Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

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Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 07 Sep 2016 21:51

Hi! I have pictures of photos from an album full of identified photos of various members of the Grenadier Guards in Canada (c.1860). I'm working on getting all the photos online this Winter, but I was wondering if anyone would be able to help me with a little possible background to the album. One of the Gren. Guards is the Hon. Charles G.C. Eliot, and it is his album. Some photos show officers in uniform, some show them in cold-weather, snow clothes, some show them in fancy dress and costumes, and some of the wives are pictured. There are some scenery pictures as well, and some identified as Montreal. General Lindsay and his wife are shown in several photos, too.

What would a large group of Grenadier Guards have been doing in Canada? Does anyone know when they would have been stationed there?

Regards,
Sarah
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 07 Sep 2016 22:08

Going through some more of the photos, there are group shots that are titled both 1st and 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. Everything from the General to the Staff Sergeants appear in the different pictures.
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby Redleg56 » 08 Sep 2016 04:27

Hi Sarah:

In November, 1861, the USS San Jacinto intercepted the RMS Trent, a British flagged vessel. A boarding part from the San Jacinto removed two Confederate diplomats, James Mason and John Slidell from the Trent, and brought them back to the United States. Mason and Slidell were on their way to London to attempt official recognition for the Confederate States Government from Great Britain.

Naturally, tensions arose between both the US and British governments.

The incident was resolved through diplomatic means, but in the meantime a large number of reinforcements were sent to Canada by the War Office. The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, and the Second Battalion Scots Fusilier Guards were two of these units. I believe they arrived in Canada in late 1861/early 1862, and returned to Great Britain in 1864. The men of the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards may have been attached to the 1st to bring that battalion up to full strength.

Looking forward to the photos!

Mike
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby Waggoner » 08 Sep 2016 11:37

Sarah,

Google the "Trent Affair" and you will find more about this. The American government, not wanting a second war on their hands, defuzed the crisis by releasing the Confederate diplomats. The increased troop strength in British North America helped with the defence against the Fenians in 1866.

All the best,

Gary
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 08 Sep 2016 13:06

Well, thanks so much! This is fabulous information and something that I did not know about. Being in the US, the American Civil War is of great interest. In fact, being the history of the Confederacy is even more interesting, as I've seen the Confederate "White House" and the big Museum in Richmond, Virginia. :)

These albums belonged to Charles GC Eliot, who was the youngest son of Edward Granville Eliot, 3rd Earl of St. Germans. What is interesting about this is, Charles and his father were part of the small group that accompanied the Prince of Wales on his official visit to Boston in 1860. Charles' older brother, William GC Eliot was the Acting Secretary of Legation at Washington from 1863-1864. He had a photo of his own that shows a group of men (including himself) and marked it "H Bell's Mission, Washington". I'm assuming that was taken around this time, but I'm still working on that one. So, it seems that this family was quite involved in missions associated with US politics during this period.

I am now even more inspired to work on the albums and get them online. I'll be sure to post the link to that when they are finished. In the meantime, if anyone has any questions or would like to know if a certain person is included, don't hesitate to ask. I'm just starting to work with these pictures, so it's all new to me!

Regards,
Sarah
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby Redleg56 » 08 Sep 2016 16:54

You are welcome Sarah!

You are correct. The "Trent Affair" is not well known here in the US. I have conducted public programs on the American Civil War, and when I mention the "Trent Affair" very few people in the audience know what transpired, and what could have resulted if war had broken out between the US and Great Britain. As Gary has stated, the US Government could not afford to fight a full scale war with both the Confederacy and Great Britain. A large number of British troops were sent to reinforce the garrison already in Canada, and the Canadian Militia was expanded. A conflict would have resulted in a "two front" war for the Union. British Regulars and Canadian Militia in the North, and Confederate forces in the South.

Another factor that comes into play is the Royal Navy. If a war had broken out between the Union and Great Britain that early in the conflict, the Royal Navy would have been able to break the Union blockade of Southern ports without much difficulty, Both the Union Army, as well as the Navy were still in the process of mobilizing at this time. Northern ports would have been vulnerable to attack by the Royal Navy, to include landings by the Royal Marines as had occurred during the War of 1812. Both the Union Army and the Navy were expanding rapidly, but the men had to be equipped and trained. This included many of the Officers, including those in the higher ranks. The British Army and Royal Navy, however had just fought major conflicts in both the Crimea and India. Men of both Services were not only well trained, but had seen fairly recent active service. The only large group of men in the Union forces who had seen active service were the Regulars (numbering only 16,000) who had fought in Mexico and against the Indians on the frontier. A small number of Volunteers who were part of the expansion had also served in Mexico and on the frontier. But the majority of the recently enlisted troops had not.

An interesting subject when one thinks about what may have happened....

Mike
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 13 Sep 2016 14:32

All of that info is most interesting. Thanks!

I've been going over the albums some more, and it appears that my Eliot gent was in Canada until 1865. Did the Grenadier Guards stay the whole length of the Civil War?

I was able to work on coding a web page that will work for getting the albums online. Now it is time to start getting the images ready and the photos identified and marked. I'll be sure to post a link once they are available.

Regards,
Sarah
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby Redleg56 » 13 Sep 2016 16:29

Hi Sarah:

I have the Grenadiers leaving Canada in 1864. Maybe my information is incorrect, or some elements of the Regiment were still in Canada in 1865.

It may also be possible that Charles Eliot remained in Canada on detached service from his Regiment. Staff duties maybe?

Looking forward to the photos!

Mike
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 13 Sep 2016 22:08

Redleg56 wrote:Hi Sarah:

I have the Grenadiers leaving Canada in 1864. Maybe my information is incorrect, or some elements of the Regiment were still in Canada in 1865.

It may also be possible that Charles Eliot remained in Canada on detached service from his Regiment. Staff duties maybe?

Looking forward to the photos!

Mike


Absolutely right that he may just have remained in Canada. In fact, I'll do some research on that. Seeing these albums of his were the first realization that I had that he even served in the Grenadier Guards. He would go back to England and serve for decades as the personal equerry to Prince Christian of Schleswig Holstein. I'm not sure when Eliot quit the Grenadier Guards, so I'll see what I can find out . . . and that might make things a bit more clear. I'll be sure to post an update.

Sarah
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 13 Sep 2016 22:56

Since posting that last response, I have found that Charles Eliot was in the Grenadier Guards as follows:

Ensign & Lieutenant --- 31 Dec 1858
Captain --- 03 Oct 1862
Retired --- 1868

Still have not checked the albums for any clues as to why he was still in Canada in 1865. Will post on that later. :)

Sarah
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby colsjt65 » 14 Sep 2016 00:47

I have come across the following lists-
The following units were in British North America:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
STATIONS OF THE BRITISH ARMY - Corrected up to the 1st June, 1864. [From the "United Service Magazine."]

Canada-
3rd bat. Military Train; 1st bat. Grenadier Guards; 2nd bat. Scots Fusilier Guards; 1st bat. 16th; 1st bat. 17th; 30th; 47th; 4th bat. 60th; 62nd; 63rd; 1st bat. Rifle Brigade

New Brunswick-
1st bat. 15th

Nova Scotia-
2nd bat. 16th; 2nd bat. 17th;

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
STATIONS OF THE BRITISH ARMY - Corrected up to the 5 August, 1864

Canada-
3rd bat. Military Train (Montreal - ordered home); 1st bat. Grenadier Guards (Montreal - ordered home); 2nd bat. Scots Fusilier Guards (ordered home); 1st bat. 16th; 1st bat. 17th; 1st bat. 25th; 30th; 47th; 4th bat. 60th; 62nd; 63rd; 1st bat. Rifle Brigade

New Brunswick-
1st bat. 15th

Nova Scotia-
2nd bat. 16th; 2nd bat. 17th;

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

STATIONS OF THE BRITISH ARMY - Corrected up to the 1st October, 1864.
(The units 'missing' from the previous list were back in the UK)

Canada-
1st bat. 16th (Toronto); 1st bat. 17th (Quebec); 1st bat. 25th (Quebec); 30th (Montreal); 47th (Kingston); 4th bat. 60th (Montreal); 63rd (Hamilton); 1st bat. Rifle Brigade (Montreal)

New Brunswick-
1st bat. 15th

Nova Scotia-
2nd bat. 16th (Halifax); 2nd bat. 17th (Halifax);

>>>>>>>>>>>
STATIONS OF THE BRITISH ARMY - Corrected up to the 1st December, 1864.

Canada-
1st bat. 16th (Toronto); 1st bat. 17th (Quebec); 1st bat. 25th (Quebec); 30th (Montreal); 47th; 4th bat. 60th (Montreal); 63rd (Hamilton); 1st bat. Rifle Brigade (Montreal)

New Brunswick-
1st bat. 15th

Nova Scotia-
2nd bat. 16th (Halifax); 2nd bat. 17th (Halifax);
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby Redleg56 » 14 Sep 2016 01:31

So we have confirmation that the 1st Grenadiers returned to their home station in 1864.

Eliot remained in Canada, and if he was on some form of detached service, it must have been noted somewhere in the Regimental orders. Maybe one of the on line gazettes would help, or the National Archives?

Mike
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby Waggoner » 14 Sep 2016 12:10

Many editions of the Officers' Lists are also available on-line. Searching the ones for the years in question should enable you to track his movements.

All the best,

Gary
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 14 Sep 2016 13:52

Wow! That's some great info that you have all found. The Army Service lists certainly are a great help and should mean that Eliot should not appear in Canada after August 1864. I will have a look for the Officers' Lists and see if anything shows up for him. Also, I'll start going through some of the different albums, as there turn out to be a few miscellaneous shots stuck in different books. Thanks! I'll post an update soon . . .

Sarah
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Re: Grenadier Guards in Canada c. 1860?

Postby jf42 » 14 Sep 2016 21:16

Sarh, have you attempted contact with the Eliot family who are still at Port Eliot, St Germans? Not that it would necessarily be a straightforward process, their being one of the more unconventional branches of the aristocracy.
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