On the Atlantic side we were then known as the British colony of Nova Scotia. Below is an early day city about to be born, and called Halifax.
The red arrow points to what I believe is what is left of a much larger street called Lockman. Most of it was removed for the roadworks and possibly a portion of today's Scotia Square.
Lockman was a German retired army Major and among quite a few from Germany that arrived with the Cornwallis initial vessels. He operated what was called Lockman's store, possibly on the same street. Under today's Scotia Square in the mid 1700's there was a portion of Grafton Street, now gone. And very close to where it met with today's Duke Street, a very important publication came into being.
It was called the Halifax Gazette, and that same paper is still in use today, and in fact is the oldest newspaper in Canada, though in an entirely different format and purposes other than that of days long gone. It's first publishing was on Monday, 23 March 1752.
And in that paper 2 months later, on 30 May 1752, the owners published this notice.
Then came the US Uncivil War!
Years ago, a document created by several most credentialed researchers, told us that just over 18,000 Blacks from Canada had joined in the US slaughter of 1861-5. I have names of over 1,800. They served in both the army and the navy. Almost 350 of these Canadians joined the US Navy. I have names of about 80 of these Nova Scotian sailors fighting in the Civil War.
And one of those men was a fellow named Benjamin Jackson.
In 1864 he signed up with the US Navy and served on the USS Richmond (shown above) during the famous battle at Mobile Bay just three months later. His service was a little unusual. He signed up under the name of Lewis Saunders, as a substitute so that Lewis did not have to serve. For this he would have probably been paid about $300. A whopping amount for those days. (In another story on this web site you read of Dennis Buckley, and in that blog I gave the info that $30 bought you a farm in the early 1860's.)
It has been said that Bern, aka Lewis, got another $900 in the form of prize money for his share of his ship's reward for capturing enemy warships.
There are several versions of a story of how he injured his right hand and arm. Some being minor, one being almost a complete loss of the arm. For one of the stories he would get a sum of money in the form of a disability pension.
The prevalent story tells of his service on the USS Richmond, where he commanded the #10 gun. And whilst so doing was involved also in the clearing of underwater mines, (called torpedoes in those days). One apparently exploded on deck, killing several, and with Ben being injured.
While other Canadians were awarded Medals of Honor for actions during this battle, Ben was not. None in the name of Saunders, and none in the name of Jackson.
Yet most references on the net tell of his being a hero and getting a medal. NOT SO. There was only one medal during the war. And it was the Medal of Honor, of which, as already noted, he had not been awarded.
Of the 4 Canadian Medals of Honor coming from the battle for Fort Morgan at Mobile Bay, one did come from service of Jackson's ship. And that went to James McIntosh and he was from Montreal.
In 1905 the US Government issued a medal called the Civil War Campaign Medal. There was one for the army and a different one for the navy. Those who served could apply for, and get one of these and it is possible that Ben, or family could have applied for pone of these after 1905, when it was first made available to qualified veterans or their descendants. But this is certainly not a bravery medal of any sort what-so-ever.
While Ben passed away in 1915, in 2010 a ceremony took place in Lockhartville NS to honor this man, said by so many, in error, to have received some sort of bravery medal.
Here is the wonderful new marker...
The ceremony was presided over by Nova Scotia's Lt. Governor at the time. Also present were the GG Granddaughter of Ben's, the provincial Premiere, his Minister of Culture and Heritage, members of the very dedicated 20th Maine Civil War re-enactors, a piper and no doubt the legion and members of the community.
A roadway in the Windsor NS area now bears his name and a wonderful plaque is mounted along the historic Mathieu Da Costa African Heritage Trail telling of his service to Nova Scotia, Canada and the world.
Here is that plaque...
Hope you will join me then.
By the way, my computer froze on me again yesterday and today for a short period, thus the delays yet again in these blogs.