1885 NorthWest Campaign

For all discussions relating to military activities in Canada, 1837-1901.

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby sarjoy » 30 Nov 2010 08:57

Hello,
I am learning about my husband's g-grandfather who was a member of the QOR and was at most of the battles of the NW Rebellion. I have some buttons that I believe he kept from his uniform(s) - a brass one and two black (gutta percha or similar material). He was a member of the York Pioneers (his own father had pioneered a farm in what is now downtown Toronto), he graduated from Toronto University in 1887 and died in 1932 - his name was T.E. Elliott. The write up on the QOR is fascinating - thank you for that.
sarjoy
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 Nov 2010 04:53

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby Will Mathieson » 01 Dec 2010 01:44

A Snider load should start with the original weight bullet and the wood, clay plug/disc in the base to ensure expansion or accuracy suffers greatly. The rate of twist, depth of rifling etc. was specifically made to the Snider round. Good luck, they are great to fire!!!!
User avatar
Will Mathieson
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 774
Joined: 03 Mar 2009 00:56
Location: near Fort Henry

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby GrantRCanada » 01 Dec 2010 03:35

I am recently back from an extensive road trip, the main destination of which was to participate in the 7th Annual National Muster of the Grand Army of the Frontier. It had its origins in Cowboy Action Shooting, originally just as an internet "mutual interest and discussion" group of people in that shooting sport particularly interested in the military history of the era. (The stated GAF "mission" is: "to honor the memories and achievements of the late Victorian-era military of all nations between 1858 and 1904, with a particular emphasis on the American army on the Western Frontier between 1860 and 1900, though the pursuit and sharing of knowledge, and by actively participating in the hobbies of Cowboy Action Shooting, historical reenacting, living history programs, skirmishing, social events, and other activities while wearing appropriate military attire.") GAF matches have evolved to using appropriate "main battle rifles" in lieu of the pistol-caliber lever-action carbines used in normal Cowboy Action Shooting, in addition to an appropriate handgun

As mentioned earlier in this thread, for the past few years I have competed primarily in the uniform of a Sergeant of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, circa 1885, but have used a .577/.450 Martini-Henry rifle - not "standard issue" to the bulk of Canadian Militia. However, its use was justified in that the Martini-Henry was issued to the Infantry School Corps of the Permanent Militia and, as the primary-issue rifle of the United Kingdom, was also used in the "service rifle competitions" then common throughout the Empire.

However, I have long wanted to compete using a Snider-Enfield, and chose this year to do so, with an appropriate Mark III 2-band rifle. I genuinely expected this would effectively put me out of serious competition, however after some initial "teething pains" I became more comfortable shooting it, and ultimately placed Second in my category (Black Powder Single Shot Battle Rifle). The last of ten shooting stages tackled by my squad required one shot on each of ten rifle gongs spaced from about 50 yards out to 400 yards. I was the only competitor to score 9 hits out of 10 - next best was 8 out of 10 - notwithstanding others were using firearms like .45-70 Trapdoor Springfields, and .30-40 Krag bolt-action rifles with smokeless ammunition. My only "miss" was at about mid-range when I miscalculated my "hold" ....

As for accuracy with the Snider, Will Mathieson's advice is good providing you are using the same hollow-based type of projectile as was used "back in the day", which was in fact under bore diameter, just like the bullets the muzzle-loading Enfields had used. However, "modern" wisdom indicates that using an over bore-sized projectile to start with also should produce good accuracy. I use a solid-based 480gr. bullet designed by Kerry Jenkinson, which has a diameter of .590" .....

Image
User avatar
GrantRCanada
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 803
Images: 0
Joined: 18 Feb 2008 06:00
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta , Canada

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby Wayne F. Brown » 12 Dec 2010 17:15

New to the forum - - author of the book, "Steele's Scouts" and an exec. member of Frenchman Butte Museum. Often get by Pipestone Creek skirmish site. Nothing there, we've found nothing with detectors. No idea of where Memmnook's body ended up either. Searching for info? Best to hit the archives at Glenbow, Edmonton and Regina- - search name, then geneology for parents, brothers, sisters - - next search archives using their names. If you get lucky there'll be a diary or something like that in which there just may be a letter from "your target identity" to them. Did that with Sam Steele - brother James, in his diary are letters neatly folded from Sam! Not even sure the archives knew they were there. Also all of Sam's documents are property of the Bruce Peel Library at UofA. Check their website and you'll find the status of their publication. The contents will provide incredible insight into our West and into Sam himself. Once the documents (boxes and boxes of them) are loaded the site will go "online", giving everyone equal opportunity.
Wayne
Wayne F. Brown
New Member
 
Posts: 22
Joined: 12 Dec 2010 16:58

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby QSAMIKE » 13 Dec 2010 00:55

Steele's Uniforms, Medals and Equipment are in the Glenbow and will be on display to the general public when we set it up in April.....

A few NWMP items, Mostly Boer War, South African Constabulary including a very very rare Officers dress uniform and World War One.......

Mike
Mike C.
Past - President Calgary Military Historical Society
Member OMRS 1591
QSAMIKE
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 557
Joined: 31 Aug 2008 01:44
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby Wayne F. Brown » 13 Jan 2011 21:11

1885 Northwest Rebellion historic site development About 3 years ago in Saskatchewan a group of historians, Prov. & Fed Parks, several special interest organizations such as First Nations, Metis and numerous Museums formed a group which eventually morphed into a tri-provincial tourism initiative "Trails of 1885". Las summer this assembly hosted a whole pile of events commemorating the 125th Anniversary of the N.W.Rebellion. It was a resounding success since it pressured government to inject significant funding into our historic site development. We saw Batoche, Fort Pitt, and in a lesser way Frenchman Butte receive significant enhancements to the sites. Check out the website, >www.trailsof1885.ca< and it will give you some perspective on the extent of our efforts under general manager, Colleen Norrish.
Here at Frenchman Butte Museum, we hosted 4 major events, one of which was a re-enactment "march" of Calgary based "Steele's Scouts" as they rode on horseback from Frog Lake to Ft. Pitt, Frenchman Butte and concluded at Loon Lake in the rain. Awesome event ! This year is the second of "Trails" operation, a major conference will be held in Lloydminster Feb. 21-23 to evaluate last summer's operations and plan this year's goals. Outstanding thing is - - this is a tri-provincial initiative, not just a Sask. thing and welcoming anyone who has a serious interest in 1885. This year I expect will be focused on bringing Alberta "onside" in a big way since they have several sites, Forts; Calgary, Normandeau, Edmonton, Metis crossing, Frog Lake etc. Plan is to package this era of Canadian history into one "adventure" for the tourist to explore. Last summer's visitors were utterly astounded at our colorful heritage as they learned the Rebellion story, and we know we're just in the beginnings of something really significant. I anticipate this will influence governments to continue with site developments in the future~ ~ to all our benefit. You're interested in our early history, don't miss out!
Wayne F. Brown
New Member
 
Posts: 22
Joined: 12 Dec 2010 16:58

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby Will Mathieson » 13 Jan 2011 21:57

viewtopic.php?f=76&t=1279
I don't know if you have seen this, would be something of interest for the 1885 Rebellions? I know museums have a certain focus for their displays and they can change, whether a sword is an item of interest I do not know. I do know swords that are positively traced to their owners are much more desireable than others that are not.
I would like to know the thinking behind choosing a British officer as A.Q.M.G. for Gen. Middleton, did he not trust Canadian officers at the time? There was quite a bit of politics during the rebellions and when over, Capt. H de H Haig was sent back to Halifax without delay. On the other hand, Capt. Haig was highly thought of in Major Boultons book on The North West Rebellions, and mentioned in dispatches.
User avatar
Will Mathieson
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 774
Joined: 03 Mar 2009 00:56
Location: near Fort Henry

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby Scona » 14 Jan 2011 02:52

I would like to know the thinking behind choosing a British officer as A.Q.M.G. for Gen. Middleton, did he not trust Canadian officers at the time?
Middleton supposedly didn't trust the Canadian militia in general. He supposedly feared the men would run if pressed. Perhaps this was a reflection of his own shortcomings as a general. Having just read read three diaries from men who were there, it becomes obvious that the men and officers didn't think too much of Middleton either, after they got to know him. Some of the Canadian press weren't impressed with Middleton. (I was just reading the Edmonton Bulletin for July, 1885) Having camped for nearly two weeks after the skirmish at Fish Creek made a lot of people wonder. Then his strategies in the pursuit of Big Bear seemed rather convoluted. Middleton was a thief to boot, having stole a large quantity of furs from which the owner did his best to seek compensation.

Middleton was forced to resign his appointment with the Canadian militia in 1890, after an investigation held him responsible for the seizure of stolen furs owned by a Métis named Charles Bremner. He was censured by the Canadian government, which characterized his actions as “unwarrantable and illegal.”

http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/middleton ... 5-_98.html
User avatar
Scona
New Member
 
Posts: 93
Joined: 23 Dec 2010 04:25
Location: Mission City, British Columbia, Canada

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby Will Mathieson » 14 Jan 2011 03:43

Thank-you for the info and the link, looks like I should do alot more reading up on the subject. Middletons account of the rebellions should prove to be an interesting read if not a one sided one. I have Maj. Boultons book on The Rebellions, are there many other accounts written at the time that are available? I find reading books published at the time much more interesting than the later modified and full of hindsight books that don't capture the thinking of the time.
User avatar
Will Mathieson
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 774
Joined: 03 Mar 2009 00:56
Location: near Fort Henry

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby Scona » 14 Jan 2011 18:37

are there many other accounts written at the time that are available? I find reading books published at the time much more interesting than the later modified and full of hindsight books that don't capture the thinking of the time.


I agree. I'm just finishing off Reminiscences of a Bungle, by One of the Bunglers edited by R.C. MacLeod. It's a compilation of three diaries: a scout with the Dominion Land Survey Scouts, an officer with the Queen's Own Rifles and a member of French's scouts.

I have yet to read Gunner Jingo's Jubilee General Strange's auto-biography. About a quarter of this book pertains to his command of the Alberta Field Force.

I've ordered a copy of Boulton's book as well as Blood Red the Sun (aka The War Trail of Big Bear) and Two Months in the Camp of Big Bear I found all of these books on abebooks.com as reprints.

I highly recommend the book Footprints in the Dust by Douglas Light. A scarce book.
User avatar
Scona
New Member
 
Posts: 93
Joined: 23 Dec 2010 04:25
Location: Mission City, British Columbia, Canada

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby Will Mathieson » 14 Jan 2011 19:22

Thank-you for the book titles, I've just ordered Footprints in the Dust. Sounds like a good read with actual people identified, not like modern books that would only mention Middleton.
User avatar
Will Mathieson
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 774
Joined: 03 Mar 2009 00:56
Location: near Fort Henry

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby GrantRCanada » 14 Jan 2011 21:35

Gentlemen:

Many of the "period" accounts are available for free online viewing or download in various formats, often including EPUB and Kindle for use on eBooks ....

For Example:

Boulton's Reminiscences: http://www.archive.org/details/reminiscencesno00boulgoog

Gunner Jingo's Jubilee: http://www.archive.org/details/gunnerjingosjub00goog

Two Months in the Camp of Big Bear: http://www.archive.org/details/twomonthsincamp00delagoog

Grant
User avatar
GrantRCanada
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 803
Images: 0
Joined: 18 Feb 2008 06:00
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta , Canada

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby GrantRCanada » 15 Jan 2011 06:46

Other period publications of possible interest, available online .... some of which are fairly short articles/pamphlets -

"The Story of Louis Riel, The Rebel Chief" (J.E. Collins, 1885) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_26959

"The Riel Rebellion" ("Witness Printing House, 1885) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_12472

"The Riel Rebellion: How it Began - How it Was Carried On - and its Consequences : Succinct Narrative of the Facts" (1889) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_12526

"The Gibbet of Regina, the Truth About Riel, Sir John A. Macdonald and His Cabinet Before Public Opinion, By One Who Knows" (Napoléon Thompson, 1886) - http://www.archive.org/details/gibbetofreginatr00thom

"The Queen vs. Louis Riel, accused and convicted of the crime of high treason. Report of trial at Regina.--Appeal to the Court of Queen's Bench, Manitoba.--Appeal to the Privy Council, England.--Petition for medical examination of the convict.--List of petitions for commutation of sentence" (Ottawa, 1886) - http://www.archive.org/details/queenvslouisrie00rielgoog

"The History of the North-West Rebellion of 1885 : comprising a full and impartial account of the origin and progress of the war, of the various engagements with the Indians and half-breeds, of the heroic deeds performed by officers and men, and of touching scenes in the field, the camp, and the cabin; including a history of the Indian tribes of North Western Canada, their numbers, modes of living, habits, customs, religious rites and ceremonies, with thrilling narratives of captures, imprisonment, massacres, and hair-breadth escapes of white settlers, etc" (C.P. Mulvany, 1885) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_30389

"The Recent Rebellion in North-West Canada" (Earl of Minto, 1885) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_17907

"The North-West Rebellion of 1885" (James Mason, 1899) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_36263

"Report of Major General Laurie : commanding base and lines of communication upon matters in connection with the suppression of the rebellion in the North-West Territories in 1885" (J.W. Laurie, 1887) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_32298

"Experiences of the Halifax Battalion in the North-West" (R.A. Sherlock, 1885) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_30601

"The Canadian North-West: Its History and Its Troubles, From the Early Days of the Fur-Trade to the Era of the Railway and the Settler" (A.G. Mercer, 1885) - http://www.archive.org/details/canadiannorthwes00adamiala

"A History of Riel's Second Rebellion and How It Was Quelled" (T.A. Haultain, 1885) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_30721

"Souvenir Number of The Illustrated War News" (T.A. Haultain, 1885) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_30722

"The Making of the Canadian West : Being the Reminiscences of an Eye-Witness" (R.G. MacBeth, 1898) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_30343

"The Blood of Abel" (W.F. Bryant, 1887) - http://www.archive.org/details/bloodabel00goog

"Thirteen Years on the Prairies" (J.P. Pennefather, 1892) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_30443

"General Middleton's Defence : as contained in his parting address to the people of Canada" (F. Middleton, Toronto 'Evening Telegram', 1890) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_33836

"Soldiering in Canada: Recollections and Experiences" (G.T. Denison, 1900) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_06214


FICTION:

"The Young Newspaper Scout : an interesting narrative of a boy's adventures in the Northwest during the Riel Rebellion" (F. Crissey, 1895) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_30119

"The Rising of the Red Man: A Romance of the North West Rebellion" (John Mackie, 1900) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_16816

"Menotah : a Tale of the Riel Rebellion" (J. Trevena, 1897) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_34257

"The Red House by the Rockies : a Tale of Riel's Rebellion" (Mercier, 1896) - http://www.archive.org/details/cihm_30614

Grant
User avatar
GrantRCanada
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 803
Images: 0
Joined: 18 Feb 2008 06:00
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta , Canada

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby Sabreur » 16 Jan 2011 04:31

Another source for original materials is the Peel Collection at the University of Alberta.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/search/ ... sort=score
Not all of the hits on that search have the full text but most of the major documents can be viewed in full.

A good example of an original account would be Peel #1477 - "From the St. Lawrence to the North Saskatchewan: Being some incidents connected with the detachment of "A" Battery, Regt. Canadian Artillery, who composed part of the North West Field Force in the Rebellion of 1885. Halifax, N.S.: Printed by J. Bowes, [1885]."
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/1477.html

"Reminiscences of a Bungle" is Peel 1513 -
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/1513.html

Middleton's own account originally appeared in four successive issues of United Services Magazine (November 1893-February 1894) of London and is Peel 1503 - http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/1503.html

Peel 1462 is a reply to Middleton in a letter to the military editor of the Montreal Gazette in 1894 from Colonel Charles Frederick Houghton - http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/1462.html
Houghton was of questionable military experience and inclined to drink according to the Prime Minister's son.
http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e ... d_nbr=6169

There is interesting reading in the copies of all papers found in the Council Room of the Insurgents, or elsewhere at Batoche, especially including: 1. The diary of Louis Riel; 2. The minute book of orders in council of the insurgent council; 3. The correspondence of Louis Riel.
http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/1588.html


The Glenbow Museum has the Edgar Dewdney Fonds with a lot of relevant original material.
http://www.glenbow.org/collections/sear ... ewdney.cfm
User avatar
Sabreur
New Member
 
Posts: 53
Joined: 07 Jan 2009 02:12
Location: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Re: 1885 NorthWest Campaign

Postby GrantRCanada » 18 Jan 2011 05:35

Yes, the Peel Collection is an excellent source of material!

My favorite (and permanently ensconced on my "favorite bookmarks bar") is the complete "Illustrated War News" - issues No. 1 (4 April 1885) through No. 18 (1 August 1885) -

http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/IWN/1885/

Image
User avatar
GrantRCanada
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 803
Images: 0
Joined: 18 Feb 2008 06:00
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta , Canada

PreviousNext

Return to Canada 1837-1901

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest