By war's end there were no less than 60 soldiers coming to that unit from British North America (read Canada) and 6 out of 10 would be less than 21 years of age according to the incredible research done by a fellow Ontarion..Tom W. Brooks who is a well known CW researcher, especially from a Canadian prospective.
This regiment would do most honourable service in the war, and would lose a general, a full Colonel, a Lt Colonel (from Canada) and a major alone from their HQ companies.
In short order McVeane was downgraded for unknown reasons from Sergeant to Private, and as such he participated in battles at Lewisville, Williamsburg and the Seven Days Battle in Virginia and at Crampton's Pass, Antietam and Fredericksburg in Maryland and about this time he was promoted to Corporal in Jan of 1863. Four months later he was again promoted up to the rank of Sergeant, and probably because of his bravery at Chancellorsville.
The 49thNY came up against the 58th Virginia in the Confederate army and under Major General Early's Brigade. It was here that a couple of companies of the Union 's 49th, with the aide of one company of the 7th Maine and a few field guns held their ground and repulsed and enemy force far superior in number. Later in the same battle, while advancing on the Confederates, Sergeant McVeane shot a color guard member and seized the colours. Still continuing he advanced on a building and took several Southerners prisoner. By days end the North had captured upwards of 200 prisoners. For this action McVeane would later be recommended for a Medal of Honor.
McVeane's unit would march forth and be in battle at Gettysburg and Rappahannock and, probably whilst at the first he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.
Then came the fierce battle at the Wilderness where the firing was so heavy the woods caught fire and many soldiers from both sides literally burned to their deaths. It would be here that Lt John P McVeane would be shot and killed on the battlefield. While his exact birthday is still unknown, he may have died before his 22 birthday fighting the cause for a foreign country. Like thousands of other Canadians he would be laid to rest on American soil where he remains to this day.
On 21 September 1870 the President of the United States awarded a Medal of Honor posthumously to McVeane. It was mailed to his mother who promptly sent it back. She objected to the inscription which indicated his rank, at the time of the action, being that of a Sergeant. Apparently his mother would complain that she was embarrassed to show it to anyone as it should have inscribed his later rank of 2nd Lieutenant. The US government disagreed and promptly returned it noting that it was so inscribed as it reflected his rank on the date in which his bravery was being rewarded.
McVeane's Medal of Honor was the only one awarded to this 3 yr regiment of over 1,300 men.
That medal and some documents are held, at last accounting, with a serious collector in Western Canada. I have asked a number of times, and am hopeful that some day that individual will share with the world an image of this historic replica of yet another brave Canadian.
A Canadain who died one week ago today... on 10 May 1864, 99 years ago.