Samuel served in the Fenian Raids! His record states he was part of the 43rd Battalion, which at that time was known as the Carleton Blazers of Bell’s Corners. He was only there for 16 days, and doesn’t seem to be mentioned in any other Carleton Place records for the raids. But it’s still so cool to know he volunteered to fight!
The Carleton Blazers: 1866 to 1875 ( The Carleton Highlanders)
As a regiment, The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Duke of Edinburgh’s Own) traces its history back to the formation of the 43rd Battalion of Infantry in October 1866. This battalion, known locally as the Carleton Blazers, initially had its headquarters in Bell ‘s Corners in Carleton County and incorporated infantry companies located south and west of the City of Ottawa in Bell’s Corners, Goulburn, Huntley, Metcalfe, North Gower, Richmond and, later, others in Manotick and Vernon.
The very first time the 43rd gathered together as a battalion was on July 1, 1867, during the celebrations surrounding the founding of the dominion of Canada. Officers and men from all seven companies (325 personnel in total) travelled to Ottawa for the ceremonies on Parliament Hill. Volunteer militia units and cadet corps were assembled on the hill, performed a feu de joie, marched past the Governor General, and gave three cheers for the new nation.
Three years later, in May 1870, the battalion’s first active service resulted from fears of a Fenian invasion out of the United States. The perceived threat of these Irish-Americans against Canadian territory led to the mobilization of numerous militia units at locations in Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. By May 29 the 43rd Battalion’s headquarters and all nine infantry companies (approximately 400 officers and men) had been transported to Prescott, Ontario, across the river from Ogdensburg, New York. While in garrison the battalion provided sentries, carried out patrols, and stood guard duty at the local drill shed, the artillery stables, the local bank, the town’s wharf, at Fort Wellington, and at Windmill Point. The entire battalion returned to Ottawa on June 4 after the threat had passed without incident.
Unfortunately, the Carleton Blazers were unable to keep up their strength and, on December 3, 1875, the 43rd Battalion was disbanded. This was not an uncommon occurrence, as perhaps as many as two dozen other volunteer militia battalions – most of them based in rural areas – were disbanded between the 1860s and 1890s, victims of the difficulty in maintaining unit cohesion while spread out geographically in rural communities.
Alexander Mowat, Ambrose Bishop, William F. Powell, William Corbett.
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