Fenian Raids 1870 - Canadian General Service Medal


Silver medal with bar for:

  • FENIAN RAID 1870

Awarded to (inscribed on edge) ‘Pte G. Leacock, 27th. Bn.


Between 1866 and 1871, the Fenian raids of the Fenian Brotherhood, an Irish Republican organization who were based in the United States, on British army forts, customs posts and other targets in Canada, were fought to bring pressure on Britain to withdraw from Ireland. They divided Catholic Irish-Canadians, many of whom were torn between loyalty to their new home and sympathy for the aims of the Fenians. The Protestant Irish were generally loyal to Britain and fought with the Orange Order against the Fenians. While the U.S. authorities arrested the men and confiscated their arms, there is speculation that some in the U.S. government had turned a blind eye to the preparations for the invasion, angered at actions that could have been construed as Canadian assistance to the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. There were five Fenian raids of note and all of them ended in failure.

Fenian Raid (1870): On 26 May 1870, O'Neil again crossed the border near Franklin, Vermont, but was forced back quickly and again arrested.



To guard the St.Clair River frontier, a sufficient force was placed on active service to keep in check any raiders that might attempt a crossing from the State of Michigan, while all of the troops in the First Military District were warned to be ready to move to the front when summoned.

The troops called out were posted as follows: At Sarnia--...27th Battalion of Infantry,
24 officers and 224 men, Lieut.-Col. DAVIS commanding....