Carlos Alvarez de la Mesa Was A Spanaird Who Came To The U.S. To Fight In The Civil War, And Fought At Gettysburg
The Spanish national immigrated to the U.S. in 1861 to join the Union Army and fight in the Civil War. Weeks after marrying into a family of “New England blue bloods,” the 32-year-old joined the “Garibaldi Guard.” Also called the 39th New York Infantry Volunteers, its companies were composed of ethnic Hungarians, Germans, Italians, Spaniards and other immigrants.
De la Mesa fought in the pivotal battle of Gettysburg. The officer received a gunshot wound to his foot as he leaped over a stone wall, and was trampled by his “entire company.” He suffered critical wounds across his body. Despite his illnesses, he went on to serve for years in the Veteran Reserve Corps before he died in an insane asylum from “disease of the brain” in 1872.