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Belgian Mariner in the Crimean War?

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Belgian Mariner in the Crimean War?

Posted: 1388520591000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Heyse
Would of there have been any role for a young but experienced Belgian Mariner in the Crimean War?

My 4GGF, Peter Marinus Vincent Heyse (1839-1913), according to his obituary in two different local papers, was involved in the Crimean war before coming to the US.

from the obituary:
"... He was born in Ghent, Belgium, March 23, 1839. At the age of ten he embarked as a cabin boy on a voyage to the East Indies, making a trip entirely around the world at the age of 13, and returned from a second trip in time to pass his 15th year in the Crimean war of 1854. At the age of 16 he came to the United States and two years later entered the U. S. naval service."

He then was in the US Navy Coastal Survey (1857-8 when his ship was sent to NW Colombia as part of a survey of a possible Panama Canal Route) then he enlisted for 3 years in the regular US Navy (1858-1861, where he was part of the Paraguay expedition, and possibly sent to Mexico) then re-inlisting in the Navy during the Civil War (1861-1864 - including supossedly being part of the failed amphibious assault to retake Ft. Sumter). After the war he was briefly a ferry captain on lake Michigan before settling down as a farmer.

Another newspaper article about him reads:
"... Mr. Heyse was born in Ghent, Belgium. His father was a typemaker and his uncle a skipper. When ten years of age young Heyse was sent to a Seaman's training school where for three years he was disciplined. At the close of this schooling he went to sea. During the following ten years he visited many countries and acquired knowledge and experience that is of value to him to this day."

So he was definately an experienced mariner, possibly with formal schooling in addition to his sea experience. But what would he be doing connected to the Crimean war? Belgium wasn't involved in that war right? and asides from a Belgian contingent within the French Foreign Legion (which would be soldiers, not sailors) I can't find any mention of Belgian's in the Crimean war.

So would there be any role for a Belgian Mariner in the Crimean War? And if so, how can I find out more?

Thank you
(I tried to include links to the obituary and newspaper article, but the forum didn't seem to like that...)
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
GPWeatherup 1388520591000 
dianejar 1389942931000 
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