Today, the Executive of the “Lost Villages Historical Society”, Ault Park, Township of South Stormont, are announcing that they recently met with, reviewed and agreed to enter into an “Agreement in Principle”, with the “Grays and Blues of Montréal (GBM)”, a mid-19th Century Living History Re-enactment association.
This agreement is to provide in Ault Park, appropriate land facilities and ongoing maintenance, for the first ever Canadian soil National War Monument, dedicated to perpetuating the memory of more than 50,000 Canadian (British North American) Veterans, who volunteered and fought in the American Civil War (1861-1865). Intended Monument dedication timeframe is anticipated for July 1, 2017, to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation.
Presently, it’s not well known by many, but historically during these terrible 4 years, over 50,000 volunteers from Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, travelled to various Northern or Southern US cities, to enlist in the Federal, or Confederate, Army or Navy. By the end of this largest North American war ever, over 620,000 Americans (on both sides), including thousands of Canadians (British North Americans), were killed – with most of these Canadian Veterans long since forgotten (however not so for the American Veterans). Also not well known historically, are the facts that during this war, 34 Canadians on the Federal side (11 – Ontario, 10 – Québec, 7 – Nova Scotia, 3 – New Brunswick, 2 – PEI and 1 – Newfoundland), were awarded the US Medal of Honor (equivalent to our Victoria Cross). In addition, 4 Canadian born Officers (3 – Québec, 1 – Nova Scotia), were promoted to the rank of General. Today 150 years later NO National Canadian War Monument exists to commemorate and remember these 50,000 Canadian Volunteer Veterans!
Below is a graphic artist’s concept drawing of what the proposed 14 foot high black granite obelisk “Canadians in the US Civil War Monument” would look like, along with 2 x 8 feet black granite side stones and a small paved pedestrian walkway, all positioned within Ault Park, site of the Lost Villages Museum (10 Historic buildings), expected to face Highway No 2:
For fundraising, it is the intent of the involved Canadian Civil War re-enactment associations and the Lost Villages Society, that the majority of required Monument funds (approx. $40,000); will come from major and minor private organizations, as well as public donors, historical associations and many Canadians today who knowingly, or unknowingly, had ancestors who volunteered and fought in the American Civil War. One of the black granite side stones will be a “Donor Wall” upon which will be inscribed the names of all organizations, associations and individuals donating $400, or more. In addition Tax receipts will be given to all donors of $20, or greater.
Concerning the “Agreement in Principle” for providing Ault Park land and maintenance for this historic “first ever” National Monument project in Canada, below are statements from the key executives:
Jim Brownell, President of the “Lost Villages Historical Society” (also former MPP – Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry and current Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel, SD&G Highlanders, Cornwall ON), on the occasion of this historic agreement stated: “A National Monument dedicated to the memory of those Canadians who volunteered and fought in the American Civil War is long overdue. Thanks to the dedication of the Grays and Blues of Montreal – GBM (Québec), and the American Civil War Historical Re-enactment Society – ACWHRS (Ontario), these Canadians will soon be memorialized, at Ault Park. Historical research has proven that numerous veterans of this war were residents from the Lost Villages, and from many communities in Central and Eastern Ontario as well as the province of Québec. The Lost Villages Museum site is an ideal location for this prestigious National Monument, and it has been a pleasure working with Rob McLachlan, and the other volunteers with the Grays and Blues of Montreal”
Rob McLachlan, President of the “Grays and Blues of Montreal” (A former Regional Marketing Director, IBM Canada and a former Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding, Canadian Grenadier Guards, Montréal QC, and currently a Civil War re-enactment Major, in the 9th Battalion, 1st Division, Army of Northern Virginia), replying to Jim`s remarks said that: “On behalf of the executive and members of GBM and the ACWHRS, I wish to thank both the Lost Villages Historical Society and the township of South Stormont, for their keenness, interest and support for this long overdue National Canadian Monument project. In additional to commemorating our above mentioned ancestors, this monument will also pay tribute to hundreds of other historically known Canadians, who also served in this terrible war: Two names that immediately come to my mind are: 1) Calixa Lavalée (Composer of our National Anthem, O Canada) who was a 1st Lieutenant in the Federal Army and 2) Dr. Solomon Secord (Grand-nephew of Canada’s War of 1812 heroine, Laura Secord) who was a Surgeon Major in the Confederate Army. Indeed it has been a great pleasure working with Jim Brownell and his enthusiastic Board at the Lost Villages Historical Society and we are looking forward to continuing on this historic relationship for many years!”
For more information about: The “Lost Villages Historical Society” (LVHS) please review their website at: www.lostvillages.ca , or for more information about their organization and/or this project, please contact Jim Brownell at: [email protected] or [email protected]
For more information about: The “Grays and Blues of Montréal” (GBM) please review their website at: www.graysandbluesofmontreal.com , or for more information about the Grays and Blues and/or this project, please contact Rob McLachlan at: [email protected]
For more information about: The “American Civil War Historical Re-enactors Society (ACWHRS) please review their website at: www.acwhrs.com , or for more information about their organization and/or this project, please contact Wayne Elliot (President) at: [email protected]