Civil War remembered

Nick Seebruch

Published on April 3, 2017

The Grays and Blues, Lost Villages Historical Society and Martel & Sons agree to make a monument to Canadian veterans of the American Civil War a reality. Pictured from left-to-right are Stewart Irvine Vice President of the Grays and Blues of Montreal, Robert McLachlan President of Grays and Blues of Montreal, Jim Brownell of the Lost Villages Historical Society, Alan Day Vice President of the Lost Villages Historical Society, Andre Martel of Martel & Sons Inc. and son Julien Martel. Back row: Pierre Hamel of the Grays and Blues of Montreal and Kevil Amelotte, Parks and Recreation officer for South Stormont (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

SOUTH STORMONT, Ontario – The Lost Villages Historical Society, The Grays and Blues of Montreal and Martel & Sons Inc. have collaborated to erect a monument in South Stormont in memory of Canadians who fought in the American Civil War.

The Grays and Blues of Montreal are a Civil War re-enactment organization.

The monument, to be located in The Lost Villages, is scheduled to be dedicated Sept. 17, 2017. Martel & Sons Inc. will be building the monument of black stone imported from India. On Monday, April 3, the three organizations involved signed the paperwork to get the project started.

From 1861 to 1865 approximately 40, 000 Canadians from Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland fought in the American Civil War. Through the course of the conflict, 8, 000 were killed or wounded and 29 Canadians received the Medal of Honor; America's highest award for bravery.

Some of these soldiers were from the counties of Stormont and Glengarry. Not far from the site of the 2015 International Plowing Match in Finch lays the body of William Niblock in Goldfield Cemetery. Niblock fought with the 27th Iowa Volunteers.

"We wanted the monument here very specifically," said Rob McLachlan, President of the Grays and Blues of Montreal. "We are very near the border here, it happened here and people were recruited here."

There were Canadians fighting on both sides in the American Civil War, both for the Union and the Confederates. Some were pressed into service by press gangs operating along the border, but many volunteered, either because they had a connection to the cause, or because they needed the pay.

On Aug. 26, the Lost Villages Historical Society will be holding a Celtic concert at the South Stormont Community Centre to raise money for the monument.