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New Monument to Canadian Immigrants and Volunteers Who Served in the Civil War on Both Sides

Discussion in 'Immigrants During the Civil War' started by Pat Young, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    canadian civil war.JPG

    The Lost Villages Museum in Canada is the site of a new monument to Canadians who fought in the American Civil War. According to Civil War Times Feb 2018:

    An obelisk honoring Canadians who served in the Civil War was dedicated at the Lost Villages Museum near Cornwall, Ontario, on September 16, 2017. The reenactor group Grays and Blues of Montreal raised funds to commemorate the roughly 40,000 Canadians who served--about 36,000 in the Federal Army and the rest in the Confederate Army. "It's a part of Canadian history that very few know about....it is almost like a black hole in our story," explains Grays and Blues President Rob McLachlan. Roughly 7,000 Canadian-born soldiers were killed or died of their wounds in the Civil War. The group timed the event to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Canadian nationhood in 1867. [paragraph] At the time of the Civil War, Canada was still a collection of British colonies, and fear of an American invasion shaped the decision to unite and form the Dominion of Canada. [paragraph] Two granite slabs flank the obelisk. One lists prominent participants in the war; the other lists major donors. Distinguished Canadian-born soldiers include five men who were made U.S. generals and 29 Medal of Honor recipients. Among the soldiers who served were New Brunswick-born Sarah Edmonds, who served in the Union Army disguised as a man; Anderson Abbott, a black surgeon from Toronto; and Quebec native Edward Doherty, who participated in the First Battle of Manassas, and later led the hunt for John Wilkes Booth.

     

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  3. BlueandGrayl

    BlueandGrayl Sergeant

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    Canada was at the time a British colony so technically these would be British citizens fighting under the Union and Confederate armies since it was only a few years prior to the country actually being formed. Canada could have also got itself almost involved in an Anglo-American War (the third of its kind next to the War of 1812 and the American War of Independence) between America and Britain during the Trent Affair which means all those 40,000 Canadian troops in the Union and Confederate armies would be serving in the British Army instead it happens in the awesome Wrapped in Flames: The Great American War and Beyond by CanadianCanuck (a CWTer from Canada) and Trent war by Saphroneth.
     
  4. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    Thanks for responding.
     
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  5. BlueandGrayl

    BlueandGrayl Sergeant

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    Thank you.
     
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  6. Kurt G

    Kurt G Private

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    My Great-Great-Grandfather was Mitchell LaButte. He was from Chatham , Ontario and crossed the border to join the 39th New York in early 1865 . I'm guessing the bounty had something to do with it .
     
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  7. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    Thanks for that info.
     
  8. Canadian

    Canadian Corporal

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    I'm wondering what would motivate a colonial living in Canada West or Canada East to serve under either army.
     
  9. Taylin

    Taylin Corporal

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    The glory of war, I imagine. Being in such a close proximity to it probably helped a lot.
     
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  10. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    A couple of thousand were black, many the children of fugitive slaves.
     
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  11. Canadian

    Canadian Corporal

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    Very good motivation. Thanks.
     
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  12. Claude Bauer

    Claude Bauer Corporal

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    My wife's young Canadian ancestor left Ottawa and moved to Amboy, NY where during the war he joined a Union artillery unit, probably for this very reason. It's unclear whether he considered himself an American or a Canadian citizen at the time, but he immigrated to Canada from Scotland as a child, grew up there on a farm, and then moved to NY. Their family history says:

    "In 1864, at the age of 20, he joined the efforts of the American Civil War, enlisting in Battery K, First New York light artillery, and in this battery served his adopted country until mustered out at Elmira, New York, in July 1865. Because of his ability as a horse-shoer, demonstrated by shoeing Captain Stoking's horse, he was assigned to the division black-smith shop as foreman and appointed an artificer, a rank equalling that of sergeant. He participated in many famous battles and skirmishes."

    One of those battles was at Ft. Stevens in Washington, DC, where I participate in an annual commemoration of the battle there--the only Civil War battle fought in the nation's capital. There is another Canadian buried in the cemetery there as well. (My profile picture is from the 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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