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Interpreting the Evidence

Civil War Honorable Discharge and Muster Roll Abstract for Joseph Rodriguez, 1862

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Civil War and Reconstruction (1850 - 1877)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Civil War

  • Primary Source Types:

    Written Document

  • Regions:

    New York City
    New York State

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Civil War Honorable Discharge, Joseph Rodriguez, 1862 in Main Image Viewer
  2. Load Civil War Honorable Discharge, Joseph Rodriguez, 1862 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Honorable discharge of Captain Joseph Rodriguez of the 9th New York Volunteers, Civil War, December 29, 1862.
Historical Context
Civil War service records typically show the rank of the soldier, the unit he fought in, the date he enlisted, and when he was discharged.  Some may also identify the battles in which the soldier fought.

This record is unique since it includes a copy of the soldier’s honorable discharge. Joseph Rodriguez was mustered in at New York City and became captain of Company H in the 9th Regiment. The 9th Regiment Infantry was known as Hawkins’ Zouaves in honor of Brigade Colonel Rush Hawkins. Company H was involved in a number of battles, including the bombardment and capture of Forts Hatteras and Clark in August 1861. The unit moved on to Aquia Creek and Fredericksburg and participated in the Battle of Antietam.  The 9th Regiment’s casualties included two officers and sixty-nine enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, and two officers and twenty-three enlisted men who died of disease, for a total of ninety-six men lost.

Essential Question
How do immigrants become a part of a new society?
Check for Understanding
Summarize the information found in this document and explain how Joseph Rodriguez was an important member of American society.
Historical Challenges
Research the 9th Regiment Infantry and find out what battles the unit fought in. How many casualties did this unit suffer during the Civil War? Make a Power Point presentation.
Research the history of Hispanic officers in the U.S. military.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Research the 1865 New York State Census for your community. Look for the schedule entitled “Deaths of Officers and Enlisted Men.” Create a pie chart that indicates the causes of death of the men in the Civil War.
Art: Create a tombstone for Captain Rodriguez highlighting his service in the Civil War.