The blog noted that contributions would be still most welcome as there will be ongoing needs to support the site that had already apparently identified almost 1,000 candidates for recognition. Please have a second read of that blog and consider reaching out to support their most worth while cause. The chair of the Heroes of Zorra web site. Shirley McCall Hanlon, has put together a video that explains a little of the history behind the site about to be launched and it can be seen here ... http://genienet.ca/content/video/str-bf-1.mp4 It does take a bit of time to download so please be patient. It's worth the wait,
The blog ended with the note that the following day would be a 2nd part of the blog but I missed the fact that tomorrow was Saturday, Some time ago I tried to stop doing the blogs seven days a week and would no longer be doing these on weekends, so I'm back to day with the 2nd part of that blog. Sorry for the confusion.
Now on to Gettysburg. Perhaps you have heard of it. About 166,000 braves souls battled for their principals in the three day slaughter in Pennsylvania. The battle saw the worst bloodshed of the entire war. Between 8 and 9,000 men would lay dead on the fields when it was over, (depending on who's figures your read.) On the Union side 3,155 of the 93,921 would lose their lives for the North. That's one in every 30 that stepped into onto harms way. Even more horrific, the number would be one in every 15 for the Southerners. In the Northern troops, for every 1,400 men, only one would be awarded the Medal of Honor. And many died earning it.
Of the 50,000 Canadians that fought in the Civil War, records are slow in coming on how many were at Gettysburg. Some say dozens. The CBC recently said at least 100. The Globe and Mail quotes at least that number. These numbers may be very low. It is suspected that there are many Canadians at rest in unknown graves at Gettysburg. The Late Tom Brooks, a most respected and diligent Ontario Civil War researcher chronicled the oft quoted 50,000 Canadians in the war. He counted them. It took years and lots of help but he did it anyway. His work has been accepted universally as being most credible. He and I have exchanged materials several times regarding Medal of Honor men. At some point he provided a list of 21 Canadians buried at Gettysburg to the American Civil War Historical re enactment Society (ACWHRS.com). A few days back they most kindly supplied me with this list to which 4 names have been added. If one in 30 Northerners were killed at Gettysburg, would it be fair to say that the same number might apply to the Canadians as well. And if so, 30 times the 24 known burials can be used, that would give a total of 720 Canadians at Gettysburg. Of course there will be many objections to this reasoning, and I understand this, but show it here to simply suggest that it may not be unreasonable to state that there may well have been several hundred Canadians on the field that day fighting for the North and as lesser number of course on the Southern side.
On the Southern side Doctor Secord fought and was captured at Gettysburg. He would later be released and returned to Kinkardine Ontario where fans of the name...going back to the famous Laura Secord of War of 1812 days, raised a monument to the man. In the CW he fought with the South who were said to be supported by the Brits... while his relative Laura was warning that the Brits were coming... Hmmmmm???? His monument is possibly the only one in Canada to be in honour of a Confederate, be he Canadian as well. From Halifax NS to Victoria BC Canadians lay buried who once fought on these horrific battlefields. In Victoria were there are at least a dozen CW graves, some connected to Gettysburg, an escaped convict from here made his way to the US and fought with the Southerners. He'd earn the rank of Colonel and would be with General Pickett during his famous charge. In an earlier day Pickett was just a Captain... and he was also in BC during the famous Pig War that almost had the US and Britain going at it. One of his Lieutenants was a fellow named Roberts. who liked to always go by the book. Today we remember him with HIS book. He called it ... Roberts Rules and Orders.
The convict was a former member of the government here as in England before being chased out of that country for similar antics that saw him in jail here...but that's another story for another day.
Past blogs have told you the story in this space about John Lonergan and Lee Nutting, both non Canadians, but MOH recipients who had strong connections to Canada. Several other Canadian Medal of Honor men fought at Gettysburg as well but earned their medals for actions either before or after Gettysburg. Most not even knowing they would be so awarded till many many years later. Then there is the story of the 27th Maine and the Medal of Honor that received several blogs in this space. Those medals were for actions at, or not at ???? Gettysburg. All of these stories have been brought to you in this space over the past 170 blogs and more.
There are many other connections between Canada and this battle, but you get the idea now that it was not at all remote to those from north of the 49th parallel.
And now, finally to your involvement.
A few weeks back the internet carried stories about the group known as Main Street Gettysburg, Inc. This organization is located at Gettysburg and has no doubt been involved in a lot of the planning for the 150th anniversary events that have taken place in that town in remembrance of the historic battle back in July of 1863. The recent announcement was to inform the public that it will be creating a monument in honour of the living recipients of the Medal of Honor. Their plan is to locate one donor per brick for each one of the 79 heroes. Those sponsors can donate the $150.00 necessary to have a brick engraved in the name of the recipient with his unit and in which war his heroism resulted in the awarding of the MOH. As of Friday 46 of the bricks had already been purchased. But I was told today that there were still a few left.
This monument will be placed near the entrance to the David Wills building, the very building in which President Lincoln spent the night before he gave his famous address.... Four score and seven years ago... In this same building... on that same night, and as a guest of Lincoln... was a Canadian by the name of William McDougal, a future Father of Confederation. That story has also appeared here in a past blog.
If you have enjoyed these blogs over the past few months, please now step up to the plate, and reward me by contacting this group via phone at 1 (717) 337- 3491 or email them at... firstname.lastname@example.org Tell them that you would like to donate one of these bricks. If they are all gone, ask about another program for other MOH recipients that might be in the works.
Those purchasing these bricks will be offered a special opportunity by sitting in a special section of the audience when the monument is unveiled in mid September. And very special guests will also be in that audience. Many of the actual recipients who will be in town during that time attending their annual Medal of Honor Convention. There will be photo ops and times for autographs and even speaking to some of these heroes. Make above contacts for further info.
A truly once in a life time opportunity that should not be ignored.
I salute all of you and am sure that when more and more Canadians come to realize what you have...or are doing to make this world a better place for all... then they to will salute you.