Well today I was reading an article forwarded to my group about the Deportation. In the article, it talks about a diary of a English soldier who was sent to Grand Pre in 1755 to oversee the deportation of the Acadians. This journal recently came to light. Apparently his diary has lots of little things jotted down . The soldier was thirty years old and his name was Jeremiah Bancroft.
He wrote the following note the eve of the Deportation.He wrote about unknown prisoners escaping from the palisade at Grand pre, he wrote about soldiers fighting among each other, he wrote about a court martial of a soldier who had assaulted an Acadian woman and the lashings that were given. there are desertions,there are thefts not only from the Acadians but from other soldiers. It was chaotic. There were fatigue and fears and concerns (against the natives).
But on September 5 he wrote something that gives us a powerful image of happenings that fateful day. He wrote"In it, he struggles to describe the reaction of the 418 Acadian men and boys who had been called to their church, arrested without warning, and told of their fate — that their lands and cattle were being seized by the British Crown, and they and their families would be sent away on ships.
"Seeing themselves so Decoyed, the shame and confusion of face together with Anger so altered their countenense that it cant be expressed," the soldier wrote." ( this is a copy from the article in the Chronical Herald )
On Thursday, Saint Mary’s University archeology professor Jonathan Fowler and research partner Earle Lockerby unveiled the recently published 10-page transcript of the journal of a Massachusetts soldier stationed at Grand Pre in 1755 as part of the army charged with expelling the Acadians and destroying their homes.
I would love to be able to read the entire ten pages of the journal. That soldier was there, he lived the part. We need to try and look at the big picture, our Acadian Ancestors went through a devastating time, they were kicked out of their homes. The were separated never to see each other again (some were). Many lost their lives.
We've not heard about how the english soldiers felt, how they reacted.What was going through their minds. They were given orders and they were to obey. As you read above some of them deserted. Why? Probably because it was too much for them to handle. They had to have had a heart and they must have gone home and cried maybe? We should not blame the soldiers totally. It was the higher powers, the ones who gave the orders that should be blamed.
This Mister Bancroft wrote a diary. He wrote about a soldier assaulting an Acadian women so he was punished with lashes. So there had to be some good soldiers who only followed their orders.And probably some bad ones too.
I grieve for all our Acadian Ancestors during the Deportations and the many years after. They should never ever have had to go through what they did. .
And I must add here that I also grieve for all the Native Americans who lost their lands and were put on Reservations. It also must have been terrible for those people. Yes they were people just like you and me. I have not delved into the Native American history, but I am sure there are many stories to be told about them too.
Because of all these people, I am here, I have Acadian blood,I have English blood and I have Native American blood flowing through my veins so without these people many of us would not be given the opportunity to live and share these stories with our descendants.
To end today's blog I would like to say, "Let us hope and pray with all our mights that a tragedy like the Great Deportation never ever happens again to anyone else ."
Have a great day