Well, as a result of that blog, I received a comment card through this site from a fellow in London England who was aware of the story and in fact even went to the trouble to send me a word for word printout of the story, (that I already had) that was in the newspaper back in 1857. I have tried to get back to him but I am having a problem with his email address. That aside, my point in bringing this to you is that I very much welcome feedback.
One of the purposes of these blogs is to reach out not only with these stories about the Victoria Cross and the Medal of Honor, but also to hope that readers who have information about any of these fellows, or their stories that I am talking about will contact me with this information.
This has happened several times now and I am very glad that is has. These folks are people that I would never have known about and some of their info is new to me... and that helps with the ongoing research on both the VC and the MOH.
If you have information about the subjects being discussed please feel free to use the contact card on this site that ends up being an email to me. If, on the other hand you wish to leave a comment ON THE SITE, you can use the comment button to click on and post this. Be aware that all readers will see it...please be kind. hehe.
And while on topic, I would love to hear from any relatives of any of these heroes.
I have also had several contacts by email and even phone calls from an avid researcher in Nova Scotia who has spent considerable time looking into Civil War vets from that province. He has apparently gathered quite a lot of information about CW veteran Ben Jackson.
There is a little on the net about Jackson but I suspect this fellow has tons more. Ben's entry into the war was rather curious. He was working on one of the vessels plying his trade and at New York found that he could make $300 by signing up with the navy. He did this by becoming a substitute for a man named Lewis who decided for whatever reason that he was not going off to war. So he hired Ben to take his place. Thousands did this and it was legal. But Ben went a step further. He took on Lewis's name and went off to war. Great for them. Horrible for those of us who want to do research today. Canada has no record of Lewis. The US has none of Ben. What a twist when you want to go to an archives!
Ben/Lewis served on the USS RICHMOND and fought in many battles including at Mobile Bay in August of 1864. Here he lost an arm in battle and saved the ship from destruction probably with his work dismantling torpedoes (underwater mines.) Several Canadians earned Medals of Honor at this battle and will be covered in later blogs.
But my interest in Ben is in the fact that most references available indicate that he came back home a hero and had earned medals in the Civil War. Those words were of interest to me because in CW days the only medal that was available was a Medal of Honor and neither Ben's name nor Lewis' is on any lists I can find of MOH recipients. Work needs to be done to discovered what these medals were.
But of interest as well is the fact that Ben, a hero with or without medals, was a black man from the Hantsport area of Nova Scotia. And so was William Hall who earned a Victoria Cross during the Crimean War (a future blog.) Even more interesting as it turns out, both men were actual neighbours and their farms almost touched each other...and they KNEW EACH OTHER. And if that is not enough to get a researcher excited... how's this. When William Hall's remains were removed from the original grave to Hantsport NS where a monument was erected in his honour, the very next grave at the old site, according to the fellow who contacted me through these blogs, was none other than Ben. Now that folks... is most interesting.
A final note about Ben... sort of. When I got the above contact, I pulled open my file of one of the Quebec men who earned a Medal of Honor while on the same ship as Ben above mentioned. Therein was buried a tidbit that I do not recall seeing before. And that was that the Quebecer was also in another the battle between the CSS Merrimack and the USS Cumberland back in 1862. On that ship was yet another Canadian. and both these men would later go on to earn MOH's in other battles. You have probably heard of the famous battle on the Monitor and the Merrimack. It happened the next day.
Without the contact from Nova Scotia I may have missed that tidbit forever.
So, while I bring you these stories, your communications with me very much helps me to document these forgotten heroes.
And on a final note, I saw the movie Lincoln a few nights back. It is a great movie and you should try to see it. There are several mentions in the movie about Wilmington and the famous battles at Fort Fisher which you have read about in recent blogs here. There is also a great story being told in the movie about President Lincoln's attempts to rid the nation of slavery and how the steps taken during the war were only temporary and in only some parts of the country. The movie gives much dialogue on the later attempts, and the ultimate success in ridding slavery throughout the country FOREVER.
Go see this movie. It is history that we all must not forget. And especially timely. In a few days we will all be celebrating Black History Month.
One final note.... A few questions have arisen about timeliness of my blogs. I announced a few weeks ago that the blogs have now become Monday to Friday only, and that each day's blog will be posted by 4 pm. They were looking earlier for them too early in the day.