Just a few blogs back I brought you the story of Daniel CHAPLIN, a Red Bank New Brunswick born who was killed in action during the Civil War. At death he was posthumously promoted to Brig. General and also Maj. General at the same time. He probably ought to have been a recipient of the Medal of Honor, but wasn't.
Earlier blogs have brought you the story of American born Alaric CHAPIN, who earned a Medal of Honor during the Civil War which is now on display with other artifacts including his musket in Calgary Alberta.
Still other blogs have told of a fellow named John CHAPMAN, again a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient. He was thought to have been born in New Brunswick, but later evidenced with a birth in France. AND THE TRUE SURNAME KAUFFMAN
Too many, CHAPS some may claim!
Today's story is an update to the third CHAP's story. It comes as a result of a reader asking for clarification regarding three ships he was on, when most only know of one. I'll get to that, but first a few comments about his Medal of Honor, earned while he was in the army.
From past blogs you will recall that this regiment was raised by guess who, another "CHAP," Daniel Chaplin from New Brunswick.. The very officer being mentioned above, but killed in action by the time John came to unit.
In fact, it is interesting to note that at Spotsylvania, just below Fredericksburg a Canadian soldier by the name of Jerry Cronan, who served in the Confederate Army's 10th Louisiana Infantry was killed. He is the only Cdn. Confederate soldier believed to be buried at the famous Arlington Cemetery in DC.
Some internet records show that 8 of these were for gallantry, one for capturing a General and, we assume, the rest, like Chapman's, were for the capture of enemy flags.
But with the use of the word...gallantry, it seems there is an implication that all but the 9 above... were NOT for gallantry. For those that understand the duties of flag bearers, noted often in this space, a lack of bravery... on either side of the conflict does not do the recipient any justice. Adding to this dis-service, often the description in official documents of the deed performed is limited to just... "capture enemy flag."
Within a week the war effectively came to an end, though some resistance saw fighting continue at distant places and some with combatants not even knowing it was over. President Johnson finally signed documents ending the war with the 20 August 1866 surrender of the Confederate's last war ship whilst at Liverpool.
Note Chapman's name at the bottom of the first portion. Note also Asel Hagerty's name (misspelled) a few lines above his. He was also a Canadian and had signed up for another who did not want to go to war. He received $300 for his substitute service. This was equivalent to about 2 years of pay for a private in Civil War days.
With the war coming to an end, Chapman would take his release in mid September 1865. But he would not be out of uniform for long. Within weeks he would sign up with the US Navy.
And it is here that the mystery mentioned in the title of this blog comes from. The reader knows of the almost 3 year service on the USS Manongahela. But the question is then raised what were the other two ships some say he served on? I've noted some web sites that refer to the USS Ohio and the USS Vermont but give no reasons for supplying these and if served on, offer no dates of such service.
Having looked at a few documents, I think I can answer this. I'll begin by going backwards! Here is the Release Certificate AFTER Chapman's 3 years of naval service.
While difficult to read, it states that Chapman joined the navy on 24 October 1865 at Boston. The document is dated on 8 July 1868, the date of his honourable release.
Here is a 2nd document... a muster card for this naval service.
To begin, it tells us his naval service started at Boston. The date of return, ie, the date of the document, which summarizes a week of recruiting, was on October 28th. But we know from the above discharge document that he signed up on the 24th.
At the 5th line down it shows he served from November 11th 1865 to Dec 2 1868.
But look closer, the form seems to say on November 11th he was at... RSNY. Does RS NY stand for the Rendezvous Ship? And in this case the ship USS Vermont which just happened to be there at that time in NY. And previous to this he may well have been at the Rendezvous Ship at Boston..which just happened to be the USS Ohio at that time.
And does the 12-2-65.. stand for Dec 2nd..and on the ship below..the "MONON" perhaps short form for Monongahela that we know he served on for 3 years?
This may be the answer my reader has been looking for.
And finally, before leaving you today, it was 150 years ago earlier this month that a fellow by the name of Logan decided that the members of a group he chaired owed a responsibility to all the soldiers and sailors and marines that had come before, and had since passed on.
You have read about in this space, but I'll briefly share this with you as our friends south of the border this week-end are celebrating a long weekend and hopefully giving thought on Decoration Day that had many a year ago morphed into Memorial Day on Monday. A day for reflection and not just yet another day off work to party.
Here's the General..