Monday, August 8, 2011
An Unlikely American Hero
Jean Baptiste Renaud left his homeland of
Quebec and moved with his family to in the early 1850s. One could assume he came for the reason that beckoned so many others - the chance for a better life. Yet he risked that dream in 1861 when he took on the challenge of defending his newly-adopted country. America
Jean Baptiste was born in St-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada, on the 21st of March 1814, the son of Jean Baptiste Renaud and Marie Josephte Guertin.1 After marrying Dina Macé on the 30th of September 18392, the couple had at least six children while still living in Canada. Then in the early 1850s, the family moved to Massachusetts, where at least four more children were born. Times must have been tough for the family. John, as he was now known, was employed as a bootmaker.3 However, in 1855 and 1861, he received financial aid from the town of
On October 14, 1861, he answered his new country's call and enlisted in the Army as a private in Co. G, 25th Massachusetts Infantry.5 After spending a couple of months at Annapolis, MD, his unit moved on to North Carolina. There on February 8, 1862, he participated in the battle of
Roanoke Island, where "he was badly wounded by a musket ball" which passed through his left lung.6 He suffered from shortness of breath and was discharged from the army August 28, 1862.7 His suffering came to an end on April 10, 1882. Cause of death was consumption.8 He was buried in an unmarked grave at Mary, Queen of the in Spencer, Massachusetts.9 Rosary Cemetery
Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 [database on-line]. Quebec : Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Provo, UT, USA
Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection). Quebec
3Melissa Renno Birth Record, Births 1843-1858, Marriages 1844-53, Deaths 1843-57, Town of Spencer, 28 Jun 1855, line 32 page 39, (recorded Jan 1856), Town Clerk's Office, Spencer, Massachusetts.
4Annual Report of the Finances of the Town of Spencer, from Mar. 1, 1855, to Mar. 1, 1856, with a List of Taxes Assessed in 1855, and Report of the School Committee for the Year 1855-6 (Worcester, MA: Henry J. Howland, 1856), p. 6; Annual Report of the Town Officers of the Town of Spencer, for the Year Ending March 1, 1862 (Worcester, MA: Chas. Hamilton, n.d.), p. 36.
5John B. Reno (Pvt. Co. G, 25th Mass. Inf., Civil War), pension no. S.C. 20,156, Certificate of Disability for Discharge; Civil War and Later Pension Files. Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives,
6John B. Reno (Pvt. Co. G, 25th Mass. Inf., Civil War), pension no. S.C. 20,156, Application for the Increase of an Invalid Pension; Civil War and Later Pension Files. Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives,
7John B. Reno (Pvt. Co. G, 25th Mass. Inf., Civil War), pension no. S.C. 20,156, Certificate of Disability for Discharge.
8John B. Reno entry, Deaths Registered in Spencer 1858-92, Book 2, line 35, 10 Apr 1882, recorded 1 Jan 1883, Town Clerk's Office, Spencer, Massachusetts.
Reno entry, Deaths Registered in Spencer 1858-92; information provided by Deacon Harry M. Sweet, Mary, Queen of the . Rosary Cemetery