Often there is lots of fascinating stuff, but without any connection to Canada. Lots of times, like any search, the stuff that comes up has absolutely nothing to do with the Medal of Honor. Other times the hits often remind us that we are all getting older with the sad news that yet another hero has passed away. Nicer news is the continuing efforts across the US to remember our heroes with the naming of new... or old schools, bridges, parks, highways, government buildings or whatever after one of our heroes. Often there is news about an old hero's grave being found and a new market placed at the site with appropriate ceremonies. Sometimes the article is about yet under federal government blunder regarding lost files, the latest being 70 or more years old, and the fellow still waiting for a medal recommended so long ago. One late news story has interested parties pushing for an award going back to the days of Gettysburg 150 years ago.
Not long ago a news article told of the Remembrance Service the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War had held at a place called Burkittsville in Maryland. They were honoring Lt George White Hooker and Private James Allen, medal recipients for bravery at the Crampton's Pass Battle of South Mountain Maryland back in 1862. That one got my attention.
I was pleased to get this picture because the medal ought to have been the same that James Allen would have received. Hopefully you will recall his name. Back on 19 December, in one of my earliest blogs on this site I brought you his story.
It is fascinating. He came to Canada as a baby and by age five his parents had both died. Ending up in the US and the war, he would be at Crampton's Pass, one of three passages that allowed you to cross the massive Southern Mountain chain, back in 1862.
He and another fellow got disoriented in a large corn field with corn growing above their heads. They were to head off in one direction but ended up going in the opposite... and soon enough coming across some enemy fire. One of the two was hit but he chased the others and managed to cross some obstacles and find 14 men on the side of a road... all quite un-expecting company dropping in. Pardon the pun! He hollered at them to stack their guns and get their hands up... and at the same time hollered out to his companions to jump over and join him.. There of course were no other comrades for probably a half mile or more, but he wasn't about to tell the enemy that. He ended up capturing not only 14 Southerners, but their weapons and even their battle flag. For this he earned the Medal of Honor. He would later actually work for the army in building the touring railway car being made for President Lincoln.
You can Google.... its beginning to look a lot like Christmas (and) www.canadianmedalofhonor.com to pull the blog up and have a 2nd read.
Here are a few of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War marching onto a display area a few months back when they did their service in honour of both Hooker and Allen. These interpretation plaques are at the Garland State Park at Burkittsville and the image on the right has a member about to place a wreath on the plaque that explains Allen's and Hooker's rolls in the battle. Here's a better image of that plaque...
Some housekeeping.... Recently a fellow emailed me a comment card from this site. I responded using the same method. He then contacted me to say he did not get a reply as requested. He did, but did not know it.
He had been reading an older blog, and used that page to send me a comment. I responded and it also appeared under that page. He was looking under later blogs for the response and did not know that he had to go back to the original blog to find it.
So the tip is, remember what page you are sending comments from, and above all else, PLEASE keep them coming.
By the way, next week is a very special week in the world of the Victoria Cross. The very first investiture took place on the 27 of June back in 1857. I am planning to bring you a VC story every day next week in honor of the week that should be known, but isn't, as Victoria Cross Week throughout the British Empire. Heck, we don't even have a Victoria Cross Day.
Something is very unsettling about that!