Graves of N. B. Civil War Vets Sought
By Ruby M. Cusack
I didn’t have a clue what the five letter word ‘civil’ meant but adults certainly used it in their conversation. Whenever Ken and I got into an argument, Mum would intervene with, “Can’t you be civil to one another?” or “Keep a civil tongue in your head!” Gramp said it was a person’s civil right to vote. Gord had a friend who was a civil servant. And at school the teacher spoke of the Civil War that took place in the United States.
In the 1860s, many New Brunswick men and their families knew first-hand the meaning of the American Civil War. In fact, "The American Civil War: The Service Records of Atlantic Canadians With the State of Maine Volunteers" by Daniel F. Johnson that was published in 1995 contains the service records of 2500 residents of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland who fought for the North with the Maine State regiments from 1861 to 1865. The information concerning these men was gleaned from the Adjutant General Records extracted from some 70,000 cards at the State Archives in Augusta which included the age and physical description of each volunteer. Also included were dates of enlistment and discharge and places of death whether by disease or killed in action.
Abial Albee from Milltown was an 18-year-old single man with blue eyes, dark hair and 5 feet 6 inches tall and his occupation was millman when he enlisted on 25 August1864 at Portland.
Some of the fellows used aliases. Frank Staples, a clerk from Saint John enlisted in the 20th Maine Infantry under the name Frank Clark. Thomas Burgess changed his name to James Burgess after collecting his bounty.
Ward Farrer from St. Andrews was 36 years old and married. He was a cooper and unfortunately died of disease.
Twenty-five year-old George W. Leach was a millman from the Miramichi who died in rebel prison in Richmond, Virginia.
Robert McAnley was a 26 year-old lumberman from Musquash, who lost his life in battle.
Thomas May was a clerk from Saint John who was killed in action.
John McCollum was a lumberman from Saint John who was wounded on May 12, 1864 and discharged for disability.
Mary McCartney of Halifax wrote in a letter that she was an old and afflicted mother and pleads that someone oblige her with information on her son William McCartney.
William F Flewelling was 21 and a carpenter from Kingston. He deserted at Front Royal, VA.
Franklin J Gabriel was 22 and was dishonourably dismissed and had to forfeit all pay. He was imprisoned in Sing Sing Prison, New York for one year.
A young shoemaker from Westfield, George Alexander was 18 when he enlisted.
Robert H Gibson was a sailmaker from Pennfield who was discharged
"The American Civil War: The Service Records of Atlantic Canadians With the State of Maine Volunteers" by Daniel F. Johnson that was published in 1995 is out of print but can be found in several research institutions.
At present a group of approximately 20 members make up the New Brunswick, Nova Scotia American Civil War Enactors group and are proud to represent Company I of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry. As Canadians, they honor those men and women who travelled from Canada by the thousands from 1861 to 1865.
Company I was chosen due to the fact that a young man from Saint John,
New Brunswick, Alexander Lester, was killed in a battle, at Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania on July 2, 1863. His name is engraved on the 20th Maine monument
at the battle site in Gettysburg.
The Civil War Enactors Group is endeavouring to find as many burial sites of American Civil War veterans as possible in Atlantic Canada. Once the grave site is identified, a ceremony is held to honor each veteran, whether they are Union or Confederate.
If you know of a place of burial or are related to a Civil War veteran contact Terry Middleton, 3 Prince Rd., Quispamsis, NB, E2E 1L3. Phone (506) 849-6433. E-mail to email@example.com.
Ruby is a genealogy buff. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.