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Ozzy

Lee surrenders.

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One hundred fifty years ago, John Wilkes Booth was finalizing plans to solve his Lincoln problem. In the Eastern Theatre, serious consideration was being given, by Southern leaders, to continuing the struggle as a campaign of irregular warfare. In the West, the Mobile Campaign involved determined resistance to the end; and Texas and Kirby Smith was still not subjugated. In Missouri, years of irregular warfare bled over into activities conducted by brothers with the last name of 'James.' 

 

And on the other side of the world, a Confederate Raider was headed for the North Pacific...

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-25/australias-link-to-american-civil-war-remembered/6044832

 

 

Ozzy

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Here is an additional article, with one of the clearest pictures to be found of CSS Shenandoah, at Melbourne's Williamstown Dockyard, undergoing repairs. (There are about five photographs, and perhaps two dozen period drawings of the Shenandoah/Sea King.)

 

http://www.thecitizen.org.au/features/melbournes-confederate-connection-150-years     (Photograph attributed to Melbourne Age newspaper.)

 

 

Ozzy

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Shameless plug for ANZAC Day

 

Australia celebrates a special ANZAC Day on Saturday, April 25th, commemorating 100 years since Commonwealth Forces landed on exposed beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula and launched an assault, in an effort to knock German ally Ottoman Empire (Turkey) out of the 'War to end all Wars.'  A National Day of Remembrance, there will be dawn services and military parades in all the major cities (and many smaller centers): honouring past service and sacrifice, and acknowledging present-day members of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

 

Lest we forget...

 

Ozzy

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Expanding on the 1865 visit of CSS Shenandoah...

 

During weeks of laying over at Williamstown Dockyard, completing repairs, members of the crew of Shenandoah hosted tours of their ship, and were 'special guest' at dinners and functions in the City of Melbourne.

 

One unusual invitation was offered by the City of Ballarat, to a 'Buccaneer's Ball.'  And the officers of CSS Shenandoah accepted, riding the train forty miles north to the bustling gold mining centre (even venturing to a depth of 400 feet in one of the mines.) That evening, they attended the Ball at Craig's Hotel (still in existence in 2015), partying until the wee hours of morning. Everyone agreed the function was 'a success.'

 

What really makes the visit to Ballarat noteworthy: eleven years earlier, a rebellion was attempted by disenchanted miners, and put down by Government troops, in the heart of the city. Remembered as 'Eureka Stockade,' it was as close as Australians came to a War of Independence. (I've often wondered if Shenandoah recruited any 'new crew members' from the 'disenchanted miners' of Ballarat.)

 

 

Ozzy

 

 

Source:  Sea of Gray: the around-the-world odyssey of Confederate Raider Shenandoah, by Tom Chaffin; Hill & Wang, New York, 2006.

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More to the Story... 

As suggested in my 24 APR 2015 post, the information IRT George P. Canning had to be verified. Enough information has come to light that it is now possible to piece together Sergeant Canning's story:

Born at the Port of London, UK in 1837 to parents of French ancestry, George Boutrinne Canning spent his formative years in vicinity of London, but got caught up in Gold Fever and joined the rush (with at least one other family member) to Victoria, Australia in the early 1850's. Although the brother (Marinus Canning) appears to have struck it rich and remained in The Land of Promise, Down Under, George returned to Europe and established himself in France. He was married and had two children by 1860; but a year later, he deserted his family in Paris and sailed for America, arriving at New Orleans and settling in Mississippi just as the Secession Crisis was ramping up.

Enlisted into the 1st Mississippi Cavalry, Private Canning -- with his ability to speak fluent French and English, and his world travels -- may have impressed Major General Leonidas Polk that he was an educated man. Canning was incorporated on the General's staff (as courier or escort) in time for the April 6th Battle of Shiloh. At some point during Day One or Day Two, Private Canning was shot through the torso, with the minie ball passing through one lung. Though not expected to live, Canning was hauled off to a Hospital... and, somehow, managed to rally, and recovered sufficiently to be released from Hospital (but not well enough to return to duty as cavalryman.) George Canning was discharged a month or two after Shiloh... and then disappeared from the record.

He next turned up in Liverpool, UK in October 1864 as member of a crew sent to take possession of the Screw Steamer, Sea King, 1200 tons, recently purchased "by an international concern." By the middle of October, Sea King set sail for Bombay "to bring back a cargo," but on October 19th, well south of English waters, the vessel's name was changed to Shenandoah, powerful guns were placed, and the rest is history... almost. Sailing east around the globe, the CSS Shenandoah took 38 prizes (most scuttled or burned), made a noted stop in Australia in JAN/FEB 1865, and destroyed the American Whaling Fleet... after the Civil War had ended. Shenandoah continued her around the world voyage and returned to Liverpool in November 1865 -- but George Canning (who had acted during the cruise as Sergeant of Marines) was no longer aboard. There is dispute whether Sergeant Canning suffered ill health brought on from complications of his Shiloh wound, died, and was buried at sea, just a few days out from Liverpool; or whether he used "ill health from an old battle wound" as excuse to be put into a small boat and make his way to France. Either way -- buried at sea, or died in Paris -- there is no record of George Canning, Shiloh Veteran, after 1865.

Ozzy

 

References:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSS_Shenandoah  

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/australian-confederates-by-terry-smyth-our-rebels-in-the-american-civil-war-20150917-gjozpa.html  

http://www.acwv.info/1-files-veterans/C/canning-george/canning-george.htm

Australian Confederates (2015) by Terry Smyth

History of Craig's Royal Hotel, Ballarat, Victoria (established 1853)

 

 

 

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Drive, Hike Climb Report for Ballarat, Victoria

Easter Weekend 2018

My daughter recently moved to Victoria, so my wife and I drove eight hours last weekend to pay her a visit. After being given a tour of the local sites near Bendigo, the next morning, my daughter surprised me: "Dad, how would you like to go to Ballarat?" 

"And visit THE Hotel?" I asked.

"Of course."

Ninety minutes later, driving south through hills that resemble the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, we arrived in the historic mining community, where the gold that built Melbourne was (and still is) dug out of the ground. Brief stop at the Botanic Gardens (to keep all members of the tour happy)  http://www.travelvictoria.com.au/ballarat/

We made our way to... (I'd forgotten the name of the Hotel. But something told me "Royal Oak," so we followed the mechanical voice on the dash):

Royal Oak.jpg  Ozzy in Ballarat.

The outside gave every appearance of a typical Aussie pub;

 we went inside, and asked the publican and his partner a few questions:

Royal Oak bar.jpg  Front Bar, Royal Oak, Ballarat.

Found out, the Royal Oak was built in 1866... so could not be the correct Hotel.

Luckily, John and Laura were familiar with the story of CSS Shenandoah, and the visit of the crew to Ballarat in February 1865.

After fortifying ourselves for the trek ahead, we made our way to the correct destination:

Craig's Hotel.jpg  Ozzy and daughter, at Craig's Royal Hotel.

In the above photo, the Second Floor (just behind the pillars) is the place of interest.

Just inside the Main Entrance (canopy to left) is this plaque of "Memorable Visitors"

Waddell.jpg  Waddell and his crew stayed overnight.

After a visit to the Concierge (and receiving an impressive information packet) 

we made our way upstairs:

Stairway.jpg  Main Stairway of Craig's Royal Hotel.

Captain Waddell, Confederate Marine Sergeant Canning (Shiloh Veteran), and other crew members would have used these stairs.

ballroom 1.jpg  The Ballroom. Scene of the "Buccaneer's Ball" of 1865.

In February 1865, this hall on the Second Floor (behind pillars in earlier photo) was cleared for 

Captain Waddell, his crew, and invited guests. (Will include a sketch, below, that captures the

appearance of this room in 1865.) Click, and scroll down.

http://emergingcivilwar.com/2015/02/20/rebels-down-under-2/  

Another view from inside the Ballroom:

http://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com.au/2016/06/colonial-gold-rush-architecture-craigs.html  (Scroll down.)

 

Now that you've become familiar with Ballarat, and Craig's Hotel... there is more to the story. The question to be asked: "Why did the crew of Shenandoah go through the effort to travel forty miles by rail -- away from their ship (on the ways at Williamstown Docks) -- to visit a gold mining town?"

The answer is two-fold: it was hoped crew members could be recruited from the many Southern-Born Americans working in the goldfields. And, George Canning had a connection to Ballarat; and his brother (Marinus Canning, who was a man of wealth and power in Victoria) arranged to meet George, and the crew of Shenandoah, there. It is unknown how many miners "went South" when Waddell and his crew returned to Melbourne. But, forty-two men, most using forged names, were found to have secreted themselves aboard (and made their presence known, once Shenandoah was well clear of Melbourne, on the open ocean) and were sworn in to Confederate service.

From Melbourne, CSS Shenandoah cruised between Victoria and Tasmania, up the east coast of Australia, visited the Kingdom of Pohnpei (and received Official Recognition from the King (Nananierikie) of the Confederate States of America ) and pressed north, eventually corralling the New England Whaling Fleet in vicinity of Aleutian Islands... and sank every ship. A month or two later, upon receiving proof that the Confederate States of America was no more, Waddell sailed the Shenandoah around Cape Horn, made his way to Liverpool, and surrendered his ship (to British Naval authority) in November 1865. CSS Shenandoah was the last significant command to surrender.

Cheers

Ozzy

 

Additional Reading:  http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2011/02/10/3135066.htm   Confederates in Ballarat (from ABC Radio)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pohnpei  Kingdom of Pohnpei and visit of CSS Shenandoah

 

 

 

 

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George Baltriune Canning.

On a whim, tried different spellings of the full name of Confederate Marine Sergeant Canning (his middle name has at least a dozen "historical spellings," making this man difficult to track.) And was surprised to find an entry for Shiloh Veteran George P. Canning at find-a-grave. The Canning Family appears to have compiled this entry: biographical details are a bit in error (mostly out of sequence) but the main elements associated with Canning's story are included. Most important: a photograph.

Persistence pays...

Ozzy

Reference:  http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/42680895  George P. Canning at find-a-grave

N.B.  There is "interest" in the reason Sergeant Canning spelled his name George P. Canning, as opposed to "George B. Canning" ...either an early historian copied his details incorrectly. Or Canning, himself, used the "middle initial - P" as a means of deterring "unwanted attention" IRT his true identity. Just one of those mysteries.

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, mona said:

did i miss something or did find a grave page not have a picture of his grave?

 

Find a Grave lists his burial & plot as Unknown at the bottom, due to the burial at sea reference in the earlier text, I would assume.

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well... call be stupid...but yes i bet that would be hard to do...thanks for catching my brainless comment.

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No stupid questions, except those that are not asked  :)

Some of the mysteries surrounding George Canning:

  • Where was he, from late 1862 until September 1864?
  • Did he strike it rich with his brother in Australia?
  • Was he buried at sea? Or did he die in France? (There is no record of this man after November 1865.)

The relevance of this last question relates to thousands of Civil War participants -- both sides -- who died during the war "in some distant field, location unknown." Many families could not bear their Father, Husband or Brother not having a marker of some kind, so many of the Civil War headstones to be found in local, non-military cemeteries are best described as a cenotaph (a memorial, with the body located elsewhere.) Just a site that could be visited, and maybe leave flowers.

From personal experience  http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11853369/george-m.-mckinnis  

Ozzy

 

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ozzy---so your ancestor died somewhere in 1866 and this is a memorial to his life.but i cant read the tall stone..what does it say?

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Mona

Thank you for your interest in George McKinnis; and for noticing "the other memorial" obelisk.

11853369_133398456489.jpg  Mckinnis Memorial (back side.)

Before the War Department marker arrived (sometime around 1900) the family had George McKinnis' details scribed onto the back of this pre-existing obelisk, which read: "George McKinnis -- member of Co.H -- 12th Iowa -- Vol. Inf. Regt. -- died at Memphis -- Jan. 13, 1866 -- Aged 23 years, and 20 days."

Pre-existing, because the obelisk was raised for George's 12-year-old brother, James, who died 30 January 1864 (details on front.) The Platt Cemetery was a "Pioneer Graveyard" established on John Platt's homestead; the death of a member of the Platt Family resulted in her burial there in 1857. Afterwards, other members of the local community asked permission to make use of the graveyard, including my Clendenin branch (and associated families of Carr, Sloan, Grant and McKinnis.)

So, Corporal George McKinnis actually has two memorials (cenotaphs) in Platt Cemetery, Delaware County, Iowa. And, there is more to his story...

After surviving six months confinement in southern prisons (along with cousins Squire Fishel and Thomas Clendenin) after surrender of 12th Iowa in Hell's Hollow, George rejoined the regiment at Benton Barracks, and served out the rest of the war with the 12th Iowa (last action in vicinity of Mobile Bay, April 1865.) Then, became part of the "Army of Occupation," to make sure the South did not Rise Again. But, sometime in January 1866, something happened to Corporal McKinnis, and he never returned home. The Official Army Records indicate he "mustered out with the 12th Iowa Regiment on 20 JAN 1866," but there are indications he had actually died a few days before that muster-out (misadventure, suicide, disease... no one knows for certain.) But, as indicated on the cenotaphs in Platt Cemetery, Iowa, George McKinnis died January 13th, 1866. And the family has no idea where he is buried.

Just another Civil War mystery...

Ozzy

 

 

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Mona

I would share more facts, if I had them. But, these two markers in Platt Cemetery, and Army Records (with his name mispelled George McKimmons; and muster out recorded as January 20th 1866) are pretty much the limit of tangible evidence. On reflection, the story reminds me of the experience of Major D. W. Reed (Father of Shiloh NMP) who spent over a dozen years, searching for the grave of his brother, Milton. Eventually, Corporal Milton Reed's grave was found in Mississippi (the body having been moved from Tennessee.) And, when David Reed applied for an Army-supplied headstone, to mark the grave in Corinth National Cemetery, Milton Reed's name was mispelled (and still is, to this day.) 

Nothing simple and straightforward about Civil War history...

Ozzy

 

 

 

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