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Private Neil McNicol, 42nd Regiment, War of the American
Private Neil McNicol served in the British Highland Regiment called the 42nd Regiment of Foot, or as more popularly known, the Black Watch. He saw serve in North America during the War of American Revolution. At the conclusion of the war, 181 members of this regiment were disbanded in North America and most took up land in a regimental block along the Nashwaak River (See entry for York County). However, for some unknown reason, Private McNicol settled at Letete, raised thirteen children and died in 1844 at the age of 104 years.
Joe’s Point Blockhouse
Fairmount Algonquin Golf Course, Joe’s Point, St Andrews
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Gubbins was a British regular officer responsible for inspecting annually the New Brunswick militia. During his inspection in 1811, he expressed the view that St. Andrews was a port "of the first importance” and recommended that it be fortified. Local citizens took up the suggestion and undertook to build three new blockhouses and to refurbish Fort Tipperary at their own expense. Joe’s Point Blockhouse was one of the three new blockhouses. It was located on the St Croix River, opposite Robbinston, Maine and consisted of a blockhouse, armed with a 4 pounder gun on the second storey, and accommodation for 30 men. In front of the blockhouse, a 24-pound cannon was mounted, capable of firing upon the American shore. In addition to being garrisoned during the War of 1812, it was manned during the Fenian crisis of 1866. It was demolished to make way for the golf course.
Nineteenth Century 24 Pounder Cannons
Market Square, St. Andrews
The tops of the barrels of the 24 pound cannons overlooking the harbour in Market Square have the mongram of King George III. All British cannons manufactured between 1760 and 1820 carry this emblem. On the left trunnions are found the initials “WC,” which indicates that these cannons were made in the Waller Cannon Factory in Rotherham, England. These cannons were once located at the West Blockhouse, now called the St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site. During restoration of the blockhouse in 1967, they were placed in front of Hall Town, and later moved to their current location.
19th Century British Artillery Battery Position
A British artillery battery was established near Letang to control the passage into the harbour late in the eighteenth century.
of the War of 1812
In 1813, Colonel George Anderson established a British Garrison at Dipper Harbour. He built a large two-storey house with a lookout tower on the roof. It was 30 feet by 40 feet, built of hewn timbers, with four rooms on each floor and each room with a fireplace. In the basement was the kitchen, a large bake oven and the dinning room. The last visual trace of this building disappeared in 1975 with the construction of a modern restaurant.
Wreck of HMS Plumper
Graves of American Civil War Veterans
There are buried in the St. Stephen Rural Cemetery five veterans of the American Civil War. They are as follows:
1. Brigadier General John Curtis Caldwell served with the Union Forces in the Army of the Potomac. Originally from Vermont, he was principal of Washington Academy in East Machias, Maine, when the Civil War commenced. He promptly enlisted and was selected the colonel of the 11 th Maine Regiment. He saw action during the Peninsula Campaign, at Antietem, was wounded while commanding the First Brigade of the First Division of the Second Corps at Fredericksburg, and fought at Chancellorsville. He was promoted to command the First Division of the Second Corps shortly prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, where his command was heavily engaged in the struggle around the Wheatfield. Caldwell was one of eight generals honoured by being selected to accompany President Abraham Lincoln's body on its journey to Springfield, Illinois following his assassination. After the war Curtis became a lawyer, state senator, and diplomat. His daughter Harriet married into the Munchie family and lived in St. Stephen. The general's wife died in St. Stephen while visiting her daughter and was buried in the Murchie family plot in the St Stephen Rural Cemetery. The general died a year later in Machias and was buried next to his wife. An American veteran's marker stands beside his family grave stone.
2. With his Christian names reminiscent of a proud British naval heritage, Horatio Nelson Young served in the United States Navy during American Civil War. He won the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military honour awarded by the United States. Young was born in St. Stephen in 1843. He was serving on board USS Lehigh in Charleston Harbour on November 16, 1863, when his ship ran aground and came under heavy rebel fire from Fort Moultrie. Although several previous attempts had failed, Young successfully carried a line in a small open boat under heavy fire from the Lehigh to USS Nahant. The Nahant then pulled the Lehigh free and to safety.
3. Private Robert Linton enlisted in Belfast, Maine, at the age of 21 with”G” Company of the 16 th Maine Regiment. He transferred to the 20 th Maine Regiment on June 5, 1865 and was honourably discharged later in the year.
4. Private James H. Smith was born in St. Stephen and was a 20 year old painter when he enlisted on November 16, 1861 in Calais with “K” Company of the 12 th Maine Regiment. He served for three years and was honourably discharged in Portland, Maine, on December 7, 1864. He died in 1910.
5. Private Lorenzo Stanhope was born in 1845 in Robbinston, Maine and enlisted there on October 10, 1862. He served with “E” Company of the 28th Maine Regiment. After the war he returned to work as a stone cutter in Calais. He died in Oak Bay, Charlotte County, in 1914. An iron Grand Army of the Republic marker stands by his grave.
Fortified School House
The reef on the western side of St Andrews’ harbour is named for HMS Niger. This British warship was a 1,072 ton steam corvette with a crew of 160 and armed with thirteen guns. HMS Niger was part of the British North American and West Indies Squadron despatched in the spring of 1866 to the Passamaquoddy Bay in response to the Fenian crisis. With the departure of the Fenians from the Maine/New Brunswick border, on 15 June 1866, HMS Niger was sent to evacuate the militiamen stationed at the military outpost on Indian Island. On her return trip with the soldiers onboard, while entering St Andrews’ harbour, she ran aground on a reef. Although no damage was done and she floated free on the next tide, much to the embarrassment of the ship’s captain, the reef has been called the Niger Reef ever since. For more information on the Fenian Crisis of 1866 see “Turning Back the Fenians” by Robert L. Dallison.
Sinking of the Dornfontein in World War One
On2 August 1918 the four-masted sailing ship Dornfontein was burnt and sank by German submarine U-156. The Dornfontein had been built in Saint John and had its maiden voyage only two days earlier. This enemy action caused considerable concern throughout the region.
William Henry Metcalfe VC, MM
Metcalfe was an American, born on 29 January 1894 in Waite, Maine. Against his mother’s wishes, he crossed the border to enlist in the Canadian Army in the First World War. He served with the 16th Battalion (The Canadian Scottish). At Arras on 2 September 1918, when the right flank of the battalion was held up, Metcalfe rushed forward under intense machine gun fire to a passing tank. With his signal flag he walked in front of the tank directing it along the trench under a hail of bullets and bombs. The German strong point was overcome and a critical situation restored. A witness to the action said “... we found seventeen German machine guns in the same place, and all of them had been well used. How Metcalfe escaped being shot to pieces has always been a wonder to me.” Previously Metcalfe had won the Military Medal. His VC is held in the Canadian Scottish Museum in Victoria, BC. After the war he returned to his native Maine and worked as an automobile mechanic. Metcalfe is buried in Eastport, Maine, overlooking Deer Island, New Brunswick. His grave is marked by a British Commonwealth grave marker emblazoned with the Victoria Cross.
Army Training Centre
at Camp Utopia
A few miles away from the Pennfield Ridge Air Station army construction crews arrived in July of 1942 to begin construction of Camp Utopia, the largest military facility in New Brunswick at the time. Ground assault troops began training there in 1943, preparing for the invasions of Italy and northwest Europe. There was a supply depot, commissary (including bake shop), two cook houses of 500 men capacity, drill hall, canteen, auxiliary service hut, barber shop, modern dental clinic, fire station, and a new modern hospital. In the outside training area: 2 rifle ranges, a model village (Ortona), a field firing range, a battle inoculation range, 2 Sten gun ranges (one for classification and one for woods fighting), PIAT ranges (both for inert and H.E. bombs), a modern grenade range equipped with Hobbe glass, a six pounder range, skeet range, 2 and 3 inch mortar ranges, a cross-country obstacle course, bayonet assault course, mine fields and mines and bobby trap hut with moascar stalks. Over 300 officers and 12,000 rank and file had passed through the unit by its official closing on April 30, 1946. After 1946 the camp was used mainly as a summer camp until 1957. For example: The 8th Hussars, accompanied by their mascot Prince Louise, conducted their annual summer camp at Camp Utopia in 1954.
Grave of Royal Air Force Sergeant Thomas Roland Hutchings
Officer Cadet James
James Richardson enlisted in the Carleton and York Regiment in Woodstock on 24 February 1940. He was transferred to the North Shore Regiment, promoted sergeant and embarked for Great Britain. He was selected for officer cadet training and was returned Canada. He died tragically in a training accident by drowning in the Rideau Canal in Ottawa on July 2nd, 1942. He was buried in his home town. For more details see Canadian Military History Volume #11, Winter 2002.
World War Two Liberty Ship Hada County
The Liberty Ship SS Hada County was built in 1921
in the USA and registered in Norway. It was crewed by Norwegians on route
from Wales in Great Britain to Saint John with a load of coal, when it
floundered on Little Brazil Shoal off Grand Manan on December 6th, 1941.
The crew survived.