Over 400 blogs have mostly brought you tales of the heroes being awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions dating back to that war. My research shows the number of recipients from all wars, having grown from 54 about 18 years ago, and are now hovering at 118. Sixty Six of these are from the Civil War, (though 14 of the 66 were not born in Canada).
These Civil War men mostly wore the uniforms of the army, the marines, sharpshooters, cavalry, light and also the heavy artillery. But many others served with the navy on several dozen different war vessels of the day. Since CW days, several have had ships named after them. One having six so named, another having 3 such honours. One honoured was a woman.
One recipient served in both the army and navy. He was awarded a medal for each service and different battles, but history does not generally list him with the 19 double recipients it widely circulates. (There were at least 21, as duly noted in past blogs.)
These Medal of Honor deeds have been performed across the US, in the air above Canada, and in Canadian waters, in Belgium, Cuba, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Portugal and Vietnam.
A prominent Canadian from Nova Scotia witnessed what is widely reported, but wrong, to be the first shots of the Civil war with the shelling of Fort Sumter. While at the other end of the war..the end... another Canadian private served on the honor guard for General Grant at the Appomattox Court House surrender of General Lee.
A civilian from Vancouver island witnessed one of the most famous naval battles in the CW, that of the Monitor and the Merrimac Little did he probably know of the dozens of Canadian connections to that battle, deaths as a result of it, and some later Medals of Honor.
Another of the famous CW naval battles occurred in France. Medals of Honor came home to Canada from that battle. A Canadian Confederate victim of that battle lays at rest at waters edge there to this day.
Millions tour Vegas and probably Lake Meade annually. How many know the story of the Canadian MOH at the base of the lake?
How many known of the Canadian coronet player wounded at Antietam who would years later compose the music for "O Canada." How many know of the Canadian general in the CW who was one of the founders of a political party, and one of the nominators for Abe Lincoln to run for office. What about the Canadian MOH man who helped build the Lincoln Touring Car, later turned into his Funeral Car, or another from Canada awarded a MOH for his service on the President's funeral guard.
Lets not forget the Canadians who caught John Wilkes Booth, shot famed Confederate General JEB Stuart, and caught famed spy Belle Boyd.
Canadian Medals of honor came home from CW battles in over 30 different locations. Thee include both Bull Run's, Antietam, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Salem Heights, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, the Wilderness, Petersburg Mobile Bay, Fort Fisher and Monocacy. Though we fought in many more places than these as well.
It is mind-boggling when you come to realize that there were over 3,500 Union and 1,500 Confederate units of varying size that came to do battle in over 10,455 different operations spread across 23 US States and beyond.
The blogs on this site have concentrated on but a handful of these heroes all. Those that were awarded the Medal of Honor. But clearly there were tens of thousands of others that also did their duty and in many cases, more.
In the United States today there are apparently 718 Confederate markers and memorials and monuments honouring the Confederates, though of late some of these are being pulled down. For the Union forces the US Na tional Parks Services claim that there are thousands of such reminders of Civil War actions across the US.... with over 1,400 at Gettysburg alone.
In Canada, the very nation that was the fourth largest of all nations to have their citizens participating in the war, there are about but a dozen such memorials. All but one, to to my knowledge, is in recognition of a single hero.
I know of only one recognizing more.
But that all changed on September 16th!
A day destined for history books in both Canada and the United States.
And that story will be brought to you on Sunday.