William Cole is the Honolulu Advertiser's military writer, and in today's edition there is a front page story on the role of Native Hawaiians in the American Civil War. We are coming up on national observances of the 150th anniversary of the war:
Henry Ho'olulu Pitman, the son of a Hawaiian high chiefess, was born in Hilo, served as a young man in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and died from the effects of being held in the South's Libby Prison.
James Bush, also part Hawaiian, was in the Union Navy in the war between the states, and he received a veteran's pension when he was older.
The history of Isle service on both sides of the war isn't widely known, said Justin Vance, a Civil War and military history professor at Hawai'i Pacific University.
As the nation today remembers its war dead, a few in Hawai'i are trying to recognize the service of Isle residents from the conflict that preceded the establishment of what is now known as "Memorial Day."
The Hawai'i chapter of the Civil War Roundtable, a national organization, is spearheading a drive to raise the remaining 30 percent of the $3,500 cost for the bronze plaque (pictured above) and stone base commemorating the service of the Hawai'i Sons of the Civil War. Donations can be made to the O'ahu Cemetery Association at 2162 Nu'uanu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96817.