The Civil War and the birth of Canada
Claire Hoy's Canadians in the Civil War
Jan 10, 2005
The tangled common history of Canada and the United States was never more so than during the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865. In Canadians in the Civil War(McArthur; $34.95), journalist Claire Hoy offers a fine historical survey of its effects on Canada. More than 30,000 Canadians fought in the war, mostly for the North, enticed by $200 enlistment bonuses or shanghaied by American recruiters who didn't shy at kidnapping. Some 5,000 died. U.S. draft dodgers -- known as skedaddlers -- fled northward, a century before Vietnam. The North's blockade of Atlantic ports and Confederate refugees -- Montreal's St. Lawrence Hall hotel housed so many that its menu featured mint juleps -- made for rising cross-border tension. The fear that victorious Union forces might march northwards was a key to bringing about Confederation in 1867.