For this honor he and 28 others was all awarded a Medal of Honor. But these were all effectively canceled with the Purge of 1917. I have recently received well over 100 pages of text regarding the purge, a matter that I have often said was illegal. Once read I will being bringing the results to this space.
Regardless, you will hopefully recall this image from the internet, shown in recent blogs.
Evidence that the Nova Scotia man is buried there, and the 95th man in Philladelphia was supplied to cemetery officials in Pa and after much thought and consultation agreed with this blog's findings, (with help from others.)
Three separate emails have been sent to the link shown above requesting clarification of source of information and at same time the providing of verifiable information reputing the above 95th claim. Not one of these has been answered. Last week I wrote a 4th email, this one to the site administrator. I have yet to hear from them but hope that I will soon and with a confirmation that the site with fix this error. Once corrected, family, researchers, historians and others will again be able to rely on the site's listing.
Because of the confusions involved it was easy to understand how the mistake occurred. But it is less understood why it seems to take more time than necessary to resolve.
Let's now leave Pennsylvania behind and head 1000 miles North West to Minneapolis Mn. Recent blog's have told you of many military connections, including the Medal of Honor, between Canada and the US and in particular... Minneapolis.
Depending on the sources, between 1100 and as many as about 1800 British North Americans served in Minnesota Regiments during the Civil War.
Some time ago I came into possession of a list of Canadians in the First Minnesota Infantry. Canadian born Medal of Honor recipient Alonzo Pickle of this unit is being honoured at the same ceremony that several new Americans will be taking their oaths as new citizens tomorrow. But our connections go much deeper.
The list includes details of 59 Canadians in the same unit as Sgt Pickle. A careful study of this famous regiment's incredible fact filled website produced another 5 that I found. I may have missed several others.
These men, and in some cases just boys who lied about their age, came from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland. I probably missed a few more from central Canada and the west.
There were 4 sets of brothers...one with 6, four of these serving in the First Mn., one set had 3, another had 2 and a cousin to boot. And one had a father and son, and the boy's mother as well who served as a hospital matron.
One of the 8 original companies of the regiment was started up by Ontario born George Morgan as noted in the past. With promotions from Pte to Colonel in the regiment he would command it for some time before a promotion to Brig. General moved him to an upper level of command outside the regiment. His own son, also a Colonel but in the cavalry, would be awarded the MOH for bravery during the Indian Uprisings.
A past blog noted that another Canadian officer in the unit, took command of the regiment at Gettysburg when his Col and Lt Col where struck down. While he was rallying and moving the troops onward in midst of battle, he too would be struck down, would recover and later return to the unit as a colonel. His Gettysburg actions ought to have seen him recommended for the MOH.
There is a cute story about one of the Montreal soldier's in the regiment who had moved to the state many years before the Civil War. His name was Brisette and after locating to the US many years before the CW, worked in a rough and troubling undeveloped area simply called the slough, He found himself working in the whisky business with a fellow that only had one eye and wore a patch.
At one point, so the story goes, he was writing to a friend who needed to know where to send a return letter. The soldier told his friend to just call it the Pig's Eye. That was it's nick-name at the time. By the late 1830's the area became a little more reputable and changed its name to... to St Paul.. which appears to have stuck!
Then of course there is the sad story of George Boyd from St Stephen NB. He moved to the US as a youth, took citizenship, worked as a harness maker and even an assistant foremen in the fire department. When the Civil War started he signed up and soon rose through the ranks to Sgt, 1st Sgt, 2nd Lt, and 1st Lt all while soldiering with the First Minnesota Infantry. Then remustering into another regiment he was promoted, to Captain, and held that rank till finally leaving the military in 1866.
Many of the 50,000 Canadians who fought in the war, were wounded, reported missing, taken prisoner, and actually died during the war, or after from wounds suffered in battle. So too with many of those with the First Mn. George would be one of the later!
George was a Lieutenant when his unit fought in the historic battle on day 2 of the slaughter known as Gettysburg. He took a severe wound to the leg that made him suffering considerably for the rest of his life.
About a decade after the war, George was in a small boat on the Mississippi in the area of Minneapolis where he landed from the swift moving river's currents. But being lame, when he stepped out of the rocking boat at shore line, his leg gave way and down he went into the water. It was only 6 inches deep, but being unable to get up, minutes later he was dead from drowning. His body soon washed over the falls and was later discovered. Such a dreadful fate for a soldier that had endured so much in the very battle that made his regiment famous. More on that battle in the very next blog.
And Hospital Steward James Kirkham from Bathurst Ontario ended up after the war as a Representative in the Minnesota Territorial Legislature. Prior to his service in the First Mn, many a year earlier he actual also fought in the Mexican War.
And a fellow named Napolean Dana was probably very happy he did. It would be Kirkham that raced out into deadly territory to rescue the wounded Dana and actual saved his life to fight another day.
That he did.....with the First Mn., a unit he also ended up commanding.
On Sunday I hope to bring another blog on this unit and get into some of the incredible bravery on the very battle fields of Gettysburg. Action that resulted in the very highest of highest praise for the regiment, that of course included more than 60 from north of the border.
Till then, make sure you check out the news tomorrow to read about the Alonzo Pickle ceremony, and the new Citizens being sworn in at Minneapolis.
And if you want to see another side of leadership in the US of A, have a look at this video. It is an incredible story of bravery, and a very moving speech by America's Commander in Chief. It shows a side many would think long hidden.
Here is the link...
back on Sunday...