Grand Uprising of the Canadian People
The Second Alarm--Grand Uprising of the Canadian
People --Departure of Troops for the Front--Gen. Napier's Plan of
Late on the night of the 31st of May, 1866, the
second call to arms was telegraphed from Ottawa, and within an hour
the sound of bugles and alarm bells was heard echoing and ringing in
nearly every city, town and village in the country. The alacrity
with which our volunteers responded to the summons on that eventful
night is without a parallel in the history of any nation. The whole
country was aroused, and all were eager to go to the front. Many
young men pleadingly begged for a chance to join the already "over
strength" companies who could not be accommodated, and were
reluctantly obliged to satisfy their military ardor by enrolling
themselves in the Home Guards and shouldering rifles for patrol
In the town of St. Catharines the excitement was intense, on account
of its near proximity to the border and the alarming reports that
were being circulated of the near approach of the enemy. The town
companies of the 19th Lincoln Battalion, under command of
Lieut.-Col. J. G. Currie, and the St. Catharines Battery of Garrison
Artillery, under Capt. George Stoker and Lieut. James Wilson, were
speedily mustered, and all through the night kept faithful vigils on
guard duty, anxiously awaiting orders to move to the frontier. A
Home Guard was hastily organized and equipped, and every citizen
vied with his neighbor to shoulder his share of the responsibility
in defending their homes and kindred from the attacks of the
At Toronto the Queen's Own Rifles, the Tenth Royals, the Toronto
Garrison Battery, and the Toronto Naval Brigade, were quickly
assembled at the drill shed and preparations made to leave for the
front at a moment's notice. The citizens of the loyal old city of
Toronto, who had on many previous occasions rallied around the flag
of their country when danger threatened, were so strongly imbued
with that patriotic feeling which prevailed everywhere that they
immediately enrolled a Home Guard to defend the city in the absence
of the volunteer regiments, and faithfully and well was that duty
The same intense patriotism was manifested by the people of Canada
generally, and a general muster of all military commands prevailed
List of Troops Called Out for Active Service
As a matter of record and interest to the survivors
of the Fenian Raid of 1866, copies of the General Orders issued by
the Militia Department, designating the troops that were called out
for active service on the 1st and 2nd of June. 1866, together with a
list of the new companies organized, are herewith given:
Headquarters, Ottawa, 1st June, '66.
General Orders, No. 1.
The Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief directs that the
following named corps be called out for active service, and that the
said corps be immediately assembled and billetted at their
respective headquarters, there to await such orders for their
movement as may be directed by the Commander-in-Chief:
Windsor Garrison Battery.
Goderich Garrison Battery.
St. Catharines Garrison Battery.
Toronto Garrison Battery.
Port Stanley Naval Company.
Dunnville Naval Company.
Hamilton Naval Company.
Toronto Naval Company.
Mount Pleasant Infantry Company.
Paris Rifle Company.
Brantford Rifles, 2 Companies.
Kincardine Infantry, 2 Companies.
Paisley Infantry Company.
Southampton Rifle Company.
Vienna Infantry Company.
St. Thomas Rifle Company.
Windsor Infantry Company.
Sandwich Infantry Company.
Leamington Infantry Company.
Amherstburg Infantry Company.
Gosfield Rifle Company.
Durham Infantry Company.
Mount Forest Rifle Company.
Leith Rifle Company.
Dunnville Rifle Company.
York Rifle Company.
20th Battalion, St. Catharines, 5 Companies.
7th Battalion, London. 6 Companies.
Komoka Rifle Company.
Villa Nova Rifle Company.
Simcoe Rifle Company.
Port Rowan Rifle Company.
Walsingham Rifle Company.
Ingersoll Infantry Company.
Drumbo Infantry Company.
22nd Battalion Oxford Rifles, Woodstock, 4 Companies.
Brampton Infantry and Rifle Companies.
Albion Infantry Company.
Derry West Infantry Company.
Alton Infantry Company.
Grahamsville Infantry Company.
Stratford Infantry Company.
Bradford Infantry Company.
Barrie Infantry and Rifle Companies.
Collingwood Rifle Companies.
Cookstown Rifle Company.
Orangeville Infantry Company.
Fergus Rifle Company.
Elora Rifle Company.
Caledonia Rifle Company.
Stewartown Infantry Company.
Georgetown Infantry Company.
Norval Infantry Company.
Oakville Rifle Company.
Seaforth Infantry Company.
Chatham Infantry, 2 Companies.
Blenheim Infantry Company.
19th Battalion, St. Catharines, 6 Companies.
13th Battalion, Hamilton, 6 Companies.
Aurora Infantry Company.
Lloydtown Infantry Company.
King Infantry Company.
Scarborough Rifle Company.
2nd Battalion, Queen's Own Rifles, Toronto, 11 Companies.
10th Battalion (Royals), Toronto, 8 Companies.
Franklin Infantry Company.
Durham Infantry Company.
Hinchinbrooke Rifle Company.
Athelstan Infantry Company.
Rockburn Infantry Company.
Huntingdon Infantry, 2 Companies.
Hemmingford Infantry Company.
Roxham Infantry Company.
Lacolle Infantry Company (21st Battalion).
St. John's Infantry Company (21st Battalion).
Havelock Rifle Company.
Granby Infantry, 2 Companies.
Waterloo Infantry, 2 Companies.
Freleighsburg Infantry Company.
Phillipsburg Infantry Company.
Montreal Infantry, 6 Companies.
Ottawa, 2nd June. 1866.
General Orders, No. 2.
The Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief has been pleased to call
out for active service the following corps in addition to those
called out by General Order No. 1, of yesterday's date:
1st Frontenac Troop Cavalry, Kingston.
1st Squadron Volunteer Light Cavalry, County of York.
Grimsby Troop Cavalry.
London Troop Cavalry.
St. Thomas Troop Cavalry.
Governor-General's Body Guard, Toronto.
Kingston Field Battery.
Hamilton Field Battery.
Welland Canal Field Battery.
London Field Battery.
14th Battalion Rifles. Kingston.
Brockville Rifle and Infantry Companies.
Varennes Infantry Company.
Napiersville Infantry Company.
St. Remi Infantry Company.
St. Luc's Infantry Company, 21st Battalion.
Sherbrooke Rifles, 2 Companies.
Danville Rifle Company.
Bury Infantry Company.
Richmond Infantry Company.
Melbourne Infantry Company.
2nd Lennoxville Rifle Company.
On 2nd June the following new companies were placed
on the list of the Volunteer Militia of Canada:
Oil Springs Infantry Company.
Bayfield Infantry Company.
Galt Infantry Company.
Oro Infantry Company.
Aylmer Infantry Company.
Strathroy Infantry Company.
Orillia Infantry Company.
Woodstock Infantry Company.
Wolfe Island Infantry Company.
Tamworth Infantry Company.
Kemptville Infantry Company.
Sydney Infantry Company Hillsboro Infantry Company.
Dundas Infantry Company.
Bobcaygeon Infantry Company.
Bearbrook Infantry Company.
St. Mary's Infantry Company.
Clinton Infantry Company.
Huntley Infantry Company.
Widder Infantry Company.
Peterboro Infantry Company.
Edwardsburg Infantry Company.
Parkhill Infantry Company.
Stirling Infantry Company.
Ottawa Garrison Artillery (3rd Battery).
Waterloo Infantry Company.
Warwick Infantry Company.
Amherst Island Infantry Company.
Napanee Garrison Artillery.
Port Hope Garrison Artillery.
10th Royals, Toronto (2 additional Companies).
Stanstead Infantry Company.
Coaticooke Infantry Company.
Ste. Hyacinthe Infantry Company.
Sorel Infantry Company.
Tingwick Infantry Company.
Winslow Infantry Company, Clarenceville Infantry Company.
Elgin Infantry Company.
Longueuil Infantry Company.
Boucherville Infantry Company.
Vercheres Infantry Company.
Abercorn Infantry Company.
Huntingdon Infantry (3rd Company).
St. Pie Infantry Company.
Vaudreuil Infantry Company.
St. Martine Infantry Company.
St. Athanase Infantry Company.
Beauharnois Infantry Company.
Knowlton Infantry Company.
Sutton Infantry Company.
On the evening of the 2nd of June the whole of the
Volunteer Force not already called out or enumerated in the
above-mentioned lists, was placed on active service, and on Sunday,
the 3rd of June, the Province had more than 20,000 men under arms,
besides the numerous companies of Home Guards. The entire force
turned out not only willingly, but eagerly, although at a season of
the year when their business interests suffered greatly by their
absence. It was enough for every militia man to know that the
country needed his services, and personal interests were cheerfully
sacrificed. Instances of devotion to Queen and country were general.
Business matters were but a secondary consideration. Merchants and
their clerks left their shops, students their colleges, professional
men their offices, while factories were shut down and farmers left
their ploughs in the furrows to take up their rifles to assist in
the national defence. Those who were obliged by age or infirmities
to stay at home were not idle, but nobly did their part in raising
funds to assist the families of those bread-winners who had gone to
serve on the frontier posts. All over the country large sums were
raised for this purpose, and the patriotic Relief Committees were
exceptionally busy attending to the proper distribution of food and
supplies, both among the volunteers and the needy families who were
depending upon them.
In the order calling out the troops for active service the
Governor-General placed the whole force under the command of
Lieut.-Gen. Sir John Michel, and added:
In former times the Commander-in-Chief has had occasion to call for
the active services of the volunteer force to maintain international
obligations, and as a precaution against threatened action. These
threats have now ripened into actual fact. The soil of Canada has
been invaded, not in the practice of legitimate warfare, but by a
lawless and piratical band in defiance of all moral right, and in
utter disregard of all the obligations which civilization enforces
on mankind. Upon the people of Canada this state of things imposes
the duty of defending their altars, their homes and their property
from desecration, pillage and spoilation. The Commander-in-Chief
relies on the courage and loyalty of the volunteer force and looks
with confidence for the blessings of Providence on their performance
of the sacred duty which circumstances have cast upon them.
Major-Gen. Napier's Plan of Campaign.
As the Niagara district was chosen by the Fenians to
be the theatre of their first operations, Gen. Napier quickly made
preparations to occupy the salient points of this important
territory. The Welland Canal, connecting Lake Erie with Lake
Ontario, runs from Port Colborne on the former lake to Port
Dalhousie on the latter (a distance of 26 miles), and lies at an
average distance of about 13 miles inland from the Niagara River.
The Welland Railway also connected these two points, running nearly
parallel with the canal. To protect these two arteries of commerce
from destruction was a desideratum to the General commanding, and
his plan of campaign was framed on these lines. Port Colborne lies
about 19 miles west of Fort Erie, and Gen. Napier decided to
mobilize a force at that point and another at St. Catharines, 10
miles west of the Niagara River. These were two very strategic
points at which to concentrate troops for the defence of the Niagara
frontier, as they possessed excellent advantages as bases of supply
for the sustenance of columns operating in any quarter of the
district. On account of the favorable rail communication with each
of those places, troops could be moved rapidly by trains from the
interior, and would always be within easy striking distance of an
invading force on any portion of the Niagara frontier. Therefore
orders were issued to commanding officers to assemble their corps
immediately at their respective local headquarters, and await
The first body of troops which left for the front was the Queen's
Own Rifles, of Toronto, with a total strength of 480 of all ranks.
The regiment was assembled at the Drill Shed on Front Street at 4
o'clock on the morning of June 1st, and received orders to proceed
to Port Colborne without delay. At 6.30 a.m. they embarked on board
the steamer "City of Toronto" for Port Dalhousie, where they
entrained on the Welland Railway for Port Colborne. Lieut.-Col. J.
S. Dennis, Brigade Major of the Fifth Military District, was in
command. This officer had received orders from Gen. Napier to occupy
Port Colborne, and if necessary entrench a position there and await
reinforcements and further orders before an attack was made on the
enemy. The Queen's Own arrived at Port Colborne about noon, and
there being no indications of the enemy in the near vicinity, the
men were billetted among the citizens for dinner, as by somebody's
oversight no rations or food supply of any kind had been forwarded
for the sustenance of the troops.
Lieut.-Col. Dennis sent out couriers and mounted scouts to glean
information of the whereabouts of the enemy, who he finally located
at their camp near Fort Erie. During the afternoon the Thirteenth
Battalion, of Hamilton, under command of Lieut.-Col. A. Booker,
arrived at Port Colborne from Dunnville, accompanied by the York and
Caledonia Rifle Companies. These reinforcements made a total force
of about 850 troops at Port Colborne, and as Lieut.-Col. Booker was
the ranking officer present, he took command of the column.
Meanwhile other troops were on the move towards the frontier. As
before mentioned. Gen. Napier had decided to also mobilize a force
at St. Catharines, and orders were given to Col. Geo. Peacocke,
commanding Her Majesty's 16th Regiment, to proceed thither with the
forces at his command, and assume charge of the operations for the
defence of the frontier. At 12.40 o'clock (noon) a force consisting
of three companies of Her Majesty's 47th Regiment, under command of
Major Lauder, and the Grey Battery of Royal Artillery, commanded by
Lieut.-Col. Hoste, C.B., left Toronto via the Great Western Railway
for St. Catharines. At Hamilton this contingent was joined by Col.
Peacocke with 200 men of the 16th Regiment, and the whole force
proceeded to their destination. On arrival at St. Catharines Col.
Peacocke received telegrams advising him that a strong body of
Fenians were marching towards Chippawa, so he resolved to move
forward his force at once to that point and endeavor to save the
bridges across the Welland River (or Chippawa Creek) from
He issued immediate orders for the Tenth Royals of Toronto, two more
companies of H. M. 47th Regiment, the Nineteenth Lincoln Battalion,
and Capt. Stoker's Battery of Garrison Artillery, from St.
Catharines, to reinforce him at Chippawa. These troops moved
promptly forward, and before daylight all were bivouacked on the
streets of the quiet village of Chippawa. No provision had been made
for sheltering our volunteers, as neither tents or blankets had been
issued, so the weary, jaded troops were content to lie out on the
green sward under the star-lit canopy of heaven, with the gentle
June dew falling on their sleeping forms, until at sunrise the
bugles sounding the reveille awoke them to a realization of the hard
fare of a soldier's life on active service. By some blunder of
somebody no food had been provided for the volunteer battalions, nor
haversacks to carry it in if they did have it, so fortunate indeed
was he who received breakfast that morning. As the majority of the
men had left their homes early the day before, and had eaten very
little since, they keenly felt the pangs of hunger. But the
patriotic people of Chippawa did their best to cater to their needs,
and were unsparing in their efforts to provide the meals so urgently
required, while the regular troops shared their rations of hard
tack, cheese, meat and tea cheerfully with their Canadian comrades.
Although the Fenians had openly flaunted their intention of invading
Canada, and the secret service agents had made minute reports of the
determination of the marauders to make a raid, still the Canadian
military authorities seemed apathetic, and took very little heed of
the warnings until the eve of the event. Plenty of time was accorded
the Government to have the whole force properly equipped and in
readiness, but when the bugles sounded the alarm and the volunteers
promptly assembled to meet the foe, there was a woeful lack of the
necessaries which are indispensable to a successful campaign,
namely, an available supply of military stores, commissary and
medical supplies. Many of the companies and battalions which moved
promptly to the front were totally unprovided even with canteens or
water bottles, and had to depend on creeks or roadside ditches for a
drink of water wherewith to allay their thirst, which they scooped
up in their hands or caps as best they could. But "Johnny Canuck"
never murmured, and marched cheerfully onward in the shoes in which
he usually stood, without provisions and weighted down with heavy
padded uniforms (which were designed for winter wear), carrying a
heavy rifle and accoutrements, with forty rounds of ball cartridges
in his pouch and twenty more in his pockets for ballast. Still he
had a stout heart within his breast, and a resolute determination to
do his duty in assisting to drive the invaders from the shores of
his native land served to impel him onward as he marched through the
choking dust of clay roads on a blazing hot June day, gaily joining
in the refrain of the old marching song:--
"Tramp, tramp, tramp, our boys are marching.
Cheer up, let the Fenians
For beneath the Union Jack we'll drive the rabble back
And we'll fight for our
beloved Canadian home."
Those were stirring days, and many an old volunteer who participated
in the forced marches and hardships of the campaign on the Niagara
frontier particularly, still retains vivid recollections of that
On the evening of the 1st of June, Col. Peacocke received definite
reports that the Fenians were still occupying their camp at
Frenchman's Creek, and at once conceived the plan of uniting the
forces at Port Colborne with his own column at Stevensville (a small
country hamlet about seven miles south-west of Chippawa) and make a
combined attack on Gen. O'Neil's position as soon as the junction of
the two columns was effected. He accordingly despatched Capt. Chas.
S. Akers (an officer of the Royal Engineers) across the country
about midnight with orders to Lieut.-Col. Booker to leave Port
Colborne for Ridgeway by rail at five o'clock next morning, and
after detraining his troops at that station to march by the nearest
road to Stevensville, where he expected to meet him with his column
about 10 o'clock. Capt. Akers was given minute instructions by Col.
Peacocke as to the time he proposed to leave Chippawa (6 o'clock)
and also the route of his march, so that Lieut.-Col. Booker could be
thoroughly informed of his plans.
Capt. Akers arrived at Port Colborne about 2 o'clock a.m., on June
2nd, and after delivering his despatches and verbal orders, had a
conference with Lieut.-Col. Booker and Lieut.-Col. Dennis as to the
situation of affairs at the front, which resulted in a proposal by
Lieut.-Col. Dennis that Col. Peacocke's plans should be altered
(contingent on that officer's consent) and that Lieut.-Col. Booker's
column should advance on Fort Erie direct and join Col. Peacocke
near Frenchman's Creek, instead of at Stevensville. This proposal
was telegraphed to Col. Peacocke, who promptly negatived any change
in his plans, and insisted on his original orders being obeyed.
Previous to the issuance of his order to Lieut.-Col. Booker, Col.
Peacocke had telegraphed to Lieut.-Col. Dennis that he had ordered
the International Ferry steamer to proceed from Fort Erie to Port
Colborne, and instructed him to put a gun detachment on board and
patrol the Niagara River from Fort Erie to Chippawa. As this steamer
had not arrived at 10.30 p.m., Lieut.-Col. Dennis availed himself of
the patriotic offer of Capt. Lachlan McCallum, owner of the powerful
tug "W. T. Robb," to place that boat at his disposal. Capt. McCallum
was the commanding officer of the Dunnville Naval Brigade, and the
boat was lying at her dock at that place when he received a telegram
from Lieut.-Col. Dennis shortly after midnight to proceed to Port
Colborne without delay. He quickly mustered his crew and the members
of his Naval Brigade and left Dunnville at 2 o'clock a.m., arriving
at Port Colborne at about 4 a.m. Meanwhile the Welland Canal Field
Battery, under command of Capt. Richard S. King, of Port Robinson,
had reported at Port Colborne, and received orders to embark on the
"W. T. Robb," for the proposed reconnaissance to the Niagara River.
For some unaccountable reason the field guns of this splendid
Battery, which was one of the most efficient in the Province at that
time, had been removed to Hamilton a few months previously, and
their only armament on this occasion was short Enfield rifles with
sword bayonets. They mustered three officers and 59 men when they
joined the Dunnville Naval Brigade on board the tug. The latter
corps consisted of three officers and 43 men, armed with Enfield
rifles and equipment, but were without uniforms. Thus the total
strength of the combatant forces which left Port Colborne on the "W.
T. Robb" was 108 of all ranks. Without waiting for a reply from Col.
Peacocke relative to the change in plans suggested by the
conference, Lieut.-Col. Dennis, accompanied by Capt. Akers, went on
board the tug, and assuming command of the expedition, ordered the
vessel to proceed at once to Fort Erie.
Shortly after the "W. T. Robb" left the harbor, a telegram was
received by Lieut.-Col. Booker from Col. Peacocke, ordering him to
adhere to his original instructions, and to leave Port Colborne for
Ridgeway not later than 5.30 a.m., to disembark there and march to
Stevensville, so as to effect the junction with his column at the
specified hour. Lieut.-Col. Booker's troops were already on board
the train, having remained in the cars nearly all night with very
little sleep, and after being served a hasty and very meagre
breakfast, the train started from Port Colborne about 5 o'clock. The
total strength of the forces (which consisted of the Queen's Own
Rifles, the Thirteenth Battalion, and the York and Caledonia Rifle
Companies) was about 840 men. Preceded by a pilot engine the train
moved carefully eastward until it reached Ridgeway station, where
the force was detrained and formed up in column of march. It was
then found impossible to obtain horses and waggons at Ridgeway for
the transport of the stores, so that a large quantity of supplies
and other material which was urgently required had to be sent back
to Port Colborne by the returning train. This was a lamentable state
of affairs, which did not reflect much credit on the ability of some
officer whose duty it was to look after such matters.
Although Col. Peacocke had notified Lieut.-Col. Booker that he would
leave Chippawa with his column at 6 o'clock on his march for
Stevensville to form the proposed junction of forces, he was nearly
two hours late of his scheduled time in doing so, which had an
important bearing on the fortunes of the day, and the events which
might have been averted. The reinforcements (consisting of two
companies of H. M. 47th Regiment, the 19th Lincoln Battalion, the
10th Royals of Toronto, and Stoker's Battery of Artillery, from St.
Catharines) had arrived during the night and early hours of the
morning. Some time was lost in getting the column ready for the
advance, and it was not until 7 o'clock that the "assembly" was
sounded for the companies to "fall in." The troops hurriedly bundled
on their accoutrements and equipments, and in a quarter of an hour
were ready for the march. Another half hour was lost in inspection,
"telling off" the battalions, serving out ammunition and other
preliminaries, so it was nearly 8 o 'clock when the bugle sounded
"the advance" and the column was put in motion.
H. M. 16th Regiment supplied the advance guard, with the usual
look-out and flanking files. The main body of the advance was
commanded by Capt. Home and Lieut. Taylor, and the support by Lieut.
Reid. The remainder of the column was formed in the following order:
The right wing of H. M. 16th Regiment, under command of Major Grant;
the Grey Battery of Royal Artillery (with six Armstrong guns), under
Col. Hoste; H. M. 47th Regiment, under Lieut.-Col. Villiers and
Major Lauder; the Nineteenth (Lincoln) Battalion (seven companies,
with a strength of 350), and the Tenth Royals of Toronto (417
strong). The volunteer battalions were officered as follows:
Nineteenth Battalion--Lieut.-Col. James G. Currie in command;
Majors, John Powell and T. L. Helliwell; Adjutant, Silas Spillett.
No. 1 Co.--Capt. Ed. Thompson. Lieut. Johnson Clench. No. 2
Co.--Capt. Fred W. Macdonald, Lieut. F. Benson. No. 3 Co.--Capt. Wm.
Kew, Lieut. J. K. Osborne, Ensign Kew. No. 4 Co.--Capt. Mathias
Konkle, Lieut. G. Walker, Ensign Wolverton. No. 8 Co.--Capt. Henry
Carlisle, Lieut. Edwin I. Parnell, Ensign Josiah G. Holmes. Surgeon,
Edwin Goodman, M.D.; Quartermaster, Wm. McGhie. (The Clifton and
Port Dalhousie Companies of this Battalion were left to guard the
Suspension Bridge, and the Thorold Company was sent to Port Colborne
to guard the Welland Canal).
The Tenth Royals--Lieut.-Col., A. Brunel; Majors, James
Worthington and John Boxall (in command during march); Adjutant, C.
H. Connon. No. 1 Co.--Capt. Geo. McMurrich, Lieut. John Paterson,
Ensign F. Barlow Cumberland. No. 2 Co.--Capt. Geo. B. Hamilton.
Lieut. Fred Richardson, Ensign Alex. Macdonald. No. 3 Co.--Lieut. H.
J. Browne in command, Ensign Walter H. Barrett. No. 4 Co.--Capt. Wm.
A. Stollery, Lieut. Arthur Coleman, Ensign W. D. Rogers. No. 5
Co.--Capt. Geo. W. Musson, Lieut. Chas. S. Musson, Ensign J. Widmer
Rolph. No. 6 Co.--Capt. J. W. Laurence, Lieut. C. J. H. Winstanley,
Ensign Hayward. No. 7 Co.--Capt. J. W. Hetherington, Lieut. G.
Brunei. No. 8 Co.--Lieut. T. Brunei in command, Ensign L. Sherwood.
Surgeon, Dr. J. H. Richardson; Assist. Surgeon, Dr. James Newcombe;
Paymaster, Capt. John H. Ritchey; Quartermaster, Capt. Rufus
The St. Catharines Garrison Battery of Artillery, under command of
Capt. George Stoker and Lieut. James Wilson, was left at Chippawa to
hold that place and guard the bridges.
A very grave error or oversight was made by the General Commanding
in not providing a force of cavalry to thoroughly scour the country
in advance of both of these columns before they started feeling
their way through a district that was practically unknown to the
commanding officers, and which was reported to be occupied by
marauding parties of the enemy. Had this been done on the first of
June, and cavalry scouts been employed on all the leading roads and
highways gathering information of the whereabouts and doings of Gen.
O'Neil and his forces, the events which subsequently transpired
might have ended more happily. At the eleventh hour the Militia
authorities saw the necessity of employing cavalry in the
operations, and called out a portion of that extremely useful branch
of the service. One of these cavalry troops (the Governor-General's
Body Guard, of Toronto, under command of Major Geo. T. Denison),
performed splendid service in this direction, an account of which
will be given in a subsequent chapter.
Col. Peacocke marched from Chippawa by the River Road for Black
Creek on his way to Stevensville, a rather round-about route, which
added some miles to his journey and caused considerable loss of
time. The day was an oppressively close one, with not a breath of
air stirring, and as the sun rose higher in the heavens it cast
forth a brassy heat that was almost unbearable, and had a telling
effect on the men, who were soon drenched with perspiration and
covered with dust. By 11 o'clock the heat became more intense and
the dust more denser, and the jaded soldiers began to show signs of
weariness, when Col. Peacocke resolved to halt his column at New
Germany, a point about three miles from Stevensville, having covered
12 1/4 measured miles on this strenuous march.
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Troublous Times in Canada, A History of the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870
Fenian Raids of 1866 - 1870