I learned an interesting fact listening to the Civil War podcast while doing the list; Somewhere between 40 and 50 thousand Canadians, or North American British technically, fought in the civil war, with around 7 thousand killed.
First I didn’t know that Canada in 1861 was still a collection of British Colonies, with “Canada” being the generic term we often use to describe the whole area, but the correct term is British North America, consisting of the province of Canada and 7 or 8 others.
One notable Canadian (let’s just use Canadian instead of North American British) who was wounded in Sharpsburg Md, (part of the area where I work) was Calixa Lavallée. Lavallée is the dude that wrote the music for “O Canada” later to become the Canadian national anthem.
Lavallée had moved to Rhode Island, soon joining the 4th Rhode Island volunteers, and was commissioned as a lieutenant.
The vast majority of the Canadian fighters joined the Union army, with a few hundred joining the Confederates.
There’s even a monument in Cornwall Ontario, memorializing those that fought and died.
Anyway I thought it was interesting. People from all over the place joined both sides, the Irish in particular, but I always thought of them as first generation Americans who had already immigrated to the US. While this is true of some of the Canadians, it seems like most of them were still “Canadian” expats and had no intention of becoming Americans.
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