THE WASHINGTON TIMES – IENNA, Va., September 20, 2011 — The only known Armenian to have served in the Civil War, Khachadour Paul Garabedian, is being recognized with a new grave marker in a Philadelphia cemetery on Saturday, October 1, thanks to an anonymous $10,000 donation and the dedication of fellow Armenian-Americans.
Garabedian was born in the small town of Rodosto near Constantinople (now known as Istanbul) in Turkey, on August 25, 1836, and immigrated to Lowell, Mass. in the late 1850s. There he worked as a machinist and became an American citizen.
In 1864 at the age of 28, he enlisted in the Union Navy. Engineers were in demand at the time, and his years of working in the mills in Massachusetts made him a desirable recruit. He enlisted as a Third Assistant Engineer, holding officer rank, and served upon two ships, the USS Geranium and the USS Grand Gulf, both blockade ships, deployed to cover Southern ports along the Atlantic Coast and later on in the Gulf of Mexico.
Garabedian’s letter of appointment was reported in the Lowell Daily Citizen & News of August 11, 1864, part of which said:
“We record this appointment with pleasure. The young gentleman is an Armenian by birth, but has become not only naturalized, but is thoroughly indoctrinated in liberal and loyal principles. We have no doubt at all that he will acquit himself honorably and usefully in the position assigned him.” Read more…