This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, a key point in the US Civil War. But what kind of meaning does it hold for Canadians? Plenty; though It’s not common knowledge, a number of Canadians fought and distinguished themselves in both the Union and Confederate armies, and the Civil War itself may have been one of the factors pushing Canada toward nationhood. Read through these links for a glimpse of history you may have never learned:
For a crash course in Canada’s role in the Civil War (and vice versa), this Toronto Star article, which also interviews Canadian historian and author John Boyko, is a good first bet.
Sarah Emma Edmonds has quite a tale to tell?and she wrote a book about it. The Canadian woman, born in the Maritimes, joined the Union Army in 1861, disguised as a man. Though her identity wasn’t revealed for two decades, her skills in disguise and deception served her well as a Union spy behind Confederate lines. Her autobiography, Nurse and Spy in the Union Army, is a fascinating historical document and is accessible online through the University of Michigan.
Are you keen to dig a little deeper? The Canada Civil War Association is an online ?Roundtable . . . dedicated to the study of the American Civil War and Canada’s role in the great conflict.? With 700 contributors so far, and everything ranging from historical documents to theories to research to links, there’s a wealth of information for the casual or serious historian.