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    Default US Civil War Child In Canada

    Read on and you'll understand.

    Meet Cowichan’s rare U.S. Civil War treasure

    Cowichan’s David Chase, 99, with portrait of his Civil War veteran father Albert Stillman Chase discharged from U.S. Army service in 1865.
    Peter W. Rusland/file
    Text By Peter Rusland - Cowichan News Leader and Pictorial

    Published: October 27, 2009 10:00 AM
    Updated: October 27, 2009 3:39 PM

    Many would consider Cowichan’s David Chase notable for the simple fact he will be turning 100 next year.

    He cemented his newsworthiness in July by saving Mount Tzouhalem from development by selling his eco-jewel to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

    But the News Leader Pictorial can confirm the long-retired businessman has one more remarkable claim to fame.

    He’s believed to be one of just two surviving children of Union veterans of the U.S. Civil War in all of Canada.

    For those not up on American history, consider the Civil War ended nearly 150 years ago, then do the math.

    “The majority of people today do not think there are any surviving children of veterans of the war of 1861-65,” Civil War expert Michael Musick said.

    “They generally do not take into account the large number of men who served, the considerable number who enlisted at a very young age, the great longevity of some of these, the fact some aged veterans married very young women … and the remarkable longevity of some of (their) children.”

    Chase is a textbook example.

    He still has the papers showing his father, Albert Stillman Chase, was discharged in Wisconsin on May 10, 1865 at age 19 from the 6th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, three years after enlisting.

    Following the war, Albert became a successful businessman who was involved with the Rockefeller family in the Duluth, Missabe and Northern Railway Company.

    He was 62 when he married outgoing 28-year-old Minnie Scott Douglas in Minnesota, two years before David was born.

    Musick, a retired Civil War expert from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, found Albert’s discharge online, confirming David’s long-held belief.

    “I’ll be darned; that sure is rare,” Chase said after hearing news of his status last week.

    Chase remembers little of his father whom he believes died at age 78 in Glendale, California.

    Relations with neighbours in Minnesota derailed after Albert married the much-younger Minnie, said David, so the family moved to Glendale when David was two.

    “My father was a big-time businessman but we weren’t allowed to hang around in his office,” Chase said. “We were more attached to our mother.”

    He believes a teenage Albert had left farming to join the war effort. He didn’t talk much about his war exploits but David said his dad wasn’t wounded.

    “I don’t think he was involved in any deadly combat. He was in the Dakotas fighting Indians so he was away from all the battles down south.”

    The senselessness of the Civil War left David cold after studying about the homeland carnage.

    “It was a horrible sacrifice of friends. It was vengeance; they hated each other’s guts,” he said of northern Yankees versus southern Confederates.

    “Slavery is what the cause boiled down to, it was a helluva thing,” he said.

    Despite his solid claim, David’s name is not on that current list of 47 surviving children of Union vets compiled under an act of Congress by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

    The lone Canuck listed is New Brunswick’s Arthur Clark whose dad, Edwin Clark, served aboard the USS Maria A. Wood.

    Musick suggested the oversight is understandable, given the lengthy time period, gaps in record keeping and the fact veterans and their families scattered across the globe.

    He said a hired researcher might be the best way to weave through the complex process and add David’s name to the list.

    David admitted he’d like the record set straight by his family.

    “I hope this is all true; as far as I know it is,” he said.

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    Malahat, this was more common than folks realize.

    After the war (particularly during the great depression), it wasn't uncommon for young southern women to marry very old confederate veterans. Southern states provided pensions to CSA vets and times were hard.

    The last two confederate widows have passed in the last 5 years. One was in Alabama, the other in either NC or SC. The Alabama lady had a son with her CSA vet husband, he's still alive and living in Alabama.

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    According to the article, the current list holds only approx 150 some names of direct ancestors, and dang few of them immigrated to Canada.
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