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The Booker Investigation

The Booker Investigation--Result of the Finding of the Court of Inquiry Regarding the Cause of the Retreat at Ridgeway.


The following is a report of the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry held at Hamilton on Tuesday, July 3rd, 1866, by order of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, on the application of Lieut.-Col. Booker, to examine and report on the circumstances connected with the engagement at Lime Ridge (or Ridgeway) on June 2nd:

The following officers composed the Court: President, Col. George T. Denison, Commandant Volunteer Militia, Toronto; members--Lieut.-Col. James Shanly, London; Lieut.-Col. G. K. Chisholm, Commanding Oakville Rifle Company, Oakville.

The letter of instructions from Col. P. L. Macdougall, the Adjutant-General of Militia, for the guidance of the Court, addressed to Col. Denison (the President), and also the letter from Lieut.-Col. Durie, by the authority of the Adjutant-General, on the same subject (also addressed to the President) were both read and duly considered by the Court previous to their entering upon the subject of inquiry.

Lieut.-Col. Booker having previously received due notice of the sitting of the Court and of the object of the inquiry, was permitted to be present, and he desired liberty of the Court to put in a written narrative of events as they occurred from the time he left Hamilton until he returned from Lime Ridge to Port Colborne.

The orders for the assembling of the Court were then produced and read, as follows:--

Government Orders.

On application of Lieut.-Col. Booker, the Commander-in-Chief directs the assembly of a Court of Inquiry at Hamilton, on Tuesday, the 3rd of July, 1866, to examine witnesses and report on the circumstances connected with the late engagement at Lime Ridge. President, Col. G. T. Denison; members, Lieut.-Col. James Shanly, and Lieut.-Col. G. K. Chisholm.

          (Signed) P. L. MacDougall,
          Colonel, A.G.M.
          Wm. L. Durie,
          Lieut.-Col., A.A.G.M.

          Ottawa, 24th June, 1866.
          [A true copy].


Toronto, 2nd July, 1866.

Sir,--In reply to your inquiries on Saturday last, I am directed to inform you that "the Court of Inquiry is to be closed," and that Col. Booker can produce any evidence he thinks proper. If the Court requires further evidence it may produce witnesses.

          I beg to remain,
          Yours truly,
          Wm. L. Durie,
          Lieut.-Col., D.A.G.M.

Col. Denison, President Court of Inquiry.


Ottawa, June 23rd, 1866.

Sir,--I have the honor to instruct you that the Court of Inquiry of which you are named President, is ordered on the application of Lieut.-Col. Booker, in order to give that officer the opportunity of disproving the unfavorable imputations which have been cast upon him in the public prints. You will therefore be pleased to take all evidence which may be produced before the Court by Lieut.-Col. Booker, and you will also endeavor to procure all other evidence which may tend to elucidate the truth.

The opinion of the Court of Inquiry must, of course, be based on and sustained by such evidence only as is embodied in the written proceedings. I have the honor to be, sir,

          Your very obedient servant,
          P. L. MacDougall,
          Colonel, A.G.M.

          Col. G. T. Denison, President Court of Inquiry, Toronto.


The Court then considered the application of Lieut.-Col. Booker to put in his narrative, and after due deliberation came to the conclusion that they should comply with his request, and accordingly gave him permission to put in his written statement.

Lieut.-Col. Booker then read and afterwards handed in to the Court the following statement of his connection with the operations of the troops under his command in the engagement at Lime Ridge:

Narrative.

On the morning of the 1st of June, 1866, at the hour of 5.30, I received the following telegraphic message from Lieut.-Col. Durie, A.A.G.M.:


Toronto, June 1st, 1866.

To Lieut.-Col. Booker, Commandant:

Call out your regiment for active service at once, and proceed by special train to Dunnville via Paris immediately. Complete your men to sixty rounds per man. Take spare ammunition with you. Ascertain enemy's position as you progress, who are reported to have landed at Fort Erie. In proceeding to Dunnville stop at Caledonia Station and take command of two volunteer companies (Caledonia and York) in readiness there. Better take cars with you for their transport.

If Port Colborne is occupied by the enemy, secure yourself at Dunnville and report to me.

          By Order,
          (Signed) Wm. L. Durie,
          Lieut.-Col., A.A.G.M.


And I proceeded to warn the Thirteenth Battalion, under my command, for immediate active service. The members mustered rapidly at the rendezvous, but as many came without overcoats or breakfasts, I caused them to return home for breakfast and report again within the hour, instructing them to bring their overcoats, and those who had them, their haversacks with food. I cautioned them that I could not tell when nor where they would have the next opportunity for a meal.

At about 7 a.m. the Commandant (Col. Peacocke) informed me that he also was under orders to leave. Shortly afterwards the manager of the Great Western Railway notified me that the cars were ready for transport.

The 13th Battalion, say 265 of all ranks, embarked at 9.30 a.m., and proceeded by way of Paris to Dunnville, taking up the York and Caledonia Companies (Captains Davis and Jackson), who reported 95 of all ranks.

On arrival at Dunnville, where we expected to remain during the night, we were met by the Reeve of the town, who provided the men with billets, and I reported our arrival to Col. Peacocke by telegraph. We were at dinner when I received the following telegram:


By Telegraph from Clifton, June 1st.

To Commander Hamilton Volunteers, Dunnville:

Go on to Port Colborne at once.

(Signed) G. PEACOCKE.


A few minutes sufficed to see all on the cars (which had been retained at Dunnville for orders) en route for our destination, which we reached at about 11 o'clock p.m. We found the Queen's Own of Toronto had preceded us during the afternoon (say 480 of all ranks). The Queen's Own had secured all the billets, and the command with me endeavored to settle themselves as best they could in the cars for the night.

During the night, at my request, Major Skinner endeavored to secure a bread ration for the men: Some biscuits and bread were obtained, and that officer reported to me that the baker would prepare a batch of bread to be ready at 3 a.m. of the 2nd June.

I may now mention that, being the senior officer present, the entire command of the force at Port Colborne devolved on me. About midnight I received the following despatch by telegraph:


By Telegraph from Chippawa, 2nd June, 1866.

To Officer Commanding at Port Colborne:

I have sent Captain Akers to communicate with you. He will be with you at about half-past one. Send back the Great Western cars, if, after seeing Captain Akers, you think they are not wanted. If you get the ferry boat, send a detachment to patrol the river.

(Signed) G. Peacocke, Colonel.


Capt. Akers arrived punctually. On his arrival it appeared that Lieut.-Col. Dennis and myself were in possession of later and more reliable information of the position of the enemy than Colonel Peacocke seemed to have had when Captain Akers had left him at midnight. It then seemed necessary to inquire whether the original plan for a junction at Stevensville, to attack the enemy, supposed to be encamped near Black Creek, should be adhered to, when it appeared they were encamped much higher up the river, and nearer to Fort Erie.

It was therefore proposed that the tug boat "W. T. Robb," whose Captain had expressed a desire to be of service, should patrol the shore of the lake as far as Fort Erie, and endeavor to communicate with Col. Peacocke's command. It was at the same time suggested that I should take my command down by rail to the railroad buildings at Fort Erie, and occupy and hold them until 7 a.m. If not communicated with before 7 a.m., to proceed to Frenchman's Creek, on the north side of which, it had been reported to me by an officer of Her Majesty's Customs at Fort Erie, that the Fenians were encamped not more than 450 strong; that they had during the day stolen 45 or 50 horses, and were drinking freely.

It was also suggested that in the event of my not being communicated with before 7 a.m. (and then being at Fort Erie), I should proceed to Frenchman's Creek and attack the enemy, if still there. This command, however, was to depend upon the approval of Colonel Peacocke.

In the meantime, and before I had received the telegram (No. 4) Lieut.-Col. Dennis and Captain Akers had left in the tug (in company with the Welland Field Battery, armed with short Enfields, under the command of Captain King) for Fort Erie, Captain Akers, at the last moment, leaving the final arrangement with me, which I took down as follows:

"Memo.--Move at not later than 5.30; 5 o'clock if bread be ready. Move to depot at Fort Erie and wait till 7. If not communicated with before 7, move to Frenchman's Creek. If 'No' by telegraph, disembark at Ridgeway and move to Stevensville at 9 to 9.30 a.m. Send pilot engine to communicate with Lieut.-Col. Dennis at Erie and with telegrams."

Soon after their departure I received Col. Peacocke's telegraph, as follows:


By Telegraph from Chippawa, June 2nd, 3.50 a.m.

To Commanding Officer, Port Colborne:

Have received your message of 3 a.m. I do not approve of it. Follow original plan. Acknowledge receipt of this.

(Signed) G. Peacocke.


This negatived our proposed change of plan, and left me to follow the instructions which I had received from Colonel Peacocke through Captain Akers, namely:

"Move at not later than 5.30; 5 o'clock if bread be ready. * * * Disembark at Ridgeway and march to Stevensville at 9 to 9.30 a.m."

The bread ration having been secured, the train left Port Colborne soon after 5 a.m. en route for Stevensville. The only horse on the cars belonged to Major Skinner, 13th Battalion, who had kindly offered him for my service. I expressed a desire that the field officers of the Queen's Own would take their horses, but was met by the reply that they would be of no use in the woods where we should likely be, and that it was thought best not to take them.

I sent a pilot engine in advance of the train some ten or fifteen minutes, and instructed its driver, if possible, to communicate with Fort Erie. The train with the volunteers proceeded very slowly and cautiously, and arrived at Ridgeway without a sign of obstruction, after more than an hour from its departure from Port Colborne. At Ridgeway we formed battalions in column of companies, right in front.

Means of conveyance for my stores not being at hand. I thought best to distribute as much spare ammunition amongst the men as possible, and requested those who could do so to carry an extra ten rounds in their pockets. At this time it was reported to me that the Caledonia Rifle Company had no percussion caps, and but few rounds of cartridge. I supplied them from the spare ammunition of the 13th Battalion. I endeavored to procure a horse or team for my medical officers' stores, but without success, and failing means of transport, I returned tents and blankets to Port Colborne, relieving the cars from further waiting at Ridgeway.

After a little delay I requested Major Gillmor (as the Queen's Own was the senior battalion) to take the lead of the column, and as one of his companies was armed with the Spencer repeating rifle, that it should form the advance guard.

When the battalions were proved, and before forming the advance guard. I gave the order to the column, "With ball cartridge--load." I made inquiries from the inhabitants as to their knowledge of the whereabouts of the enemy. The reports were contradictory and evidently unreliable. To take proper precaution and keep my appointment at Stevensville was my obvious duty.

The column of route was formed as follows: Advance guard of Queen's Own; remainder of the battalion, Major Gillmor commanding; York Rifles. Captain Davis; the 13th Battalion, Major Skinner in command; the Caledonia Rifles (Captain Jackson), forming the rear guard. On the advance I was in the centre of the column, looking out for signs of the enemy. After proceeding about two miles the advance guard signalled indications of men moving in our front. The column (say 840 of all ranks) was hereupon halted on the road. I gave the horse on which I rode to the Orderly, in order that I might carefully examine with my field glass the country over which we were advancing. Soon after I observed loose horses moving about in the woods to our left front, but saw no men.

Before ordering the advance, flanking parties were thrown out to scour the woods, right and left. This duty was performed by companies of the Queen's Own. Proceeding in this order for some distance, a volley was fired upon our advancing men from behind the zig-zag fences in the open. Our volunteers accepted the challenge. The affair had commenced.

The Queen's Own, as skirmishers and supports, slowly advanced, pushing back the enemy. We were gradually changing our front to the right, when Major Gillmor wished me to relieve the Queen's Own and send out the reserves, as his men were falling short of ammunition, and that one company (No. 5) had none for their Spencer rifles. I at once directed the right wing of the reserve to deploy on the rear company to the right and to extend. Major Skinner commanded the 13th Battalion, and acted throughout out very gallantly. The movement was admirably executed. The York Rifles were on the left and No. 1 Company of the 13th Battalion on the right of the line. A hearty cheer was given by the Queen's Own when they saw the 13th advancing, who, with the company named, relieved the Queen's Own, supported by the left wing of the reserve, which was composed of the 13th Battalion. The Queen's Own then became the reserve. The 13th and York Rifles in advance, driving the enemy before them to the woods, cheered heartily and were answered by the yells of the Fenians. I felt anxious about our right flank, as with my glass I noticed the enemy throwing back his right into the woods. I requested Major Gillmor, who was in command of the reserve, to keep a sharp look-out for the cross roads on which the reserve rested, and to send two companies from the reserve to occupy and hold the woods on the hill to our right. He sent the Highland Company of the Queen's Own to perform that duty.

At this time (nearly 9.30 a.m.) two telegrams were brought to me by a gentleman from Port Colborne, one informing me that the column under Col. Peacocke could not move until 7 o'clock, and the other in the following words:

Chippawa, June 2, 5.30 a.m.

To the Officer Commanding, Port Colborne:

Be cautious in feeling your way, for fear obstacles should prevent a junction. If possible open communication with me, and I will do the same.

(Signed) G. Peacocke.


At this unexpected information I was much disappointed. Major Gillmor was then with me, and I showed it to him. I at once realized that the force which I had expected about this hour at Stevensville could not now render me assistance, and turning to Detective Armstrong (who had accompanied us from Hamilton and obtained a horse at Ridgeway), I desired him to convey to Col. Peacocke a message I wrote on the telegram I had just received, to the effect that the enemy had attacked us in force at 7.30, three miles south of Stevensville.

Immediately afterwards Major Gillmor reported that the Highland Company had been compelled to leave the woods on our right, as they had found the woods occupied by Fenians. Almost simultaneously cries of "Cavalry" and "Look out for cavalry" came down the road. I then observed men doubling down the hill. In the next few moments events succeeded each other very rapidly. As the cry came down the road, directions were given the reserves on the road to "Form square." At this crisis the fire of the enemy came heavily to our right flank, as well as into the front and rear of our force in advance. I saw nothing to justify the first impression that we were to be attacked by cavalry. I gave the word to "Re-form column," with the view of deploying, when to my surprise I found the rear of the reserve which had formed part of the square had dissipated, and moving down the road. Major Gillmor came and reported to me that the enemy was bringing up his reserves. I asked him how he knew. He replied that he saw them himself. I then inquired, "In what shape?" when he replied, "In column--in mass of column." I then ordered to retire. But the confusion had become a panic. The Thirteenth did all that men could do under the circumstances, and were the last in the retreat, which became general.

Many men were trodden down. I endeavored to rally the retreating mass, and gave orders to hold the woods on either side, and some little distance down the road was assisted by Surgeon Ryall (of the Thirteenth) and several men, but all of no avail. Bugler Clarke (of the Queen's Own) sounded "the halt" at my request several times. The horse was brought to me and I mounted and rode amongst the men. I entreated them to rally, and implored them to halt, but without effect. If I could form at Ridgeway I might refrain order. I there found Lieutenant Arthurs, of the Queen's Own, and other officers, attempting to rally and form companies. I called for "coverers" for the men to form. I was answered that the men could not find their officers. I then ordered the men to fall in so as to show a good front. The attempt was made, but without success, and I ordered the retreat upon Port Colborne, towards which place many had previously turned their steps. I requested a gentleman from Toronto (Mr. George Arthurs), who was present at Ridgeway, and mounted, to ride forward to Port Colborne and report that we were retiring, and to send help down the road for the stragglers. I saw that the colors of the Thirteenth were safe, and I moved off with the column. A short distance from Ridgeway I dismounted and walked with a member of the Queen's Own who was wounded, and kept the road afterwards for some time with him. A volunteer rode the horse into Port Colborne, where we arrived, much fatigued and distressed, at about 3 p.m. Nearly two miles from Port Colborne I was, with others, taken up by the second train which came down the road to meet us. The train took up several officers of the 13th and the Queen's Own.

At Port Colborne, through the kindness of Mr. Pring, the Collector of Customs, I was provided with the requisites for writing my despatches to the Major-General Commanding and to Colonel Peacocke. The drafts were perused by Major Gillmor; and one despatch was copied by Major Cattley of the Thirteenth and the other by a non-commissioned officer of the Queen's Own.

Shortly after returning to Port Colborne I received advice of ten companies of volunteers from Paris. Others arrived during the evening. Among the latter were the Home Guard of St. Catharines, under Lieut.-Col. McGiverin. I beg leave especially to thank that officer for the assistance he afforded, and for very generously dividing with my command the provisions lie had brought from St. Catharines with him for his own men.

Prisoners were being brought in in numbers, and every question was referred to me personally. I had no Major of Brigade, no aide, no staff, not even an office clerk of whose services I could at the moment avail myself, while farmers as scouts were coming in with their varied reports. I felt it due to the large force of volunteers under my command to request the Major-General Commanding to relieve me and send a professional soldier (one from whom I might take my orders) to assume the command.

When at Port Colborne I reported that the Thirteenth and Queen's Own were alike tired and hungry, and that if it were possible they should have a day's rest, and that those volunteers who had arrived during the day of the 2nd of June at Port Colborne should be sent forward first.

I pointed out that uncooked rations, which it was intended to serve out to the Queen's Own and the Thirteenth, would not benefit them, as they were without the necessary appliances to cook and make use of them. But it was not by my wish that the Thirteenth were detained at Port Colborne on the morning of the 3rd June, while the Queen's Own were ordered to march on to Fort Erie. I was anxious that both should be thoroughly refreshed, and I felt regret that the companions of the day previous should be separated, as they were equally able to proceed.

Then, either from misunderstanding, or perhaps that I was not sufficiently explicit, I found that I had been relieved from the command of my own battalion, and not of the general command only, as I had expected. I immediately communicated with Majors Skinner and Cattley that I had been relieved.

The history of my connection with the campaign, which resulted in the expulsion of the Fenians from the Niagara District, has now been detailed, from the moment I received orders until I was relieved from command. I submit to those to whom the inquiry of my conduct on the occasion may be entrusted, that the state of affairs which existed at Port Colborne on my arrival at 11 o'clock p.m. on Friday. 1st of June, will be better understood if the communications which previously passed between Colonel Peacocke and the officer commanding at Port Colborne were obtained. I have reason to believe that they will bear materially in explaining the plans proposed and under consideration before Captain Akers' arrival, and the propriety of the modification which, if Colonel Peacocke's approval were obtained, was to have been pursued.

I further submit the official despatches connected with the affair at Lime Ridge, published by authority in the Canada Gazette of Saturday, 23rd June, 1866. Upon two points I expect inquiry will be directed, namely, to the capacity and care shown by me for the command entrusted to me, and my personal conduct on the field. On this latter point I ask for the evidence of those who are present.

That every precaution and every consideration for the comfort and advantage of my battalion which the circumstances did permit, I confidently assert were taken.

The volunteer force from Hamilton answered to the call for service with alacrity. The entire force which I had the honor to command was animated with the highest feelings of patriotism and zeal. All personal considerations gave way, all hardships were borne cheerfully and without a murmur. We had but one wish--to meet the enemy; and but one hope, to aid in his discomfiture; and if under the trying circumstances in which we were placed the result was not so triumphant as the devotion and heroism of the volunteers deserved, I trust that as their conduct cannot be impugned, the Court of Inquiry will, on appreciation of the facts, exonerate their commanding officer from the complete want of success of an attack which undoubtedly caused the enemy to abandon their plans of invasion and commence their retreat.

A. Booker,

Lieut.-Colonel.


The Court then proceeded to the examination of witnesses.

The first witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker was Major Chas. T. Gillmor, commanding the Second Battalion, or Queen's Own Rifles.

Major Gillmor's Evidence.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--When I relieved the Queen's Own and advanced the Thirteenth, did you report to me that your men were becoming short of ammunition?

Major Gillmor--On some one occasion I mentioned that one or two companies stated to me that they were short of ammunition.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--When the Thirteenth were in action, did you send out the Highland Company, at my request, to hold the woods to our right, and the road, from the reserve?

Answer--I did send out the Highland Company with orders as described, but I cannot say if it was before or after the Thirteenth went out.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--What did they report on their return?

Answer--I don't recollect their return. I believe them to be the last to leave the field.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Did you hear the cry of "Cavalry"?

Answer--Yes.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Did you see the Fenian reserves advancing after the cry of "Cavalry'"?

Answer--No.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Did you see that we were outflanked to the right?

Answer--No, I believe it was the reserve. I could not see the extreme right.

Question from the Court--On what do you ground your belief that they were not outflanked on the right?

Answer--Principally on the statements of the officers and men who were out skirmishing on the right.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Did you notice men coming down the hill to our front at a double, in front of the reserves, crying "Cavalry"?

Answer--No.

Question from the Court--When three companies of the Thirteenth were sent out to relieve the Queen's Own, had the movement been executed before the retreat was sounded?

Answer--No, so far as my knowledge extends. Both lines of skirmishers, Rifles and Thirteenth, came in together.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Was the endeavor made to bring the men out of square into column?

Answer--Yes. They did re-form column.

Question--Was the rear of the column or square now in retreat?

Answer--No. Not at that time.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Do you consider there was a panic when the retreat commenced?

Answer--I think the retreat was caused by a panic. After the column was re-formed I ordered the two leading companies again to extend and skirmish. They did so. I ordered the rest of the column, which at that time was composed of Queen's Own and Thirteenth mixed together, to retire, as they were exposed to a heavy fire on the front and right from the enemy's front and left. This order was being obeyed by the men with reasonable steadiness, when as I was standing in rear of the retiring column, I heard them cheer loudly and call out "reinforcements." I then saw some men in red, whom I believe were the left wing of the Thirteenth, and whom these men, I suppose, took to be reinforcements. When these men in red heard the cheer they broke and retired. Then the whole column became disorganized. This was about 9 o'clock a.m. The first shot was fired about half-past seven a.m.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Did you believe, when you saw my despatches to Col. Peacocke and Gen. Napier, that they were correct, and did you concur in the correctness of them when you were with me in the customs office at Port Colborne?

Answer--Yes, the general tenor of the report was correct, and I assented to it.

Question from the Court--Is there anything in Lieut.-Col. Booker's report, just read to you, that places the Thirteenth Battalion in a false position?

Answer--No.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Do you think the men could have been rallied after they had commenced the retreat?

Answer--The whole force could not have been, but I could have rallied two or three hundred men around me at any time during the retreat, had I been disposed to do so. Officers of both the Queen's Own and the Thirteenth were frantically exerting themselves to rally their men, but, knowing that I could not be relieved by Col. Peacocke, and fearing that the enemy might pass to our rear, I thought it wiser to conduct the retreat in as orderly a manner as I could.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Were you satisfied with my conduct on the field?

Answer--Col. Booker asked me the same question in Port Colborne, and I now give him the same answer that I did then, which was, that I could see nothing in his conduct to disapprove of, except with regard to the formation of the squares, which I thought at that time was a mistake, and I think so still.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--As you were not mounted, would you explain the reason why you did not take your horse with, you when you left Port Colborne?

Answer--I had my horse at the station at Port Colborne, when Mr. Magrath, the manager, told me that I could not get him off the cars at Ridgeway without breaking his legs, there being no platforms.

Evidence of Charles Clarke.

The second witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker was Charles Clarke, a Government detective officer, by commission from Mr. G. McMicken, the stipendiary Magistrate at Windsor.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Were you with the volunteers in the affair at Lime Ridge on the 2nd June?

Answer--Yes.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Did you see the square disperse?

Answer--Yes. I was with the reserve in the ranks when the square was formed. A number of men, as they were coming in as the reserve, cried out, "Prepare to receive cavalry!" I should say it came from as many as fifty men. I saw the column re-formed. At this time a body of red-coats were coming around a curve in the road about two hundred yards in rear of the square. The Queen's Own and those of the Thirteenth began to cheer, supposing them to belong to the 47th Regiment coming to their relief. As soon as we ascertained that they were not the 47th, we supposed that they were two companies of the Thirteenth who had been driven in by main force, and the result was that we became panic-stricken, and we all broke. I saw several officers belonging to the Queen's Own and the Thirteenth attempting to rally the men. I saw Lieut.-Col. Booker attempting to rally the men, telling them to get into the bush on each side of the road, about four or six hundred yards from where they commenced to retreat. He got the bugler to sound the "halt" several times, and I heard the bugler say he was tired sounding the "halt." The men continued to retreat, except sixteen or seventeen of us, who got over the fence into the bush on our left, but had to leave because the main body continued their retreat towards Ridgeway. At Ridgeway I saw Lieut.-Col. Booker with four officers of the Thirteenth and one of the Queen's Own, each with a revolver in his hand, and Lieut.-Col. Booker had his sword, threatening to shoot the men if they did not stop. They broke through the line of these officers.

Question from the Court--When Lieut.-Col. Booker ordered the battalions that were retreating to get into the woods on each side of the road, what was your impression of his object?

Answer--He wanted to make a stand by getting-into the bush to repulse the Fenians, and it was a splendid opportunity, from the country being so open in front of the bush. I served nearly six years in India in the 40th Regiment, and during the affair in Candahar.

Question from the Court--Did you see Lieut.-Col. Booker on the field before and during the retreat?

Answer--Yes, several times.

Question from the Court--Did you observe anything in his conduct which appeared to you like shirking his duties?

Answer--No. On the contrary, I saw him urging on a company of the Thirteenth, which appeared to be dilatory.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Do you recollect the fact of our force being outflanked to our right?

Answer--Yes.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Was the firing from the Fenians more rapid than from our men?

Answer--Yes, much more so. Part of the time it was like file firing. I am since aware that they used both the Sharpe and Spencer rifles.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Did you receive a letter from Major Gillmor and other officers of the Queen's Own, complimenting you for your coolness and conduct at Lime Ridge?

Answer--I did.
 


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