Even after a bullet skimmed his head, Private Edward Day Cohota fought valiantly during the Civil War’s Battle of Cold Harbor and carried a wounded comrade to safety. His remarkable story is one of many recounted in the new National Park Service book, “Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civil War.”

The book release coincides with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – a time meant to celebrate the vast contributions this community has made to the nation, reflect on the challenges they faced and still face, and recommit to making a the American dream a reality for all.

May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

The National Park Service also is conducting the Asian American Pacific Islander Theme Study, which will identify properties throughout the country that might qualify for designation as National Historic Landmarks or for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. For a list of current sites: click here.

To discover and contribute other sites important to Asian American and Pacific Islander history, also visit the East at Main Street history pin project.

“Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civil War” is part of an award-winning series developed by the National Park Service for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The series, which includes Hispanics and the Civil War and American Indians and the Civil War, brings to light contributions made by diverse ethnic groups during that critical time in the nation’s history. All three books are available from www.eParks.com.

“This book is a new and important addition to the scholarship of the Civil War and to the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B Jarvis said in an NPS release. “This book is part of our ongoing effort to tell the complete, inclusive story of America. It highlights the heroic feats of men who fought, and sometimes died, for a nation in which they encountered extreme discrimination. Many of them faced additional battles after the war for citizenship and respect.”

During the past two decades, researchers and writers have recovered hundreds of accounts of Civil War soldiers and sailors with family origins in more than 25 countries in Asia and the Pacific Islands. The book brings attention to the contributions they made throughout the war. It also highlights other Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have served in every American conflict from the War of 1812 to recent times.

For a PDF copy of “Find Your Place: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” produced by the National Park Service: click here.