I have visited several dozen locations, both in the US and Canada. Getting to graves or research materials and visiting descendants has taken me on numerous automotive trips, travel by air, by ferry, train, subway, taxi and even at one stop by a golf cart to get to a burial site.
Costs to bring this material to you have included many thousands of dollars for hotel and parking, taxi, meals, and very high number of long distance telephone costs covering the above dozen and another 8 years previous to the start of these blogs.
A bucket list of other costs would include going through three computers and printers, office supplies, monthly subscription fees for the URL, this site, membership in numerous organizations, purchase of numerous books and videos on subject, making several actual donations to like minded entities, and much more.
All of this and so much more has been absorbed by me without any financial help over the 2 decades other than I believe one night in California hotel and 2 in a bed and breakfast establishment in Ontario. Small stipends for talks on two occasions also helped out.
The gist of this work has been to uncover forgotten heroes from Canada, and helping to document or correct so much in the existing files. This and of course, bringing these results to the decedents and you, my faithful readers.
With start numbers at 54 Canadian Medal of Honor recipients, and mine now hovering close to 120, the site has done its job! But so much more remains to be done. And with the help of so many from all walks of life that have lent me a hand in this journey, I pray they will stay with me for another dozen.
Did I just hear you scream!
Today I have a few updates and then some new materials, so strap in.
Past blogs have brought you the story of Lindsay Ontario born Medal of Honor recipient Dennis Buckley, who gave his life trying to save the Union during the US Civil War. His story has oft appeared in the space in the past. For the new reader, the search engine at upper right will get you to stories about Dennis.
As a youth he was the sole bread winner for ailing parents and younger siblings. He literally brought home the clothes on their backs and the food for the kitchen table.
At one point, while working for a local farmer, it was a bad month and there were no funds to pay Dennis for his labor. Instead he was given a cow. He took it home for the family to slaughter.
Not long after, he got influenced by a US agent to go to the US and sign up for Civil War service. He did so and soon found himself in the Battle at Peach Tree Creek near Marietta Georgia.
It was not his first battle, but it was his last!
On advancing to the enemy lines Dennis captured the enemy's colours. As he waved at his own troops he shouted out words of encouragement to keep advancing and while waving it about, yelled that ..."Every Bullet is Worth a Cow."
This was no doubt said while remembering the importance of that cow the farmer gave him to feed his family months earlier.
But as Dennis was rallying his New York Infantry unit to keep coming forth, he hollered out the above phrase and was immediately shot dead by the Confederates. He was only 19 or 20 at the time. A southern shot hit the flag pole, bounced up and hit Dennis in the head, instantly killing him.
For well over 120 years many tried to find where Dennis was buried, without success. But then came along a fellow named John DuBois. Several years ago John was a historian for Dennis's old regiment, the 136th New York Infantry. And John was most interested in the Buckley story. It turns out that everywhere Dennis went, so went a fellow name DuBois... John's grandfather, William E DuBois.
And he too was killed at Peach Tree Creek and was thought to be at Dennis's side when the Lindsay youth was killed.
Years of research finally hit John when he thought of going to the Marietta grave site to look for his relative's grave and perhaps Dennis's would be close by. Turns out they were right next to each other. The DuBois marker was misspelled, and so was the Buckley grave. And thus the difficulty for over a century in finding both. Two men lost to history for almost 125 years.
I later contacted John DuBois regarding the story and noted that I had an interest in doing the same for him in Canada... at Lindsay, his home town.
After I wrote an article in the local paper I was stunned to learn that the Victoria County Historical Society, in Lindsay had heard from Lindsay Monument, a firm that makes monuments and that they had offered to make a memorial stone for Buckley at no charge to the Historical Society.
Soon plans came to fruition and a formal unveiling ceremony took place in April 2007. John DuBois and several family members and others from the 136th re-enactors from this NY City regiment, as well as an Ontario group of Civil War re-enactors participated in the service. Also attending were several dignitaries including from the US Consulate office in Toronto, at my request.
It most interesting also noted the quote about the cow, very pertinent to those who know the whole story.
But missed by me on the day of unveiling was that the firm used an image of an Air Force Medal of Honor. This is quite different than the proper one, being for army service.
I shall make inquiries re the correcting of this... if possible.
If you are ever in Lindsay I think it would be great for you to stop by the Riverside Cemetery. Check out the memorial and reflect on the cost this youth paid to quell the terrible slaughters of the Civil War.
More next Sunday. Hope you will join me then,