He was brought to this country from Shanghai when about 5 years old by a sea captain.
He does not recall any knowledge of the Chinese Language. He talks, in fact, with a Boston accent.
Find a Grave
Edward Day Cohota passed away November 18, 1935.
December 27, 1935
Sole Chinese Civil War Veteran Dies
A 92-year-old Chinese died recently in Pierre, South Dakota. His name was Edward Day May Cahota; and, according to many of his neighbors who had known him for several decades, was said to be the only Chinese who served in the Union army during the American civil war.
There is no record of where Cahota was born, but he said to have come to this country at the age of four, in 1847—the same year that the first Chinese student, Yung Wing, came to study in this country—in the company of the captain of a trading ship. He remained with the family of this captain until his twenty-first birthday, when he enlisted on the Union army in 1864.
At the close of the civil war Cahota has honorably discharged from the army. However, he enlisted again and served the regular army for several years.
Cahota married a woman of Norwegian descent, who died while he was stationed in Nebraska, leaving several children to his care. It was in the home of one of his daughters that Cahota died.
Cohota is profiled in the National Park Service book, Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civil War.
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