Daniel Chaplin, born in New Brunswick was one of these generals and the subject of my last 2 blogs. His name and heroic actions were briefly discussed last week with the Canadian Embassy at DC, with a follow-up letter needing to to be sent.
The remnants of a Civil War fort, and a park at the nation's capital bearing Chaplin's name still exists. I have dropped the hint that Canada needs to recognize this general, with some sort of a plaque, interpretation panel etc. Such should be unveiled in a formal ceremony. I will bring you updates as this idea hopefully moves forward.
Moving on, some will recognize this painting of the Civil War Union warship USS Plymouth, one of 4 bearing the same name throughout US military history.
The three were awarded Medals of Honor. About 130 were awarded for similar events over the years, several of these coming to other Canadians. Many of these stories have been highlighted in past blogs here.
In April 1888 Kersey died while a patient at the Chelsea Massachusetts Naval Hospital. Thought to be buried there, over the years many, including our Medal of Honor Historical Society of the US have tried to confirm his exact place of burial.
I will also bring this matter to the attention of our Embassy at Washington DC and request that they enter into communications with the Society. Hopefully they will be invited to participate in the unveiling in the spring or perhaps early summer.
Over the years our society has played a major role in finding "lost graves." In many cases we have also secured financing and arranging modern Medal of Honor markers being installed. Most with the appropriate military ceremonies connected to the hero and his... or her service to their country of birth, or adoption.
Just a dozen days after the New York rescue, the USS Plymouth was docked at Halifax Nova Scotia as part of a good will tour. Its crew and thousands of others flocked the streets to meet all kinds of strange animals and even a general that stood less than three feet high. Search John W. Powers on this site to read about that amazing story. (The name is not to be confused with another by the name of John Wesley Powers, a Canadian MOH recipient as well.)
Depending on the sources viewed, either Powers or Connolly deserted shortly after the General Order was made that gave official notice that both had been awarded their medals. Powers' name is not on most of the later lists of recipients but Connolly's remains. A few years back, and probably to this day the medal shown above was, and may still be held, and on display at the Navy's museum in DC.
This medal is incredible rare as only 2 in the entire history of the medal, some 3,500 strong, has an inscription that involves deeds performed IN Canada.
The inscription reads... For Valor... John Powers... Ordinary Seaman... USS Plymouth... Halifax Hbr...???? (possibly Duty) ... August 7 1876.
Moving along, I also have an update on Thomas Gay, PEI born MOH recipient for his bravery in 1866, just one of 32 different skirmishes he and the 8th US Cavalry fought during his service with them.
His story was told back in 2013 at this site and mentioned in other blogs since, and can be located using the site search engine at upper right.
Family have recently contacted me to share a few wonderful photos and pose a question.
The question posed had to do with his 2nd given name. While the official medal was issued in the name of Thomas H. Gay, many references note the initial was in fact a K.
My research suggests that the later is right and officialdom got it wrong when quickly looking at handwritten documents. An H and a K could easily be miss-read.
But he ALSO served, to my surprise and perhaps others, in the Civil War as evidenced on this very old grave marker. That service was with the 62nd Massachusetts Infantry, very briefly in 1865. (Note the above marker has the initial K.)
After the question was posed I went in search of his original
enlistment documents... not with the 8th... but with the 62nd. And here is what I found....
Roots web genealogy documents also show that the initial is a K and stands for the name..."Knight." .
The above marker for Gay was unveiled shortly after these were created. Ironically Gay, came from MacGillivary's province and very close to his Charlottetown roots as well.
A few more updates are waiting to see the light of day in this space. Some of those will come on Sunday next.