War of 1812 Veteran remembered at Gallingertown

 

Along a quiet stretch of County Road 18, lies the St. George’s Anglican Cemetery, where Saturday, descendants of the Gallinger family, local citizens, members of the SD&G Highlanders and local historians gathered to honour George Gallinger Jr., a War of 1812 Veteran whose remains lie there.

According to the day’s program, George Gallinger Jr. was born on October 7, 1788, in Osnabruck Township to George and Margaret Gallinger. He was the youngest of eight siblings. 

George’s father, George Sr. a United Empire Loyalist, had served in the Kings Royal Regiment of New York, during the American Revolution. 

At the conclusion of the war, the Gallinger family settled into the Stormont County of Upper Canada with their earned land grants. 

When conflict arose from the Americans once more in 1812, both George Sr. and Jr. stepped up to do their duty. They joined the ranks of the 1st Regiment Stormont Militia, commanded by Captain Angus Fraser wanting to defend their new home and farmlands. They wore civilian clothing and used old American Revolution weapons. 

Members of the Stormont Militia were present at the Battle of Ogdensburg in February 1813, Salmon River raid in 1814, as well as the Skirmish at Hoople’s Creek on November 10, 1813, the day before the Battle of Crylser’s Farm. They also acted as support at Crysler’s Farm.

An order in council for a land grant for George was made on November 23, 1816, and in 1818, George Jr. married Jane Cameron and went on to father eight children. The small farming community off the St. Lawrence River eventually was named Gallingertown where the large Gallinger family had a place of their own in Upper Canada.

Saturday, George Jr.’s grave was honoured with the unveiling of a Graveside Project marker. 

The markers are the result of the project launched by volunteers from the Historic Miliary Establishment of Upper Canada Re-enactment group. The group came together to fill the gap in Canadian’s knowledge of the far reaching effects of the War of 1812.

According to their website, the unveiling of thousands of markers to recognize the graves of veterans of the War of 1812 nationally, will “bring an awareness of this time in our history to light…”

It is also planned that the project will provide a data base of biographical information on the veterans of the War of 1812.

Saturday’s unveiling was completed by Gallinger descendant, Amanda Fasken.

“Christ Church in Long Sault, welcomes you to this peaceful place,” said Reverend Patrick Stephens who gave the opening prayer. Rev. Stephens explained that at one time there had been a nearby Anglican Church, but St. George’s Anglican Cemetery is now a ministry of Christ Church, Seaway.

Major Jason Steeves, Acting Commanding Officer of the SD&G Highlanders, spoke of the history of the SD&G Highlanders and the significance of the day’s unveiling. “When I look to the past or when I look to the future of our Highlanders, I am very comfortable.”

Philip Bury, Major (Retired), The Royal Canadian Regiment, 1812 Grenville Militia spoke on what life would have been like in the early 1800’s for the sedentary military that would have trained infrequently and whose only uniform would have been white armbands. 

“We know they served their King, and we know they served their country. Families like the Gallingers are why we can be here today.”

Following words from Carol Goddard representing the UEL St. Lawrence Branch, the marker was unveiled by Amanda Fasken and her dad Doug Campbell.

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