Canadians and the Civil War

Canadians and the Civil War


A significant number of men residing in Hamilton, Canada West prior to or during the American Civil War years served in the war. Following the war, many veterans moved or returned to the city. In 1891, a group of these veterans, led by the recently appointed American Consul Colonel William Monaghan, established a Grand Army of the Republic post--one of seven that were to exist in Canada. It is estimated that close to 100 Civil War veterans are buried in Hamilton.

Stories about Canadians and the Civil War

Hamiltonians~Ontario Canada

    Ackworth, John P. -- Name also given as Joseph P. Ackworth. 179th New York Infantry. Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Blamey, Richard W.--also appears as Blaney and Blanney. List in the Pensioners' Roll for 1883. Most likely a Civil War veteran. In the 1880/81 City Directory, he is listed as a fireman residing at 77 Park N. According to the [Hamilton] Post Office Staff Directory for 1882 (History and news of interest to Hamilton Post Offices (microfilmed scrapbook)) he was a letter carrier. The City Directory for 1883/84 confirms this. Robert W. Blamey died on April 27, 1883 (Vital Statistics M937 Roll 1). The 1885/86 City Directory shows his widow residing at 45 Park N.

    Breckinridge, W. -- Commander of GAR post in (at least) 1893.

    Breslin, John -- name appears on the roster of the famous all-Irish 28th Massachusetts Infantry.

    Burrow, William -- Left Hamilton for Cincinnati in 1861 along with William Stewart and during Kirby Smith's raid joined a militia regiment.

    Butler, Richard -- Vice-Consul and commander of the GAR post in (at least) 1919 and 1922.

    Cameron, John Robson -- Born in Perth, Canada West in 1845, moved to Detroit prior to the war. Served with a Michigan regiment. Following the war, was active in the newspaper industry and eventually found his way to Hamilton, where he was editor of the Spectator. Died in Hamilton in 1907. (See more below)

    Campbell, Alexander -- A partner in the book firm Campbell, Holt & Angell, he enlisted in the Federal army in St. Louis, Missouri. He died "four or five years" prior to 1908.It is unclear where he is buried.

    Carman, James -- born in Hamilton, Canada c. 1842, he enlisted as a Private with the 77th Pennsylvania Infantry at Pittsburgh on August 5, 1864. The following particulars were noted at the time of his enlistment: age, 22; height, 5'8"; hair, dark; complection, fair; eyes, grey; occupation, clerk. His name does not appear on the muster out roll, which suggests that he was a deserter. [source: Civil War Veterans' Card File, 1861-1866 (Pennsylvania State Archives)]

    Clark, James -- name appears on the roster of the 28th Massachusetts Infantry.

    Clarke, Percy -- Name also given as Peleg Clarke. Was a 2nd Lt. with the 5th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery. There was a Peleg Clarke, Jr. with the unit serving in company I.  Buried in Hamilton. (Also listed as Peleg Clarke)

    Cochrane, James -- He is mentioned in the June 15, 1861 Hamilton Spectator, which claims that he serving with a Michigan artillery unit as a veterinary surgeon.

    Cooke, William Winer -- Born in Mount Pleasant, Canada West. Attended school in Hamilton for a while. Served with the 24th New York Cavalry during the latter stages of the war. Following the war he enlisted with the 7th Cavalry and was killed along with Custer at Little Big Horn. His body was returned to Canada and buried at the Hamilton City Cemetery at the Winer plot. His name was subsequently adopted for the GAR post established in Hamilton.

    Additional Information:

    Born: May 29, 1846

    United States Army Officer. Served as 1st Lieutenant and Regimental Adjutant of the 7th United States Cavalry. A Canadian who served under General Custer and was killed with him at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. He wrote the last message received from General Custerm which was a note to Captain Frederick W. Benteen to bring the pack train up to him quickly. William was born in Mount Pleasant, near Hamilton, in Brant County, Ontario, Canada, the son of Alexander Hardy Cooke and Angeline Augusta Winer Cooke. He attended school in Hamilton, and joined the 24th New York Volunteer Cavalry during the Civil War in 1863 at Niagara Falls, New York. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on January 26, 1864, and 1st Lieutenant on December 14, 1864. He was wounded during the siege of Petersburg, Virginia. Mustered out on June 24, 1865, he immediately joined the 1st Provisional NY Volunteer Cavalry, and applied for a regular army commission. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, 7th US Cavalry, on July 28, 1866, and promoted to 1st Lieutenant on July 31, 1867, at Fort Harker, Kansas. He served as Regimental Adjutant from January 1, 1871 until his death in June 1876. Brevetted Captain, US Volunteer on March 2, 1867, for service at Petersburg, Va in June 1864, brevetted Major, US Volunteers for service at Dinwiddie Court House in March 1865, and brevetted Lieutenant Colonel, US Volunteers for service in the battle of Sayler's Creek in April 1865. He participated in the Washita Campaign of 1868, the 1873 Yellowstone Expedition, and the 1874 Black Hills Expedition. During the Battle of the Little Big Horn, in June 1876, he accompanied Lt. Col. George A. Custer and the Regimental Staff with Custer's column, and was killed with Custer on Last Stand Hill. His body was buried on the battlefield, and exhumed and reburied in June 1877, in the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Cemetery. His body was later exhumed again and reburied in the:

    Hamilton Cemetery
    Ontario, Canada
    Plot: Plot 63, Christ Church Section

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    Diamond, Andrew J. -- Name also given as Hudson J. Diamond. Served with a New York Heavy Artillery unit. Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Doolittle, Charles E. -- Born in Plainsville, Ohio, he served with an infantry unit during the war. Came to Hamilton in 1880 and was influential in developing Hamilton's steel industry. It is not clear how long he remained in Hamilton; he died in Plainsville, Ohio in 1923. [from the Dictionary of Hamilton Biography, vol. 1]

    Doyle, Captain -- A Captain in the Federal army, he is said to have been a former resident of Hamilton and editor of the Hamilton Evening Times. (Hamilton Spectator; August 26, 1863/August 27, 1863/September 1, 1863)

    Fleming, Tom -- Left work in a Hamilton print office to serve in the war.

    Freed, Augustus Toplady -- born in Beamsville, worked for various Canadian and American newspapers prior to the war. Joined a New York regiment and then the 27th Connecticut Infantry. Returned to Hamilton after the war and was on the staff of the Spectator for many years. Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Gaston -- GAR post commander in (at least) 1898.

    Goldsmith, Gustave G. -- A resident of Hamilton and employed with the G.W.R., he left the city after the outbreak of the war and enlisted with the 1st Michigan (3 months). He was killed at the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. (London Free Press; August 6, 1861)

    Holmes, Charles -- was apparently a member of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry.

    Holt, Erastus D. -- Possibly born in Connecticut, but later moved to New York. In about 1858, Holt moved to Hamilton where became a partner in the book firm Campbell, Holt & Angell in Hamilton. Served with the 6th Massachusetts Infantry (3 months) early in the war before joining the 49th New York Infantry as a private. Through the course of the war, he rose in rank, eventually becoming the unit's Lt. Colonel (brevet Colonel). He died shortly before the war's end of wounds sustained in Battle near Petersburg, Virginia.

    Jagoe, J. F. -- 14th Michigan Infantry, Company B. Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Jolley -- He was the son of James Jolley, a harness-maker, who supposedly rose to the rank of Colonel during the war, and according to the Hamilton Spectator from May 30, 1917 "is still living in the western states."

    Kappele, Daniel -- A native of Germany, he had emigrated to the United States, settling in New York State. In 1862, he enlisted with the 160th New York Infantry and served until the end of the war witout injury. Sometime after the war, he moved to Hamilton where he found employment at Sanford Manufacturing Co., and was a prominent member of the local German community. He was also for many years commander of the local G.A.R. post. He died on August 1, 1915.

    Law, James -- His obituary appears in the January 13, 1863 Hamilton Spectator. It states that he left Hamilton a year prior to the war and found himself in New Orleans at the outbreak of the conflict. Served with the CSA for 18 months. Apparently returned to Hamilton after being discharged, dying shortly thereafter.

    Looney, William J. -- Served with the 18th Illinois Infantry.

    Lovell, Joseph N. -- A conductor with the Grand Trunk, elected first commander of the post.

    Maingy, Robert Alexander -- Born Isle of Guernsey. He was married in Ancaster and probably lived there as well as Hamilton and Toronto before moving to the United States. At the time the war began, he was residing in Schuylkil Co., PA; he served with a company during the early months, then in 1862 evidently enlisted with the 118th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D. He is reported to have died in Camp at Falmouth, VA on November 24, 1862 and shortly thereafter his obituary appeared in the Hamilton Spectator that he had died "in camp" at Fredericksburg. Sadly, several months previous his daughter's marriage notice had been published in the Hamilton Spectator; she married on Mr. O'Reilly, who would later be elected mayor of Hamilton. Maingy's death is noted on the following web site:

    Mallory, William--born c. 1825 in North Carolina into slavery, in 1859 he managed to escape to Canada and settled in Hamilton. He states in his book Old Plantation Days that when war began he returned to the United States, enlisted, and fought in the Battle of Bull Run (presumably the first battle on July 21, 1861) as a private. He eventually rose to the rank of Colonel--one of the few African-Americans to do so during the war--by the time of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863). Following the war, he returned to Hamilton, purchased property on John Street and established a business there. Despite becoming a respected citizen in Hamilton, Mallory evidently decided to return to the United States as a missionary.

    Mitchell, W. H. -- Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Mottashed, Joseph -- Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Monaghan, Colonel William -- U. S. Consul who came to Hamilton in 1889, and soon after organized the GAR post. He died in Manila on April 13, 1900, a Captain in the U. S. Regular Army. He was born in County Mayo, Ireland and served with an Ohio regiment during the war.

    Nixen, William -- Left work in a Hamilton print office to serve in the war.

    Rankin, Richard -- name appears on the roster of the famous all-Irish 28th Massachusetts Infantry.

    Rawlin, Thomas -- name appears on the roster of the famous all-Irish 28th Massachusetts Infantry.

    Roberts, Albert -- Captain with a Tennessee regiment with the CSA. Appointed U.S. Consul to Hamilton in 1885 and seems to have served in this capacity until 1889 when Colonel Monaghan, who would be instrumental in forming the GAR post, came to the city. He was active in the American newspaper industry. See also (See more below)

    Robertson, John F. -- Buried in Hamilton.

    Ross, L. M. -- Served as a surgeon in the Army of Virginia of the Federal army. (Hamilton Spectator; January 17, 1863)

    Slater, John -- A native of Yorkshire, England, whose residence upon enlistment was Hamilton. Served with the 142nd Illinois Infantry for approximately 100 days, the duration of the unit's existence.

    Smith, Anson E. -- Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Stevens/Stephens, Nelson -- 25th U.S.C.T., Company B. Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Stewart, William -- A native of Kentucky, he had moved to Hamilton prior to the war. In 1861, he, along with a friend, left the city for Cincinnati, Ohio. During the raid by Kirby Smith, Stewart joined a militia unit and was subsequently wounded in battle. He would eventually return to Hamilton, and established an architectural firm.

    Stiff, James -- Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Tomes, William -- 6th U. S. Cavalry, Company M. Buried in Hamilton at the Holy Sepulcher [formerly Rock Bay] Cemetery.

    Townsend, Gilbert -- Probably born in England; his obituary appeared in the December 4, 1862 Hamilton Spectator. He died at Fairfax Court House, Virginia on November 29, 1862 and a funeral was held in Hamilton on December 4.

    Trumbull, George -- 13th New York Infantry, Company F. Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Williams, John -- Name appears on the roster of the 18th United States Colored Troops regiment.

    Williard, Henry H. -- Buried in Hamilton City Cemetery.

    Wilson, George -- A member of the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry, Company H.

    Winer, William D. -- Probably born in Hamilton; educated in Hamilton and attended University of Toronto where he received a medical education. Moved to Chicago where he established a medical practice. Upon outbreak of the war, he joined the 23rd Illinois Infantry ("Irish Brigade") as a surgeon. His death in 1872 or 1873 was as a result of a great fire in Chicago. He was the uncle of William Winer Cooke and is buried in the Hamilton City Cemetery.

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