This article written by Ken Roy, was initially published in the St John Valley Times in the Memorial Day edition in 1998 as part of the Nadeau Family Reunion.
On this Memorial Day (author's note - 1998 when article was published), it is appropriate that we remember our Nadeau ancestors who have served their country and in some case gave up their lives in this service.
Starting with our first ancestor, Joseph Ossany Nadeau, several Nadeau family members have been involved in the various wars fought in or by America. The following are but a few instances of the published information substantiating Nadeau family members’ participation in the military.
While I have not researched sufficiently to prove it, I have come across some secondary sources which indicate that Joseph Ossany was in the militia at Chateau Richer in the early 1660’s, protecting the fledging nation against Iroquois attacks.
A hundred years later, his grandson, Joseph, the son of Denis Nadeau and Charlotte Cassé, was captain of the militia at St Michel. This service to his country cost him his life in 1760. History records show that when General James Murray learned of an act of "civil disobedience" on the part of Joseph Nadeau, a miller in the town of St Charles (Bellechasse), a small community located somewhat in land between Beaumont and St Michel.
"May 20, 1760, Captain Knox, an officer of the English army wrote in his journal: 'a citizen of the parish of St Michel was hung yesterday, in front of his own home... suspected to have encouraged his fellow citizens to revolt and to have invited many militiamen in his company, being a militia captain, to join the French army.' This citizen of St Michel was named Joseph Nadeau, a miller. He was especially accused of having supplied provisions to the French army. In a moment of anger, General Murray, condemned him to death. The poor miller was hung on one of the blades of his windmill. His body remained there for three days, tossed about by the wind and storm."
(Quoted information extracted from Bernard Nadeau: Canuck Odyssey FHL fiche #6088633, page 225-230.)
I extracted the following information from a book several years ago which if I remember correctly was a compilation of Canadian citizens who had helped the Americans during the revolutionary war. In some cases, these citizens were deprived of their current standing in the militia. These citizens may also have suffered other consequences.
Canadian Participants in the American Revolution lists the following members of the Nadeau family as participants:
- Nadeau, Alexis of Kamouraska was deprived as ensign of militia.
- Nadeau, Ambroise of St Charles de Bellechasse was listed as pro-rebel
- Nadeau, Antione from St Henri de Levy fought for the Americans at Michel Blais’ house, St Pierre du Sud.
- Nadeau, Basil Pvt in Hazen's Regiment 1783 (Mooers List), 6th Co enrolled by Lieutenant Alexander Ferriole, Nov 1776, in Albany. In 1843, he was living at Champlain, NY, age 84 with Francis Nadeau
- Nadeau, Francois, père, of Ste Marie de Beauce is listed as one of the worst subjects because he handed over Seigneur Taschereau’s stores to the Americans without opposition
- Nadeau, Janot of Berthier is listed as a member of pro-rebel guard post
- Nadeau, Jean of Berthier fought for the Americans at Michel Blais’ house, St Pierre du Sud, was also listed as a member of pro-rebel guard post
- Nadeau, Louis from the Richelieu country was arrested 1780 for having offered services to the Americans. He was commissioned by Captain William Osburn to raise men for the US on 8 September 1780 at River Sorrell with Pierre Charland
- Nadeau, Louis of Berthier fought for the Americans at Michel Blais’ house, St Pierre du Sud, was also listed as a member of pro-rebel guard post
The following information was extracted from the The VietNam Veterans Memorial Wall web site is a list of Nadeaus who most recently did the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
- Nadeau, Eric Daryl from Grand Forks, North Dakota Army - SP4 - E4 101st Airborne Brigade (Panel 24W - - Line 112)
- Nadeau, Harold Bradley from East Bethany, New York Army - PVT - E2 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) (Panel 07E - - Line 73)
- Nadeau, Larry Joseph from Orono, Maine Army - PVT - E2 173rd Airborne Brigade (Panel 04E - - Line 48)
- Nadeau, Paul Ernest from Manchester, New Hampshire Army - PFC - E3 (Panel 10E - - Line 68)
- Nadeau, Robert John from Westbrook, Maine Army - SSGT - E6 11th Armored Cavalry (Panel 16W - - Line 121)
- Nadeau, Roland Harold from Ft Belvoir, Virginia Marine Corps - PFC - E2 (Panel 20W - - Line 88)
- Nadeau, Thomas Dennis from Nashua, New Hampshire Army - SP4 - E4 1st Log Command (Panel 49W - - Line 48)
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Virtual Wall also contains information on service men and women who gave their all. The Virtual Wall information was not in the published article.
The above lists are certainly not complete, as most certainly several Nadeaus served in World War I, World War II, and the Korean Conflict. In my immediate family, Uncle Joe Nadeau, Aunt Lydia Nadeau (1920 - 1989) and her husband Uncle Dick (Richard Brown 1919 - 1957), and Aunt Rella Nadeau’s husband Bernard Daniels (1905 - 1944) all served in World War II. Uncle George Nadeau served in the Korean War. My two brothers, Claude Roy and Phil Morneault, and I all served in Vietnam. Mom, thanks for all your prayers while we were over there.
To all our Nadeau ancestors who have died, have been wounded to protect our freedom, or simply served in times of wars from the early French Indian Wars to the Vietnam War, we offer an eternal debt of gratitude.
A fellow Vietnam Veteran.
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