Canadian Genealogy | Fenian Raids of 1866 - 1870

Canadian Research

Alberta

British Columbia

Manitoba

New Brunswick

Newfoundland

Northern Territories

Nova Scotia

Nunavut

Ontario

Prince Edward Island

Quebec

Saskatchewan

Yukon

Canadian Indian Tribes

Chronicles of Canada

 

Free Genealogy Forms
Family Tree Chart
Research Calendar
Research Extract
Free Census Forms
Correspondence Record
Family Group Chart
Source Summary

 

New Genealogy Data
Family Tree Search
Biographies

Genealogy Books For Sale

Indian Mythology

US Genealogy

 

Other Websites
British Isles Genealogy
Australian Genealogy

 


FREE Web Site Hosting at
Canadian Genealogy

 

 

 

 

Evidence of George Arthurs

Evidence of George Arthurs.

The third witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker was Mr. George Allan Arthurs.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Were you at Ridgeway on the 2nd of June, and what did you see there?

Answer--I was there, and was at Ridgeway when the army was retreating. I there saw the bugler come from the field on Lieut.-Col. Booker's horse. My brother (Lieutenant Arthurs, of the Queen's Own) mounted the Colonel's horse and drew his pistol, and threatened to shoot the first man that did not do his duty. Lieut.-Col. Booker came up as my brother was checking the retreat. He mounted his own horse and rode back towards the field to consult with his officers. The retreat was checked so far by my brother that he "told off" a company of men composed of red coats and green coats. I did not see any exhibition on the part of Lieut.-Col. Booker of either cowardice or fear.

Evidence of John Douglas.

The fourth witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker was John Douglas, Captain of No. 4 Company of the Queen's Own Rifles.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Did you, on the 2nd of June last, see me at Lime Ridge?

Answer--Yes, in front of your command, under fire.

Question from the Court--Did his conduct on this occasion attract your attention?

Answer--Yes. It struck me that he was not very careful of his own safety, he being in front of the column of the Queen's Own, and clothed in scarlet. He was directing the movements, with a field-glass in his hands. This was when the Queen's Own were in column, after part of the Thirteenth had gone out in skirmishing order. I saw no hanging back on the part of any officer or man up to that time.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--How did Col. Booker go from Ridgeway to Port Colborne?

Answer--I found Lieut.-Col. Booker on the last train going into Port Colborne. Major Gillmor and several officers of both regiments, with men of both regiments, were in the same train. The great bulk of the force had preceded them.

Evidence of Lieutenant Arthurs.

The fifth witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker was Lieut. William Arthurs, of No. 4 Company of the Queen's Own.

Question by Lieut.-Col. Booker--Were you at Ridgeway as Lieut.-Col. Booker arrived there during the retreat on the 2nd of June, and what did you see?

Answer--Yes. I saw Col. Booker on the retreat, and he seemed no way flurried or excited, but quite cool and collected. He spoke to the men. He asked them to form on their coverers. Several companies were formed up and retreated in order.

Evidence of Francis Clarke.

The sixth witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker was Francis Clark. Bugle-Major of the Queen's Own Rifles.

Question from the Court--Did you sound the "halt" on the 2nd of June, by order of Lieut.-Col. Booker during the retreat?

Answer--Yes, repeatedly. He used his best endeavors to halt the men, and then he went forward amongst the men and asked them to halt and front and form. It had no effect, and he said, "Oh, God! what is this?" They still moved on. They retreated, red and green mixed together, as far as I could see, to the turn of the road.

Evidence of Alexander Muir.

The seventh witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker was Alexander Muir, a private in the Highland Company of the Queen's Own, a Lieutenant of Militia, and President of the Highland Company at that time in its civil organization.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Were you at Lime Ridge on the 2nd of June, and will you recite what you saw there?

Answer--After leaving the cars at Ridgeway, before marching, the whole force received orders. "With ball cartridge--load!" The column then advanced. After proceeding about two and a half miles. I perceived a number of horses (between twelve and fifteen in number) loose in an open near the corner of a bush, about three-quarters of a mile in front of the left side of the road. These having attracted my attention, I also perceived a number of men flitting among the trees, near to the horses. I cried out. "I see the Fenians--there are the Fenians!" My discovery was made known to Col. Booker, who, perhaps, from hearing my cry, came up to me. I was the left hand front rank man of the Highland Company, the rear company of the battalion. He gave the order to halt. He then asked me, "Where?" I pointed out to him where I saw the men and the horses. He had a field-glass which he then used. He tried to use it on horseback, but his horse was so restive that he could not use the glass. He then dismounted by my side. At this moment Major Gillmor came up. I directed him to the proper point to see them. Both Col. Booker and Major Gillmor seemed convinced that all was not right in the bush. The leading company of the column was then sent out to reconnoitre to the left in the direction of these horses, in skirmishing order, supported by the next company. The column remained at the halt. After the skirmishers had advanced to within a short distance of where the horses were, the bugle sounded the "retire" or the "incline" to the skirmishers, and the column was advanced. The near party of the advance guard halted at the same time the column halted, and just after the column was again put in motion, I saw several of them, if not all of them, with their hats on their rifles raised in the air and moving them, indicating thereby that the enemy was in sight. The column was again halted. At that moment a bullet came whistling from the direction of an orchard on our right front. This was the first shot, and came close to Capt. Gardner and myself. Here the Queen's Own were ordered to skirmish, and our company furnished the right company of the line of skirmishers, and in this order we advanced in a northerly direction. The firing commenced opposite the centre of the line of skirmishers immediately upon their advancing. We continued advancing and firing for some distance, perhaps three hundred yards at that time, when the order came for the Queen's Own to fall back on its supports. We had then been under fire for three-quarters of an hour. I distinctly heard Col. Booker's words of command, given with coolness and deliberation, as we were going into action. The Queen's Own were then relieved by the Thirteenth. The Thirteenth advanced in skirmishing order, appearing to take the ground which had previously been occupied by the Queen's Own, the enemy continuing their fire during the advance of the Thirteenth. The enemy had evidently been previously driven back by the Queen's Own. An order from Col. Booker now came to our company, which was then under cover of the school-house, acting in reserve, directing our company to take possession of the road to the right which led in the direction of Fort Erie, because the enemy was manoeuvring to outflank our right. Capt. Gardner was told it was an important position, and he then advanced our company till we came opposite a bush north of the road. He then ordered us to advance in skirmishing order through that bush, which we did. After passing through the bush we came to a wheat-field, on the opposite side of which we found the Fenians thickly posted opposite our front and to our right. When we entered the bush they had evidently been in the same bush at the farther side of it, and had retreated on our advance to the other side of the wheat field. We had reason to know this, because we found quantities of their ammunition, a company sheet roll, and a blank book, a roll book, also a Fenian drill book with the name of "Capt. George Sweeny, Company B, 19th Regiment, Irish Republic Volunteers, Cincinnati, Ohio." The roll book contained about 120 names, with the trades, residences and callings of the men. I have seen the list of Fenian prisoners captured and now in Toronto Jail, and I believe that some of the names are the same as those in the roll book. We commenced firing upon the enemy as soon as we saw them, and they began to retreat. They were about 200 yards from us. We fired here for some time, until an order came to advance from Capt. Gardner, and we leaped over the fence and entered the wheat field. We fired from this wheat field for some time. After entering the wheat field I saw the line of the Thirteenth Battalion to my left, below me, in skirmishing order, advancing towards the enemy. While they were thus advancing I distinctly saw the enemy retreating a long distance before them towards a bush in the rear. Suddenly they seemed to rally, and came down upon the line of the Thirteenth, yelling. At this moment I saw a wavering in the line of the Thirteenth. The Fenians advanced in a loose manner, but in great strength. Here the Thirteenth retreated at the double, but I did not hear the "retire" sounded for that purpose. As the Fenians rushed upon the Thirteenth, we from our positions gave them two or three volleys, which seemed to check them, and their left swerved inwards from us towards their own centre. While we were here in this position, Sergeant Bain, of our company, called out, "Retire, retire!" We then retired firing. I heard the bugle call to retire. When I came to the school-house I was surprised to see our forces marching back again towards Ridgeway. I turned round and saw the Fenians advancing from the orchard on the road at the same place where I saw our advance guard give the signal before the action commenced. I thought there were as many as 600 or 700 on the road, and more moving out of the orchard. I leaned my rifle over a fence and took my last shot at them with one arm (having previously sustained an injury in my shoulder while getting over a fence). Several of my comrades fired also. This drew fire upon us from them, and it was here that McHardy and White were wounded. On my return to the cross-road at the hotel nine-tenths of our force had passed on towards Ridgeway. I then saw Col. Booker and spoke to him. He was on foot. I heard "Halt! halt!" called, but no one seemed to notice it.

Question by Lieut.-Col. Booker--Are you satisfied we were outflanked on our right?

Answer--Yes.

Question by Lieut.-Col. Booker--Did you see Col. Booker after this?

Answer--I saw him at Ridgeway.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--What was he doing?

Answer--He was standing in conversation with some one on the road.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--Did you see him afterwards, and where?

Answer--I saw him afterwards on the march to Port Colborne, after leaving Ridgeway.

Question--Did you see him afterwards, and where?

Answer--I saw him afterwards on the march to Port Colborne, after leaving Ridgeway. I became weak and exhausted and was taken into a house about 250 yards south by two of my comrades, where Dr. Neff, assisted by two others, set my left arm and left me alone. I became insensible, and in that state had lost all recollection of the fight. After I came to myself I heard a volley and ran to the door. I saw the Fenians surround the village. I ran to try to catch up to our force, which had all left, and they fired upon me. I had my arm in a sling, and my tunic flying from my right shoulder. I overtook the force after running for some distance (nearly a mile), and there again I saw Col. Booker in rear of the force. He offered me his horse. I declined the offer, because I thought it would pain me more to ride than to walk. Where the main road crosses the railway he dismounted and gave his horse to some one of the Thirteenth, with some orders to take to Port Colborne. He then took my arm and assisted me along the track until we got into the last train and went into Port Colborne.

Question from Lieut.-Col. Booker--How many rounds of ammunition had been issued to you previous to the engagement, and where issued?

Answer--I received five rounds at Toronto before leaving and thirty at Port Colborne--that was, I had thirty-five rounds.

Ronald McKinnon's Testimony.

The eighth witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker was Ronald Archibald McKinnon, at that time a cadet in the Military School at Toronto.

Question--Were you present at Lime Ridge on the 2nd of June last, and in what capacity did you act?

Answer--I was present at the engagement at Lime Ridge, and acted as a volunteer officer with the Caledonia Rifle Company, though not regularly attached to that company.

Question--Did you see Lieut. Arthurs mounted on Lieut.-Col. Booker's horse?

Answer--Yes.

Question--Were you with Lieut. Arthurs, endeavoring to rally the men near Ridgeway?

Answer--Yes.

Question--Were you there when Lieut.-Col. Booker arrived from the field at Lime Ridge?

Answer--Yes.

Question--Was Lieut.-Col. Booker mounted when he returned from Lime Ridge to Ridgeway?

Answer--Yes.

Question--Were you with the rear guard of the column before the action?

Answer--Yes.

Question--When you saw Lieut. Arthurs mounted on Lieut.-Col. Booker's horse, was it previous to the arrival of Lieut.-Col. Booker mounted on his return from Lime Ridge?

Answer--I cannot say. But I know that after I saw Lieut. Arthurs on Lieut.-Col. Booker's horse I saw Lieut.-Col Booker ride back towards Ridgeway.

Robert Benham's Testimony.

Robert Benham, a private in the Thirteenth Battalion (Major Skinner's groom), was the ninth witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker.

Question--Did Lieut.-Col. Booker's orderly bring you back the horse which Col. Booker rode at Lime Ridge before the firing commenced?

Answer--Yes.

Question--During the retreat what became of the horse?

Answer--I was leading him away to Ridgeway when Quartermaster Stoneman said, "Get on the horse." I then mounted and rode him to Ridgeway, and there watered him. While I was watering him one of the officers of the Queen's Own Rifles came and asked me who owned the horse. I told him that the horse belonged to Major Skinner, but that Col. Booker had been using him. The officer then took the horse from me and mounted him. I saw him, while mounted, draw a pistol and endeavor to stop the men by threatening to shoot if they did not stop. I saw Col. Booker on the horse afterwards.

Capt. Henery's Evidence.

The tenth witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker was Capt. Henery, Adjutant of the Thirteenth Battalion (formerly a Sergeant-Major of the Coldstream Guards).

Question--Will you recite what from your own knowledge occurred from the time the Thirteenth were engaged at Lime Ridge until they retired, and how long they were in action?

Answer--At the commencement of the action, or rather just previously to the action, the Queen's Own were thrown out to skirmish, the reserve being composed of the Thirteenth Battalion, with the York and Caledonia Rifle Companies. Soon afterward the action commenced. The whole force continued to advance in this order. The reserve then halted, the skirmishers and supports continuing their advance. We remained halted only about three minutes before an officer of the Queen's Own came up and shouted, "Surgeons to the front." I then saw two officers in green running to the front. I then heard Major Gillmor tell Col. Booker to deploy the right wing of the Thirteenth Battalion and relieve the Queen's Own, because their ammunition had been expended. Col. Booker then gave the command to the Thirteenth Battalion to deploy the right wing on No. 3 Company, which was executed after advancing a few yards to enable them to deploy and avoid an obstacle in its way. This wing was then extended to skirmish and relieve the Queen's Own, from its left towards the right side of the road. The whole wing and supports were on the right side of the road. While this deployment was being executed, several companies of the Queen's Own came and formed in quarter distance column in rear, forming the reserve. The right wing then advanced and relieved the Queen's Own in a very steady manner, their supports being regularly posted. Then I advanced between the supports and skirmishers. I was not mounted. The support laid down after arriving at the orchard, under cover. I then left the supports and joined the skirmishers. They continued firing for some time, receiving the fire of the enemy. There was then a cry of "Cavalry!" from my right rear. I was on the road with the left of No. 2 Company on the line of skirmishers. I looked and saw two or three horses, and cried out that there was no cavalry. I heard no bugle blow the "retire." When I looked around I saw both red and green coats running to the rear from the line of skirmishers, in order, but not firing. I think this retreat was about one hour after the Thirteenth took the field. I think those of the Queen's Own who formed the reserve as we were deploying, came in about ten minutes after the firing commenced.

Robert Maun's Testimony.

Robert Maun, a private in the 13th Battalion, was the eleventh witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker.

Question--Will you state what you saw at Lime Ridge on the 2nd of June?

Answer--I was on duty on the field hospital staff. There was a cry for the doctor from one of the companies of the Thirteenth, acting as a support in the orchard. I was sent to find the man, and did so. He had been wounded in the wrist. He was a rifleman, not one of the Thirteenth. I saw no other "green" soldier there. Just as we had finished dressing the man's hand I heard a cry of "Cavalry, cavalry! Look out for cavalry!" coming from the direction of the right of the skirmish line. I saw a company of Rifles in line with the skirmishers of the Thirteenth. I suppose they were the York Rifles. When I heard the cry of "Cavalry!" I was near the support of one of the companies, and then I also heard an order given to the reserve to "Form square!" I suggested to the doctor that we should go to the square formed on the road by the reserve. He came with me toward the square, but I cannot tell whether he got into the square or not. I was too late to get in. I threw myself under the bayonets of the front face of the square. This square was composed of the Queen's Own, and the color party of the Thirteenth was with them. A company of the Thirteenth came up at a steady "double." most of them at "the trail." but some of them at "the slope," and passing the right face of the square formed in rear of the Queen's Own. I then, finding a company of my own corps at hand, jumped up, fixed my bayonet, and joined them. It was then that I saw a few straggling men of the Thirteenth, mixed up with some Rifles, retiring from the direction of the skirmish line towards us. An order was then given by a voice, which I took to be Col. Booker's, to "Reform column," which was done. At this moment a rather too sharp fire came upon us, but it was rather high to do us much damage. I then heard an order to "Deploy on the rear company" in the same voice, which I took to be that of Col. Booker. At this time there was a company of the Thirteenth which formed the rear company of the reserve, the rest of the reserve being composed of the Queen's Own. When the order to deploy was given a heavy volley struck the column, and I heard a sound which I took to be that of men falling. The column swayed backwards, as I supposed, from the effects of the fire. The column broke immediately and commenced a retreat down the road. The main body of the Thirteenth were at this time in the field, and firing was going on more to the right. I went down the road with the retreat and felt a heavy fire from a wood on the left as we retired. I saw several of the enemy jumping a fence, as if they were intending to pursue the retreating column. I fired at them, and several others of our men also fired at them. After I had loaded my rifle I returned from the direction in which we had just come and met Col. Booker with the Thirteenth following the Queen's Own, or the retreating column. The Thirteenth were in a confused mass, and I heard several officers say to Col. Booker. "Let us stop them," or words to that effect, and prevent a rout. Col. Booker then said he would go on to the front and stop the men of the retreating column, and then ran out "at the double" and got in front of nearly all of the Thirteenth. He then faced about and, flashing his sword about, said. "For God's sake, men, don't make cowards of yourselves." I had followed him in search of the doctor, and so had the opportunity of witnessing this on the part of Col. Booker. I do not know the names of the officers who said to Col. Booker, "Let us try and stop them and prevent a rout." The men seemed to pay no attention to Col. Booker's entreaties for them to stop, but continued the retreat. A man of No. 1 Company, of the Thirteenth, who was shot through the thigh, demanded my attention, and I went to him. Dr. Ryall was with him attending to him. We got him on a waggon and took him down the road to Ridgeway. While going with this man I heard several officers (Col. Booker of the number) urging the men to stop and take to the woods, as there was good cover there. I think that Adjutant Henery was one of the officers who urged the men to do this. At this time I saw a number of the York Rifles obeying the order to take to the woods. They cried out, "Hurrah for old York! Let us take to the woods and we will give them hell." There was only about a dozen of them. I passed on with the waggon, and saw no more.

Question--Did you hear Lieut.-Col. Booker, when under fire, encouraging the reserves?

Answer--I heard him joking them about their politeness in bowing to the bullets that passed over their heads.

Major Gillmor Recalled.

Question from the Court--Major Gillmor, state the companies of the Queen's Own who were first advanced as skirmishers, how armed, and the amount of ammunition issued to each man.

Answer--No. 5 Company were the entire skirmishers. There were about forty of them armed with Spencer rifles, and had under thirty rounds for each man. The remainder of the company were armed with the long Enfield rifle. Nos. 1 and 2 Companies were the other skirmishers. They were armed with the long Enfield. The whole regiment had an average of forty rounds of ammunition per man.

Question--How long were they under fire when the right wing of the Thirteenth were advanced to their relief?

Answer--I could not form any idea as to the time. The men armed with the Spencer rifles were relieved by another company long before the Thirteenth Battalion went out to skirmish.

Question--Who gave the order to "Form square"?

Answer--Lieut.-Col. Booker gave the caution to "Look out for cavalry!" and I gave the command to "Form square."

Question--Can you state what portion of the Queen's Own were undrilled recruits?

Answer--They were, as a rule, partially drilled, some men undrilled. Recruits were joining every week, and all the available men, drilled and undrilled, were in the field.

Question--What proportion of the whole battalion had not been exercised with blank cartridge?

Answer--With the exception of one or two days in May, when the whole battalion were out skirmishing, I am satisfied that half of the men had never fired a shot.

Question--What proportion of the men had never practised with ball cartridge?

Answer--The proportion was about the same, about half.

Question--What proportion of the regiment was composed of lads under twenty years of age?

Answer--I should say more than half of the regiment.

Question--Did you observe any difference in the demeanor of the lads and the other soldiers going into action?

Answer--No. Each were equally cool. I particularly noticed the companies that morning as they marched out to the skirmish, and all were equally cool. I may state here that this was the first occasion on which the whole regiment had an opportunity to skirmish as a battalion. I also wish to state that I saw the right wing of the Thirteenth extend and advance in skirmishing order, and that nothing could exceed the steadiness and regularity with which they advanced.

Evidence of W. T. Urquhart.

The thirteenth witness called by Lieut.-Col. Booker was Wm. T. Urquhart, assistant editor of the Hamilton Spectator, who was a private in No. 4 Company. Thirteenth Battalion.

Question--Do you recollect seeing Lieut.-Col. Booker after the fight at Lime Ridge, and where?

Answer--I do. I saw him on the rising ground immediately in rear of where the action took place.

Question--Were you exposed to a heavy fire?

Answer--We were.

Question--Were you one of the retreating column?

Answer--In the rear.

Question by the Court--What was Lieut.-Col. Booker doing at the time you noticed him?

Answer--He was trying to restore order.

Question--Where were you when the right wing went out to skirmish? And did your skirmishers relieve those in front of you?

Answer--We were on the right. I was in the company forming the support of the skirmishers on the right, and the skirmishers of our company in front relieved those of the Rifles in front of them. The Rifles retired in good order to the reserves. I certainly saw two companies come in, but I cannot speak as to the whole line.

Question--From the time your skirmishers were posted until the retreat, how much time elapsed?

Answer--I should think about an hour.

Question--What caused the retreat, in your opinion, and what succeeded?

Answer--We retreated because the bugle sounded "the retreat," and we were also ordered by Lieut. Routh, the officer in command of our company, who said shortly afterward that it was a mistake, as it should have been "the advance," and ordered us to "halt" and "front," and we did so accordingly. The skirmishers immediately came down upon us, who were all men of our battalion, and we all retreated together to the cross-road, near the place where we first deployed. Two or three companies of Rifles came down this cross-road from the right of the attack at this moment, and the whole became mingled together and the formation was immediately destroyed. Several attempts by officers of the Thirteenth and the Rifles were made to rally or re-form the men. I noticed Col. Booker and Adjutant Henery do this, and also Ensign Armstrong, who carried the colors. I saw Lieut. Arthurs endeavoring to stop the men, and also other Rifle officers whose names I am not acquainted with.

Adjutant Henery Recalled.

Question--State the names of the officers of the right wing of the Thirteenth Battalion who were present when that wing was ordered to skirmish?

Answer--Major Skinner. Capt. Grant. Lieut. Gibson, and Ensign McKenzie, of No. 1 Company; Capt. Watson and Lieut. Sewell, of No. 2 Company; and Lieut. Ferguson, of No. 3 Company.

Question--How long have you been connected with the regiment, and in what capacity?

Answer--As Drill Instructor and Adjutant, about four years.

Question--About what proportion of the Thirteenth Regiment was wholly undrilled at the time of the affair at Lime Ridge?

Answer--One man only, and the others were all drilled men.

Question--Had the whole battalion previously been exercised with blank cartridge?

Answer--Yes, but not frequently.

Question--Had they any practice with ball cartridge?

Answer--I think 180 men had previously had ball practice.

Question--Was a large proportion of the regiment composed of boys under twenty?

Answer--I think that about 120 were under twenty, and a large proportion of these were between the ages of 19 and 20 years of age.

Question--Did you observe any difference in the demeanor of the men when under fire?

Answer--No difference--all seemed equally steady.

Question--What number of rounds had the men of the Thirteenth when going into action?

Answer--Sixty rounds per man, with caps in proportion.

Major Skinner's Testimony.

Major Skinner, of the Thirteenth Battalion, was the next witness examined.

Question--Were you present at Lime Ridge on the 2nd of June last, when the right wing of the Thirteenth Battalion was sent out to skirmish?

Answer--Yes.

Question--State the orders given and by whom given for the movement, and what took place under your observation.

Answer--Col. Hooker said to me at some distance (about ten yards): "Major Skinner, you will skirmish with the right wing." I then advanced with the skirmishers. We went over a fence and across a field and over another fence into an orchard on the right side of the road. We went through that orchard up to another fence, and there remained for some time. While approaching this fence the enemy's shots passed over our heads. After remaining some time at this fence we found their shot getting closer. We then crossed that fence and passed over a field to another fence, where we halted and remained for some time. I passed to the right of the skirmishers of our battalion. I went there because I saw a number of men in green uniform on our extreme right towards our front, and knowing they were some of our men, told my men not to fire upon them. I cannot say that I saw any of the enemy. They fired upon us from under cover. We met a few skirmishers in green in the orchard. We passed through them.

Question--Before you deployed, what was the position of your regiment as regards the Queen's Own?

Answer--The Queen's Own were all away in front, and the York Rifles also.

Question--How long after the first shot was tired by the enemy was it until the Thirteenth were ordered to skirmish?

Answer--About ten minutes elapsed from the time the first shot was fired until some men of the Queen's Own came in, and we were ordered to relieve the skirmishers. I heard a call for the surgeon to go to the front about seven minutes before we were ordered to skirmish. At the same time Ensign McEachren was carried to the rear. After going to the right of our skirmishers and cautioning the men not to fire upon the men in green on our right. I went back again to the centre of our men. We remained there at this fence about a quarter of an hour, and the enemy getting our range, it became so hot that we again advanced. We ran across a field this time. The whole of No. 3 Company must have been on the left of the road. I was on the right of the road. We found a brick house, with a wooden addition to it. It was locked up with a padlock, and one of our men opened it. We went in, and opening the front door, used the house for cover, firing through the doorway. We were about 150 yards from the woods occupied by the enemy. Some one on the left of the road called out, "Don't you hear the bugle?" I said, "No. What does it say?" The reply I got was, "Retreat." I then looked around to the rear for the first time since we came out, and I saw our men at the right running in. I then heard some one on my left say, "Why, they are preparing to receive cavalry." I looked around and said, "Where is the cavalry?" implying that I saw none. I then ran across the road to the left and saw that the men were all running as fast as they could to the rear. I ran for a barn and remained there a few moments to get breath, and then ran for another fence. I saw a few of our men behind me, and the enemy pursuing them. Two of our men were shot here--Stewart and Powell. I then made for the road where we had previously deployed, expecting to find the reserve there. I found none. Our skirmishers were then comprising men of all of our companies, mixed with those in green. I suppose there were about 150 red coats and about 30 or 40 in green. I then asked for the commanding officer, but got no answer. I then asked for Col. Booker, and one man in the crowd cried out, "He is off, three miles ahead." I do not know who it was that said so. I then called for Major Gillmor, and got no reply. I then thought that I should do something, and I ran to the front of the retreating men on the road and told them to halt. They paid no attention to me. I called upon an officer of our battalion, who was on the right of the men retreating, to draw his sword and see if we could not stop them. We then again went to the front of our men, retreating backwards for a few minutes, when we got them to halt. A couple of boys of our regiment had their bayonets fixed, endeavoring to stop them, and before I could do further a number of men in green rushed past on the left and one of the boys disappeared, and then commenced, a further retreat of all present. No companies were formed for the retreat. I assisted to carry two boys who were wounded by getting doors and carrying them to Ridgeway. They were Rifles. When we reached Ridgeway there were about 150 of us, mixed red and green. We found no one of the force in Ridgeway when we arrived. It was half-past 10 o'clock when we reached Ridgeway. I remained there about three-quarters of an hour, the men continually leaving and going on towards Port Colborne. I left the village just as the Fenians were coming down the hill. I had about 50 men and officers with me. We took the road towards Port Colborne. At the turn of the road we halted and looked back, and saw a large column of about 400 of the enemy marching down the hill into Ridgeway. I wish to state that the whole regiment (Thirteenth) had sixty rounds each, and when the order to retreat was given we had not expended half of our ammunition.

Question--Is there anything of your own knowledge that you wish to state that it is important this Court should hear?

Answer--No.

Isaac Ryall's Evidence.

Dr. Isaac Ryall, Surgeon of the Thirteenth Battalion, was the next witness examined.

Question--Were you present at Lime Ridge on the 2nd of June last, and in what capacity?

Answer--Yes, as Surgeon of the Thirteenth Battalion Question--State your position during the action, and what occurred under your observation.

Answer--I remained with my own battalion until the order was given by Col. Booker to skirmish and relieve the Queen's Own. The regiment at this time was standing on the road beyond the tavern. I followed the line of skirmishers behind No. 4 Company, which passed along the road to the schoolhouse and then advanced to a fence near an orchard. While here a man who was wounded came from the front. He was a rifleman, but I cannot say what corps he belonged to. I examined him and sent him to the rear. I then returned to my post. A few moments afterwards No. 4 Company were ordered to advance, and they went over the fence into the orchard. I then went down to the fence, with the orderlies to assist, and then passed down the fence until coming near the end of it. I cut across the angle to the main road, and there I saw Col. Booker with his bugler and an orderly. The Rifles in reserve were behind Col. Booker, who was between them and the line of skirmishers on the road. Immediately on reaching Col. Booker I heard an order or a cry (which was not from Col. Booker) to "Prepare for cavalry!" I looked around and could not see any cavalry. I then walked to the rear. I am quite positive that the first order to "Prepare for cavalry!" was not given by Col. Booker, because I was quite close to him at the time, and the word came from the front. An order was then given by Col. Booker to "Form square." which was done. I am not positive that this order was given by Col. Booker, but I think so. They did not seem to properly "form square." and in a few seconds they commenced retreating. The square I have referred to was composed of Rifles and the color party of the Thirteenth. My orderly (Robert Maun) was with me at this time. I did not see any of the Thirteenth come up and form in rear of the square. I was going to the rear and saw them commence running. I walked down the road, and the men passed me running. About a quarter of a mile from where the square was formed. I heard Col. Booker give an order, which I repeated twice, for the men to go into a wood on the left-hand side of the road. The order did not seem to be obeyed. I spoke to one man of the Thirteenth, and asked him why he did not obey the orders. He said he would go in if the others did, but he would not go in by himself. Immediately after I saw a man named Powell, of the Thirteenth, who had been wounded and was being assisted by two men. I examined him and found there was no necessity for immediate action, and then got him into a waggon and took him to a farmer's house beyond Ridgeway. I did not see Col. Booker again until I got about a mile or more from the Ridgeway Station, on the road south of the railway, he had been giving some stimulants to a sick soldier of the Thirteenth, who was mounted on his horse. The man 's name was Daniel Laker. I went on with the men. I saw the Rifles resting themselves by the roadside, and the Thirteenth passing them after leaving Ridge way. When we arrived at the point where the railway track crossed the main road, some of the men took the railway track and some followed the road. Col. Booker and I both followed the track, and a train shortly afterwards came up, upon which a number of men got; as many as it would carry. Col. Booker walked on or remained behind. It was only an engine and a baggage car. There were no passenger cars.


This site includes some historical materials that may imply negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record and should not be interpreted to mean that the WebMasters in any way endorse the stereotypes implied.

Troublous Times in Canada, A History of the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870

Previous | Fenian Raids of 1866 - 1870 | Next

Link


Add/Correct a Link

Comments/Submit Data


Copyright 2002-2018 by Canadian Genealogy
The WebPages may be linked to but shall not be reproduced on another site without written permission.