(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The history of the North-West rebellion of 1885 : comprising a full and impartial account of the origin and progress of the war ... scenes in the field, the camp, and the cabin; including a history of the Indian tribes of North-western Canada ..."

THE 
A. H. U. COLQUHOUN 

LIBRARY 
OF CANADIAN HISTORY 



HANDBOUN 
AT THE 



UNIVERSITY 
TORONTO PR 




MAJOR-GENERAL F. MIDDLETON, K. C. H., 

Commander of Canadian Militia. 



f 



THE HISTORY 

OP THE 

NORTH-WEST REBELLION 

OIF 885. 

COMPBISINa A FTTBfc AND IMPABTIAL ACCOUNT OP THE 

ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF THE WAR, OF THE VARIOUS ENGAGE- 
MENTS 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 HISTOBY OP THE 

INDIAN TRIBES OF NORTH-WESTERN CANADA, 

THEIR NUMBERS, MODES OP LIVING, HABITS, CUSTOMS, RELIGIOUS RITES AND 

CEREMONIES, WITH THRILLING NARRATIVES OP CAPTURES, IMPRISON- 

MENT, MASSACRES, AND HAIR-BREADTH ESCAPES OF WHITE 

SETTLERS, ETC. 



BY 



CHARLES PELHAM MULVANEY, A.M., M.D., 

Formerly of No. 1 Company, Queen's Own Rifles, author of "History of the 
County of Brant," " History of Liberalism," etc., assisted by a 

well-known journalist. -/V 



TWELFTH THOUSAND. 

ILLUSTRATED 

WITH PORTRAITS OP DISTINGUISHED OFFICERS AND MEN, MAPS, DIAGRAMS 
AND ENGRAVINGS. 



TORONTO, ONT.: 

PUBLISHED BY A. H. HOVEY & CO., 10 KING STREET EAST. 
1886. 





Entered according to the Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year One 
Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-five, by AT.BBBT HENRY HOVEY, in 
the Office of the Minister of Agriculture. 



DeWcatfon. 

TO THE 

OFFICERS AND MEN 

OP THE 

CANADIAN VOLUNTEERS 

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED 

BY THE 

AUTHOR AND PUBLISHERS. 



LIST OF 63 ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Major-General F. D. Middleton, C.B... -pv rtT , f . . 

Lieut-CoL A. A. MOler, Q. O.K .................. Frontispiece. 

Louis Kiel ...... ................... 19 

Fort Carleton.. .............................. 25 

Major L. H. N. Crozier. " ...................... 30 

Lieut-Col. A. G. Irvine, N.'-W.M.P ' '. ............ <?1 

Lord Melgund ................ ........... 

Maj or Laurence Buchan ".'.'.' ..................... 5 

Lieut. -Col. W. D. Otter ------ ...................... 66 

Map of Battleford ...... ' ....................... 10 <> 

Francis J. Dickens, N.-W.M.P*" ................... }?f 

Plan of Fort Pitt... ....................... ll6 

Hon. Edgar Dewdney..'.' ....................... JJZ 

Piapot Chief of the South Crees ..... ". \ ................... }JJ 

Capt. Charles Swinford.. ...................... J?0 

Col. W. M. Herchmer, N.-W.M.P.. '. .................. JS 

Geo E. Cooer, Colour-Sergeant ...... i ........... 



? III 

Map of "Batoche," " Duck Lake " knd ' "Fish Creek'" .............. io 

Capt. James Mason (Grenadiers) .......... . ............. '" Jf 

Lieut. -Col. Van Straubenzie . . . ..... ' ......... '" 2S 

Lieut. W.C. Fitch.. * .......................... 222 

Thomas Moor. .. ............................ 235 

Bugler Gaughan ...... ........................... 237 

Alexander Watson. .. ............................. 241 

Franklin Jackes ... '.'.'. ............ ................ 242 



. 

Lieut.-Col. A. T. H. Williams, M.P.'.'i ........................ H 

Lieut.-Col. H. J. Grasett... ............... ..... 2b 

Major D.H. Allan, Q.O.R. ..... \\\\\\ ...................... 262 

Adjutant J. M. Delamere ......... .................... 274 



Gatling Gun (four illustrations) ....... .' ' ' 907 ' oqo o 

Staflf Sergeant Walker . . , .............. ^ 7 ' 298 ' 304 

Lieut -Col. W. E. O'Brien, M. P.* !'.'.'" ..................... 1 

Gabriel Dumont, ({ ull length portrait)! '.'. .............. 

Sir John A. Macdonald 




........... 

General Strange .......... ...... ' 

Colonel James McLeod (Stipendiary* Magistrate)' '.'. ........ - 

Fa^erLecombe... f ...... ^i:^::^ 397 



Capt. James Peters ................. - ........... 409 

Inspector Joseph Howe... .................... 41 

Capt. C. W. Drury.. " ....................... 411 

Col. Maunsell, 415 ; Col. Elaine,' 416";" Col'.' Morris" ! '. ........... ! H 

Gunner Walter Woodman ..... ..... .... 417 

Christopher Robinson, Q.C., Crown"CounseiinRiel ; s Trikl ........... joi 

lr W. jjurbidge, " < ...... ^* 



F. X. Lemieux, Q.C., Kiel's Counsel 

M.A.,430j 



PREFACE. 



The building-up of a nation is not a mere effort of will on 
the part of an individual or a people. A people or an indi- 
vidual may have much to do with shaping the destinies of a 
country, but when the events which constitute the salient points 
in the history of that country come to be viewed from the 
somewhat elevated standpoint which he who would write a 
history must necessarily occupy in order that his vision may 
have scope sufficient to include everything bearing on the situ- 
ation, those actors who in the bustle of " history-making " 
tower in magnitude and importance as primary causes, suddenly 
dwindle into " temporary agents," "creatures of circumstance," 
" mere puppets," moved and controlled by some unseen and 
unknown power, be it Providence, Destiny or Fate. But while 
the acts of one agent fit into those of another in making a 
history which so rises in importance and far-reaching effects as 
to dwarf the men who made its integral parts, we must not 
forget to hold each man morally responsible for his acts. An 
over-ruling Power may so control the acts of individuals as to 
cause good to result where only greed or selfish ambition 
prompted, but this must not blind us to the moral responsi- 
bility of the actors, who must be judged only by the motives 
which actuated them. 

Tn-dfty Canada has just shaken herself free from the clutches 
of Rebellion,jg&dudUDne time threatened to bring with her 
W aiatera Anarchy and Revolution. Somebody is to blame 
for all this, and if the reader after scanning the evidence as to 
the causes of the rebellion chooses to call prominent men by 
hard names, we cannot help it It is not our business to call 
harsh names nor to judge our neighbours. It is ours to state the 



VI. PREFACE. 

facts as they are to be found, and leave to the people of Canada 
the exercise of judicial functions in this matter. We shall tell 
the truth regardless as to whom we shall hit and wholly indif- 
ferent as to both the great political parties who jointly control 
the destinies of this country. 

When the arm of Rebellion had been raised and loyal citizens 
and Mounted Police shot down for striving to vindicate Canadian 
authority, it was not for us as Canadians to ask whether the 
rebels had any right on their side or not. Our National integ- 
rity had been assailed, our National honour had been threatened, 
and it only remained for our citizen-soldiers to draw the sword 
in their defence. How this has been done, and with what 
glorious results, it is for these pages to tell. What our future 
may be no one knows, but the immediate result of this rebellion 
has been that Canada has proved herself abundantly able to 
take care of herself. Her volunteers and her little handful of 
regulars have been pitted against a foe, as brave, as adroit, and 
as experienced in the hardships, perils and horrors of frontier 
warfare as can be found under the sun, and after meeting with 
a desperate and stubborn resistance our gallant fellows have, 
triumphed brilliantly; but it is a costly and blood-bought 
victory. The mighty unseen force that makes history has 
pushed us one stage further on in our National development, 
and it is fitting that some land mark should be fixed to note 
our progress. 

With such materials as are now available, and with a fairly 
accurate and comprehensive knowledge of the North- West to 
help us, we shall try faithfully, fearlessly and conscientiously 
to mark this important stride that has just been made in our 
National history. 

THB AUTHOR, 




CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER. PAOB. 

I. To Arms The Call and the Response 17 

IL Prelude to the Insurrection The Hudson Bay 
Company The Indians The Half-breeds The 

Buffalo 20^ 

Louis Riel His first Insurrection His Bill of 

Rights of 1870 and of 1885. . 

IV. The Duck Lake Fight How the Police and Prince 

Albert Volunteers Fought and Fell 27 

V. After the Battle Retreating to Prince Albert- 
Burying the Dead 44 

VL The Indian Tribes of Manitoba and the North- West 

Their Numbers, Condition, etc 50 

VII. Sketches of the Lives of General Middleton and 

Staff Lord Melgund and Major Buchan 63 

VHL Canada's Soldiers to the Front "Our Boys in the 

North- West Away." 68 

IX. The War Cloud Bursts on Battleford 76 

X. On Guard at Prince Albert The Grievances of 

Settlers Description of Country 76 

/ XL The Siege of Battleford The Murder of Payne- 
Flight of Judge Rouleau and Applegarth Major 

Walsh gives his Views 80 

f XII. The Frog Lake Massacre 89 

XTTT. Otter's March to Battleford Relief of the Besieged 
Town Houses Burned and Sacked The Finding 

of Payne'sBody 100 

XIV. General Middleton's Advance Waiting for Supplies 

and Reinforcements 114 

XV. The Fall of Fort Pitt Gallant Defence by Inspector 
Dickens Fort Pitt before its Fall Big' Bear 

Dewdney Pi-a-pot Big Bear's Prisoners '115 

1 XVL The Battle of Fish Creek The Killed and Wounded 
After the Battle General Middleton's Letter- 
In Memoriam 126 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTEB. 

XVH. Battle of Cut Knife Creek Origin of the Name 
Who took Part in it Colonel Herchmer The 

Balled and Wounded 156 

XVIII. Poundmaker Lord Lome Visits him 186 

XIX. Battle of Batoche's Ferry The Killed and Wounded 

Some of the Heroes Thrilling Incidents The 

Man with the Gatling Gnn " Shot Through the 

Heart ""Victory at Batoche " 193 

XX. Recollections of Batoche's Ferry After the Battle- 
Colonel Williams of the Midland Who led the 

Charge ? Description of the Rifle Pits 251 

XXI. The Prisoners and the Vanquished Half-breed 
Discipline Terror and Sufferings of the Rebels- 
Touching Scenes 271 

XXII. The Gatling Gun Described and Illustrated 299 

XX ITT. Poundmaker Heard From General Middleton's 
Interview with the Cree Chief Beardy Riel 
Captured His Wonderful Influence Our Volun- 

teers 307 

XXIV. Prince Albert Colonel Irvine Explains A Tribute 
to the Mounted Police " The Riders of the 
Plains" A Letter from Poundmaker Journey 

to Battleford 334 

XXV. At Battleford with Middleton Life in the Town 
during Rebellion Indian Cunning and War 

Craft He is not Brave 3(31 

XXVI. Poundmaker and Middleton An Interesting Inter- 
view 334 

XXVII. General Strange's Column Colonel McLeod Father 

Lecombe Big Bear Surrenders The Stories of 

Mrs. Delaney and Mrs. Gowanlock 394 

XXVIII. Martial Ardour in the Maritime Provinces Return 

of the Troops 493 

XXIX. Riel's Trial Those Engaged in it, His Execution 423 * 
"The Troops in the Field 437 



THE 

HISTORY OF THE NORTH-WEST REBELLION, 



CHAPTER L 
"TO ARMS!" 

AT eleven o'clock' on the night of March the 27th 
the citizens of every city in Canada, from Halifax 
to Victoria, were startled by the tidings that armed 
rebellion had broken out in the Prince Albert region 
of the North-West, that the loyal forces under Major 
Crozier had been fired upon by rebel Half-breeds, and that 
two of the M^m fAri Pnll 'flfi ar>ri fftn Pn >^ Albert Volun- 
teers had beeu killed, while eleven ir^orft gf thn Inynlhj^ 
had been wounded. ~ 

The response of every city in the Dominion was an 
instantaneous call to arms. It was immediately and uni- 
versally responded to by the armed youth and manhood 
of our country. Emerson's noble verses received that 
night a new illustration : 

So near is grandeur to our dust, 

So close is God to man, 
When duty whispered low " thou must," 
The youth replied " I can," 

Early on the next morning the peaceful slumbers of 
the inhabitants of Quebec, Kingston, and Toronto were 
broken by bugle calls and the unwonted sound of mili- 
tary preparation. At eleven o'clock the night before tele- 
grams had been received from Ottawa to the effect that 
the fight had taken place, and that the Quebec and 
Kingston batteries of field artillery, and contingents from 



18 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

the Toronto Queen's Own, Royal Grenadiers, and C Com- 
pany Infantry (regulars) were to be called out at once for 
active service. Small rest that night in the usually 
tranquil streets of the cities of Champlain and Frontenac ! 
Even in ever-busy Toronto, the streets were unusually 
crowded by uniformed men hurrying to drill shed and 
armoury, and by officers driving about all through the 
night to seek out the members of the different companies 
and warn them of the parade next morning. The Queen's 
Own were to parade at the drill shed at 9 a.m., the Gren- 
adiers at the armoury at 8 a.m. At the New Fort all 
was activity ; the men, sleepless with excitement, were 
cleaning arms and accoutrements. At a little table 
Colonel Miller and Adjutant Delamere sat arranging the 
details and writing the orders and despatches necessary 
for such a hasty call to arms. At Quebec, Colonel Cotton 
had been ordered by telegram to prepare Battery A and 
one hundred men for immediate departure to the North- 
West. At Kingston, in the barrack-yard, where stands 
the last vestige of a bastion of the fort named after the 
heroic Frontenac, the well-trained little corps of the Field 
Battery rejoiced at an opportunity of exercising the 
discipline in which they had been so long practised 
against the enemies of Canada. 

* With the morning of Saturday the 28th the gen- 
eral public learned with astonishment the sudden news 
of the rebellion against Canada. Some rumours then 
had been afloat for a week previously in the newspa- 
pers of disaffection and discontent among the Half- 
! breeds and of meetings held by Kiel. But the Half-breeds 
1 are always discontented ; as " Sir John " had said in Par- 
liament, " if you wait for a Half-breed or an Indian to be- 
! come contented, you may wait till the millennium." But 
here was bona fide intelligence endorsed by the Federal 
Government at Ottawa, that a secessionist rebellion 
against the Canadian Confederation had actually broken 
J> out, the first battle had been fought and lost by the loyal 
forces, and that the scattered settlements were exposed 
almost undefended to the horrors of Indian warfare, 



"TO ARMS." 



Such were the rumours which that Saturday the 28th 
of March made the theme of conversation with excited 
groups in every city and town, nay, in every backwoods 
village in Canada. Happy were they who belonged to a 
volunteer company, even although not at once called on 




COLONEL MILLEB, Q.O.B. 



for service ; happiest of all those on whom the lot had 
fallen to belong to the contingent ordered to the tront 11 
the North- West. ,. 

In Toronto the volunteers met on parade m busbies, 
great coats, and leggings, not an available man was 



20 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

absent, all met in the spirit of what Colonel Miller had 
said the night before : " I don't care who a man is, or what 
he is doing, but I want every man in the regiment to be 
under arms and ready ! " The Royal Grenadiers showed 
equal alacrity. With all the struggle was as to who should 
be accepted as one of the contingent of two hundred and 
forty men to be drafted out of the two Toronto battalions. 
On Sunday the martial excitement continued. Even 
in douce Sabbath-keeping Toronto, Sunday editions of the 
Mail, World, Nevjs, and Telegram were published with 
what purported to be "intelligence" from the seat of 
war. The churches assumed a martial aspect, the pews 
ever and anon displa} 7 ing tKe scarlet uniform of the 
Grenadiers, and the dark green of the rifle corps. In 
many a household sad and excited groups gathered round 
the gallant soldier boy on whom the lot had fallen to go 
to the seat of war : excited as they thought of the glory 
of fighting in the cause of Canada, sad as they felt that 
this might be the last Sunday they were to pass together. 
For with all abhorrence for the mischievous alarmists 
who invariably make the most of such a crisis, there were 
serious grounds for apprehension. The blow of secession 
had been struck at the life of our Confederation ; the 
Half-breeds and Indians were dangerous foes ; already in 
the first skirmish defeat had been sustained by a Cana- 
dian force, and more life lost than had been lost by 
Canada in the fighting of 1837, or the Fenian raids of 
1866 and 1870. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE PRELUDE OF INSURRECTION. 

real course of the events which gave rise to these 
JL military preparations was as follows : 

As far back as the summer of 1884, it was known to 
the Ottawa Government and to those connected with the 
North- West Territories, that grave dissatisfaction, nay 
positive disaffection, existed among the Half-breeds, 



THE PRELUDE OF INSURRECTION. 21 

The Half-breed population had been in process of 
growth ever since the Hudson's Bay Company received 
its charter. 

This nominally English company was, to a great ex- 
tent, served by French coureurs de bois, officered by 
Scotchmen. The solitary life of the trading-post in the 
wilderness, with its sure provision for subsistence, its 
pension from the Hudson's Bay Company for old age, and 
its many casual opportunities for gain, were attraction 
enough to many a canny Scot. The. French coureur de 
bois, already half -Indian in blood and temperament, was 
the best servant the Company could possibly have secured 
for the fur trade of the sub- Arctic forests. 

The Spaniards made the Indians slaves, the British 
made them freemen, not as yet allowed the franchise, for 
which savage races are unfit, but protected by law ; but 
the French have intermarried with them and adopted 
their customs. The result has been a curious intermix- 
ture of races. 

Captain Butler mentions as a case in point his Half- 
breed friend Batoche : " His grandfather had been a French- 
Canadian, his grandmother a Crow squaw ; English and 
Cree had contributed to his descent on the mother's side." 
(Butler's Wild North Land,?. 4,6.) The Half-breeds by 
a very " natural " process of selection chose the hand- 
somest and most vigorous squaws, they also escaped the 
curse of tribal intermarriage, which more than one factor 
of a Hudson Bay Company's fort has assured the writer 
is destined to cause the extinction of the North- West 
Indian. With the Half-breeds, even with many of Scotch 
descent, the language, manners and methods of surveying 
land for farms are French. 

So long as the Hudson Bay Company only had to do 
with the Indians of the Canadian North- West, they were 
not seriously demoralized. It is quite true that the Com- 
pany made no attempt to civilize, enlighten or christian- 
ize them ; while, on the other hand, they were rather 
inclined to encourage feuds between the Crees and Bla'ck- 
f eet, as both bought ammunition at ruinous prices during 



22 CANADA'S NOKTH-WEST REBELLION. 

these wars, while these dissensions among the tribes 
rendered anything like a successful attack upon tho Com- 
pany's stores out of the question. Should the Biackfeet 
threaten, the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company would 
call to their assistance the Crees ; thus it was easy for 
the great fur traders to retain the balance of power and the 
friendship of the tribes with a comparatively small force. 
As Dakota and Montana began tc be opened up for 
settlement, American traders, who make it their business 
to keep " on the frontier," pushed their way into British 
territory and soon began to sell whiskey to the Cree and 
Biackfeet tribes. Thousands of gallons are estimated to 
have been . sold to the Biackfeet hunters at a price of a 
pint of whiskey for a buffalo robe ! When the Yankee 
smuggler arrived in a Biackfeet camp the scene of 
grotesque horror, and damage to life, probably surpassed 
any spectacle of human degradation brought about 
by Man's greatest enemy, the " enemy put in the mouth 
to take away the reason " ! The smuggler's appearance 
with his gaudy canteen gave the signal for the liquor 
feast. The smuggler roamed triumphant through the 
camp, selecting everywhere the finest robes at will, and 
after getting rid of his stock of liquid devilry would im- 
mediately drive away to escape the danger of the scene 
certain to follow. Then began the liquor feast. It lasted 
sometimes for days. The braves, old and young, drank 
greedily the undiluted firewater. The women and the 
young girls drank as eagerly as the men. The young 
bucks, the vanity and ferocity of their savage natures 
excited by the strong drink, stalked through camp bran- 
dishing hunting knives or parading with careless osten- 
tation revolvers and guns ready to challenge, shoot or stab 
their best friends. The horrors of this whiskey traffic 
rendered it necessary that its originators should be driven 
out of the country as speedily as possible, and for this 
purpose the North- West Mounted Police force was or- 
ganized and sent into the country. Of course settlement 
followed the advent of the police, and with the advance 
of the settlers the buffalo, the mainstay of the Indian, 



THE PRELUDE OF INSURRECTION. 23 

hia strength and his wealth, suddenly left the territory ; 
and then the condition of the Half-breed and the Indian 
was changed for the worse. 

In the old times millions of buffalo roamed the great 
plains, not only between the North Saskatchewan and 
the 49th parallel but away north of the great river. In 
those times it was not a matter of unusual occurrence for 
an outfit of carts to be compelled to camp for from half-a- 
day to a day and a-half to allow a herd of buffalo to 
troop past. At such times one might stand on an emin- 
ence and for a belt many miles wide and as far in the 
direction whence the herd was advancing as the eye could 
reach, the prairie would be hidden by the vast, black, 
moving mass. And when such a herd had passed no 
running fire would leave the prairie more dry, dusty and 
destitute of grass. It is no wonder that when following 
the trails of such great bands Capt. Pallissier pronounced 
many of the best portions of the North -West arid, sterile 
deserts. + " 

In those days what was to them practically limitless 
wealth was within the reach of the Indians and Half- 
breeds and, as might have been expected, they were 
nearly all improvident. Close upon the advent of any- N 
thing in the shape of white settlement came the hard 
times incident to the departure of the buffalo, and it is 
not to be wondered at that the natives of the North- 
West, whether Indian or Half-breed, should not look upon 
the advancement of white immigration with any especial 
favour. The Half-breeds settled around Qu'Appelle and 
the Saskatchewan had learned to dread the conditioi 
and methods of land settlement imposed on them from 
Ottawa. Thp.y flappf-jally dreaded beinpr compelled to 
change the location of their farms which had been sur- 
veyed on the old Jj'reiicli luetliuds uf delimitation, for 
square blocks according to the new survey. With or 
without reason, they distrusted Lieut.-Governor Dewdney ; 
they looked with fear and hatred on the clique of land-, 
speculators which was so influential with those who con- / 
trolled the allotment of lands. For these reasons they 



24 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

were thoroughly saturated with disaffection to the Ottawa 
government. 

This was remarked by Colonel Houghton DAG 
when, in June 1884, he visited the Saskatchewan settle! 

Fo?f P m if r t0 /r Ve ^ ms and ^munition from 
Fort Carleton and Prince Albert, a step the unwisdom of 
which this experienced soldier clearly saw 

The Half-breeds and Indians naturally looked to Louis 
Kiel to secure for them the same privileges which they 
believed him to have won for the Half-breeds of Manitoba! 
They knew that Kiel had held his own against two suc- 
cessive governments representing the two great parties of 
Canada. An armed rebellion and a judicial murder had 
been condoned in the teeth of exasperated public opinion ; 
the French vote had supported Kiel through everything 
the Half-breeds of Manitoba had received what they most 
wished for : patents for their farms. Clearly, therefore, 
Kiel was then- best leader; they invited him to visit 
their settlements; during the long winter of 1884-1885 
he was assiduously engaged in the work of agitation: 
all peaceful and constitutional means, he told them in a 
speech delivered at the Catholic church of Batoche two 
days before the rising, had been tried and with no hope 
of redress : and when at length came the news that Eng- 
land was likely to be engaged in a Russian war, he openfy 
preached rebellion. To comprehend the secret of Kiel's 
all-powerful influence with his compatriots, it may be 
well to take a brief survey of his career previous to the 
rising inaugurated in March, 1885 




LOUIS KIEL, FKOM A PORTRAIT OF FIVE TEABS AGO. 



CHAPTER III. 



SKETCH OF LOUIS KIEL 

T GUIS KIEL was born at the town of St. Boniface, on 
Jj the west branch of the Seine River. Riel's father 
was a white, of pure Scandinavian origin, his mother a 
Half-breed ; he was descended from a very mixed stock of 
Indians, Half-breeds and Irish whites. He was born in a 
small log-house, of the most primitive backwoods shanty 
pattern. It was thatched with straw, was one storey 
high, and contained but one room. As a boy Riel was 
known for his activity and bodily strength; he was a 
skilful hunter and marksman, and at school was already 
the recognized leader among his schoolmates, among whoaa 
ha sought to gain influence by every means Libia power. 
In order to effect tins" he was known frequently^ to 



26 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

or give away his dinner to a poorer fellow-student. Like 
all of French descent, young Kiel was deeply attached to 
his parents. Once a boy, who had some quarrel with him, 
challenged him to fight. Kiel refused unless his father 
would sanction it. He was eight years old when he first 
attended school at St. Boniface College, now St. Boniface 
Town Hall, and at eleven was transferred to the Jesuit 
College, Montreal. He bore the reputation of being an 
apt scholar, and learned to read, write and speak English 
remarkably well. 

In 1866, Kiel returned to St. Vital, Manitoba, where 
his parents lived, and where his mother now resides. At 
St. Vital, Kiel lived as a farmer, and sought every means 
of gaining influence among the Half-breeds of Manitoba, 
whose minds he inflamed by dwelling on their grievances. 
This is not the place to recount the events of the rebellion 
of 1869, in which Kiel was chosen leader. In passing, 
notice may be taken of the many recklessly-false tales set 
forth as to Kiel's career by writers who get up what pur- 
port to be " histories," on the plan of the dime novel. One 
such writer informs his readers that the reason Kiel had 
for the Scott murder was that both were in love with the 
same girl. As a matter of fact, Kiel could never have 
seen the young lady on whom Scott's affections were 
placed, who lived, or still lives, in a city of Ontario never 
visited by Kiel. 

After the collapse of his first fiasco of revolt, Kiel 
travelled a good deal, both in Canada and the United 
States. He spent much time in Washington, and at 
Woonsocket, Rhode Island, at the house of his aunt, Mrs. 
Joyce, mother of Mr. Joyce, formerly chief of police at 
St. Boniface. In 1879 he settled for a time in Montana, in 
the Sun River settlement, where he married a French 
Half-breed named Marguerite Bellimeure, of Fort El lice. 
Kiel at this time acted as teacher in an Industrial School. 
He was very poor, and eked out his means by buffalo- 
hunting, at which he was expert. 

When the North- West Half-breeds asked him to lead 
them as * s had led them in Manitoba, he at first refused, 
saying that he was an American citizen, and wished to 



SKETCH OF LOUIS KIEL. 27 

have no more to do with Canadian troubles, but their 
entreaties prevailed on him to consent. 

Kiel is a total abstainer, can speak French, English, 
and four Indian languages. He speaks slowly, deliber- 
ately, and with effect. He is strong, of fair stature, square- 
Shouldered, with features of greater mobility and expres- 
sion than most half-Indians. 

At a meeting of the Half-breeds in September, 1884, 
the following Bill of Rights was adopted, on Kiel's sug- 
gestion : 

BILL OF RIGHTS OF 1885.* 

First, the sub-division into Provinces of the North- 
West Territories. 



* It may interest the reader to compare with this the Half-breed Bill of 
Eights of 1870 : 

L The right to elect our own Legislature. 

2. The Legislature to have power to pass all laws local to the Territory 
over the veto of the Executive, by a two-thirds vote. 

3. No Act of the Dominion Parliament (local to the Territory) to b 
binding on the people until sanctioned by their representatives. 

4. All sheriffs, magistrates, constables, etc., etc., to be elected by the 
people ; a free homestead pre-emption law. 

5. A portion of the public lands to be appropriated to the benefit ot 
schools, the building of roads, bridges, and parish buildings. 

6. A guarantee to connect Winnipeg by rail with the nearest line of 
railroad the land grant for such road or roads to be subject to the Legisla- 
ture of the Territory. 

7. For four years the public expenses of the Territory, civil, military 
and municipal, to be paid out of the Dominion treasury. 

8. The military to be composed of the people now existing in the Ter- 
ritory. 

9. The French and English languages to be common in the Legislature 
and Council, and all public documents and Acts of the Legislature to be 
published in both languages. 

10. That the judge of the Superior Court speak French and English. 

11. Treaties to be concluded and ratified between the Government and 
several tribes of Indians of this Territory, calculated to insure peace in the 
future. 

12. That all privileges, customs and usages existing at the time of the 
transfer be respected. 

13. That these rights be guaranteed by Mr. Macdougall before he be 
admitted into this Territory. 

14. If he have not the power himself to grant them, he must get an Act 
of Parliament passed expressly securing us these rights ; and until such Act 
be obtained he must stay outside the Territory. 

15. That we have a full and fair representation in the Dominion 
Government. 



28 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Second, the Half-breeds to receive the same grants and 
other advantages as the Manitoba Half-breeds. 

Third, patents to be issued at once to the Colonists in 
possession. 

Fourth, the sale of half-a-million acres of Dominion 
lands, the proceeds to be applied to the establishment in 
the Halt-breedjsettlements of schools, hospitals and such 
like institutions, and to the equipment of the poorer Half- 
breeds with seed grain and implements. 

Fifth, the reservation of a hundred townships of 
swamp land for distribution among the children of Half- 
breeds during the next 120 years. 

Sixth, a grant of at least $1,000 for the maintenance 
of an institution to be conducted by the nuns in each 
Half-breed settlement. 

Seventh, better provision for the support of the Indians. 

* "TS^rte^forwarded to Ottawa, and contemptuously 
thrown aside. This was a fatal error in policy, which was 
yet to cpjji our country a heavy price in blood and 
treasure, f The Half-breeds were doubtless j us ti tied in 
demanding patents for their farms, and it was iniquitous, 
as well as impolitic, to refuse this simple act of justice. 
Had the Half- breeds but felt secure that the farms they 
had by hard work reclaimed from the wilderness would 
be safe from the clutches of the land-grabber, there would 
have been no rebellion./^ The other demands were purely 
political, and were introduced by Kiel himself in order to 
found an exclusively French Province in the North- West. 
To grant this would have been to repeat the lamentable 
>r by which England at the Conquest perpetuated the 
men language, law, and religion, and established an 
id of medievalism and of alien race in the midst of 
spread of English Canadian civilization. 



CHAPTER IT. 

THE DUCK LAKE DISASTER. 

ALL through the first week of March, insurrectionary 
movements took place. Stores belonging to the 
Hudson Bay Company and to the Government were 
seized, loyal settlers were compelled to surrender their 
arms and ammunition. The Indians were tampered with, 
and were observed to leave their reserves. 

Kiel began the insurrection on March 17. He seized 
arms and ammunition at the store of John Keer, a mer- 
chant settled at " Batoche's Crossing," a small village on 
the South Saskatchewan, a short distance from Fort 
Carlton. He also imprisoned Trees, a magistrate, and 
several loyal Canadians ; Keeley, a miller ; Nash, Tom- 
kins, Ross, a freighter, and others, in the house of 
one Cavan, at Batoche. He used the village church of 
Batoche as a store-house, and afterwards as a prison. 
The Half-breeds with Kiel formed a Council of Twelve, of 
which Jackson, formerly a druggist from near Wingham, 
was the only member of pure white race. This man be- 
came a convert to Catholicism just before the rising. 
The Council appointed captains of the Half-breed force, 
and placed guards on the trail from Clark's Crossing to 
Batoche, so as to intercept supplies. 

The first reports of the insurrection were hardly cred- 
ited in Ontario and Quebec. So entirely was this the 
case that, when the Globe published an account of Riel's 
first movements of rebellion, the story was openly ridi- 
culed as a device of party tactics ! But on the afternoon 
of March 23, Sir John Macdonald, in his place in Parlia- 
ment, confirmed the news of the insurrection, and on 
Wednesday, March 25, the 90th Regiment of Rifles, under 
Colonel Naughton, with a portion of the Winnipeg Field 
Battery, left Winnipeg for Qu'Appelle, en route for the 



30 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



neighbourhood of Batoche, where Kiel's headquarters 
were ; and where the Cree reserve, under a chief named 
Beardy, was of doubtful fidelity. He was a small-sized 
man, but crafty, and had given much trouble already to 
the authorities. 

But on Thursday, the 26th of March, Major Crozier, 
with a hundred men, set out from Fort Carleton to a vil- 
lage near Duck Lake, in order to secure some provisions 
and supplies which lay at that place, and in danger, being 
undefended, of falling into the hands of Kiel, Duck 




FOKT OARLETON, THE HUDSON BAY POST ABANDONED BY COL. IRVINE AND 
AFTERWARDS BURNT. 

Lake, whose name has attained such a sinister import as 
that of the spot where flowed the first blood shed in the 
rebellion, is situated thirteen and a-half miles south- 
east of Fort Carleton, and twelve miles from Gabriel's 
Crossing, on the South Branch of the Saskatchewan. 
The village near which the fight took place is called 
Stobart, after the founder of its first settlement, a mem- 
ber of the firm of Stobart & Eden, of Winnipeg. It 
consists of nine long one-storey log buildings. It is 
fronted by an ornamental fence, and at the sides has a 
common snake fence. There is no stockade, nor any 
means of defence whatever. It is sometimes called 
Duck Lake Village, from a long, low, marshy sheet of 



THE DUCK LAKE DISASTER. 



31 



water which extends to the west of it. The Half-breeds 
had already visited Duck Lake Village, had seized some 
of the provisions and arms, and threatened the loyal 
inhabitants. 

S Crozier had with him, besides his party of Mounted 
Police, a number of volunteers from Carlton, some of 
them mounted and others riding in waggons. When they 
approached the village they saw a body of some fifty 




MA JOB OROZIEB, N.-W. MOUNTED POLICE. 

armed Half-breeds, apparently about to dispute their ad- 
vance. A parley ensued with Gabriel Dumont, a Half- 
breed much in Kiel's confidence, who was the daring and 
fiery leader of the rebels. During the parley a shot was 
fired, as far as the evidence has been obtained, it would 
seem from the loyalist side, and on Crozier's orders. It 
seems that he thought the Half-breeds were about to sur- 
round him. Some brisk firing ensued on both sides. 



32 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

The Half-breeds, according to their custom, sought cover 
behind a number of bushes. Crozier's men did the same, 
and the combat was maintained for about forty minutes. 
Crozier, seeing that his men were getting the worst of it, 
and that the civilians in the sleighs were exposed to 
danger, gave the order to withdraw. In their retreat the 
loyalists suffered still more than d uring the fight. Gabriel 
Dumont's deadly skill with the rifle encouraged his men. 
The Half-breeds fired more than one volley, with what 
good aim the number of the killed as compared with the 
number wounded is a sufficient proof. The names of the 
twelve who were killed are as follow: Captain Morton, 
a farmer from Bruce, Ontario, and an efficient volunteer 
officer ; Wm. Napier, a law student of Prince Albert, late 
of Edinburgh, Scotland, nephew of Sir Charles Napier 
(strange that the kinsman of the victor of Meeanee should 
fall in an obscure skirmish in the wilderness) ; A. W. R. 
Merkley, formerly of Ottawa ; S. C. Elliott, son of Judge 
Elliott, of London, Ont.; R,. Middleton and D. McKenzie, 
both natives of Prince Edward Island ; Charles Hewitt, 
of Portage la Prairie ; Daniel McPhail, of Prince Albert ; 
Alex. Fisher, a young Englishman ; Wm. Baikie, an old 
Hudson Bay employe"; and Joseph Anderson, a loyal 
Half-breed. The wounded Prince Albert volunteers were 
Captain Moore, whose leg was broken; Sergeant A. 
McNabb ; and Alex. S. Stewart. But two of the Mounted 
Police were killed, viz. : Constables T. G. Gibson and 
Geo. P. Arnold. The wounded Policemen were Inspector 
Joseph Howe, of St. John, N.B., of the gun detachment, 
nephew of the once all-powerful Hon. Joseph Howe, the 
Nova Scotia statesman; Corporal Gilchrist; and Con- 
stables M. K. Garrett, J. J. Wood, Sidney F. Gordon, 
A. M. Smith and A. Miller. This melancholy list con- 
tains the names of young men from almost every part of 
the Dominion : the Maritime Provinces, London, Kings- 
ton, Ottawa, and the North- West settlements are repre- 
sented as well as England, Scotland and Ireland. At 
this engagement the rebel force numbered two hundred, 
and their loss was six killed and three wounded, 



THE DUCK LAKE DISASTER. 33 

The party of Half-breeds which fought at Duck Lake was 
in reality the advance guard of a much larger force with 
which Kiel had intended to attack Fort Carlton. This 
he did not do, as Colonel Irvine had arrived with a larger 
force of Mounted Police and sleighs from Swift Current. 
He had eluded the Half-breeds who had gone to intercept 
him at the ford of the South Saskatchewan known as 
Gabriel's Crossing where the shelving banks covered 
with trees would have given great advantage to an 
enemy by marching to Clark's Crossing instead, and 
reached Fort Carleton with his force in good condition 
just after the Duck Lake fight. 



ANOTHER ACCOUNT OF THE DUCK LAKE FIGHT. 

A gentleman from Prince Albert cognizant of the 
circumstances preceding and attending the Duck Lake 
fight, furnishes the following : 

It will be recollected that the Half-breeds of Mani- 
toba received a grant of land (240 acres to each), when 
tfeB^Ncrth^West was taken over by the Dominion. A 
number of Half-breeds were living outside of the present 
boundary of Manitoba, in this and other parts of the 
North- Wesir Territory at that time, and though many 
years have passed since the transfer, and frequent peti- 
tions have been sent to the Government, they have 
never yet received the grant of land bestowed on their 
brethren in Manitoba. Other grievances, such as want of 
representation in the Dominion Parliament, the number 
of Government nominees in the North- West Council, the 
management of the public lands, and the inattention of 
the Government to petitions and representations on local 
matters began, among the white settlers as well as the 
French Half-breeds, to create during the last year or two t 
a good deal of irritation. The great amount of destitu- / 
tion in this district during the past year added keenness / 
to the feelings of dissatisfaction and indignation. 



34 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

In these circumstances the French Half-breeds sent to 
Montana A deputation to invite Kiel, whose term Of out-" 
la wry had expired, to visit Prince Albert settlement, and _ 
give to the French-speaking population his counsel and 
IjicT in obtaining what they desired from the ftnYe.rnmftn;fc. 
Rtel, on his arrival, was gladly received by the French, 
and even by many of the Canadian settlers. The latter, 
when taunted about the indecency of countenancing or 



employing a man who had been frnrmnrafl aa a. bandit 
and-arinin^fftr, vinHi^JAfl t.hftir mnrhifit by pointing to 
the action O f f1 ^ Q 0,****. They said Riel had paid 



penalty which was thought sufficient for his former 
crime. Look how the Government neglect to give atten- 
tion to our wants ! Petition after petition is pigeon-holed 
/ m an office at Ottawa and receives no further notice. 
These French people are entitled to their lands ; why 
should they be so long withheld by the Government ? We, 
too, as well as they, are entitled to redress of other griev- 
ances. Perhaps, now that Riel is here, the Government 
may at last condescend to recognize our existence. 

>| At the public meeting which Riel addressed he spoke 
with great prudence and propriety, urged above all 
things unity of action, and proposed to seek redress only_ 
by constitutional measures. Some oi' ihe distjontented 
Indians came even from great distances to visit Riel and 
his friends, and it was feared that he was tampering with 
\ them. I A number of the settlers formed a union, and 
j continued for months to act in concert with Riel, whose 
1 agitation they regarded as quite loyal and constitutional. f 
I After a time Riel began to urge that the Indian title to 
'the North- West had never been extinguished ; that it was 
not with the Hudson's Bay Company, but with the Indians, 
the Half-breeds, and pioneer white settlers, to whom 
the country really belonged, that the Government had to 
deal. It is believed also that he was bent on claiming 
from the Government indemnity for personal losses, 
which he had sustained by the confiscation of property 
once belonging to him in Winnipeg^ and which has 
increased enormously in value since the time of his 



THE DUCK LAKE DISASTEB, 35 

banishment. It is almost certain that he began to put forth 
claims such as the white settlers could have no sympathy 
with, and the Dominion could not for a moment enter- 
tain ; and unknown to the English-speaking part of the 
commuDity a secret combination was formed to attempt 
to enforce their demands by illegal and violent means. 
Some say that Kiel began to use stronger language only 
with the hope that he might be arrested on insufficient 
grounds, and thus excite public sympathy on behalf of 
himself and the movement of which ho was the leader. 
The language used by him at some meetings came to the 
knowledge of the police and others. The Ministers of 
the Dominion were informed, it is said, that there was 
imminent danger of an outbreak, that the Indians starv- 
ing, mutinous, and some of them almost desperate would 
fall in with Kiel and the Half-breeds, and that the 
plunder and massacre of many of the white settlers at 
this remote point might be accomplished before assistance 
could be obtained from below,/ Prince Albert is separated 
from the G. P. R. by an almost unbroken and unsettled 
prairie 250 miles wide. The journey cannot eLoily be 
made in less than a week, and an armed force carrying 
its own supplies would of course take longer time. Kiel 
could in a few hours raise a force of several hundred 
Half-breeds and an unknown quantity of Indians. The 
Police force in the district was not very strong and 
stationed at a most inconvenient point. The white 
settlers were therefore, if he had preparations made for a 
rising, really at his mercy. 

Major Crozier, commanding the force at Carleton, sent 
word to Prince Albert that in the case of an actual out- 
break he would like to be assured of assistance. A 
meeting was consequently held on Wednesday, the 18th 
of March, when, though most felt that the gravity of the 
situation had been exaggerated, it was determined that a 
company of volunteers should be formed to be ready for 
service when called on by the authorities. During the 
very time when this meeting was held, Kiel, at a point 
some 40 miles off, was proving that the situation was 



36 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

quite as grave as any one could desire. He, followed by 
a crowd of Half-breeds, seized the store of Walters & 
Baker, at Batoche, and launched out on that insane and 
reckless course which has already brought terrible disas- 
ter to some, and must bring still more terrible disaster to 
many more. 

It may be well at this point, before sketching the 
succeeding course of events, to give an idea of the country 
and the localities afterwards to be referred to in the 
narrative. 

The North and South Branches of the Saskatchewan 
unite at a point about thirty miles east of Prince Albert, 
called the Forks of the River. The North Branch from the 
west approaches the South Branch flowing from the south 
at a point called " the Elbow/' some 150 miles west of 
the Forks ; then the rivers run parallel to each other, but 
some twenty or thirty miles apart, first in a northerly and 
then in an easterly direction, to their point of union. 
About fifty miles from the Elbow, Carleton Fort is situ- 
ated on the southern bank of the North Branch, and 
almost opposite to it, on the South Branch, there is a 
village called Batoche, which is the centre of the French 
Half-breed settlement. On the road from Batoche to 
Carleton, about four miles from the former and fifteen 
from the latter, is another small village, near an Indian 
reserve, called Duck Lake. The town of Prince Albert, 
the centre of the English-speaking population, is fifty 
miles east from Carleton and about forty miles north-east 
from Batoche, the roads from these two places converging 
at a point twenty miles from Prince Albert. 

At Carleton there are a few Half-breed settlers and 
only one or two white families. The fort, facing the 
river to the north but distant from it almost half-a-mile, 
is enclosed on the south by a semi-circle of hills, which 
are about two hundred feet high, and less than one 
hundred yards distant from the fort, and covered on the 
sides with brush and small trees. It is hardly possible 
to conceive a worse situation on which to locate a fort, 
and station a body of armed men. In case of an attack 



THE DUCK LAKE DISASTER. 37 

in force not a man would be allowed to snow his head 
outside of the enclosure; and even inside the whole 
square could be commanded from the hills, except the 
part under shelter of the buildings on one side. Besides 
the Police barracks the only building in the fort is the 
Hudson's Bay store. Your readers may judge of the 
wisdom which stationed the mass of the police force in 
such a gravel pit, forty or fifty miles from the settlement 
which it was meant to protect. Rumour has it that the 
Dominion Government is guided in making its appoint- 
ments and arrangements more by private influences than 
by concern for the safety or benefit of the general 
community. Passing such subjects, however, I now 
return to the outbreak of Wednesday, 18th March, at the 
Village of Batoche. On the afternoon of that day Kiel, 
followed by two or three score of men, entered the shop 
of Walters &; Baker and said : " Well, gentlemen, it has 
commenced." " What has commenced ? " said Mr. Walters. 
" Oh, this movement for the rights of the country." He 
then asked for arms and ammunition, and urged that 
they should be given up quietly, saying : " If we succeed 
our government will pay you in full, and even if we are 
defeated you will be indemnified by your own." Mr. 
Walters refused to give up the powder in his store and 
reached for a rifle hanging unloaded on the wall. He 
was immediately seized by a number of men, and, along 
with his clerk, was made prisoner. The store was then 
plundered, the Half-breeds clothing themselves with 
coats, boots, etc., from the store. All the freight as it 
passed from day to day through Batoche from Troy, was 
seized. Private parties obtained a receipt for the goods 
taken from them, but all Government and Hudson's Bay 
freight was at once confiscated. 

Intelligence of the outbreak did not reach Prince 
Albert until after midnight on Thursday. The telegraph 
line had been cut, all travel stopped, and the first news 
came from Major Crozier, at Carleton, to Major Moffat, 
who was in charge of the few police in Prince Albert. 
Crozier recommended the enrolment of volunteers, and 



38 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST EEBELLION. 

urged that as many as possible should be sent to his 
assistance. He was able also to report that Colonel Irvine, 
with one hundred men and sixty horses, had already 
started from Troy for Prince Albert. At the public 
meeting hastily summoned to hear these despatches, 
it was strongly felt that it would be much better 
for Crozier to abandon Carleton, burning what he could 
not carry off, and concentrate all the forces in the district 
at a point where they could protect the whites. Kiel 
could also march from Batoche on Prince Albert long 
before the force could reach it from Carleton, and could 
plunder the place if he chose. It was determined, how- 
ever, to comply with the request of the Government 
officials, and Captain Moore, with forty-seven men, started 
for Carleton after midday, and reached it by 10 o'clock 
that night. An operator was sent across the prairie by a 
circuitous route to Humboldt, seventy miles south of 
Batoche, to telegraph to the East for assistance, and also 
to urge Colonel Irvine to advance with all haste. On Satur- 
day Walters and his clerk, having been liberated by Kiel, 
came to Prince Albert. They reported that they had been 
as well treated as could be expected amid the confusion 
at Batoche, and that Kiel held a number of prisoners 
there, whom he had seized on different pretexts. In his 
conversation he spoke confidently of obtaining possession 
of the country, and said that his government would give 
one -seventh of the land to the Indians, one-seventh to 
the Half-breeds and pioneer whites, a seventh to the 
churches and schools, and hold the rest for public pur- 
i poses. His force was supposed to consist of three hun- 
dred Half -breeds and about one hundred and fifty Indians, 
armed with guns and rifles. During the next two or 
three days, though freight was still being seized as it 
arrived at Batoche, the feeling of alarm was gradually 
passing away. All sorts of rumours were abroad of 
English and French Half-breeds in the different settle- 
ments offering their services to Riel,and of his intentions 
to attack Carleton and plunder Prince Albert. The arrival 
vi Irvine with his force was daily expected, and it was 



THE DUCK LAKE DISASTER 89 

confidently hoped that when he and Crozier united, they, 
with the aid of the volunteers, would scatter th rebels 
at the first touch, and that Kiel and his leading followers 
would take to flight across the prairie. On Tuesday 
night Colonel Irvine with his troop, arrived quietly at 9 
o'clock and was greeted with rousing cheers as he passed 
through the town. The Colonel assured representatives 
of the town who waited on him that he was more con- 
cerned about the safety of the whites than about saving 
the solitary store and rotten fort at Carleton ; and that 
the great purpose of his mission would be kept in view 
in all his movements. 

On the next day he rested his force, as for several 
days he had been making forced marches, and about 
twenty of his men were snow blind. 

On Thursday, 26th March, he left at 3 a.m. for 
Carleton, taking with him eighty police and thirty more 
volunteers from the town. The people of Prince Albert 
have reason to be congratulated on their courage and 
public spirit having thus sent on two occasions about 
eighty men, the flower of their manhood and strength, to 
aid the Government forces at a distant point, and leaving 
their own town and people almost naked to the attack of 
the enemy. 

Col. Irvine reached Carleton on Thursday afternoon 
just in time to learn the great disaster which had 
occurred in its neighbourhood. To reach this properly it 
may be well to return to the departure of the first con- 
tingent of volunteers on the previous Friday in compli- 
ance with the entreaty of Major Crozier. 

Thos. McKay, one of our most influential citizens, had 
gone up with the company. He and his family are well 
known and much respected all over the district. On 
reaching Carleton he went on his own account to Batoche 
to interview the insurgents and use his influence to 
restore peace and order without further violence. He 
went in company with a Mr. Mitchell, the storekeeper at 
Duck Lake, who had come, bearing a message from Kiel 
to Major Crozier, requiring his surrender. On reaching 



40 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Batoche Mr. McKay told every one that the complete 
overthrow of their movement was only a question of a 
short time, and that their only hope of safety was to be 
found in their immediate dispersal, and the surrender of 
the leaders of the movement, who must be dealt with and 
punished by the law. Kiel, finding that some were con- 
fessing that they had been forced reluctantly into the 
movement, had Mr. McKay brought before his council, 
charging him with endangering the success of their cause 
by statements which he could prove to be false. Mr. 
McKay had assured them that all the white settlers 
were against them, and that the English Half-breeds 
would, at the least, remain neutral. Riel proposed to 
bring forward witnesses to prove the reverse. The 
council, however, agreed to liberate Mr. McKay, and as 
he departed an arrangement was made by Mr. Mitchell 
by which two from Carle ton and two from Batoche 
should meet near Duck Lake to consider the possibility 
of a settlement. Captain Moore and Mr. McKay met the 
representatives from Duck Lake, Nolan and Lepine, on 
the following day. No terms could be made, as the 
insurgents demanded the surrender of Carleton and of 
all Crozier's forces, and McKay and Moore demanded the 
dispersal of the French and that their leaders should be 
given up. 

On Thursday morning, when Col. Irvine was on the 
way from Prince Albert to Carleton, it was thought 
advisable to send a party of sixteen police and volunteers 
with teams to Duck Lake to get supplies from the store, 
which, as far as known, had not yet been seized by Riel. 
Mr. McKay again led this party. On approaching a 
point about two miles from Duck Lake he was met by a 
force of twenty-five or thirty armed horsemen. Having 
told for what purpose he had come, he was insolently chal- 
lenged to go and take the stores if he dared. Prudently 
declining this, he was asked to surrender his arms and 
party to the rebels. This, he firmly said, would never be 
/done while they were alive. Then he was challenged to 
i commence firing, his teams were knocked about, and 



THE DUCK LAKE DISASTER. 41 

several shots fired over their heads to provoke them. 
Mr. McKay and his men remained cool, with rifles in 
hand. At length he proposed that his party should 
return as they came, and warned the insurgents not to 
follow them as he could not answer for his men if 
molested by pursuit. On getting clear of the rebels he 
sent word by a patrol to Carleton of what had occurred 
and followed leisurely with his teams. When the news 
reached Carleton there was great excitement and indig- 
nation. It was not supposed that a very large number 
of Kiel's party could be at Duck Lake. It would even 
seem that some of the Prince Albert party brought 
pressure to bear upon the commanding officer not to bear 
the indignity put upon them. Perhaps some thought 
that the insurgents might be crushed at once, or at least 
the stores secured with ease. Major Crozier, as we need 
not wonder, seems to have hesitated to incur the respon- 
sibility of attacking, when his commanding officer was, as 
he well knew, approaching and within a few hours' march. 
Volunteers, however, were called for, and on the point of 
starting, when McKay and the teams reached the fort. 
Again there was a slight hesitation, but finally sixty 
police and twenty-five volunteers were commanded to 
start. They took with them the only field-piece in their 
possession a seven-pounder of brass, which had seen 
service with Napier at Magdala. 

On arriving at the place where the teams had been 
stopped in the morning the scouts were again chased in 
by twenty or thirty horsemen, followed by a body of men 
on foot constantly increasing in numbers as others came 
from Duck Lake. Major Crozier halted his troops, and 
the police spread out to the left and the volunteers to the 
right of the road. One of the rebels was waving a 
blanket, and Major Crozier, with the interpreter, went 
forward to meet him and a few others who were advanc- 
ing along the road. A short and unsatisfactory conver- 
sation took place as to what was wanted by our men and 
where they were going. At the same time the rebels 
kept advancing and scattering across the front of our 



42 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

men. The officer and interpreter insisted that they 
should be kept back, but no heed was paid to the warn- 
ing, Crozier then retired to his men and told them to 
commence firing. The rebels had now mostly left the 
road and were getting under cover among the bluffs or 
groves in front of our men, and even around their flank. 
A number made their way into an empty log building to 
the right of our line, from which they poured a murder- 
ous fire on the volunteers. The cannon tired three shots ; 
then, by a sad mistake, a shell was put in before the 
charge of powder, and the gun became useless until the 
engagement was over. The rebels' fire was very severe. 
Our men were in a hollow, while the enemy had good 
cover and higher ground. The Indians and Half-breeds 
fired with great coolness, dropping on their blankets and 
taking sure aim. They were gradually working round 
the flank of our force and about surrounding it, when 
orders were given to retreat. A rush was made for the 
road, the teams were hitched up, the wounded, with the 
exception of one man, who was not noticed, had already 
been put in the sleighs, and the force retreated, leaving 
nine men, dead or dying on the field. Five horses, some 
of them shot, had also to be abandoned. Had our men 
remained but a little longer the whole force would have 
been sacrificed. It was almost a miracle that the gunners 
and their horses were not destroyed and the gun cap- 
tured. It would seem to ordinary persons a fatal mistake 
to have taken it so far to the front, where it was under 
close rifle fire. About a quarter of a mile farther back 
there was rising ground, from which the gun could have 
poured its shot on the enemy, while our men could have 
advanced under the cover of its fire. It does not seem 
either to have occurred to the commanding officer after 
retiring out of rifle range to renew the fire from his 
cannon, and treat the rebels to a few shells to cover his 
retreat, even if he did not return to recover the dead. 
Of incidents during the skirmish there is not now time 
or space to write. Captain Morton, of the volunteers, a 
man much respected and loved, was shot in the breast. 



THE DUCK LAKE DISASTEB. 43 

He told those beside him who offered him aid that they 
could do nothing for him, but asked them to care for his 
wife and family. Poor Napier one of that gallant Scot- 
tish family which has given so many heroes to fight for 
their country was hit first on the breast, and diopped 
to his knees. To the next man he said, " I am shot. 
Tell my father and mother I died like a man." He was 
afterwards shot through the neck and in the thigh. S. 
C. Elliot, our most promising lawyer, immediately after 
helping a wounded man into one of the sleighs, was shot 
from behind, the bullet which killed him being found in 
the front of his shirt after his body was brought home. 
Arnold, one of the Mounted Police, got a bullet through 
the upper part of his lungs, and said, " I'm shot, but good 
for them yet." He stooped forward a little, and fired 
several shots more, was shot again in the body, and then 
received a third bullet, but was lifted into the sleigh and 
reached Carleton, where he died next morning. Newith, 
a volunteer, wounded in the leg, crept down towards the 
road, but the sleighs had gone. An Indian came up, and 
began to club him with his gun. He held up his hands 
to cover his face and head, and was hit four times, and 
had two of his fingers broken, when a Half-breed noticed 
the Indian and compelled him to stop. He was carried 
to Duck Lake two hours after, and his life again threat- 
ened by two Indians. Again the Half-breeds protected 
him. He was liberated on the following Monday, when 
the dead bodies were brought home. Two of the men 
were again shot through the head and one stabbed while 
lying on the field. Both of them, it is believed, must 
have been at the point of death, if not actually dead. 
None ot the dead were scalped, although until they 
were brought in, there was great fear that this had 
been done. 

Of the wounded Capt. Moore's leg is shattered below 
the knee. Gilchrist, a policeman, with broken thigh, has 
suffered intensely. Inspector Howe, Gordon, and McNab 
had only flesh wounds. The last mentioned nearly had 
the artery of his arm severed. In all twelve died, mne of 
them (all volunteers) on the field, and seven were wounded. 



CHAPTER V. 

AFTER THE BATTLE. 

IT was plain that the defences of Fort Carleton were 
not such as to make the place tenable against the 
Half-breeds now well supplied with provisions and ammu- 
nition, and full of triumph from their late success. 
Besides this, it was thought that Beardy, the Cree chief, 
whose reserve was a few miles from Carleton, was in 
league with Kiel. Carleton was only defended by an old 
stockade ; it was situated close to a high hill which com- 
pletely commanded it. On the next day, Friday, March 
27, therefore, Colonel Irvine marched out of Fort Carle- 
ton. Sacks of flour were emptied and scattered around 
and soaked with coal oil The same day Sanderson, one 
of the prisoners in Kiel's camp, was sent to Carleton with 
an offer to surrender the bodies of the dead. He gave up 
to Colonel Irvine also a letter from Kiel to one Scott, near 
Prince Albert, who was suspected of sympathy with the 
rising. For some reason he was at first put under arrest, 
and the offer was not accepted lest it should prove to be 
a ruse to draw a party into an ambuscade. On Friday 
night, before the preparations for leaving were quite com- 
pleted, a fire broke out accidentally in the fort. No ef- 
fort was made to stay its progress, and on Saturday 
morning the whole force started for Prince Albert, which 
was reached at 3 p.m. 

Great relief was felt on their arrival. The people of 
Prince Albert received on Thursday night news of the 
skirmish and the death of so many of those whom they 
had sent off full of life, and confident of an easy if not 
bloodless victory. It was expected that as soon as Irvine 
and Crozier had united their forces, the movement would 
collapse at once. Now a serious disaster had occurred, 
and Kiel and his savage forces, flushed with victory, were 



AFTER TEE BATTLE. 45 

nearer to us than our own men. The citizens at once set 
to work to build a barricade of cord wood around the 
Presbyterian Church and manse grounds, in which the 
women and children might obtain shelter. Almostcevery 
man iu town, including three of the ministers, worked 
with a will, and in less time than could have been sup- 
posed, a strong stockade was completed, in most places 




LIEUT. -COL. IEVINE, N.-W. MOUNTED POLICE. 

eight feet high, and lined within by another pile of wood 
on which the men could stand. Stores and ice cut from 
the river were rapidly driven in. A large shed was run 
up in the enclosure, and a two-storey house across the 
street, which commanded the square, and would have 
given protection to the enemy advancing, was pulled 
down and levelled with the ground. All through Friday 



46 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

no courier came from Colonel Irvine. In the afternoon one 
of the scouts who had been as far as Carleton the previ- 
ous night, and held communication with those in the 
fort, though not with the officers, reported seven nuns 
from the convent had the novel experience of spending 
two nights under the roof of a Presbyterian clergyman ; 
that sixteen men were dead and the seventeenth was 
dying, and that Big Bear, one of the most dangerous of the 
Indian Chiefs, had crossed the prairie from Battleford 
with 100 braves on snowshoes, and was then with Kiel at 
Duck Lake. This news confirmed the fears of a large 
Indian rising with all its attendant horrors. The sus- 
pense on that night was very painful. It was expected 
that the savages would either at once attack Prince Albert 
or lie in wait for Colonel Irvine and his troops in "The 
Pines," where the Carleton trail passes for several milss 
through thick woods, from which the Indians could easily 
pick off our men as they passed. Not a little vexation 
and amazement were felt that Irvine had sent no despatch 
on which reliance could be placed. 

The manse, church, and shed were filled with the peo- 
ple of the town. Three women with little babes only 
two or three days old were carried on mattresses into the 
manse. The houses near at hand were also lilled with 
people ready to run into the stockade as soon as an alarm 
should be given. During the night Nolan came in to 
Prince Albert. He had been a member of Kiel's Council, 
and acted as one of the French representatives at the 
meeting with Moore and McKay near Duck Lake. He 
asserted that he had been compelled to join the movement 
by threats that on refusal he would be put to death, and 
that after the skirmish he had contrived to make his 
escape. He reported that all of the French had been at 
the skirmish or close at hand ; and that only four Half- 
breeds and two Indians were killed. He stated that 
many were urging Kiel to march at once on Prince Albert, 
and that what was to be expected was an attack by 
night from the Indians, who would perhaps cross the 
river and enter the town from the north side. Major 
Moffat, who was for giving Nolan his liberty, was induced 



AFTER THE BATTLE, 47 

to keep him under surveillance, and on Col. Irvine's re- 
turn on the Saturday he was placed in safe-keeping. 

Not till 1 p.m. on Saturday was intelligence received 
of Irvine's march from Carleton. Two hours after the 
wounded were driven in. It was with thankfulness 
learned that only twelve were dead and that the wounded 
had borne the journey very well. Captain Moore, though 
the splints had been removed from his shattered leg, said 
he " came down quite comfortably, and had smoked eleven 
pipes by the way." The force had not been molested in 
" The Pines," nor was the enemy anywhere seen. The 
police and volunteers were greeted on their arrival with 
ringing cheers the joy and gratitude shaded only by the 
thought that nine of their brave comrades were still lying 
dead upon the field, exposed, as far as was then known, 
to the hot sun by day and the frost at night, and possibly 
also to beasts of prey. 

About 7 p.m., just as people were hoping that all was 
safe, the scouts and telegraph operator came in from the 
road that leads to Batoche and reported that a force of 
Indians was approaching and close at hand. A shot was 
fired from the stockade, and messengers rushed in all di- 
rections to alarm the people, and bring them within the 
stockade. The church bell was rung ; and even in the 
midst of the alarm there were many who noticed how 
different is the effect on the soul of the same sound in 
different circumstances. The bell which had rung out joy 
and gladness after a wedding, which had filled them with 
solemn and devout feelings as they went to the house of 
prayer, seemed now to be pouring out sounds of horror 
and making the heart quake with alarm. 

" Hear the tolling of the bells ! 

Iron bells ! 

What a tale of terror now their turbulency tells- 
In the silence of the night, 
How we sh udder with affright 
At the melancholy menace of their tone- 
For every sound that floats 
From the rust within their throats 
Is a groan." 



48 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Such a panic many pray to God that they may not 
ever see again. Women arose from their sick beds and 
rushed into the enclosure ; children snatched up in their 
nightclothes were carried into the manse in blankets. 
Another woman with a babe only a few hours old was 
added to the number of those previously carried in. The 
minister and others guarded the door, admitting women 
and children only, and sternly refusing admittance to 
selfish or timid men 'and boys. Some sad and one or two 
amusing scenes might be described. Two or three of the 
women fainted and the doctor was passed in to attend to 
the sick. After the first rush was over all behaved very 
well, keeping quiet as they sat on the floor, and receiving 
as well as could be expected the assurance that there was 
no sufficient cause for the alarm. Meanwhile the stock- 
ade was lined with police and volunteers in arms ready 
to receive the enemy. After a time it was discovered 
that the scouts had been far too hasty in giving the 
alarm, as they had not actually seen the Indians at all. 
A few days after, however, it was said that the Indians 
had been on the march, but coming to the Carleton Road, 
and noticing the traces of the passage of the police force, 
they returned to Kiel's camp. 

On the Sabbath Sanderson and two others went with 
sleighs to Duck Lake to bring in the dead. They found 
that Kiel had permitted the prisoners whom he held, 
and some of the French to go out and carry the bodies 
into the house from which so many had been shot. On 
Monday at noon they returned, bringing along with the 
corpses, Newith, the wounded prisoner, whom Kiel had 
liberated. The bodies were laid out in an empty build- 
ing, and with great thankfulness it was found that none 
of them had been grossly mutilated by the savages. The 
nine bodies lying side by side, the faces of two blackened 
with powder, formed a ghastly spectacle. A few days 
before they went forth, full of life and spirit, too eager, 
poor fellows, for the fray, and too contemptuous of their 
foes, and there now they lay stiff, discoloured, and silent 
in death. But they went at the call of duty, and they 



AFTEB THE BATTIA 49 

died on " the field of honour." Loving and gentle hands 
carried them to different places and prepared their bodies 
for the burial. Well may the people of Prince Albert 
cherish their memory with sorrowing affection and 
solemn pride. Like Him in whom we trust for salvation, 
though of course in a lower sense, they " laid down their 
lives for their friends." 

On Tuesday, at 2 p.m., the funeral procession started 
for the Church of England cemetery, wher^e it was thought 
best to lay the nine together in one common grave. The 
Prince Albert band led the way playing a funeral march. 
Then followed the volunteers, a body of police, and the. 
ministers of the town. Next came the coffins, the 
mourners, and the general public. The Bishop and two 
of his clergy read the ordinary burial service. There 
was no sermon nor address, nor allusion to the peculiar 
circumstances. To some it seemed a pity that the order 
of the Church should be so rigid as to prevent any more 
honour being done to these brave men brought in from 
the field of battle, than would be shown at the burial of 
a newborn child. The Bishop of Saskatchewan, and the 
Presbyterian minister, however, both preached funeral 
sermons appropriate to the circumstances on the following 
Sabbath. 

Thus closes the story of the first act in the great 
tragedy. The story is a pathetic one, telling as it does 
of true heroes whose blood was poured out upon the 
snow, not in the cause of freedom and the defence of 
their hearths and homes, but in obedience to that stern 
call of duty that forbids us to argue as to the justice of 
the cause and only comYnands us to defend the honour of 
the old flag, and ask no questions of the cause. By-and- 
bye somebody may be called to answer for the blood of 
those gallant fellows who perished nobly with words of 
defiance and unquenchable bravery on their lips ; but for 
the present we can only shed bitter tears over the 
untimely flight of spirits, the bravest of the brave. 

As might have been expected, the result of the Duck 
Lake skirmish aroused the Half-breeds to more active 
3 



50 



CANADA S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



rebellion. Everywhere the telegraph wires were cut, 
and the stores and ammunition plundered. The Mounted 
Police and what volunteers could be armed held Prince 
Albert, Battleford, Fort Pitt, Fort Saskatchewan, and 
Edmonton in the North, h 



CHAPTER VI 

THE INDIANS OF MANITOBA AND THE NORTH-WEST. 

I IT1HE great problem now to be solved was the extent to 
( _|_ which the Indians would assist in the rebellion upon 
which the Half-breeds had now fairly . launched them- 
selves. The following pretty accurate estimate of the 
force and disposition of the Indians was made at this 
time by a gentleman well-posted in matters pertaining to 
the Indians and to the North- West generally. The 
question has been answered. This estimate of the pro- 
babilities is particularly interesting, as it serves to illus- 
trate the nature and extent of our national peril at this 
time : 

ThereKwere in Manitoba and the North- West Territories 
very nearly or quite 34,000 Indians who were under the 
care of ajid to a certain extent dependent upon the Cana- 
dian Government. They are divided into several great 
nations, prominent among which are the " Ojibewas," 
" Crees," " Sioux," and " Blackfeet." Besides these, how- 
ever, there are many sub-divisions indicating tribal and 
sectional distinctions rather than those of race and na- 
tionality; at least a general similarity of the languages 
of the various groups would indicate this. 

The Ojibewas, very often corrupted into " Chippewas," 
besides embracing nearly all of the " bush " Indians of 
Manitoba, are closely allied .to the Saulteux of the more 
ppen country west of Red River Valley. Their language 
is in many respects similar to that of the Crees, and inter- 
marriages with the latter are not infrequent. The 



THE INDIANS OF MANITOBA AND NORTH-WEST. 51 

Swampies, who occupy the country about the mouth of 
Red River, and bordering on Lake Winnipeg, are also of 
this same nation. In the event of any serious troubles 
among the Indians, it was not probable that the Ojibewas 
would take any very active part, as most of their bands 
were located so as to be nearly or quite surrounded by 
white settlements of considerable magnitude. They are, 
as a rule, very peaceably inclined, and poorly armed, 
most of them using old-fashioned Hudson Bay Company 
shot guns, which, however, will throw bullets of heavy 
calibre with considerable accuracy. There are very few 
of the Ojibewas proper to be found west of the Red River 
Valley, and most of them occupy the bush country east of 
Red River, though some bands might be found in portions 
of Northern Manitoba. There were probably of the 
Ojibewas proper in Manitoba and the extreme west of 
Ontario about 4,000. 

The Saulteux (pronounced " Sotos ") were so inter- 
mingled with the Crees in the eastern portion of the 
North- West Territory and the west of Manitoba that it 
was not easy to ascertain their numbers. There were, 
however, not less than 2,500 of them. They are for the 
most part to be found in the regions of Fort Pelly, Fort 
Ellice, Moose- Mountain, Qu'Appelle, and Crooked Lakes. 
Among the more well- inclined Cree Half-breeds these 
Saulteux have the reputation of being rather clever, and 
often very plausible mischief-makers. Some of them are 
remarkably well off for Indians, and not a few of them 
are exceedingly ambitious. They are, as a rule, rather 
intelligent and extremely active and energetic. Their 
reserves are for the most part well located. 

The Crees largely outnumber any other tribe of the 
North- West, and it is in a great measure owing to the 
thoroughly pacific disposition of these people that Cana- 
dian supremacy has been so easily maintained thus far. 
It has long been the boast of the Crees that as a nation 
they have never shed th blood of the white man. In 
times past they proved themselves capable fighting men, 
however, in their struggles with the Sioux and Blackfeet, 



52 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

and they think they are still as capable of fighting as 
they ever were. There is no doubt, however, that they 
are not nearly so warlike a people as the Blackfeet, and 
nothing but a real sense of wrong would ever induce them 
to take up arms against British authority. Of course it 
is not saying that they are wronged to say that they have 
experienced a sense of wrong, and it is just here that the 
great danger lies so far as they are concerned. They 
were for many generations accustomed to meeting no 
white men except the agents of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, and whatever may be said against that great 
corporation the offence of lying to the Indians can never 
be laid to their charge. Aside from the moral aspect of 
the case altogether, it was a part of their business policy 
to conduct their traffic with the Indians in such a way 
that the latter would never have the shadow of a cause 
for doubting the word of any officer or agent of the Com- 
pany. If an indiscreet trader made a promise to the 
humblest member of a tribe, that promise was invariably 
fulfilled, no matter what the cost might be. In the old 
times an insignificant order of the value of two or three 
shillings has been sent all the way to the Old Country, 
via York Factory, merely because something not in stock 
had been promised to an Indian. As the shipments of 
goods to York Factory were not very frequent, the dark- 
skinned customer would sometimes have long to wait 
before receiving what was promised him, but he rested 
safe in the assurance that it would not be forgotten, . and 
that however long in coming it was sure to come at last, 
and so he was satisfied. Accustomed to this sort of 
treatment, it is not surprising that the Cree became the 
firm friend of the white man. He could rely implicitly 
on all that was told him, and he came to look upon the 
white man as well-nigh all-powerful. In this way the 
Crees were brought up for many generations in a good 
school, and it is only a pity that they have not always 
had such an example of thorough truthfulness before 
them. Inexperienced men, who knew nothing of Indian 
character, have been brought in contact with them 



THE INDIANS OF MANITOBA AND NORTH-WEST. 53 

through the agency of the Indian Department, and these 
people, too often pressed by the exigencies of what they 
deemed a trying situation, have made promises to them 
which have not been fulfilled. Promises had been made 
which could not with propriety be carried out, and too 
often promises had been made which had been wholly 
forgotten. These broken promises might seem little 
things to the men who made and broke them, but they 
were big things to these simple-minded children of the 
wilds. Truthfulness was the one virtue which they 
prized above all others, and knowing nothing of the 
nature of the resources upon which the Indian Agent or 
Fa*-m Instructor had to fall back, they supposed them to 
be unlimited, and therefore regarded the plea of inability 
no excuse for the non-fulfilment of any promise. 

Big Bear, with a band of about five hundred, had 
always been a troublesome and dangerous man, more fond 
of hunting buffaloes, whether north or south of the line, 
than of tilling the soil. His reserve was not definitely 
located, and it was not known just where he was at that 
time to be found. He was of the South Crees, but in 
common with the rest of that branch of the Cree nation, 
he had been induced to go north. The policy of the 
Government in taking the South Crees as far as possible 
from the international boundary, and from the line of 
railway, was doubtless a good one. In the South they 
were frequently getting into difficulty with the Indians 
and Half-breeds south of the line, as well as with the 
Bloods and Blackfeet of the South-West, and had they 
remained there the danger of a collision with the railway 
navvies was always to be feared. 

-^JHad the insurgents had the opportunity of choosing 
their own time for an outbreak, they could not have 
selected a season more thoroughly opportune for their 
own purposes. The winter had been a severe one, and, 
in any event, these improvident Red-men were 'always 
worse off in the spring than at any other season of the 
year. This was the season at which the Agency supplies 
were most apt to fall short, and the advent of spring 



54 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

weather would soon render transportation a matter of 
very grave difficulty. 

In the immediate vicinity of the outbreak it was to 
be presumed that there was more to be feared from the 
Half-breeds than from the Indians, as the majority of the 
latter had always had the name of being peaceable and 
well-inclined. 

Mis-ta-was-sis (Big Child) was the most powerful chief 
in the Carleton Agency, and his band only numbered two 
hundred and twenty-six. He himself was a devout Pres- 
byterian, as were many of his band, and while it was 
easy to understand that they would not feel inclined to 
rise in arms against people of their own race, and perhaps 
in some instances their own relatives, it was not at all 
probable they would take any part in the outbreak. 

Ahtah-ka-koop had a band of one hundred and ninety- 
six, and what has been said of the band of Mis-ta-was-sis 
was mainly true of his followers. They were not at all 
likely to take action for or against the insurgents. 

Beardy, on whose reserve the first battle had taken 
place, was not by any means an amiable Indian. His 
band numbered something over one hundred and fifty, 
and, like their chief, they had small respect for the white 
man or his institutions. Unlike many of the Indians in 
the Carle ton Agency, they werejpjiga^is^^ 
instruction of any kind. They managed tcTTaTse some 
. grain and roots, but not nearly enough to supply them 
with the necessaries of life. It was extremely probable, 
therefore, that Beardy would cast his fortunes in with the 
rebels, if he had not already done so. 

Altogether, however, it was not probable that many of 

the Indians of the Carleton Agency would take any part 

in the insurrection, and those who would do so would 

very probably be actuated more by a desire to obtain food 

% j and clothing, than that of avenging real or fancied 

$ wrongs. The condition of these unfortunate people was 

| ! deplorable. Their staple food, muskrats, had become 

scarce, their crops even on the very limited acreage broken 

<on their reserves were bad, and as early as July, 1884, it 



THE INDIANS OF MANITOBA AND NORTH-WEST. 55 

was prophesied that their principal dependence for food 
the following winter would be upon rabbits. The Crees 
in the Carleton Agency numbered about one thousand six 
hundred, and as they subsisted chiefly on the products of 
the chase, they were doubtless fairly armed. They are 
divided into about a dozen small bands, and were scattered 
over a very considerable extent of country. 

There were at the Battleford Agency, which lies west 
of the Carleton Agency, upwards of two thousand Crees 
and some three hundred Stoneys or Assiniboines, and these 
were divided into about a dozen separate bands. There 
was none of them in a particularly prosperous condition, 
though most of their reserves were well located. The 
most influential chief in this Agency, and perhaps the 
most influential chief in the Northern Territory, was 
Poundmaker, a Cree chief, whose individual following 
w&y about uiie hundred and fifty. His reserve was on 
Battle Kiver, a short distance west of Battleford. He is 
a particularly fine-looking specimen of his race, being 
considerably over six feet high, of rather slight build...., 
and singularly erect He has an intelligent and ralKer 
refined looking face, a high, prominent forehead, and a 
nose of the purely Grecian type, while there is nothing 
coarse or sensual about the lower portion of his face. His 
hands are small and delicate in appearance, his fingers 
being long and tapered. He is accounted an orator among 
his own people, but has none of the noise and bluster 
that too often characterize Indian oratory. Up speaks 
slowly and distinctly and in a manner that gives the 
'hearer the idea of suppressed power. His gestures are 
invariably very graceful, and his manner thoroughly dig- 
nified, without the faintest suspicion of pomposity or 
self-consciousness. He is always solemn and earnest in 
his utterances, and generally bears himself after the 
manner of a religious enthusiast who was oppressed with 
.the idea^that he had some great mission to accomplish. 
ThoujpTa^agSS, ; tie^nangK)Te TEan once BeTrayecTa strong 
inclination to embrace Catholicism. His father was a 
Cree and his mother a half-sister to the great Blackfoot 



I 



56 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

chief, Crowfoot. His grandmother on the side of his 
mother was said to have been a Stoney, and this is cor- 
roborated by the great chiefs peculiar cast of countenance. 
Poundmaker's career has been in many respects a remark- 
able one. To use his own language, he often went among 
the Blackfeet during his boyhood for the purpose of kill- 
ing their people and stealing their ponies, but when he 
grew to be a man he conceived the idea of making peace 
between the Crees and Blackfeet. Crowfoot, his uncle, 
was then all-powerful in the councils of the latter, but 
often when he was absent from the camp Poundmaker 
lay pretending to sleep while he heard the Blackfeet 
debating whether to kill him or not. Many a night had 
he lain hour after hour with his right hand grasping his 
big Remington revolver at full cock under his pillow. 
After a winter of terror, and several trips from Eagle 
Hills to Blackfoot Crossing during the following summer, 
his great object was accomplished, and peace was made 
between the two great nations of the plains. 

As the friend of Crowfoot, the great chief of the 
Blackfeet, and as one of the most intelligent and influ- 
ential of the Cree chiefs, Poundmaker could, if he chose, 
become the most dangerous Indian in the North-West. 
His influence with Crowfoot had always been extraordi- 
nary, and he was universally looked up to and respected 
by all the Crees of the North. He had trouble with the 
Indian Department in the winter of 1883-84, and he was 
not a man to quickly forget an indignity offered to himself 
or his people. Inhere was not an Indian in the North- 
West who knew the country better than Poundmaker. 
In 1881, when Lord Lome went across the plains, 
Poundmaker joined the party for the purpose of interpret- 
ing the language of the Blackfeet into Cree, as the Cree 
interpreter accompanying the party did not understand 
Blackfoot. Johnny Saskatchewan was taken along to 
act as guide, but between Battleford and the crossing of 
the Red Deer the Half-breed lost himself, and for the last 
two days Poundmaker was "guiding the guide." After 
crossing the Red Deer, Poundmaker took the lead, and 



THE INDIANS OF MANITOBA AND NORTH-WEST. 57 

travelled in almost an air-line to the Blackfoot Crossing, 
though there was no trail, and what was ev en more 
remarkable, arranged his time-table so that he hit the 
best grass and water to be had just about camping time 
on every occasion. . 

Little Pine had the large^ following of any chief in 
tne Battleford district. His band numbered well toward 
four hundred and fifty, and as he had but recently settled 
on his reserve, too much dependence was not to be placed 
upon his loyalty. He had b-en one of the South Crees, 
and one of the last to settle on a Northern reserve. His 
men were well-armed and well-mounted. Lucky Man 
was an Indian of very much the same style as Little 
Pine, he taking treaty and going North at the same time. 
His band numbered about three hundred and fifty and 
like those of Little Pine, his men were well-armed and 
well-mounted. Like all buflalo hunters, they were experts 
wift both pony and rifle. There were upwards ot two 
thousand Crees in the Battleford Agency, besides some 
three hundred Stoneys or Assinibomes. 

In the Edmonton district there were about a dozen 
small bands of Crees, and half-a-dozen bands of Assmi- 
boines Altogether they numbered nearly three thousand. 
They were, like the other Indians in the North in a 
miserably destitute condition, and though disposed to be 
pacific it was difficult to say what influence the prospect 
of unlimited food and clothing might have had upon 

their loyalty. . , 

The Fort Pitt Agency only embraced about seven 
hundred people, though at one time, during the summer 
of 1884, Big Bear and his band of five hundred were 
located there. So far as the Crees properly belonging to 
Fort Pitt were concerned, there was not much feared roi 
them, or much expected of them. Like all the rest they 
were badly off, and would have done a great deal for a 
liberal supply of food and clothing. 

The Crees of Treaty Four were numerous and well 
armed and equipped ; but as they were for the most part 
pretty well settled on their reserves, and many of them 



58 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

fairly well off for Indians, they were not likely to take 
part in any uprising unless it should have become general. 
The only chief in this treaty who was at all likely to 
become troublesome was Piapot, who with his band of 
five hundred and fifty was located at Indian Head, near 
Qu'Appelle. He was known to have no very friendly 
feeling toward the Indian Department, and particularly 
towards Lieutenant-Go vernor Dewdney. He was so near 
the railway, and as it were almost in the heart of a fairly 
settled district, it was thought that he would have some 
difficulty in getting away unobserved. If there should 
have come anything like a general uprising among the 
Indians, however, Piapot would without doubt have taken 
an active part on the side of the Crees, and unfortunately 
should he have done so, and made anything like a success- 
ful stand, it was only too probable that a large portion of 
the seven thousand in Treaty Four would have joined him. 

Those who knew anything of Indian affairs in the 
North-West were now watching, with a great deal of 
anxiety, the attitude of the Blackfeet nation in any 
future crisis. Though not so numerous as the Crees, these 
people, if roused, could not fail to become far more dan- 
gerous. They numbered nearly six thousand, and instead 
of being scattered about in small bands over a large 
extent of country, they were compactly placed as follows, 
according to their tribal distinctions : 

Of the Blackfeet proper there were nearly two thou- 
sand two hundred at Blackfoot Crossing, on Bow River, 
some sixty miles from Calgary. 

Of the Bloods there were nearly two thousand three 
hundred on the Blood reserve, near Fort McLeod. 

Of the Piegans (another branch of the Blackfeet family) 
there were over nine hundred on the Piegan reserve, on 
Old Man's River, a few miles west of Fort McLeod. 

Of the Sarcees there were over four hundred on their 
reserve near Calgary. These people were not of the 
Blackfeet tribe, but they had for years been under the 
protection of and had formed a portion of the Blackfeet 
nation. The legend concerning them is that they were 



THfi INDIANS OF MANITOBA AND NORTH-WEST. 69 

formerly a powerful and very warlike tribe, occupying a 
portion of the Peace River country. Their turbulent 
disposition involved them in one war after another, till 
by their constant fighting, often against superior numbers, 
they became so reduced that they were no longer able to 
exist among the fierce and constantly warring tribes of 
the North-West. Admiring their unquestionable bravery, 
the Blackfeet nation took them under their protection, 
since which time, though they have preserved their own 
customs, language, and traditions, and though they have 
to a great extent abstained from inter-marriage with the 
Blackfeet, they have been to all intents and purposes a 
portion of the Blackfeet nation. 

Thus it will be seen that within a radius of some 
sixty miles these four powerful branches of the Blackfeet 
nation were concentrated. XThey were all of them much 
more fond of war and pillage than of tilling the soil. Of 
the four tribes forming this great nation the Bloods had 
always been regarded as the most powerful and dangerous. 
Besides being the most numerous they were the most 
warlike, and were provided with Winchester rifles, re- 
volvers, and abundance of ammunition. The Bloods had 
again and again been accused, and often convicted, of 
horse-stealing, and the unfortunate Police Constable 
Greyburn was murdered by a Blood Indian. In fact, this 
tribe had always enjoyed a most unenviable reputation 
amongst the ranchmen of the vicinity. What made them 
still more dangerous was their close proximity to the 
cattle ranches, and to the extensive supplies of the Indian 
Department, and those of the local traders at Fort 
McLeod. They had no conscientious scruples against the 
robbery of either the white men or of their own people. 
Neither they nor any of the Blackfeet tribe had ever had 
much to do with the Hudson Bay Company, and they 
had, as a consequence, received nothing like the lesson of 
honesty and good faith impressed upon those whose traffic 
had been with the Hudson Bay Company. The Bloods 
were particularly fond of " Counting Coo," and regarded 
such a prosy and unromantic occupation as farming as 



60 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

quite beneath the dignity of individuals calling them- 
selves men. Nothing but the pressure of circumstances ever 
compelled them to adopt farming as an occupation, and 
should they have discovered that there had been a pros- 
pect of a general Indian uprising, they would have been 
very much disappointed if they had not been permitted 
to play a part in it on one side or the other. They had 
no affection for the Crees, nor indeed for any tribe outside 
of the Blackfeet nation ; but, at the same time, as they 
would probably have imagined the white settlers, ranch- 
men, and traders in their immediate vicinity would have 
made much better "picking" for them than the Half- 
breeds and Crees, it was not improbable that they might 
have been induced to join the latter, in view of richer 
plunder. The Bloods were probably the most accom- 
plished horsemen in the North- West, they having had a 
large number of good ponies of considerable size and speed. 

What was true of the Bloods was also true, to a less 
extent, of the Piegans. They were less numerous, less 
warlike, than the Bloods ; but they were, for all that, 
sufficiently numerous, powerful, and warlike to have given 
ground for very serious apprehension in case of a general 
uprising among the Indians. They, too, were well-armed, 
and had in their band some four hundred horses. 

Though the acknowledged head of the Blackfeet 
nation, and though under the immediate leadership of 
Crowfoot, the chief of the Blackfeet, the Blackfeet tribe 
was scarcely as powerful in the councils of the nation as 
were the Bloods. They were rich in horses, and were 
always well supplied with arms and ammunition, and in 
the use of all these appliances of war and the chase they 
had always been adepts. That they were less trouble- 
some than the Bloods was probably less attributable to 
their disposition than to their surroundings. They were 
in a measure out of the way of settlement, and their 
reserve was one of the most charming spots in the North- 
West, if not on this Continent. They were in the valley 
of that .ost beautiful of mountain streams, Bow River, 
and their land was wonderfully rich and productive. 



THE INDIANS OF MANITOBA AND NOBTH-WEST. 61 

They had an unlimited range for their ponies, and thus 
far had been very liberally rationed by the Government. 
They had for a few years made very satisfactory progress 
in farming, but it would not do to place too much de- 
pendence on this circumstance. When Lord Lome was 
crossing from Battleford to Blackfoot Crossing, Commis- 
sioner Dewdney was fondly hoping that the BJackfeet at 
the Crossing would have made a grand showing from an 
agricultural point of view, as it was known that they had 
broken, fenced, and seeded a considerable tract of land ; 
but alas, before the Governor-General arrived the Black- 
feet had received the news that a few buffaloes had crossed 
the line and were coming northward ! This news sealed 
the fate of the growing crops which the Commissioner 
had hoped to show Lord Lome with so much pride, for 
in order to get their ponies into condition for running 
buffaloes as rapidly as possible, they had thrown down 
their fences and turned the animals into the fields, and the 
highly-prized crops presented a sorry picture by the 
time His Excellency pitched his first camp on the banks 
of the crystal Bow. 

Crowfoot was an Indian of more than ordinary intelli- 
gence, and the comparatively good behaviour of the 
Blackfeet tribe, and indeed that of the whole Blackfeet 
nation, was largely due to his rational counsel. He had 
sense enough to see that there was nothing for it but that 
the Blackfeet should bow to the inevitable, as the Red- 
men have always been compelled to do in the long run 
on the advent of the white man. There was no longer 
game enough in the country to support his people, and 
the neighbouring tribes were so poor that they were not 
worth robbing. Should his people have risen against the 
whites they would always have felt that besides the white 
men they would have had their old-time enemies, the 
Crees, to fight ; and, taking all these things into consid- 
eration, Crowfoot had evidently come to the conclusion 
that, as there was nothing else for him to do, it only 
remained for the Blackfeet to settle down and become 
peaceable farmers. What influence the news of an 



62 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

outbreak in the North-West might have upon him it was 
hard to tell. It was not improbable that he and his people 
might want to take part in it, and not impossible that 
through Poundmaker's influence they might have been 
inclined to join the insurgents. And in this connection 
there was another circumstance worth considering. Crow- 
foot was getting old, and his younger brother-in-law, 
Yellow Horse, has a great deal of influence with the 
more youthful members of the tribe, who had as yet no 
scalps with which to fringe their deer-skin shirts, and no 
"Coo to count." Yellow Horse, though an active and 
intelligent Indian of some means, and a particularly fine 
appearance, had nothing like the intellectual ballast 
possessed by Crowfoot. Should Crowfoot have heeded 
his counsel, there could be little doubt that the Blackfeet 
would have got into trouble in a very short time. Like 
One Spot of the Bloods, Yellow Horse bore no very 
choice reputation among the white men who knew him. 
He was particularly fond of talking of the good old days 
when the Blackfeet were nearly always on the warpath. 

The Sarcees, though few in point of numbers, would 
have counted for a good deal in case the Blackfeet had 
gone to war. They were savages of the most degraded 
and vicious type. They hated farming, were thoroughly 
warlike, and, like all the Blackfeet nations, had arms, 
ammunition, and ponies. 

Though a formidable tribe in the more recent histories 
of American wars, it was thought improbable that either 
the Sioux proper or their near relatives, the Stoneys, 
would have taken any part against the whites should 
there have been an Indian uprising in the Canadian 
North-West. They were scattered about in small bands 
all the way from Fort Ellice to the Kocky Mountains. 
There were some few of them in nearly every agency, 
and they were, as a rule, active and industrious. They 
had little to do with either the Crees or the Blackfeet, 
and were perhaps more remarkable for minding their own 
business than any other Indians of the North-West. 
White Cap, the Sioux chief, occupied a reserve at Moose 






THE INDIANS OF MANITOBA AND NORTH-WEST. 63 

Woods, only a short distance south of Duck Lake. His 
band consisted of about two hundred and fifty, and it 
was not long before he allied himself to the rebel cause, 
though such a course was not expected of him. He and 
the elder members of his band had fled to Canada from 
the United States after the Minnesota massacre, and 
knew quite well that should they become involved in a 
second war upon the whites they would have nowhere 
to go for rest and protection in the event of defeat. 



CHAPTER VII. 

GENERAL MIDDLETON AND STAFF ON THE SCENE. 

IT has been mentioned that the 90th Rifles had been 
ordered from Winnipeg to Qu'Appelle, together with 
the Winnipeg artillery. They arrived on Sunday, 29th 
of March, and were established in comfortable barracks 
at the immigrant quarters, the division which arrived 
e'arliest being placed in Fort Qu'Appelle, eighteen miles 
to the north. General Middleton, Commander-in-Chief of 
the Canadian Militia, on his arrival at Qu'Appelle, de- 
cided that it would be unwise to proceed to the scene of 
the rebellion with the force on hand, and resolved to 
await the reinforcements on the point of arrival from the 
East. This distinguished officer began his military career 
in 1842, his commission as ensign bearing date December 
30 of that year. His first experiences of active service 
were in South New Zealand, where the insurgent Maoris 
carried on a fierce guerilla warfare much the same as 
that of the Indians and Half-breeds in the North-West. 
He took part in the successful attack which carried the 
strongly intrenched " pah " of Wauganui. He was next 
engaged in the suppression of the Santhal rebellion in 
India, and took a leading part in the desperate, but 
glorious, struggle of the few British soldiers who faced 
the terrible storm pf the Hindoo Mutiny in 1857-58. 



64 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Captain Middleton served as orderly officer to General 
Franks at the battle of Sultanpore, and took part in the 
advance on Lucknow. While thus engaged he was 
A. D. C. to General Luard. He took part in the storming 
of Bank-i-Houn and the Martiniere ; Major Middleton 
was recommended by the general officer under whom he 
served to Lord Clyde for the Victoria Cross on account 
of twt) signal acts of valor in the field. At the Battle of 
Azemghur, on April 15, 1858, he was ordered to take 
command of a troop of the Military Train and to charge 
a dense column of the rebels. Just as the troop, led by 
Captain Middleton, had swept sword in hand into the 
midst of the Sepoys, one of the officers, Lieut. Hamilton, 
fell wounded from his horse. The wound had completely 
disabled him, and a number of Sepoys rushed forward to 
cut him to pieces with their tulwars. Captain Middleton 
at once dismounted, lifted the wounded officer on his 
own horse and carried him from the field in safety. In 
the same fight, a private soldier of the troop being un- 
horsed and disabled by a wound, was saved in the same 
way by Middleton. The Victoria Cross so well merited 
by these gallant acts, was never actually bestowed , some 
red-tapeism as to Captain Middleton's having been then 
on the staff is supposed to have interfered with the course 
of justice. 

In accordance with the rules for the retirement of 
officers after a certain term of service, Major Middleton 
must have been compelled to leave active service in the 
army with the rank of Lieut-Colonel, had not his ap- 
pointment to succeed General Luard last year given him 
the rank of Major-General. General Middleton is more 
frank in his courtesy than his predecessor, and infinitely 
more popular with the Canadian soldier. In face and 
figure he is the ideal of a military leader, and is, no 
doubt, one who, if necessary, can use the sword with good 
effect. Among the most distinguished officers on Gen. 
Middleton's staff are Lord Melgund and Major Buchan. 

Lord Melgund is also Military Secretary to the Gov- 
ernor-General, and is the eldest son of the Earl of Minta 



GEN. MIDDLETON AND HIS STAFF ON THE SCENE. 65 

Born in July, 1845, he was educated at Eton College, 
at once one of the most aristocratic of the great public 
schools of England, and one of the best training places 
for boys to form a manly bearing and strength of char- 
acter. From Eton he went to Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, where in 1866 he graduated as B.A. He entered 
the army in 1867, when he received a commission in the 




LORD MELOUND. 



Scotch Fusilier Guards. From this regiment he retired 
in 1870, holding the rank of captain. He is a captain 
and honorary major in the First Roxburghshire Mounted 
Volunteer Rifles, and, as has been stated, is a captain in 
the regular army. He has seen service on a considerable 
scale, having been in 1877 attached to Colonel Lennox, 
the English military attache* with the Turkish- army, and 
was present at several hard-contested battles. He also 



66 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



served during the war in Afghanistan in 1879, when he 
served as a volunteer on the staff of Lieut-General Sir 
Frederick Roberts, who is considered one of the best tac- 
ticians in the British army. In 1881 he accompanied Sir 
Frederick Roberts to Natal in South Africa as private 
secretary. He subsequently took an active part in the 
Egyptian war, and was wounded at Magwar. In 1883 
he married Mary Caroline, daughter of the late Hon. 
Charles Grey, and niece to Earl Grey, K.G. 




MAJOR LAWBENOE BUOHAN. 



Major Lawrence Buchan is descended from an ancient 
Scottish family. He was born in Paris, County of Brant, 
Ontario, and received his education at Upper Canada 
College, where he evinced a taste for mathematics and 
the study of military tactics; he studied then at the 
Military College, where he received a certificate. He then 
spent several years in New York city, where he engaged 
in the commission business. Then returning to Toronto, 
he became a partner in the stock-broking firm of Blake 



GEN. MIDDLETON AND HIS STAFF ON THE SCENE. 67 

and Alexander. For six years he held the position of resi- 
dent secretary in Canada for the Scottish Commercial 
Insurance Company. When he had carried out the wind- 
ing-up of this Company's affairs in Canada, he went to 
Brandon and displayed much energy and business talent 
in promoting the progress and landed estate interests of 
that city and the surrounding district. When the Mani- 
toba Municipalities Act was introduced, he was appointed 
Secretary-Treasurer of the Western Judicial District, 
which position he still retains. 

Major Buchan was connected with the Queen's Own 
Rifles for a period of ten years ; he entered it as ensign, 
and left with the rank of captain. He was much liked 
in the regiment, being equally a favourite with both 
officers and men ; of the colonel he has always been a 
close friend. When the present Half-breed rebellion 
broke out, Major Buchan telegraphed to Ottawa for leave 
to enlist three companies in Brandon ; he proceeded to 
Winnipeg where he was gazetted major, and served as 
adjutant on General Middleton's staff. He is a valuable 
aide, as he has travelled a good deal through the North- 
West, and is thoroughly acquainted with the country and 
the people. 

General Middleton asked the Government for a force 
of two thousand men, and Sir John Macdonald obtained 
from Parliament an additional grant of a million dollars 
f oythe expenses of the war. 

a Meanwhile, the rebels and Indian sympathizers were 
actively engaged in pillage of all stores, public and pri- 
vate. Riel detained a number of settlers, among others 
William Mitchel, prisoners in the little wooden church at 
the village of Stobart, near the scene of the Duck Lake 
skirmish. A leading settler named John Kerr was 
arrested by Kiel's orders and brought before his executive 
council of twelve, on a charge of counselling the escape 
of a telegraph operator from the neighbourhood. Riel 
on this occasion affected clemency, and told the 
council that " Kerr was a good fellow." He was leleased 
with a caution to abstain from taking part against Riel. 



I 



CHAPTER Vltt. 

OLD CANADA STRIPS FOR THE FIGHT. 



MEANWHILE every effort for defence was made at 
the towns and forts threatened by the insurgents. 
At Battleford 200 volunteers were enlisted, and a home- 
guard at Medicine Hat and Calgary, both of which had 
to fear the Blackfeet Indians in case Kiel should succeed 
in calling them to the war-path by the influence of their 
chief Crowfoot who, as has been mentioned, was a rela- 
tion of the Cree chief Poundmaker. Qu'Appelle, which 
was in the neighbourhood of some Cree lodges, was well 
defended by both divisions of the 90th Battalion of Win- 
nipeg Rifles and by the Winnipeg Artillery. 

The Canadian Pacific Railway Company resolved on 
organizing a regiment from among their employes for 
the defence of the property of the railway against at- 
tempts of the rebels, and Captain Gaulter, of the 
Purchasing Department, an experienced volunteer officer, 
undertook the work of directing this force which was 
likely to form a valuable aid to the main army. 

At Winnipeg the students of the College organized a 
company of volunteers ; and from Ottawa Colonel Scott 
telegraphed to Winnipeg to old officers of the Red River 
Expedition to form companies, and if possible a battalion 
for active service. 

In Ontario the preparations for the despatch of 
troops continued to be pushed on with an alacrity which 
proved the universal determination of our people to 
punish the rebels. Colonel Villiers received orders to 
form a Provisional Regiment to be constituted as follows : 
from the 46th Battalion, one company each from 
Port Hope and Millbrook ; from the 57th Battalion at 
Peterborough, one company ; from the 49th Battalion at 
Belleville, one company; from the 45th Battalion at 



OLD CANADA STRIPS FOR THE FIGHT. 69 

Bowmanville, one company ; from the 47th Battalion, 
Portsmouth, one company ; these troops to concentrate at 
Kingston en route for Qu'Appelle, on March 31. At Port 
Hope Colonel Williams, M.P., in command of the 46th 
Battalion, made up a battalion for active service with 
picked men selected from the 45th Battalion of West 
Durham and Victoria, the 46th East Durham, and 40th 
Northumberland. At Cobourg Col. Rogers, of the 40th, 
had in readiness No. 1 Company, Captain H. J. Snelgrove ; 
No. 2 Company, Captain G. Guilet; No. 3 Company, 
Captain Bonycastle, of Campbellf ord. 

At Toronto the departure of the troops was attended 
with enthusiastic excitement of which the city has had 
no experience for the last peaceable and easy-going half- 
century. 

On Friday night (March 27) the orderly sergeants 
belonging to the Queen's Own and the Royal Grenadiers, 
were busily engaged in summoning the men of the several 
companies to the muster early next morning, at which 
the 500 picked men for the war contingent were to be 
chosen. 

At eight on Saturday morning the streets leading to 
the drill shed were packed with a dense multitude eager 
to know who would be selected for the perilous honours 
of battle. In the drill shed the whole available strength 
of both the Toronto battalions was mustered, not a man 
being absent from the post of duty, except a few who 
were too ill to attend. 

By 2 p.m. the officers who had met in the orderly 
room of the two regiments had selected the men who 
were to join the war contingent, the selection being made 
of those who were not only physically fit to endure the 
campaign, but who were unmarried and had no relations 
depending on them. 

The next day was Toronto's "Soldiers' Sunday." Every- 
where the streets and the churches took a martial 
aspect, the Rifleman's dark green and the scarlet of the 
Grenadiers shone gaily in the feeble spring sunshine. 
Sermons bearing on the war and the duties and responsi- 



70 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

bilities it brought with it were preached in all tne 
churches. In many a home bright eyes grew dim, and 
anxious prayers were breathed, at the thought of those 
loved ones who would depart on the morrow to the dis- 
tant wilderness, to face the perils of savage warfare. 

On Monday at noon the Toronto contingent left for 
the seat of war. Through the densely crowded streets, 
amid showers of bouquets from ladies in King Street bal- 
conies, with all eclat of a triumph and the pomp of martial 
music, Toronto's soldiers held their steady march to the 
railway station. No mark of public sympathy was want- 
ing. The city had bestowed a free grant of underclothing 
on each soldier. The rank and intellect and beauty of 
Toronto was conspicuous among the concourse of fifty 
thousand who gathered to cheer them as the train moved 
away. 

Mr. C. YanHorn, Vice-President of the Canadian 
Pacific Railway, had been in Toronto during March 28 
and 29, making arrangements for providing comfortable 
car accommodation for the soldiers. To that great 
national railway thanks are due from everyone who is 
loyal to Canada, since it is only owing to the exertions 
made by that Company and its officers that sure, rapid 
and healthful means of transit were provided for the troops. 

On board the cars all was merry as a marriage bell. 
Packs and heavy accoutrements were stowed away, 
lunch was partaken of from the twenty-four hours' supply 
of cooked provisions which each man had been directed 
to provide. Then came the singing of patriotic songs 
and such hymns as " Only an Armour-bearer," jokes 
from the regimental wit who had been practising sleight- 
of-hand all the week so as to juggle the rebel bullets, 
The time passed merrily and they reached Mattawa in 
time for a hearty breakfast next morning (March 31) at 
the Pacific Railway's dining hall. 

Much exposure to cold and hardship had to be under- 
gone by the Toronto contingent during the journey, espe- 
cially over the gaps or uncompleted sections of the 
railway. Every pains was taken by the officials of the 



OLD CANADA STRIPS FOR THE FIGHT. 71 

railway to provide teams to carry the soldiers over the 
gaps with as little delay as possible, and flat cars boarded 
to the height of four feet and spread thickly with hay 
were provided for the men during night journeys. But 
the thermometer was 20 to 30 below zero, the roads 
through the forests were terribly rough and broken by 
pitch-holes, six feet or more deep, into which the horses 
stumbled as into a trap. When the march was over there 
was no shelter but the wind-flapped walls of a canvas 
tent with floor of hardened snow. On this the men laid 
down their blankets, but many preferred to sleep on the 
snow outside near the huge fires which were blazing all 
night. Few slept ; around them lit by the camp tires 
were the silent aisles of the columned woods ; over all as 
over the homes they had left was spread the steel-blue 
vault with the diamond stars of a Canadian winter night. 
With dawn came cheerful sunshine, fresh strength and 
effort. The coldest and most trying part of the route was 
crossing the frozen surface of Lake Superior, a terrible 
ordeal to any but men of unusually strong constitution. 
As it was many had their faces partially frozen. 

However, on April 5, all arrived at Port Arthur in 
safety, but such was the eager desire to reach the front 
that Colonel Otter would not allow the Queen's Own to 
halt even long enough to partake of a hot dinner, which 
the people of Port Arthur had prepared. A little less 
haste perhaps might have been good for the health and 
efficiency of the troops. The Tenth Royals, however, 
were allowed time to profit by the hospitality of Port 
Arthur. The Toronto contingent arrived at Winnipeg on 
the morning of April 7, and at Qu'Appelle, General Mid- 
dleton's base of operations, on April 9. 

In Toronto some of those interested in the fortunes of 
the Queen's Own were inclined to wish that their ad- 
vance by the railway to Winnipeg and Qu'Appelle had 
been pursued with less relentless hurry. Happily, events 
proved that in this matter Colonel Otter did not over- 
estimate the powers of endurance of the men under his 
command. 



72 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

As the march proceeded the good-humour of the men 
exposed to many privations was the more note- worthy as 
most of them were accustomed to the refined luxury of a 
home in which every comfort abounded. Their officers 
from the first endeared themselves to the men, and made 
hard tack and harder marching more cheerfully borne by 
their own cheerful readiness to share equally with the 
private soldiers every form of privation and exposure. 
The officials of the Canadian Pacific Railway were unre- 
mitting in their efforts to make the march through " the 
gaps," or uncompleted portions of the road, as easy as pos- 
sible. Mr. G. H. Middleton, Chief Engineer of the West- 
ern Division, specially deserves the gratitude of Canada. 
No better appointment could have been made by the 
Directors of the Railway which at that critical time held 
in its hands the fortunes of the war. Much of the sub- 
sequent success of our army was due to his knowledge of 
the country and sagacious disposition of the materials at 
his disposal so as to get the troops over the ground in the 
quickest possible time. Owing to his exertions and those 
of Mr. Henry Abbott an ample stock of provisions was 
provided at the gaps, where the men's strength would be 
most heavily taxed. Mr. Abbott at his camp at Dog 
Lake (where the first gap began) was in the habit of bak- 
ing bread for a large number of railway employes. Our 
men were well supplied with what the Roman poet 
described as the best of sauces, active work, and the fresh 
hot rolls turned out in abundance by Mr. Abbott's shanty 
cook needed no pate de foie gras for a relish ! Noi 
were slices of cold boiled pork wanting, broiled or fried in 
shanty fashion. When possible, sleeping accommodation 
was provided. Although it was not feasible to do all that 
was wished to spare the brave boys from exposure and 
discomfort, Colonel Otter and his officers were indefati- 
gable in seeing after the wants of the men, and it was 
shown that they fared in every respect no better than 
the private soldiers. The boys bore everything with 
cheerful endurance. The wise counsel of their Colonel 
here prevailed on them to avoid the materials for " Dutch 
courage," strong drink forming no part of their equipment. 



OLD CANADA STRIPS FOR THE FIGHT. 73 

Songs heard often in the entr'acte at the Toronto Grand 
Opera House re-echoed as they held their march over the 
winter-stricken forest trail, or the dark-blue ice floor of 
Lake Superior. Among them the lyrics of the Tyrtceus of 
the Queen's Own, John A. Fraser, held a leading place 
in cheering his former comrades. 

Many were the curious incidents resulting from their 
hasty departure from home. One man was telegraphed 
for the combination of his bank safe. Another man had 
left his gas burning, and another was paying three cents a 
day for a Free Library btfok, which he had forgotten to 
return when leaving Toronto. 

Meanwhile the dear ones left behind waited in anx- 
ious suspense. Captious critics haunted the newspaper 
offices, and men who had no military experience or who^e 
shoulders had never known the weight of a rifle were 
loudly asserting that " the raw levies " must fail before 
the experienced savage fighters of the wilderness. Of all 
the Toronto newspapers the Globe and the World gave 
accurate and unsensational intelligence, and the great 
mass of our people waited in calm reliance on Providence, 
not without fear of loss of beloved lives, not without 
hope that the brave youths of Canada would be victorious. 
The following poem, published in the Globe of May 24, 
describes a scene witnessed by the writer in a Toronto 
church on one of those anxious Sundays : 

OUR BOYS IN THE NORTH-WEST AWAY. 

I saw the sudden tear-drop rise 
In sweetest, purest of blue eyes, 
When kneeling in the house of prayer 
She heard good words of comfort there, 
I knew the angels heard her pray 
For one in the North- West a w^ay. 

It was but noon of yesterday 
He bade farewell, he marched away I 
The rifle bright and bayonet seen 
Above the Queen's Own garb of green, 
With our five hundred's bold array 
He marched for the North- West away. 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

As farther then, and farther still, 
The dim march sounded down the hill, 
As file on file, with steady pace, 
Within the cars our boys took place, 
As rose our farewell cheer to say 
"God bless you," as they passed away. 

They bore the foodless, dreary march, 
The nights that chill, the days that parch, 
Through drifted wilds their way they take, 
Their pathway is the frozen lake, 
Yet buoyant, bright, and bold are they, 
Our boys in the North- West away 1 

They did not fear that dark ravine 

Where Half-breed hell-hounds yelped unseen, 

With might predestined to prevail 

Trod down the gusts of leaden hail, 

Victorious in the fight are they, 

Our boys in the North- West away. 

They could not fail, they knew not fear 
When Otter led the charging cheer. 
They charged the open, they laid low 
With Gatling fire the Red skin foe, 
They felt the rapture of the fray, 
Our boys in the North- West away. 

God send them safe, and send them soon, 
Each Sabbath hour we ask the boon, 
Once more to march, once more to meet 
The cheering from each singing street, 
While proud resolve and daring high 
Blend with their notes of victory ! 

How sweet to grasp each strong right hand 

And greet the saviours of the land, 

How good to hear the news at last 

Of danger gone and peril past, 

How proudly prized will then be they, 

Our boys from the North- West away ! 

C. PELHAM MULVANEY, M.D., 
Formerly No. 1 Company, Q.O.R. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE WAR CLOUD BURSTS ON BATTLETORD. 

ON the last day of March Winnipeg was horrified by 
the news that the most dreaded calamity to be 
feared as an accompaniment of the Half-breed rebellion 
had fallen upon Battleford. The Indians had risen in 
large numbers and had taken possession of a portion of 
the town. The villagers had taken refuge in the Police 
Fort, but their houses and the greater portion of their 
effects were at the mercy of the savages. Worn out with 
want and suffering, embittered with the recollections of 
their former prosperity, these misguided people were only 
too* willing to listen to any scheme, however absurd and 
impossible, that promised to give them back the country 
and the home which they had bartered away to the white 
man, but for which they had only .received in return 
dependence, want, and shame. They thought they were 
on the eve of a" restoration to the good old days of wealth, 
comfort, and happiness enjoyed by them before the 
advent of the white man, and to any one who has known 
their history for the past ten or fifteen years, it will not 
be very surprising that they were thus ready to insanely 
rush upon their own ruin. 

The Indians plundered the Hudson Bay Company's 
store, and when the agent, Mr. McKay, walked out of the 
barracks and remonstrated with them, several shots were 
fired at him. An attempt was also made to intercept him 
on his return to the barracks. Fortunately this failed. 

The Battleford barracks were protected by a substan- 
tial stockade, and the Mounted Police force therein had 
arms and ammunition enough to stand a siege. Mr. 
Applegarth, one of the ten menaced Indian instructors, 
had for some time suspected that the Indian Department 
stores under his charge were being plundered. The immi- 
nent death of the Chief Red Pheasant served as a pretext 



76 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

for the assembling of a large body of armed men. Apple- 
garth, who had filled the dangerous post of instructor to 
Red Pheasant's band, narrowly escaped being murdered. 

So began the siege of Battleford, destined to be 
gallantly maintaineJ by the besieged and successfully 
relieved. All the civilians capable of bearing arms volun- 
teered for service. The Home Guard were on daily drill. 
Sentries or scouts watched the movements of the skulking 
foe with incessant vigilance. Meanwhile the Ottawa 
Government issued the following proclamation for the 
appointment of a Commission to settle the Half-breed 
grievances : 

" His Excellency the Governor-General, on the recom- 
mendation of the Minister of the Interior, has been 
pleased to approve of the appointment of the following 
Commissioners for the purpose of making an enumeration 
of the Half-breeds resident in the North- West Territories 
outside of the limits of Manitoba previous to 15th of 
July, 1870, who would have been entitled to land had 
they resided in Manitoba previous to the transfer, with a 
view to an equitable settlement of their claims, viz., 
William Purvis, Rochefort Street, of the City of London, 
Esquire, Q.C., Chairman of the Commission; Roger Goulet, 
of the Town of St. Boniface, Manitoba, Esquire, Dominion 
Land Surveyor; and Amedee Edmond Forget, of the 
Town of Regina, N.-W.T., Esquire, Clerk of the North- 
West Council, barrister-at-law." 



CHAPTER X. 

N GUARD AT PRINCE ALBERT. 

FT1HE town, or fortified post, known as Prince Albert, is 
_L situated on the North Branch of the Saskatchewan 
along a low fertile reach of alluvial deposit. It is on the 
south bank of the river, along which it extends for ten 
miles, the lots being arranged according to the old French 
method of survey, with frontage to the river. It is thirty 
miles from the Forks of the Saskatchewan, forty-nine 



ON GUARD AT PRINCE ALBERT. 77 

from Carleton, forty-five from the scene of the fight at 
Duck Lake, and about fifty by the shortest trail from 
Batoche's Crossing, on the South Saskatchewan. The 
peninsula between the branches of the river is at this 
point about fifteen miles wide from north to south. The 
country in the north-eastern part of this peninsula, ex- 
tending from a point about twelve miles east of Prince 
Albert, to a point about fifteen miles south-west of the 
same, and thence north to the Saskatchewan, is a vast 
sweep of rolling prairie, containing numerous bluffs or 
small groves of poplar, cotton wood and gray willow. 
The land is of unexampled fertility, and the country is 
one of the most thickly settled in the North- West. In 
many cases extensive agricultural labour-saving machinery 
is in use. Much capital has been invested, and the Eng- 
lish settler who has learned to make his home in this 
wilderness of wild -flowers, has. a residence, farm build- 
ings and a garden that would compare for elegance and 
comfort with any in the older-settled Provinces, which 
have outlived the dangers of Indian war. Twelve miles 
west of Prince Albert a belt of heavily wooded hills 
extends on either bank of the South Saskatchewan, which 
renders its passage dangerous in the presence of an 
ambushed foe. 

The population of the town of Prince Albert previous 
to the siege was seven hundred. Owing to the attempts 
of the owners of land to " boom" property for purposes 
of settlement, Prince Albert has grown in three distinct 
centres or clusters of houses. The strongest of these for 
purposes of military defence is that to the east, which 
contains the Hudson Bay Company's store, flour mill and 
fort, altogether about seventy buildings. There also are 
the Mounted Police barracks, a plain red brick building 
of two storeys, and a large saw-mill belonging to Messrs. 
Moore & Macdonald. In the central part of the town is 
situated the " Mission property," and a handsome brick 
built Presbyterian Church, work shops, dwelling houses, 
and ten or fifteen of those general stores peculiar to 
pioneer towns in Canada. 



78 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Half-a-mile west of this is the' third and smallest por- 
tion of Prince Albert, comprising McKay's mill, the post 
and land offices, and several private residences, including 
the lately founded Commercial College, and the dwelling 
house of the Anglican bishop of Saskatchewan. The 
country around this town is sufficiently open to prevent 
an Indian attack. 

The Saskatchewan where it flows by Prince Albert 
has an average width of a hundred and fifty yards. 

Thsre, since the retreat of Colonel Irvine from Fort 
Carleton, about three hundred and fifty available fighting 
men were on guard over a post more than any other likely 
to be made the object of Kiel's attack on account of its 
containing a large quantity of valuable provisions and 
ammunition. The following letter will give a just idea 
of the state of public feeling at Prince Albert at the com- 
mencement of the war. It is from Wm. Miller, farmer, 
of Prince Albert, who has been residing there for up- 
wards of ten years, and has not yet received the patent 
for his land. He writes as follows : " The grievances of 
both whites and Half-breeds are neither few nor small. 
Money is very hard to get hold of. The Government is 
to blame for a large share of it. We have to depend on 
a local market. The Indian and police supplies have all 
been given by private contract to the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany; that means nearly all the money goes out of the coun- 
try. It is put into their power to pay us in trade, and they 
have taken advantage of it to the utmost. I will give an 
instance or two : They let 500 cords of wood by private 
contract to the Hudson Bay Company at $3.50 per cord. 
I would have liked to have had the job at $2 per cord, 
and would have done well by it. It did not cost them $1 
per cord. Also a contract for hay at $25 per ton, the 
Hudson Bay Company paying $7 for it, and paying both 
in trade. I attended a large meeting a few days ago that 
was held at the South Branch. Some had come there over 
thirty miles. In their remarks they threatened rebellion. 
I was asked an opinion. In a few words I asked them 
to confer with the Government before they went any 



ON GUARD AT PRINCE ALBERT. 79 

further. If they take up arms I don't know how they 
will equip and feed these men. I suppose the most of 
them would have a gun of some kind. It is said that 
Kiel could gather up 10,000 Indians on this side of the 
line. A great many here feel very much alarmed, already 
talking of building fortifications with cordwood. I can- 
not say I feel much alarmed yet, although there is a dan- 
ger with Indians. When they get started they don't 
know when to stop." 

Meanwhile at Prince Albert, as at Battleford, the 
available men were organized for armed defence. The 
position was made stronger by that best of extemporized 
outworks, piles of rough cord wood ; but the wires were 
cut by the rebels and little communication could be 
obtained from the base of Middleton's operations at 
Qu'Appelle. 

In the meantime, by the night of April 7, General 
Middleton, who had marched from Qu'Appelle that 
morning, had arrived at a halting place some thirty 
miles north. The Queen's Own were already camped at 
Qu'Appelle. 

The entire distance, by the route chosen by General 
Middleton, from Qu'Appelle to the Saskatchewan was 
about two hundred miles. The first thirty miles of it lay 
through open undulating stretches of prairie, amid which, 
at considerable intervals, were sparsely wooded bluffs, but 
no caves which foes could occupy in the face of the vigil- 
ance with which the General pushed forward his scouting 
parties in front and on the flanks of his main advance. 
Beyond this was a succession of gravelly and more thickly 
wooded hills, known as the Touchwood Hills. They 
bear this name for the reason that, unlike most wooded 
tracts, especially in the North- West, they have never had 
their timber cleared by a conflagration. Those versed in 
forestry are aware that when trees are suffered to decay 
by the slow process of dry rot, peculiar to densely 
wooded regions, the product is what used to be known 
as touchwood or tinder. In days before the lucifer match 
was known, this hilly region was in great demand among 



80 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

the Indians for supplies of this tinder with which, better 
than the dry leaves described by Virgil, they could catch 
the sparks latent in the flint-stone. 

Beyond the Touchwood Hills extends the great Salt 
Plain, stretching for thirty-five miles of dreary saline or 
alkaline morass, where the melted snow was settling into 
clayey slush mixed with the alkaline mud into which a 
settler's waggon would sink hub-deep. Here the only 
trees were willows, aspens, and the sad grey foliage of the 
poplar. Here there were many points at which it would 
have been difficult for the most effective scout to discover 
a skilfully ambushed enemy, who could have hidden 
behind cover in places rendered inaccessible to our men 
by the surrounding morass. But here the General and 
our Canadian army held their march unopposed. 



CHAPTER XL 

THE SIEGE OF BATTLEFORD CONTINUES. MAJOR WALSH 
GIVES HIS VIEWS. 

AS day after day passed the situation at Battleford be- 
came more and more desperate. The town, by 
reason of its distance from the railway, was necessarily 
isolated from the outer world, while owing to the very 
imperfect state of the telegraph line only short despatches 
were received and that at irregular intervals. From 
these despatches it was evident that the rising in the 
district was no merely local affair, but that it was part of 
a very formidable system of insurrection, which even then 
threatened to sweep the country from the western bound- 
ary of Manitoba to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. 

Half the sufferings and. perils of the many isolated 
settlers in the North Saskatchewan region during this 
Indian Rising will never be toL3, but occasionally an 
experience comes to the surface, which serves as a sample 
of v > *J- they had to undergo. Here is one of them : 



THE SIEGE OF BATTLEFORD CONTINUES. 81 

George E. Applegarth was Farm Instructor to Red 
Pheasant's band. On the night of Monday, March 30, 
he was making up his returns with the intention of go- 
ing to Battleford next day. The Indians of his reserve 
had professed great friendliness for the whites. Like all 
Indians, they said that since trouble had risen they might 
fight, but they would fight on the side of the whites. 

Applegarth went to bed about midnight. At 3 o'clock 
in the morning he heard a tapping at the door. Getting 
up he went to see what was the matter, when an Indian 
quickly strode in and closed the door behind him. He 
told Applegarth that the reserve was rising, and that 
some of the bucks who had been to Battleford were after 
him. Almost while he spoke the door burst open and 
eighteen redskins rushed in. Applegarth thought his 
time had come, but luckily this was not the war party. 
They were eighteen in number six bucks and twelve 
squaws and the friendly Indian whispered that their 
mission was to hold him until the warriors arrived. 
Applegarth roused his wife and sister-in-law, a little girl 
about twelve years old, and Indian teacher Cunningham, 
and told them to dress. He himself slipped out behind, and 
hitched up his team, while the friendly Indian engaged 
the attention of the visitors. Like a true woman, the 
only article of apparel which Mrs. Applegarth took with 
her as the team drove off, besides the clothes she wore, 
was her wedding dress. About half-past three in the 
morning the party of four set out on their race for life to 
Swift Current, two hundred miles distant. They had got 
five miles away when the whiffletree broke. Applegarth 
had to walk two miles back to get a rail to make a new one 
not of. Then they flew on again, plunging and galloping 
through snow three feet deep, with the moonlight stream- 
ing overhead. 

At dawn they saw six Indians in the distance. They 

had now struck the trail, which they left again to strike 

into the coulees and elude their pursuers. They drove all 

day, and towards nightfall caught sight of the Indians, 

5 



82 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

again. This time they thought it was all up with them. 
The Indians were certainly following them, and were pos- 
sibly waiting till nightfall to kill them. All Applegarth 
could do was to tell his wife he would ask them to make 
short work of the business. His wife and the little girl 
cried a little, but kept up their courage well. They had 
no arms with them. Before leaving the house Applegarth 
had been searched by the squaws, and his arms and 
money taken from him. The only defence the party had 
against their pursuers was an axe. 

At 2 o'clock in the morning of Wednesday, they rest- 
ed for a couple of hours. The horses were nearly ex- 
hausted. But a little before morning they were put 
together again and driven on. When daylight came 
there were no Indians in sight. They drove on all Wed- 
nesday, and at nightfall took another rest. Applegarth 
never closed his eyes, however. Sometime after mid- 
night they went on, and on the forenoon of Thursday they 
came up with Judge Rouleau, who had left Battleford 
the previous Sunday with his wife and child, Mrs. Rae, 
wife of the Indian agent, a hired man, the two Parkers, 
of Battleford. and a man named Foster eight in all. This 
brought up the party to twelve persons. When the judge 
left Battleford there was no trouble, although trouble 
was apprehended. Applegarth's rerjprt hurried up their 
movements considerably. Thirty miles from Swift Cur- 
rent they were overtaken by Constable Storer and Mr. 
Smart. Storer had left Battleford on Saturday, and was 
the bearer of despatches to Colonel Herchmer. The 
Battleford garrison believed Herchmer was within a day's 
march of Battleford. Storer had pluckily volunteered 
to go out and meet him and tell him of the events that 
had transpired. On his way he met Smart, who was 
coming in with goods, and the two journeyed south to- 
gether. They arrived at Swift Current on Monday 
morning. 

The escape of Judge Rouleau and the party of Battle- 
forcj refugees $,bpve alluded to, constitutes an interesting 



THE SIEGE OF BATTLEFORD CONTINUES. 83 

story especially as they were the last white people to see 
the ill-fated Farm Instructor Payne, who was murdered 
by his own Indians only a few moments after he had bade 
them good-bye. 

On Monday, March 30, Mr. Rae, the Indian agent, 
sent a messenger up to one of the reserves to inquire as 
to the truth of a rumoured uprising of the Indians. 
Meanwhile some of the people began packing up such 
articles as they wished to take with them ; but they had 
not time to complete their preparations before the return 
of the messenger, who reported to Mr. Rae that the 
Indians were on their way, and were within eight or ten 
miles of Battleford. Poundmaker, however, stated that 
they intended no mischief, but only wanted to have a 
talk with the Indian agent. On account of the shortness 
of the time, the number of small children, and other diffi- 
culties, most of the people gave up their intention of 
leaving and concluded to go to the barracks, so that the 
party which started consisted of Judge Rouleau, wife and 
three small children ; Mrs. Dr. Rouleau and two servants ; 
Mrs. Rae and servant ; two brothers named Parker, one 
of whom was ill, and Mr. Berthiaume. The party bad 
three double rigs and one single rig. Mrs. Rae and ser- 
vant started in the afternoon, and the others at 7.20 in 
the evening, arriving at the Stoney reserve at 10.30 p.m. 
Mr. Payne, the instructor, was to furnish a rig, supply 
hay and oats, and also to send an Indian with the party 
to take back the rig after reaching the bush forty miles 
distant. In the morning, however, this Indian failed to 
appear, and Mr. Payne sent his mother-in-law to insist 
upon his going. The instructor, by the way, was married 
to one of the daughters of the chief, a fine-looking and 
intelligent woman. From Mr. Payne it was learned that 
the Indians were painting themselves, and evidently pre- 
paring to have a dance during the day. The party started 
between 8 and 9 o'clock a.m. One Indian at length con- 
sented to go and bring the team back, and on leaving 
took his gun aud clothing with him. Mr. Berthiaume 



84 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

left at a quarter to 10 o'clock, shaking hands with Mr 
Payne in a friendly manner as he left, and fifteen minutes- 
afterwards the latter gentleman was shot by his own 
Indians. After leaving Mr. Payne the party travelled in 
company with the Indian on the prairie until 11 o clock, 
havm" no suspicion of what had been occurring in the 
meantime at the reserve ; and the next day at about 3 
o'clock they reached the bush, forty miles distant from 
the reserve, from which point the Indian returned with 
the rig. The horses being very tired, the party rested 
there until the next morning. As they were then getting 
ready to start, Mr. Applegarth arrived with his wife and 
her sister. They had left at 3 o'clock in the morning 
(Tuesday), having been informed by the brother ot trie 
chief that he had just arrived from Battleford where he 
had seen the Stoneys plundering the place It appeared 
that, after killing Payne, they had started for Battletord, 
and on their way had stopped at Barney Tremonts, 
about half-way to Battleford; and that they had pro- 
ceeded to take away his horses and cattle, and on his 
resisting, had killed him in his own house, and then 
helped themselves to all they wanted. Mr. Tremont was 
an unmarried man, and he had been on very friendly 
terms with the Stoneys. many of whom had worked tor 
him from time to time. It was further learned that, on 
the same Monday morning before the party left the 
reserve, some of the Stoneys had gone to the Cree or Red 
Pheasant reserve to tell them to go down to Battleford, 
as the day for action had come. . 

Amono- the details of the plundering of Battleford, is 
the statement that some of the chief's squaws were 
enabled to present quite a stylish appearance as they 
promenaded in the silk dresses taken irom the homes of 
L, Rouleau, Mrs. Rae, and other ladies. The wife of 
Rev Mr Clarke, who was married last fall, lost her wed- 
ding presents of silver, the savages smashing them in 
front of the house. , 

Of course, as the news of the rismg spread greatly 
exaggerated reports got abroad. It was reported that P. 



THE SIEOE OP BATLLEFORD CONTINUES. 85 

L. Clink, instructor to Moosomin's band, had been mur- 
dered, and at one time the impression prevai, J that all 
the instructors, including Mr. Jefferson on Poundmaker's 
reserve, had been murdered. Subsequently, however, as 
the facts came to be known, it was found that Moosomin 
and his people had remained quietly on their reserve 
during the trouble, while Poundmaker had never mani- 
fested a disposition to take the life of a white man as 
long as he was allowed to remain unmolested on his 
reserve. * Indeed, from all that has as yet come to light 
the attack on Poundmaker's camp at Cut Knife Hill 
appears absolutely inexplicable. It is true that he came 
down to Battleford, but he alleges that he was coming to 
have a talk with the Indian agent. That he should have 
fought after the lodges containing his women and 
children had been fired on is in no way surprising. To 
any one who knew the great Cree chief, the idea of his 
permitting the murder of a defenceless white man on his 
reserve was of course past belief. 

During the few days' calm which followed the storm 
of excitement, aroused by the news of the Indian rising 
at Battleford, Major Walsh was interviewed with regard 
to the rebellion, the causes leading up to it and the best 
method of suppressing it. Among other things he said : 

"When the first news of the Half-breed rising was 
received my opinion was asked as. to its result. I replied 
then that there would not be a shot fired. I was led to 
this conclusion by two reasons. 1st. I did not believe 
that the Half-breeds wanted to spill any blood. They 
felt they had a grievance and desired to make some 
demonstration which would attract the attention of the 
Government and the people of Canada, with the hope 
that it might lead to their redress, but they never antici- 
pated such a serious result as has been developed. I 
could not and do not now believe that the Half-breeds 
wanted war. 2nd. I did not think any official of the 
Government would be so lost to reason as to take the 
responsibility of bringing on a war and driving the 



86 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

country into such a state of excitement as now exists 
until every resource in his possession or power was 
exhausted. 

" During the last twelve years there were two officials 
on the plains who had many an opportunity, by taking 
advantage of the simplicity of the Half-breeds and 
Indians, of making a little notoriety for themselves if 
they had been disposed to do so, at the expense of an 
Indian war. But diplomacy was used instead of powder. 
One of these men was Colonel McLeod. To show you 
the tractable and peaceful disposition of these people, I 
will, if you have time, relate a little experience I had 
with them at Fort Walsh in 1876. There were at that 
time about 2,000 families of Half-breeds and perhaps 
3,000 families of Indians in the Cypress and Wood 
Mountains. These people feeling dissatisfied with what 
they called the ' Police Law ' the criminal law of Canada 
which was introduced into that country by the police 
in the spring of 1875, met in grand convention forty-five 
miles east of Fort Walsh and decided that they must 
appeal against the further enforcement of the law. They 
appointed a delegation of fifty men to present their views 
to me. I met the delegation. They claimed that the 
law was inconsistent with the good government of a 
people leading a wandering life, and interfered with their 
domestic and social habits and comforts, and was to them 
oppressive. And it is easy to understand how a people 
living as they had been would find the law oppressive. 
They, in a very humble but determined manner, 
announced that they had decided to no longer obey the 
law of the police. I commenced my argument at pleading 
I am not ashamed to say pleading by^reading over to 
the delegation from the statutes of Canada the Acts 
which governed the country, and which the population 
of the prairie, white man, Half-breed or Indian, were 
amenable to, and pointed out the liberty and protection 
extended to every individual, and the safety given to life 
and property as compared with the ordinances of the 



THE SIEGE OF BATTLEFORD CONTINUES. 87 

Prairie Government, which were tyrannical, and took 
away the liberty not only of the individual, but of 
families. For three days the discussion continued, and 
at the end of the third the conference broke up without 
my being able to convince the delegation that their 
demands were unreasonable, and they withdrew, announc- 
ing their determination to resist the law that up 4o that 
day they had strictly but unwillingly obeyed. I went to 
my quarters thoroughly discouraged and wishing for the 
assistance of some one with more power of language and 
more skilled in diplomacy. I felt the fault was mine, 
and that I failed for want of ability to convince them. 
Mind you, I was not afraid of any personal harm, but I 
felt the seriousness of driving these people into hostility 
and instituting a war on the people of the plains. 
Besides I had for these people, whom by this time I had 
got to know well, a ieeling of shall I call it sympathy? 
it was more than sympathy, it was justice, and led me to 
desire to conquer with words rather than with arms. I felt 
that these people meant to do right and were only doing 
wrong from my want of ability to enlighten them as to 
what was right. I sent for my interpreter and instructed 
him to go and call from among the Half-breeds five men 
whom I had selected as the most intelligent and influen- 
tial of the delegation. They arrived at midnight. One 
of these, a namesake of my own, was Vice-President of the 
Prairie Government. I said to him that so serious was 
the step they were about to take that I could not allow 
them to depart without once more appealing to their 
judgment. I told them that I had been sent among them 
not to be a master, but a friend, and that my treatment 
of them had proved this. The Government of Canada 
had decided that one set of laws (those I had read to 
them) should govern the whole country. To allow each 
community to make its own laws would destroy any 
State or country. I concluded by saying that the law 
would have to be enforced, even if force had to be used, 
and that while the Government of Canada wished to be 



88 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

their friends, if they became enemies it would be the 
fault of the Half-breeds. They retired, saying the dele- 
gation would wait on me again. It did the following 
day, and informed me that our law would be observed, 
and that their council would be dismissed and their 
Government abolished. From that day till I left there, a 
little dVer a . year ago, the Half-breeds were my firm 
allies, and on two occasions when my force was small, and 
I had to be a little more than firm with the Indians, they 
rendered me assistance. In my last disturbance with 
Sitting Bull at Wood Mountain, two hundred Half-breeds, 
some of them now with the rebels, as they are called, 
offered me their services and went so far as to tell the 
Indians that whenever a dead Red -coat was found there 
also would be found a dead Half-breed, meaning that 
they would die fighting with the police. These are the 
people we are now having trouble with. 

" I think a commission should have been sent out long 
ago, but that it has been neglected so long is no reason 
why it should not be sent at once. What great credit 
would it be to Canada to kill a few poor Half-breeds who 
feel they have been neglected ? Don't forget that these 
people have the hearty sympathy of all the white settlers 
in their district. Do you suppose if the white settlers 
had the grievances the Half-breeds have, that they would 
not have made a disturbance ? and in case they did, who 
is the man in Canada who would cry out against sending 
a commission Jc,o treat with them ? These people are 
not rebels, they are but demanding justice." 



CHAPTER XII 

THE FROG LAKE MASSACRE. 

NO matter what the cause, no matter what the wroDg 
he may have suffered, he incurs an awful responsi- 
bility who incites the Indians to acts of violence and 
bloodshed. The demon of anarchy and rebellion becomes 
tenfold more horrible when he possesses the breasts of 
those rude tribes who have never learned to respect the 
usages of civilized warfare. The murder of Payne on the 
Assiniboine reserve near Battleford and that of the 
ranchman Barney Tremont, were horrifying; but the 
news of the Frog Lake massacre was by all odds the 
most blood curdling that came over the wires during 
the war. 

On the 2nd of April the massacre took place under 
circumstances which will always stamp it as one of the 
most cruel and treacherous in the annals of Indian war- 
fare. It had been observed that the Indians of the 
district had been excited and restless, they had com- 
plained that they were not being properly fed, and were 
dissatisfied generally ; the crops were short, and as it was 
not uncommon for them to grumble under almost any 
circumstances, their uneasiness was not in all probability 
deemed to furnish reasonable grounds for anything like 
serious alarm. In view of the fact, however, that insur-j 
rection was rife in the country, and that Big Bear, one' 
of the most turbulent and troublesome chiefs of the 
North- West, had been doing all within his power to make 
trouble for several months before the rebellion had broken 
out at Duck Lake, Sub-agent Quinn thought it advis- 
able to act with the utmost caution and at once do all in 
his power to allay all semblance of trouble. 

When the news of the Duck Lake fight reached them, 
Big Bear's Indians were loud in their professions of 



90 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

friendship, several times visiting the Indian sub-agency 
at which Thomas T. Quinn was the officer in charge. On 
April 2 they were in the village, having the usual jokes 
of the day, and in the evening they visited Quinn's house, 
still professing great friendship. They remained there 
till late. An hour before daylight next morning (April 3) 
they came in a body to Quinn's. Two Indians went up 
into the bedroom. One of Big Bear s son's, Bad Child, had 
intended to shoot Quinn as he lay in bed. Quinn was 
married to a Cree woman, and had one little girl. His 
brother-in-law followed up-stairs, and prevented the crime 
by stepping between Bad Child and Quinn's bed. Mean- 
time the Indians below had taken three guns from Quinn's 
office. Travelling Spirit called out Quinn's Indian name, 
saying, " Man-Speaking-Sioux, come down." His brother- 
in-law, Love-Man, told him not to go. Not taking his 
advice, Quinn went down, and was at once seized and 
taken over to Farm Instructor Delaney's house. The 
Indians had been blustering a good deal, but nobody sus- 
pected that they had intended foul play. 

Before going to Quinn's, the Indians had already taken 
the Government horses from Quinn's stable, and Love- 
Man, who was standing up for Quinn, was going to shoot 
Travelling Spirit in a quarrel about them. 

At Delaney's house the Indians continued their threats 
and held a confab. Then Travelling Spirit went with 
others to the Hudson's Bay store. Mr. Cameron, the 
agent, was already up. Bad Child came in first, and 
said : " Have you any ammunition in the store ?" 

" Yes, a little," said Mr. Cameron. 

"Well," replied Bad Child, "I want you to give it to 
us. If you don't we will take it." 

Mr. Cameron said, " If you are bound to have it I will 
give it rather than have you clean out the store." Mr. 
Cameron was the only official on the premises at this 
time. He went from the dwelling to the store and gave 
them what powder, ball, and caps were in stock only a 
small quantity. A keg of powder and nearly all the ball 



THE FROG LAKE MASSACRE. 91 

cartridge had been sent to Fort Pitt from Frog Lake, on 
the advice of Mr. Cameron and others, after the news of 
the Duck Lake fight had been received. While Cameron 
was getting out the stuff for the Indians, they watched 
him narrowly with their loaded guns all ready. 

Big Bear now appeared on the scene. Entering the 
store he waved his arm round, saying to his braves: 
" Don't touch anything here in the Company's place. If 
there is anything you need, ask Mr. Cameron for it." 
After getting a few things all but two friendly Indians 
went out. Cameron followed to see what was going to 
be done, and was ordered by Travelling Spirit to go to 
Quinn's and had to obey. 

Other white men had meanwhile been brought there 
along with Pritchard, the Half-breed interpreter. The 
priests, Father Fafard and Father Marchand were there 
too, and the place was crowded with Indians. Travelling 
Spirit said : " I want to know who is the head of the 
whites in this country. Is it the Governor or the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, or who ?" 

Quiun said jokingly, " There's a man at Ottawa, Sir 
John Macdonald, who is at the head of affairs." 

The Indians said, " Will you give us beef ? " 

Quinn asked Delaney if he had any oxen which he 
could give them to kill. Delaney said he had one or two, 
and all then left the house. Five Indians took Mr. Came- 
ron back to the store and asked for more goods. One of 
the Frog Lake Indians, William Gladien, asked Big Bear's 
party to leave him in charge of the store, " because," said 
he, " you are always wanting to get something, and 
there's no use taking Mr. Cameron there." They agreed 
to this. 

Shortly afterwards Travelling Spirit came up to Mr. 
Cameron and said : " Why don't you go to church ? All 
the other white people are there already." Then he took 
him to the Roman Catholic Church. As it was Good 
Friday the priests were holding service. Big Bear and 
Miserable Man were standing near the door and the 



92 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

others were kneeling while the service was going on. 
Travelling Spirit entered and remained half-kneeling in 
the centre of the little church, with his rifle in his hand. 
He had a war hat on and his face was daubed with yel- 
low paint in mockery. The priests finished the service, 
and Father Fafard at the close got up and warned the 
Indians against committing excesses. 

The people then went to Delaney's house, while Mr. 
Cameron went to breakfast, Yellow Bear, a Frog Lake 
Indian, keeping close to him all the time. After finishing 
his breakfast Mr. Cameron went to his store. Travelling 
Spirit again called for him, ordering him to Delaney's. 
He went next door to the barracks, which the Indians 
were ransacking. King Bird (Big Bear's young son) 
came up saying : " Don't stay here." 

Yellow Bear then came out of the barracks saying, " I 
want to get a hat." 

Mr. Cameron said, " Come with me." Yellow Bear 
said, " Bring it here." 

Mr. Cameron replied, " Travelling Spirit has ordered 
me to come here. If he sees me going back he might 
shoot me." 

The Indian s*aid, " Never mind ; I will go with you to 
the store." 

On the road they met Travelling Spirit, who asked 
them where they were going. Yellow Bear said to the 
store. They went to the store and Yellow Bear got a 
hat. Miserable Man entered with an order from Quinn, 
probably the tost writing he ever penned. Mr. Cameron 
has preserved it. It read as follows : 

11 Dear Cameron, Please give Miserable Man one 
blanket. QUINN." 

Mr. Cameron said, " I have no blankets." 

Miserable Man looked hard at him but said nothing. 
Yellow Bear spoke, " Don't you see he has no blankets. 
What are you looking at him for ?" " Well," said Miser- 
able Man, " I will take something else," and he tooS four 
or five dollar's worth of odds and ends. Just as they 



THE FROG LAKE MASSACRE, 93 

finished trading they heard the first shot. Miserable 
Man turned and rushed out. Cameron heard some one 
calling " Stop ! stop !" This was Big Bear, who was in 
the Hudson's Bay Company's house talking to Mrs. Simp- 
son, the factor's wife. As Mr. Cameron went out of the 
store he locked the door, and while he was doing this an 
Indian ran up and said, " If you speak twice you are a 
dead man. One man has spoken twice already, and he 
is dead." 

This man, as Mr. Cameron soon learned, was Quinn, 
who had been standing with Charles Gouin, the Half- 
breed carpenter, in front of Pritchard's house. Travelling 
Spirit had said to Quinu, " You have a hard head ; when 
you say no, you mean no, and stick to it. Now if you 
love your life you will do as I say, go to our camp." 

Quinn said : " Why should I go there ?" 

" Go," said he. 

" Never mind," Quinn said, quietly, " I will stay here." 

Travelling Spirit then levelled his gun at Quinn's 
head, saying, " I tell you go !" and shot him dead. Gouin, 
who was an American Half-breed, was shot by the Worm 
immediately after on the road to the Indian camp, a short 
distance from Pritchard's house. 

Mr. Cameron asked Yellow Bear what all this meant. 
Yellow Bear caught him by the hand and said, " Come 
this way." Then seeing Mrs. Simpson about to leave her 
house, he said, " Go with her; don t leave her." 

Mr. Cameron walked away with Mrs. Simpson. When 
they had got a short distance from the house she stopped 
and called Cameron's attention to the priests, who were 
standing about a hundred yards away expostulating with 
some Indians who were loading their guns. Delaney was 
close by. Suddenly the Indians raised their guns and 
rushed at Delaney. Father Fafard dashed up and placed 
himself in front, menacing the Indians, but was over- 
powered by numbers and thrown down, and Bare Neck 
shot Delaney, and then, with the other barrel, tired at the 
priest Father Fafatd and Delaney were badly wounded, 



94 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

and, as they lay writhing, Man- Who- Wins walked up 
and fired at them, killing both. Father Marchand (from 
Onion Lake) was meanwhile attempting to keep the 
Indians from going after the women. When he saw that 
Father Fafard had been killed he attempted to push his 
way through the crowd of Indians to reach the body, but 
they resisted. He was a wiry man and fought hard. 
Travelling Spirit, however, rushed up and shot him in the 
chest and head, and he fell dead. 

In the rush that followed a moment after this Go wan- 
lock was killed by the Worm. Gilchrist and Dill were 
together, and Little Bear who had previously killed 
Williscraft fired on them. , Gilchrist fell immediately, 
but Dill was not hurt and' started to run. The Indians 
chased him on horseback and he was finally killed by Man- 
Talking-to- Another. 

Mr. Cameron was horrified on seeing the killing of 
the priests and Delaney. Of course he could do nothing 
to save them. He went up and caught Mrs. Simpson by 
the arm, thinking she was going to fall from the shock. 
They walked on. She kept saying " Go on faster," for 
the Indians were all round ; but there was no use in try- 
ing to run away. They afterwards learned that had this 
been tried Mr. Cameron would have been shot. After 
reaching the main camp, a Frog Lake chief named He- 
Stands-Up-Before-Him and some head men took Mr. 
Cameron into a lodge, where they told him they would 
see that no harm should befall him. They then went out 
and brought in Travelling Spirit, and told him that he 
and his band were to let Cameron alone. Travelling 
Spirit assured them all, and Cameron himself that he 
would. Mrs. Gowanlock was with Mrs. Delaney, having 
left her own house three miles away on the first news of 
the trouble. The two women were walking to camp 
with Mr. Gowanlock and Mr. Delaney, when the two 
latter were shot. Gowanlock fell dying in his wife's arms. 
The Indians then brought the women to camp. By this 
time almost everything in the place had been taken, 



THE FROG LAKE MASSACRE. 95 

When Mr. Cameron left they broke open the store and 
raided it. When the two women arrived in camp they 
were bought by Half-breeds to save them from the 
Indians. John Pritchard, the_interpreter z bought Mrs. 
Delaney for a~~hDYge~ and $30. Pierre Blondin bought 
MfS": Gowanlock for three horses. The two stayed with 
Pritchard's family. Mr. Simpson, the Hudson's Bay 
factor, was at Pitt when the massacre occurred, but 
returning in the evening was taken prisoner. A day or 
so after this the bodies of the killed were frightfully 
mutilated and thrown into the empty houses, after hav- 
ing been stripped of valuables. Dancing and feasting 
went on for days. 

When Pitt was attacked only the men went out, 
returning after the garrison evacuated with the McLeans 
and others. The intention of the Indians was to go to 
Battleford and join Poundmaker and then attack the 
police barracks, so the whole camp moved towards Pitt, 
taking about ten days. However, they did not go to 
Pitt, but moved down the river. Several camps were 
made close together near the place of General Strange's 
subsequent skirmish, and it was from east of there where 
a large thirst dance lodge had been put up, that they 
were hurried by the appearance of our scouts. 

The majority of the Indians of Frog Lake, Long Lake, 
and Onion Lake, and other bands of Wood Crees, were 
compelled to join Big Bear, though having no desire to 
take part in the troubles. They helped themselves to a 
share of the plunder, but they were in a manner obliged 
to do so in order to live. The Wood Crees did all they 
could to save the whites, and did not know anything of 
the intention of Big Bear's party to kill the people at 
Frog Lake. Some Wood Crees even threatened to shoot 
Big Bear's men when the murdering began, but they 
were too few at the time, and would only have been 
killed themselves. All the whites saved owe their lives 
to the Half-breeds and Wood Crees. 

During their captivity the prisoners were never hun- 
gry nor were they closely confined, although everything 



96 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

was taken from them. The two women remained with 
Pritchard's family and there was absolutely no founda- 
tion for the horrible stories about them which were cir- 
culated at the time. The McLean family was not separ- 
ated and although at first Big Bear's party had charge of 
them, the Wood Crees took them over because they 
thought they were not used well enough. A party of 
Crees took Cameron and others and withdrew from Big 
Bear's band just prior to Strange's skirmish of the 27th 
of May, thinking that perhaps the Plain Crees would kill 
the prisoners if any of their number were wounded or 
killed. Big Bear's band had been wishing to kill the 
prisoners all along, and were only prevented by the 
watchfulness of the Metis and Wood Crees, while the 
women owe their safety entirely to Blondiii, Pritchard, 
and other Half-breeds. 

The victims of this frightful massacre, so far as known 
at present, are as follows : 

T. T. Quinn, Sub-agent, Indian Department ; Father 
Fafard, Father Marchand, John Delaney, Farm Instructor ; 
J. A. Gowanlock, Charles Gouin, William Gilchrist, John 
Williscraft, John Dill. 

Besides these, Mrs. Gowanlock, Mrs. Delaney, James 
K. Simpson, and several other settlers were made 
prisoners. 

It is, of course, impossible to describe the horror with 
which this massacre inspired public sentiment throughout 
Canada. Mr. T. T. Quinn, the Indian Agent, was known 
as one of the most capable and competent of the 
employe's in the Indian Department in the North- West. 
He was born in the Red River valley, his father being an 
Irish trader and his mother a Cree Half-breed. He 
received a good education at the St. Boniface College. 
When a mere lad he went down into Minnesota and spent 
some time in a trader's store, and it was while he was 
there that the Minnesota massacre occurred. His 
employer's store was raided and its owner murdered, but 
in the midst of these scenes of horror an Indian who had 



THE FROG LAKE MASSACRE. 97 

taken a liking to young Tom Quinn's bright and hand- 
some face hid him under the counter among some empty 
salt sacks, and by that means he made his escape from 
savages who were sparing neither women nor children, 
no matter how helpless they were. As a young man Mr. 
Quinn entered the service of the Hudson Bay Company, 
in which he soon distinguished himself for courage, intel- 
ligence, industry, and thorough honesty. He was placed 
in charge of the Company's post at Malign Portage on 
the Dawson Route, over which passengers were carried 
for some three or four years between Port Arthur and 
Winnipeg, and remained there till trade in that locality 
was abandoned. He was always very popular with the 
Indians wherever he went, thoroughly understanding 
Indian character, and always conducting his business with 
that frankness and honesty which the aborigines are sure 
to respect. He spoke the English, French, Cree, Ojibewa, 
Saulteux, Sioux, and Assiniboine languages with perfect 
fluency, and could converse intelligently with the Black - 
feet, though he did not profess to have mastered their 
language. He had been in the employ of the Indian 
Department for some four or five years, serving some 
time in Battleford under the direction of Mr. Hayter 
Reed, who was then in charge of that agency. He was 
subsequently promoted to the Sub-agency at Fort Pitt, 
and only made Frog Lake the headquarters of the Fort 
Pitt Agency some time in June, 1884. Mr. Quinn was 
probably one of the finest physical specimens of humanity 
to be found in the North- West Territory. Standing six 
feet two inches high and weighing about one hundred 
and ninety pounds he had the peculiarly erect and! 
graceful carriage often characteristic of men of unusual 
strength and agility. Though no stranger would detect 
evidences of Indian blood in his appearance or manner, 
his face had just enough of it to make it unlike the face 
one usually expects to see when a man is described as 
tall, dark, handsome, and having black moustache, hair, 
and eyes. He was a thorough frontiersman either for 



98 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

bush or plain. An accomplished horseman and a skilled 
canoeman, he was thoroughly at home on snowshoes, an 
experienced traveller with dog trains, and an expert with 
axe, rifle, shotgun, or revolver. Mr. Quinn, who was a 
Catholic, laboured in a very quiet and modest, but effec- 
tive way toward the conversion of the Indians from 
paganism to Christianity, as from his boyhood he had 
always taken a deep interest in anything that was calcu- 
lated to ameliorate the condition of the Indian, no matter 
to what tribe he might happen to belong. His death 
was sincerely mourned by many an old frontiersman 
between Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains. 

Mr. John A. Gowanlock, one of the victims of the Frog 
Lake massacre, was a brother of Messrs. A. G. and James 
Gowanlock, proprietors of the Parkdale Times. He was 
a millwright by trade, and first visited the North-West 
in 1879, when he went out to Rapid City and was engaged 
in the erection of a grist mill. He afterwards went into 
business as a storekeeper at Regina and Battleford. In 
October of 1884 he came home, and while in Ontario 
married Miss Johnson, daughter of a U. E. Loyalist of 
that name living at Tin tern, Ontario, who accompanied 
him on his return to the North- West. His friends were 
unwilling for him to return to the North-West, as he fj 
said when at home that he anticipated a disturbance// 
among the Indians ; but having been engaged in tradin_ 
with them for a long time, and always being on the mosif 
friendly terms with them, he had no fears. At the time 
the troubles broke out he, in partnership with Mr. Laurie, 
son of the editor of the Saskatchewan Herald, was 
engaged in the construction of a grist-mill at Frog Lake, 
where they had shortly before completed a saw-mill. 

The Rev. Father Fafard was born in Berthier, P.Q., 
where his parents are still living. His earlier education 
was carried on in Montreal, and completed at L'Assornp- 
tion College in 1874. Immediately on finishing his col- 
lege course he went to the North-West, where he was 
attached to the Battleford Mission included in the diocese 



THE FROG LAKE MASSACRE. 



99 



of Bishop Grandin, of St. Albert. His duties were those 
of a Catholic priest, in addition to which he undertook 
the education of the children of his flock, which consisted 
of whites, Half-breeds and Indians. 

Of the Rev. Father Marchand, comparatively little is 
known ; he was a young priest who came out from France 
in 1883, and was at once attached to Bishop Grandin's 
mission, and at the time of his martyrdom was labouring 
in connection with Father Fafard. Both of these mission- 
aries were Oblat Fathers. 




" TRAVELLING SPIRIT," 

The Leader in the Frog Lake Massacre. 




LIEUT. -OOL. W. D. OTTBB. 



CHAPTER XIII. 
OTTER'S MARCH TO BATTLEFORD. 

ON the 12th of April Colonel Otter and staff arrived at 
Swift Current. The force composing his column 
numbered five hundred and seventy-five, including two 
hundred and fifty of the Queen's Own, half of C Com- 
pany Infantry (regulars), A Battery, Ottawa Foot 
Guards and fifty Mounted Police under Superintendent 
Herchmer. 

The country through which Colonel Otters column 
had to pass in its journey to Battleford is thus described : 

The whole distance traversed between Swift Current 
station on the Canadian Pacific Railway and Battleford 
was about two hundred miles, or possibly a trifle more. 
The march to the Saskatchewan was about thirty miles 



OTTEK'S MARCH TO BATTLEFOKD. 101 

(perhaps thirty-four), and this brought them to the ferry, 
some distance west of the mouth of Swift Current Creek. 
The country between the railway and the river is mainly 
upland prairie, affording smooth, dry footing. The 
approach to the river is down a steep bank, about four 
hundred feet high, and at the foot of this spreads a strip 
of bottom land a mile wide, stretching to the river's bank. 

The river itself is about two hundred yards wide. Once 
across the river there were no bottom lands to cross, but 
the ascent of the north bank began at once. The slope 
is a comparatively gradual one, and the bench land on 
the north side is only about two hundred and fifty feet 
above the water ; little or no difficulty or delay was en- 
countered at that point. Next came a short march of six 
or seven miles over a beautiful upland prairie which 
brought the column to a small sweet water lake which 
was the scene of the first camp north of the river. 

There was no wood north of this point, however, and 
in fact the whole plain up to a point on the line of march 
north of Eagle Creek, and probably ninety miles or more 
from the Saskatchewan, is destitute of anything in the 
shape of timber. 

After leaving the lake already alluded to, the trail 
leads up a long gradual ascent made over gently undulat- 
ing prairie uplands. Here, as well as in the short march 
already mentioned, the footing was reasonably dry and 
firm. Then comes a very sudden, but slight descent into 
a strange looking valley, with a smooth, level bottom 
about a mile wide, and covered with a rich loamy soil. 
This belt or valley, which appears to extend indefinitely 
on either side of the trail, looks as though it might have 
been the valley of some ancient river. On the farther, or 
what appears to have been the north bank, there is a 
lofty ridge which stands up out of the plain like a huge 
wall and up this ridge the trail winds through a rugged, 
rock-bordered, and somewhat tortuous pass. Above this 
ridge the ascent continues as the march leads still north- 
ward over slightly rolling prairie for some twenty miles, 



102 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

after which high rolling hills are entered. Here the soil 
is dry and gravelly, and alkali lakes are numerous, but 
there are also pools and lakes of sweet water quite suf- 
ficient to supply all possible requirements for camping. 
Though the trail through these hills is always firm and 
dry, it is very tortuous, while some of the hills rise well 
towards the dignity of mountains. This rough almost 
mountainous country continues for about twenty miles, 
and then the trail leads out into a smoother, though still 
undulating tract. After traversing about fifteen miles of 
this last mentioned class of country, a big coulee is 
reached, which contains an abundant supply of sweet 
water of an excellent quality. Twelve miles further on 
there is a strongly saline creek forty or fifty feet wide, 
easily fordable, and having a fairly good bottom. This 
creek is not alkaline, but pronouncedly " salt " at all sea- 
sons of the year. A little farther on Eagle Hills Creek, 
which is about eighty-five miles from the South Saskatch- 
ewan, is reached. A long and rather steep hill leads 
down into the valley of this creek from the south, and a 
strip of flat bottom land a mile in width intervenes between 
the foot of the hill and the edge of the creek. The creek 
itself is swift, deep, and narrow at this point. 

The ascent out of this valley is a comparatively easy 
one, and when the benches were reached once more the 
travelling was unembarrassed by anything formidable in 
the shape of hills or valleys. About twelve miles further 
on timber sufficient for fuel was reached, and from this 
spot until Eagle Hills were reached, the trail lay through 
clean, open prairie. Just at the point of the hill (twenty 
miles from Battleford) is the Stoney reserve, and it was 
here that the boys began to keep a sharp look out for 
trouble, and their vigilance was nowhere relaxed on the 
journey over the last twenty miles. 

The progress of Colonel Otter's command from the 
South Saskatchewan Crossing to Battleford was very 
rapid, the average being something more- than thirty 
miles f er day. It is not to be understood, however, that 



OTTER'S MARCH TO BATTLEFOBD. 103 

the men marched at that rate, for the fact is that after 
Saskatchewan Crossing was reached part of the men were 
able to secure a ride on the waggons for portions of the 
remainder of the distance. Going over the prairie in this 
fashion was not at all disagreeable. The weather during 
the day was comfortably warm, and at night, although 
the pools of water everywhere met with on the prairie 
were found each morning covered with a fresh surface 
of ice, the men got along very nicely under the canvas, 
and accommodating themselves to their changed circum- 
stances really seemed to be beginning to enjoy the vicis- 
situdes of soldiering. The most trying time was on 
picket or sentry. Those familiar with the country and 
the Indian method of warfare had no fear that the column 
would be attacked before reaching Battleford, except it 
might be that stragglers from the camp might be picked 
off or that a picket or sentry would be charged at night. 
While the column was advancing Colonel Herchmer's 
detachment of Mounted Police, numbering twenty-five, 
together with some scouts specially engaged, rode about 
a mile ahead and the same distance to the right and left, 
beating into every coulee or clump of poplar where an 
enemy might be ambushed, thus absolutely preventing 
the possibility of anything like a surprise. At night the 
pickets extended from a quarter to half-a-mile on all sides 
oi the camp. All felt, or should have felt, perfectly safe 
and rested as peacefully as need be. The camp was 
usually pitched between four and six in the afternoon, 
and struck about five in the morning. At the Eagle River, 
about half-way up the trail, the spring waters had carried 
the bridge away, but materials for the construction of a 
new one had been brought along, and sent on in advance 
to prepare a crossing for the column, so that no delay was 
experienced on this account. Stations were made at dis- 
tances, in most cases of from thirty to forty miles. A 
couple of men were placed in each. 

Colonel Otter started out with only about ten days' 
forage, and his provisions also were very much short of 



104 CANADA'S NOKTH-WEST REBELLION. 

the thirty days' rations he had expected to take with 
him. The difficulty was that there were not sufficient 
teams to get the whole under way at once. The method 
adopted was to send back the teams for fresh loads as 
soon as those they started out with were consumed. 
They expected to meet other loads coming on from the 
Crossing, pick them up and return, while the teams, thus 
relieved, carried the empty waggons back to the Crossing. 
Colonel Otter's column presented a very formidable 
appearance as it wound along the crooked trail over the 
prairies. Its two hundred teams stretched sometimes 
over two or three miles, and looked at from any promin- 
ent position, was such assuredly as would put dread into 
the heart of the Indian. The Eagle Hills, where it was 
expected the enemy would be encountered, if at any place 
along the line, were reached on Thursday, the 23rd April, 
about 11 a.m. A halt was made for dinner, and among 
the men the probabilities of the next few hours were dis- 
cussed with much interest. The day previous Charlie 
Ross, one of the best-known and most daring of the 
Mounted Police scouts, had come across a band of proba- 
bly a dozen Indians in one of the prairie valleys. They 
had a buckboard and cart, and were apparently engaged 
in the very peaceful occupation of slaughtering and 
dressing a calf. They were certainly surprised by the 
appearance of the scout who advanced to speak to them. 
When he was about two hundred yards distant they fired 
a couple of shots in his direction. He replied, but his 
rifle burst, and the bullet failed to reach its mark. He 
thought the accident must have occurred by the muzzle 
of his rifle having got filled with mud. The Indians 
made off as fast as they could, and Ross returned and 
reported the occurrence. A detachment was at once 
ordered to be ready for pursuit, but the Indians were not 
again seen. This occurrence aroused some apprehension 
of trouble when the Hills were reached, although it had 
been reported that the Indians had deserted their reserve 
a day or two previously. All through these Hills there 



OTTER'S MARCH TO BATTLEFORD. 105 

was a considerable growth of poplar and underbrush. The 
ravines were deep, and in some cases precipitous, and the 
ground rises unevenly to a considerable length. By two 
o'clock on Thursday afternoon, the column had reached 
' the reserve of Chief Mosquito, of the Stoneys. The 
scouts hunted it over thoroughly, but were unable to dis- 
cover traces of a living Indian. All was in supreme dis- 
order, and the log huts in which they had lodged gave 
evidences of very hasty flight. In one of the tepees a 
most ghastly spectacle met the eye. A couple of boxes, 
such as are used for dry-goods, were piled one on top of 
the other, and on the uppermost a smaller box which had 
been used for packing soap. The latter was first taken 
down and looked into. It contained the lifeless body of 
an Indian child, probably two years of age, placed in a 
sitting posture. Its little head had been knocked out of 
shape, evidently by the back of an axe, and the eyes, 
crushed nearly out of their sockets by the force of the 
blows from behind, seemed to be glaring out in the wild- 
est horror. It was a most revolting sight, and bore 
terrible testimony to the fiendish nature of the warring 
Indian. The second box was looked into, and another 
object almost equally revolting was to be seen. The 
corpse of a squaw, probably twenty years of age, with 
what looked like a bullet hole in the left cheek, was 
deposited there, also in a sitting posture. About the 
mouth of the woman was a quantity of clotted blood, and 
the left hand was raised to the cheek, holding a handker- 
chief smeared with blood. The boxes were restored to 
the position in which they were found and the search 
was continued. It was on this reserve that Indian 
Instructor Payne was murdered, and it was expected that 
his body would be found some place in the neighbourhood. 
Diligent search, however, failed to discover it at this 
time. A large quantity of flour, potatoes, and bacon was 
found cached in the bush near by, and as much of this as 
possible was at once loaded on empty waggons and carried 
along with the column. Preparations in the way- of 



106 



CANADAS NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



ploughing and harrowing were already on foot on tht 
reserves for putting in the season's crop, when the Indians 
went on the war path. The trail through the hills was 
about six miles in length, and as the column advanced 
the scouts were kept busy scouring the country on all 
sides. A number of white people had settled in this 
fertile region, and were laying the foundation of comfort- 
able homes with plenty of every necessary of life at their 
doors. Their homes had all been deserted, and were 




looted by the Indians. No traces of an Indian were 
found. Seven or eight miles from Battleford the fort 
and village could be descried from the brow of a high hill, 
and as the advance of the column came into view of the 
beleaguered place a hearty cheer was given by the men. 
Just as the column was winding down the long incline 
towards old Battleford, and when an intervening hill 
obscured the low.i from view, great volumes of black 
smoke shot up, and for a while it was thought the enemy 



OTTER'S MARCH TO BATTLEFORD. 107 

must have obtained possession of the town and probably 
the fort as well and, seeing the advance of the forces 
over the hill, were setting fire to the place previous to 
deserting it. No news from Battleford had been received 
by Colonel Otter for some days, and he was, therefore, 
ignorant of the position of affairs. There was a quarter 
of an hour of anxious suspense till the troops gained the 
top of the intervening hill. It was then seen at a dis- 
tance of probably five miles that a building on the south 
side of Battle River in the old fcownwas on fire. That it 
was the work of the Indians was apparent ; but it was a 
relief to find that the fort and new town were still hold- 
ing out. The column was halted on a plain about three 
miles from the river, the teams corralled, and the tents 
pitched for the night. Scarcely had the sun set, sinking 
as it seemed into the great plain beyond Battleford, than 
the sky was lit up by another building ablaze in the old 
town. From a prominence near the camp, with the aid 
of a good glass, the Indians could be seen dancing about 
the fire in fiendish delight over the ruin they were mak- 
ing. Charlie Ross, the police scout, accompanied by sev- 
eral others, left the camp at sundown to reconnoitre the 
position and numbers of the Indians. Just before he and 
his companions slipped away into the dark underbrush, 
Colonel Herchmer said, " Take care of yourself, Ross, but 
if you get a chance to shoot don't forget to do it." " Yes," 
replied Ross, in a tone that left no doubt of his intention. 
The party had not gone for more than an hour before 
firing was heard in the direction of the town, and Colonel 
Herchmer ordered out a detachment of a dozen Mounted 
Police to go to the scouts' assistance. Ross and his com- 
panions had scattered themselves as they approached the 
position of the Indians, and crept up to within a very 
short distance of them. Ross himself got into a dense 
undergrowth where he lay watching the Indians' antics. 
So far as he could determine there were about eighty of 
them, all with horses ready to mount. As Ross lay 
among the shrubbery he was startled by a cough within 



108 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

a few yards of him, and became aware of the presence of 
an Indian. The latter no doubt took Ross to be one of 
his own people, and Ross was not averse that he should 
hold that opinion under such circumstances. Half-a- 
dozen Indians presently rose up all around him and went 
to their horses a short distance away. Ross also moved 
away, and presently came across his companions near the 
main trail. There they stationed themselves till a dozen 
mounted Indians rode slowly along. When they^were 
thirty yards past Ross sprang up and called, " Halt." The 
Indians did not halt, however, but put spurs to their 
ponies, and the scouts opened fire on them with their 
revolvers, the only firearms they carried. This was the 
firing they heard from the camp. The Indians in a few 
minutes all seemed to have disappeared, as if by magic. 
They were doubtless in ambush awaiting the advance of 
those who had fired on them. The Mounted Police squad 
presently came up and thought it wise that all should 
return to camp. 

The pickets thst night doubtless put in an anxious 
time of it. It was the general impression in camp that 
the Indians would make an effort to pick off some of the 
farthest out, but it was otherwise. The sun rose brightly 
over the scene of the Indians' bonfire, but no Indian 
was then to be seen. The house that had been burned 
the previous evening was Judge Rouleau's handsome 
resi lence. 

Immediately after breakfast the tents were struck 
and the whole column advanced to the brow of the some- 
what steep declivity running down to Battle River. 
Here the tents were again pitched close beside the Indus- 
trial School and only a short distance from the smoulder- 
ing ruins of Judge Rouleau's residence. The Indians had 
made a complete wreck of the old town and had exercised 
almost devilish ingenuity in their methods of destruction. 
The contents of the Industrial School were thrown about 
in shapeless confusion, the windows smashed, and the 
walls battered and polluted. The interior of every 



OTTER'S MARCH TO BATTLEFORD. 109 

unburned house in the old town presented a similar 
appearance. 

There were shut up in the fort something over five 
hundred men, women, and children, composed of towns- 
people and all the white people settled in the district. 
The fort is about two hundred yards square, with a 
stockade ten feet high. There was an abundance of pro- 
visions enough, it was thought, to last three months. 
This comprised both the police and Indian supplies. In 
so small a space it will be readily understood that the 
people were pretty well crowded, but not uncomfortably 
so. Numerous tents were pitched in all parts of the 
enclosure, and the beleaguered people contrived to make 
themselves tolerably comfortable. 

The fort is situated on an elevated plateau, and can 
be approached only in the open. The new town lies west 
of the fort, and the Indians had been kept from sacking 
it by a wholesome dread of the shells which the seven- 
pounder gun in the barracks was capable of throwing. Up 
to the day before Colonel Otter's arrival Colonel Morris 
was in command, with a detachment of twenty- five police. 
His situation had been unquestionably a difficul one. 
His first duty, of course, was to see that the fort and the 
people within it were protected from the enemy ; his 
second to protect as far as possible the property of citi- 
zens and settlers in the neighbourhood. He had suc- 
ceeded in preserving the fort as well as the property of 
citizens in the new town, and in order to do this he had 
to exercise constant vigilance. The property of settlers 
in the outlying district of course easily fell a prey to the 
Indians, who had sacked all the houses, and burned most 
of them for twenty-five miles around that is throughout 
the whole settlement. But Colonel Morris was very 
roundly blamed by many of the people for not making a 
more determined effort to protect the vast stores of the 
merchants and Hudson Bay Company in the old town. 
Every day up to the time of Colonel Otter's arrival the 
Indians could be plainly seen from the fort, about a mile 



110 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

distant, plundering the stores and carrying off the goods 
and provisions with the horses and vehicles they had 
appropriated from the settlers ; it must indeed have been 
a galling sight. About one hundred and fifty of the men 
in the fort repeatedly requested Colonel Morris to be 
allowed to go out and attempt to drive the enemy off and 
secure the provisions. This request he refused persis- 
tently, and the plundering went on unchecked, except on 
two occasions when the gun was brought out about half 
way to the river, and a number of shells thrown at the 
enemy. Four of them were killed and the rest dispersed 
into the woods. On the second day a dozen men of the 
Home Guards crossed the river, when the Indians fled, 
and captured a horse and buckboard, the latter loaded 
with looted goods. It appears the horse was baulky and 
would not move off with the Indians. In connection 
with Colonel Morris' refusal to allow a rescue party to 
leave the fort it must be kept in view that the com- 
manding officer had about as great dread of the enemy 
within the fort as that without. Many of them were 
Half-breeds and their loyalty, to say the least of it, ques- 
tionable. Had they been allowed to get out he did not 
know what their freedom might have developed. His 
position, if disaster had followed a compliance with the 
men's request, would have been a most unenviable one. 
Another reason for his refusal was that the ice in the 
river was in such a condition that it might be expected 
to break up at any moment, and if this had occurred 
while the men were on the opposite shore, their return 
would have been next to impossible, and the fort would 
practically have been left at the mercy of the enemy. 

On Wednesday, the day before the arrival of the 
relief column, one of the most lamentable events of the 
whole siege occurred in the shooting of poor Frank A. 
Smart, who was one of the most popular men of the 
district, and one who seemed to possess the entire confi- 
dence of the Indians. But it was a most notable circum- 
stance during this uprising that those men who have 



OTTER'S MARCH TO BATTLEFORD. Ill 

been most kind and considerate to the Indians have been 
those who have first been marked for death. 

The situation all through this district was most 
deplorable. The settlers, of course, had been robbed of 
everything. Their cattle and horses had been driven 
away, their houses either burned or sacked, and thus the 
labour of years had been rendered vain. Those who had 
toiled amid innumerable hardships to bring themselves 
and their families into positions of comparative ease, were 
left homeless and penniless, in an infinitely worse condi- 
tion than when they first set foot in the country. The 
seed for which the ground was just being prepared was 
never sown. 

The finding of the body of Payne, the Indian Instruc- 
tor, on Mosquito's reserve caused something like a sensa- 
tion in the camp and barracks. It was believed that the 
Indians had cut it to pieces and disposed of it in that 
way. Sergeant Langtry was in charge of the fatigue 
party that made the discovery. The murdered man was 
lying apparently just as he had fallen, on his face, with 
his arms stretched out before him, and a number of deep 
wounds on the back of his head told of the deadly and 
cowardly nature of the attack. A quantity of straw had 
been loosely thrown over the corpse, and the wind blow- 
ing a portion of this away disclosed the form. In the 
house which he occupied everything was in confusion. 
His diary, containing entries up to the night before his 
death, was discovered. There was no reference to an 
expected rising, excepting in an entry made three days 
previous to his death, which showed that Indian Agent 
Rae had been on the reserve that day, and had had a talk 
with the Indians and was convinced of their loyalty. 

The conduct of Judge Rouleau in deserting the place 
immediately that the slightest danger showed itself, was 
very severely commented on by nearly all those in the 
fort. Ever since cause for fear had manifested itself by 
the sullen manner of the Indians, Judge Rouleau, it is 
said, persistently maintained that there was no reason for 



112 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

alarm, and being constituted a censor of all despatches 
going over the wires, refused to permit any mention of 
the true condition of affairs to be sent out. Every effort 
seems to have been made by him to suppress the real 
condition of affairs, but immediately that matters assumed 
a gravity that could no longer be gainsaid, he took to 
horse and u skinned " out of the country. A correspond- 
ent in referring to this matter said : " People have stolidly 
maintained that he did not stop running till he had got 
to the other side of the big bridge at Ottawa, and that 
according to the last bulletin of his flight, he had got 
safely into the Citadel at Que-bec, and is now barricaded 
from the arrows of the enemy by many thicknesses of 
iron plate. Almost everybody, even his compatriots and 
personal friends, are thus referring to him." 

In referring to the volunteers the same correspondent 
says: 

" No words of mine can sufficiently express the heroic 
manner in which the Queen's Own regiment has withstood 
the trials and hardships of the month intervening 
since their departure from the Union Station, Toronto. 
There is not a man of them ailing at present, and they 
take their work and submit to the rigid discipline of 
active service with a cheerfulness that is in the highest 
sense creditable. I believe that almost every man in he 
regiment is roundly disappointed and dissatisfied that an 
opportunity has so long been denied them to show their 
merit in the field, and when it comes to that they may be 
depended on to do their duty. From most of their faces 
the sun has already removed the outer film of skin, and 
what remains is tanned a glorious brown. Most of them 
have perforce allowed their beards to grow, and as they 
were seen at church parade to-day they presented an 
appearance vastly different from that they wore on a 
King Street parade last summer. Until the column 
arrived here the rations consisted of hard-tack, pork, 
canned meat, dried apples, beans, and tea, and there was 
abundance of it, notwithstanding that reports have gone 



GENERAL MIDDLETON'S ADVANCE. 113 

forward to the contrary. Since pitching camp here, fresh 
beef has been occasionally served, and this change has 
been hailed with great glee. Whenever a good fat steer 
is found it is appropriated and slaughtered forthwith, and 
if the owner is not near by he is settled with as soon as 
he happens to turn up. 

" While making the above remarks about the Queen's 
Own, the other bodies composing the brigade must not 
be lost sight of. Company C, of the Toronto Infantry 
School, half of which are here under Captain Wadmore, 
are admired by all for their soldierly bearing and hand- 
some appearance in column. Captain Todd's Ottawa 
Foot Guards are a thoroughly disciplined body of men, 
and it is only necessary to mention B Battery to provoke 
plaudits among Canadian militiamen." 

Thus the siege of Battleford was raised, and it was 
thought that the work of Colonel Otter'a column was 
done. How little we know of what is before us. The 
tragedy of Cut Knife Hill was still to be enacted. 



CHAPTER XIV 

GENERAL MIDDLETON'S ADVANCE WAITING FOR SUPPLIES 
AND REINFORCEMENTS. 

WHILE these events were taking place in the West, 
matters in the eastern portion of the disturbed 
district were by no means at a stand-still. Recognizing 
the pressing necessity of doing his utmost to nip the 
rebellion in the bud, General Middleton was hurrying 
forward with all possible speed. The provisions for 
transport service, having been hurriedly made, were of 
course not particularly efficient nor satisfactory. It too 
often happens that in emergencies of this kind, people 
selected in a hurry to fill positions of responsibility and 
7 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

trust, are selected on account of personal popularity, or in 
acknowledgment of political services rather than because 
of any especial fitness for the place. The conduct of the 
campaign in the North- West was not altogether free from 
blunders of this kind, and it would be too much to expect 
that it should have been. At the season of the year 
when the journey from Qu'Appelle to Clark's Crossing 
had to be undertaken, the grass was not in such a state 
as to furnish suitable forage for any but native or 
thoroughly acclimatized horses. In consequence of this 
supplies for man and beast had to be freighted through. 
In this way it will be seen that a large proportion of the 
supplies hauled in were consumed by the horses engaged 
in the transport service, so that the amount of freighting 
necessary to keep the force in the field properly supplied 
was something enormous. With the trails in the worst 
possible condition, with both horses and teamsters all 
green at the business, and with, possibly, a very limited 
aptitude for the work himself, it is not surprising that 
Mr. Bedson should have made a very sorry job of the 
transport service. General Middleton was very consider- 
ably handicapped in his efforts to push forward by the 
lack of supplies ; his patience was sorely tried at having 
to wait day after day at Clark's Crossing, knowing well 
that every day of such inaction was equivalent to giving 
aid and comfort to the rebel cause. Every day Gabriel 
Dumont was strengthening his position at Batoche, and 
still General Middletoii was powerless to advance against 
him. Every day Kiel's runners were carrying into Indian 
camps all over the Territory the news that the white men 
dared not attack them, and yet, well-knowing this, General 
Middleton was powerless to advance against him. Find- 
ing the transport service via Qu'Appelle would be nearly 
or quite inadequate to meet the demands of the situation 
General Middleton determined to open another route for 
bringing in supplies. The Midland Battalion and a 
Gatling gun in charge of Lieutenant Howard, an ex- 
tensive store of supplies, and other necessities for the 



THE FALL OF FOBT PITT 115 

campaign were started from Saskatchewan Landing near 
Swift Current to make the long journey down the river 
by boat. 

On the 18th of April, Lord Melgund, with Captain 
French and Major Boulton with a party of scouts, made a 
reconnoissance from Middleton's camp and captured three 
Indians, whom they found hiding in a coulee. One of 
these was a cousin and two were sons of the Sioux chief, 
White Cap. Of course they told the old story of being 
forced into the fight by Kiel and the rest of the Half- 
breeds, but as White Cap and his band manifested a par- 
ticular fondness for the scalps of white men during the 
Minnesota massacre, it appears extremely probable that 
neither he nor his followers required much coaxing to 
induce them to join Kiel. 

On the 21st of April the steamer Northcote started 
from Saskatchewan Landing with the first instalment of 
the South Saskatchewan branch of the expedition. 

On the 22nd a few of Major Boul ton's scouts chased 
two rebels on the west side of the Saskatchewan for some 
fifteen miles but failed to capture them. They also came 
upon a small party of rebel scouts with whom they 
exchanged shots at long range, but nobody was injured. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE FALL OF FORT PITT. 

niHE events in this tragic history now began to tread 
JL close upon the heels of one another. While Colonel 
Otter was preparing his column for an attack on Pound- 
maker's reserve, and while General Middleton and his 
force were impatiently awaiting the hour when they 
should stand face to face with Gabriel Dumont's Half- 
breeds, there was, away in the far North- West on the 
banks of the Great Saskatchewan, far beyond the reach of 



116 



CANADA S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



present assistance, a little band of red-coated prairie 
troopers, every one of them with as brave a heart as ever 
beat beneath the scarlet. Their leader was a well-tried 
soldier whose modest worth, though blazoned by no hire- 
ling chroniclers, was well-known to soldier comrades in 
India, on the rugged mountain slopes of Montana, and in 




INSPECTOB PBANOIS J. DICKENS. 



every portion of the North -West, from Fort Pelly to 
Kootenay, and from Edmonton to Wood Mountain. This 
was Inspector Francis J. Dickens, son of the famous 
novelist, and though one of the most modest and retir- 
ing officers of the North- West Mounted Police, well- 
known to be one of its coolest and most intrepid soldiers. 



THE FALL OF FORT PITT. 117 

Under Inspector Dickens, who held Fort Pitt, were 
twenty-two of the Mounted Police, and it was their 
charge to protect a little handful of white settlers, and 
prevent a very considerable store of supplies, arms, and 
ammunition from falling into the hands of the Indians. 
Opposed to them was Big Bear, one of the most war-like 
and powerful chiefs of the North- West. He had under 
him a force which, in all probability, numbered not less than 




PLAN OF "POBT PITT." 



three hundred. Fort Pitt is situated on the north bank 
of the North Saskatchewan, ninety-eight miles north- 
west from Battleford, and two hundred and four miles 
east from Edmonton, by the trail running along the north 
side of the river. It is situated on a low, rich flat, which 
lies from twelve to fifteen feet above the river level, and 
which runs back about half-a-mile to where it meets 



118 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

the high rolling country that stretches away on all sides 
in the rear of the post. The fort consisted of several log 
buildings arranged in a hollow square, and was formerly 
enclosed by a stockade with bastions on the corners, but 
as this had been removed some years before, it then lay 
completely unprotected in the midst of some cultivated 
fields surrounded by common rail fences. 

Big Bear, who was besieging Fort Pitt, had been 
induced by means of much coaxing and many presents 
to remove from the South, where in his close vicinity to 
the border line he was continually a cause of anxiety to 
Fort Pitt, where in the midst of a number of hitherto 
quiet and peaceful bands of his own nation, and hemmed 
in on the South by the North Saskatchewan, it was sup- 
posed he would settle down and give no further trouble. 

Big Bear was the last to take treaty and when he did 
one of his strongest objections to doing so was that he 
did not like the idea of hanging as a punishment for 
murder. It was late in 1882 when Big Bear signed his 
adhesion to the treaty and expressed his willingness to go 
on a reserve near Fort Pitt. Whether or not Big Bear 
was sincere in his professions of loyalty at that time 
remains to be seen. He had been down in Montana 
hunting buffaloes all summer in the same region where Kiel 
was at that time said to be doing his best to sow the 
seeds of discontent and rebellion among both Half-breeds 
and Indians from north of the border. Big .Bear had 
originally come from Fort Pitt, but in the autumn of 
1876 he went South hunting buffaloes, and from that time 
till after he took treaty about the end of 1882 he 
remained South making Fort Walsh headquarters for 
himself and his band. The buffalo hunting was bad even 
south of the boundary line where he spent the summer, 
and as early as the latter part of August or beginning of 
September he sent five of his young men North with a 
message to his particular friend Piapot. At this time he 
believed that Piapot was settled on a reserve at Indian 
Head, and the messengers were instructed to ask Piapot 



THE FALL OF FORT PITT. 



119 



if Lieutenant-Governor Dewdney* had carried out his 
agreements with the latter fairly and honestly, and if the 
answer proved to be in the affirmative Piapot was to be 
requested to signify to the Indian Department that Big 
Bear was also anxious to take treaty to go upon a reserve. 
These messengers, however, were met by Piapot before 




aON. EDGAR DEWDNET, LIEUT. -OOV. 1T.W. TERRITORIES. 

they reached Qu'Appelle, and the great chief of the South 

* Hon. Edgar Dewdney is an Englishman by birth, but with many of 
his adventurous countrymen found his way to British Columbia during the 
earlier portion of the gold excitement. Like many others he made and lost 
more than one handsome competency in that country, but was fortunate 
enough to finally light on his feet financially. As a representative from 
British Columbia in the Dominion Parliament he became a man of- some 
importance politically, and on, or soon after, the accession of Sir John 
Macdonald to power in 1878 he was appointed Indian Commissioner, and on 
the expiry of Ex-Governor Laird's term in 1881, he was appointed Lieu- 
benant-Governor of the Territory, still retaining his Indian Commissionship. 



120 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



Crees was in no humour to report favourably to Big 
Bear's enquiry, as he was then fresh from his famous 
interview with Lieutenant- Governor Dewdney at Fort 
Qu'Appelle, in which the latter had been held up by 




CHIEF PIAPOT OF THE SOUTH OEEBS. 



Piapot to contempt and scorn. This of course for the 
time put an end to Big Bear's negotiations with the 
Indian Department, but as the hunting continued bad 
Big Bear found his way to Fort Walsh late in the season, 



THE FALL OF FORT PITT. 121 

and signified his intention of becoming a "Treaty Indian." 
At this time Mr. Dewdney expressed the opinion that 
Big Bear had " borne unjustly a bad character," 
and that if he went North he would " make one of our 
best chiefs." But after all it took the united efforts of 
Colonel Irvine of the North-West Mounted Police, Colonel 
McDonald, Indian Agent for Treaty Four, and Peter 
Hourie, the Half-breed interpreter, backed by the urgent 
requests of his own son and son-in-law, to induce Big 
Bear to consent to take treaty and go North. Piapot and 
Lucky Man were present when the bargain was finally 
closed. 

Shortly after his arrival at Fort Pitt he attempted to 
seize the stores at that point, and in order to overawe the 
small force of police who were stationed there to watch 
his movements, he not only assumed a very threatening 
attitude, but used some considerable amount of violence, 
which fortunately proved of no effect. Subsequently he 
sent tobacco at different times amongst all the bands in 
his vicinity, summoning them to pow-wows for the pur- 
pose of discussing his old and time-worn grievances, 
and in short, did all in his power to persuade all within 
reach of his influence to dig up the hatchet, abandon 
their reserves, and under his wild, savage, and reckless 
leadership to demand his rights, and the fulfilment of the 
promises that had been made him at the muzzles of 
their rifles, or at the edge of the scalping-knife. Although 
this man was getting old, he still retained the active use 
of a powerful, scheming, and very fertile brain, any defi- 
ciency in which was readily supplied by the evil councils 
of those headmen of his band who were constantly near 
his person. In addition to this, he was not only very 
widely known, but was held in high repute by the whole 
Cree nation as a great chief, whose wise and prudent 
opinions would carry immense weight in their Great 
Councils. 

The annual dances in which the Indians are accus- 
tomed to indulge had always been regarded as a means 



122 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

of connecting them with their heathenish past, and 
through the labours of the missionaries and Tom Quinn, 
the Indian Agent, who were among the victims of the 
Frog Lake massacre, these customs were fast falling into 
disuse; but with the return of Big Bear the "Thirst Dance" 
was revived with all its revolting features. These dances 
take upon themselves the nature of religious ceremonies, 
and the more enthusiastic of the devotees subject them- 
selves to tortures of the most painful character as a part 
of the regular programme. The "Thirst Dance" is nearly 
or quite identical with the Sun Dance of the Sarcees in 
which the young men make incisions in their backs and 
passing a cord under the skin allow themselves to be 
hung up by the loop thus formed, for such a length of 
time that it would seem incredible to one who had not 
seen one of these horrible ceremonies. 
; A fairly accurate estimate of the total number of 
Indians in the Fort Pitt Agency at this time is as 
follows : 

Big Bear, with a band of five hundred and twenty, 
located nowhere in particular, but spending most of his 
time roaming about between Fort Pitt and Battleford. 

See-kas-kootch, with a band of one hundred and 
seventy-six, located at Onion Lake. 

Pay-moo-tay-a-soo, with a band of twenty-eight, 
located at Onion Lake. 

Sweet Grass, with eighteen, at Onion Lake. 

Thunder Companion, with five, at Onion Lake. 

Wee-mis-ti-coo-seah-wasis, with one hundred and 
thirteen, at Frog Lake. 

O-nes-pow-hay, with seventy-three, at Frog Lake. 

Pus-keah-ke-win, with thirty- one, at Frog Lake. 

Kee-hee-win, with one hundred and forty-six, at 
Long Lake. 

Chipewagan, with one hundred and twenty, at Cold 
Lake. 

In all about one thousand two hundred. 



THE FALL OF FORT PITT. 123 

The following is a detailed list of the Mounted Police 
left to hold Fort Pitt and its valuable supplies and stores 
against Big Bear : 

Inspector Dickens, F. J., appointed inspector 4th 
November, 1874. 

Staff-Sergeant Rolph, J. W., engaged 16th September, 
1884, at Regina. 

Sergeant Martin, J. A., re-engaged 3rd November, 
1884, at Battletord. 

Corporal Sleigh, R. B., engaged 7th June, 1881, at 
Fort Walsh. 

Constables Anderson, Win., engaged 10th April, 1882, 
at Toronto. 

Carroll, J. W., engaged 7th June, 1881, at Fort 
Walsh. 

Edmons, H. A., engaged 15th April, 1882, at Toronto. 

Hobbs, R, engaged 7th June, 1881, at Fort Walsh. 

Ince, R., engaged 18th April, 1882, at Toronto. 

Leduc, F., engaged 22nd April, 1882, at Toronto. 

Lionais, G., engaged 9th May, 1882, at Winnipeg. 

Loasby, C., engaged 12th July, 1883, at Winnipeg. 

McDonald, J. A., engaged 29th April, 1882, at Toronto. 

Philips, C., engaged 20th April, 1882, at Toronto. 

Quigley, J., engaged 8th May, 1882, at Toronto. 

Roby, F., re-engaged 9th June, 1884, at Battleford. 

Rowley, Geo., engaged 16th October, 1881, at 
Qu'Appelle. 

Robertson, R. H., engaged 4th November, 1882, at 
Regina. 

Rutledge, R., engaged 3rd April, 1882, at Toronto. 

Smith, Wm., engaged 29th November, 1882, at Regina. 

Tector, John, engaged 10th April, 1882, at Toronto. 

Warren, F. F., engaged 23rd July, 1883, at Maple 
Creek. 

Constable Cowan was engaged in Toronto in April, 
1882. 

The story of the engagement is soon told. Big Bear 
and his overwhelming force approached a comparatively 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

defenceless fort on the 15th of April, and summoned the 
whites to surrender. Chief Factor McLean, of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, went into his camp for the purpose 
of persuading him, if possible, to abandon his intention of 
attacking and capturing the fort. Instead of sending 
him back with terms, however, Big Bear retained McLean 
as prisoner, and instructed him to communicate with his 
friends in the fort by letter. Awed by the overwhelming 
disparity in the relative strength of the opposing parties, 
Mr. McLean wrote to his family and the other white 
settlers who were under the protection of the police to 
surrender themselves to the Indians, and come into the 
Indian camp, as Big Bear contemplated an almost immed- 
iate attack on the fort. Yielding to the Hudson Bay 
officer's persuasion and their own fears, the settlers, 
unhappily for themselves, deserted the protection of 
Inspector Dickens and his gallant little band, and left 
them as they no doubt supposed to a fate similar to that 
which had overtaken the unfortunate white settlers at 
Frog Lake. 

Big Bear, however, decided to give the police one 
chance at least to save their lives at the cost of their 
honour and what might have been a surrender most dis- 
astrous to the loyal cause. The answer of Inspector Dick- 
ens and his handful of Mounted Policemen was in keeping 
with the character which the force has always maintained. 
They flatly refused to surrender. 

Big Bear then offered to allow them to escape pro- 
vided they would leave their own arms and the arms and 
supplies under their charge to fall into his hands. This 
they refused to do, and the attack was made. The fight 
while it lasted was a hot one. Constable Cowan was killed, 
and Lansby wounded, and for a time it looked as though 
the police must succumb, but indomitable British pluck 
and coolness at last prevailed, and the Indians were 
driven off, leaving four dead upon the field. Dickens and 
his force then, destroying everything in the shape of arms, 
ammunition, and supplies, which they could not take 



THE FALL OF FORT PITT. 125 

with them, retreated to the river and loading what they 
required into a York boat made their way down the 
stream to Battleford. No more heroic fight or successful 
defence in the face of overwhelming odds illumines the 
pages of modern history. 

The following is the list of the persons held prisoners 
by Big Bear : 

Mr. McLean, Factor, Hudson's Bay Company ; Mrs. 
McLean, Miss McLean, Miss Margaret McLean and Miss 
McLean, Master Papoman McLean, Master Willie McLean, 
Master Angus McLean, Master Duncan McLean, Master 
J. Rose McLean and infant, Mr. Stanley Simpson, Hud- 
son's Bay clerk ; Mr. Hodson, Hudson Bay cook ; Henry 
Dufresne, Hudson's Bay Company's servant; Rabisco 
Smith, Hudson Bay servant, and family of six; Mr. 
Mann, Instructor, Onion Lake, and family of five ; Rev. 
Mr. and Mrs. Quinney, Episcopal missionary, Onion Lake ; 
Na-co-tan and family, three friendly Indians; three 
squaws, friendly; Malcolm McDonald, Hudson Bay Com- 
pany's servant ; Penderun and family of six. 

Prisoners taken at Frog Lake : Mrs. John Delaney, 
Ottawa, instructor's wife ; Peter St. Luke, and family of 
five ; Mrs. Gowanlock, Mr. James Simpson and family of 
three, Hudson Bay agent ; Mr. Cameron, Hudson Bay 
clerk ; Otto Dufresne, cook, Indian Department, origin- 
ally from Montreal, fifty-seven years in employ of Hud- 
son's Bay Company ; Pierre, a French-Canadian. 

Before the Mounted Police evacuated Fort Pitt, Big 
Bear sent a letter to Sergeant Martin, a copy of which is 
as follows: 

FORT PITT, April 14, 1885. 
Sergeant Martin, N.W.M.P.: 

MY DEAR FRIEND, Since I have met you long ago 
we have always been good friends, and you have from 
time to time given me things. That is the reason why 
that I want to speak kindly to you, so please try to get 
off from Fort Pitt as soon as you can, and tell your cap- 



126 CANADA'S NOKTH-WEST REBELLION. 

tain that I remember him well. For since the Canadian 
Government have had me to starve in this country, he 
sometimes gave me food. I do not forget the last time I 
visited Pitt, he gave me a good blanket; that is the 
reason that I want you all out without any bloodshed ; 
we had a talk, I and my men, before we left camp, and 
we thought the way we are doing now the best. That is 
to let you off, if you would go, so try and get away before 
the afternoon, as the young men are all wild and hard to 
keep in hand. 

(Signed) BIG BEAR. 

P.S. You asked me to keep the men in camp last 
night and I did so, so I want you to get off to-day. 

BIG BEAR. 

The document in question was written by a white 
prisoner at the dictation of the old chief 



CHAPTER XVI. 

. -* * 

THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 

news of the fall of Fort Pitt and the brilliant and 
_ successful retreat of Inspector Dickens, was hardly 
received and comprehended ere its interest was eclipsed by 
an event whose importance altogether overshadowed it. 
Middleton's force was on the move and every day threat- 
ened to bring the opposing forces within rifle shot of each 
other. While no one doubted that our volunteers were as 
brave as any untrained soldiers that ever shouldered a 
rifle, there was no overlooking the fact that while they 
were thoroughly raw so far as active service was con- 
cerned, their enemies were for the most part men who 
were not only inured to all the rigours of the climate and 
to all sorts of hardships, but who had been under fire 
again and again, and who were thoroughly versed in 
everything pertaining to prairie and bush fighting. 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 127 

General Middleton had divided his force into two 
columns and was advancing down both banks of the South 
Saskatchewan, determined if possible to preclude the 
possibility of escape should the rebels decide that it 
would be better to run than fight. 

The force was divided as follows : 

On the left or west bank of the river under the com- 
mand of Col. Montizambert, with Lord Melgund as Chief 
of Staff, was the following force : 

French's Scouts 25 

Winnipeg' Battery 52 

Royal Grenadiers 250 

Teamsters 80 

Total 407 

The right column on the east side of the river with 
Lix-Col. Houghton as Chief of Staff was composed as 
follows : 

90th Battalion. Wi .T?r. ...... 304. 

A Battery . . 120 

C Infantry 40 

Boulton's Mounted Corps 60 

Teamsters 60 

Total 584 

On the morning of the 24th of April these two 
columns were advancing down the Saskatchewan about 
a mile and a -half from the river banks on either side. 

In order that the reader may understand the nature 
of the ground on which the battle took place a few lines 
of description will be necessary. It must be borne in 
mind that except in a very limited sense the term 
" Valley of the South Saskatchewan " is a misnomer. The 
river runs through the upland prairie in something more 
like a canon than a valley. It drains the country 



128 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

through which it runs not by the watershed off slowly 
sloping banks, but by means of creeks, ravines and 
coulees, which gather the surface water into their deep 
narrow channels and fall into the main stream at various 
angles. Of course each creek or coulee makes a sudden 
and very deep indentation or break in the river's bank, 
but between these the banks are usually of about the 
same level as the surrounding prairie, with only narrow 
and irregular patches of bottom lands bordering the 
stream itself. Many of these ravines and coulees which 
were continually being crossed were lined with stunted 
poplars, cotton woods and grey willows; and bluffs or grooves 
were numerous on the level uplands. 

Prior to the fight Dumont with one hundred 
and twenty-five Half-breeds and Indians had been 
retreating slowly before General Middleton's right 
column on the east bank of the river, their 
scouts keeping them informed of our movements. 
Dumont appears to have thought of waiting for us to 
attack him on Thursday night; at least that is the belief 
of Middleton's scouts who saw some of his mounted men 
signalling to him all the afternoon on Thursday. How- 
ever that may be, he lay waiting at the edge of a big 
coulee near Fish Creek early on Friday morning, his men 
being snugly stowed away behind boulders, or concealed 
in the dense everglades of grey willow, birch, and poplar. 

When Boulton's scouts first found the enemy, at 9.15 
o'clock, they rode back three miles to the main column. 
Captain Wise, General Middleton's adjutant, at once came 
up, and ordered the troops to advance. The men gave a 
loud cheer and then struck out, extending their formation 
as they neared the edge of the coulee, from which puffs of 
smoke were already curling up, twenty of Dumont's men, 
with Winchesters, firing over a natural shelf or parapet 
protected by big boulders. The column was divided into 
two wings, the left consisting of B and F Companies of 
the 90th, with Boulton's mounted corps, and the right of 
the rest of the 90th, A Battery, and C School of Infantry. 



THE BATTLE OF PISH GREEK. 129 

The left wing, F Company leading, came under fire first. 
As the men were passing by him, General Middleton 
shouted out : 

" Men of the 90th, don't bend your heads. If I had 
been bending my head I should have had my brains 
knocked out," he added, touching his cap where a rebel's 
bullet had pierced it but a moment before. 

The men were bending down, partly to avoid the 
shots and partly because they were running over the 
uneven, scrubby ground. A,.C, and D Companies of the 
90th, with A Battery and the School of Infantry, were on 
the right, the whole force forming a huge half-moon 
around the mouth of the coulee. The brush was densely 
thick, and as rain was falling, the smoke hung in clouds 
a few feet off the muzzles of the rifles. 

Here the 90th lost heavily. Ferguson was the first 
to fall. The bandsmen came up and carried off the 
injured to the rear, where Dr. Whiteford and other sur- 
geons had extemporized a small camp, the men being laid, 
some on camp stretchers and some on rude beds of 
branches and blankets. E company of the 90th, under 
Captain Whitla, guarded the wounded and the ammuni- 
tion. General Middleton appeared to be highly pleased 
with the bearing of the 90th as they pushed on, and 
repeatedly expressed his admiration. He seemed to 
think, however, that the men exposed themselves unne- 
cessarily. When they got near the coulee in skirmishing 
order, they fired while lying prostrate, but some of them, 
either through nervousness or a desire to get nearer the 
unseen enemy, kept rising to their feet, and the moment 
they did so Dumont's men dropped them with bullets or 
buckshot. The rebels, on the other hand, kept low. They 
loaded, most of them having powder and shot bags, below 
the edge of the ravine or behind the thicket, and then 
popped up for an instant and fired. They had not time 
to take aim except at the outset, when the troops were 
advancing. 
8 



ISO CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Meanwhile the right wing had gone into action also. 
Two guns of A Battery under Captain Peters dashed up 
at 10.40 o'clock, and at once opened on the coulee. A 
couple of old barns far back to the right were knocked 
into splinters at the outset, it being supposed that rebels 
were concealed there ; and three haystacks were bowled 
over and subsequently set on fire by the shells or the 
fuses. Attention was then centred on the ravine. At 
first, however, the battery's fire had no effect, as from the 
elevation on which the guns stood, the shot went whizzing 
over it. Dumont had sent thirty men to a small bluff, 
covered with boulders and scrub, within four hundred 
and fifty yards of the battery, and these opened a sharp 
fire. The battery could not fire into this bluff without 
running the risk of killing some of the 90th, who had 
worked their way up towards the right of it. Several 
men of A were struck here. The rebels saw that their 
sharpshooters were causing confusion in this quarter, and 
about twenty of them ran clear from the back of the 
ravine past the fire of C and D Companies to the bluff, 
and joined their comrades in a rattling fusilade on A. 
Fortunately only a few of them had Winchesters. A 
moved forward a little, and soon got the measure of the 
ravine. The shrapnel screeched in the air, and burst 
right in among the brush and boulders, smashing the 
scraggy trees, and tearing up the moss that covered the 
ground in patches. The rebels at once saw that the game 
was up in this quarter, though they kept up a bold front 
and seldom stopped firing except when they were dodging 
back into new cover. In doing this they rarely exposed 
themselves, either creeping on all fours or else running 
a few yards in the shelter of the thicket and then 
throwing themselves flat on the ground again, bobbing 
up only when they raised their heads and elbows to fire. 

The shrapnel was too much for them, and they began 
to bolt towards the other side of the ravine, where our 
left wing was peppering them. This move was the first 
symptom of weakness they had exhibited, and General 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CKEEK. 131 

Middleton at once took advantage of it and ordered the 
whole force to close in upon them, his object apparently 
being to surround them. The rebel commander, how- 
ever, was not to be caught in that way. Instead of 
bunching all his force on the left away from the fire of 
the artillery, he sent only a portion of it there to keep 
our men busy while the rest tailed off to the north, retir- 
ing slowly as our two wings closed on them. Dumont 
was evidently on the look-out for the appearance of 
Colonel Montizambert's force from the other side of the 
river, and in adopting the movement just described, he 
completely disposed of our chances of cutting him off. 

The general advance began at 1 1.45 a.m., Major Buchan 
of the 90th leading the right wing and Major JBoswell of 
the same corps the left. When the rebels saw this a 
number of them rushed forward on the left of the ravine, 
and the fighting for a time was carried on at close quar- 
ters, the enemy not being over sixty yards away. An 
old log hut and a number of barricades, formed by placing 
old trees and brushwood between the boulders, enabled 
them to make it exceedingly warm for our men for a 
time. At this point several of the 90th were wounded, 
and General Middleton himself had a narrow escape. 
Captains Wise and Doucet, of Montreal, the General's 
adjutants, were wounded about this time. C Infantry 
behaved remarkably well all through, and bore the brunt 
of the general advance for some time, the buckshot from 
the rebels doing much damage. The rebel front was soon 
driven back, but neither here nor at any other time could 
their loss be ascertained, though it must have been nearly 
as large as ours, considering that the artillery had full 
fling at them for a while. The Indians among them, who 
were armed with guns, appeared to devote themselves 
mainly to shooting at our horses. A good many Indians 
were hit, and every time one of them was struck the 
others near him raised a loud shout, as if cheering. The 
troops pressed on gallantly, and the rebel fire slackened 
and after a time died away, though now and then their 



132 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

front riflemen made a splurge, while the others made their 
way back. Captain Forrest, of the 90th, headed the 
advance at this point. Lieutenant Hugh J. Macdonald, 
(*?on of Sir John Macdonald), of this company, who had 
done excellent service all day, kept well up with Forrest, 
the two being ahead of their men, and coming in for a 
fair share of attention from the retreating rebels. Mac- 
donald was first reported as killed and then as wounded, 
but he was not injured, though struck on the shoulder by 
spent buckshot. Forrest's hat was shot off. 

Just before the general advance was ordered General 
Middleton sent a signal officer to the river to bring over 
the Grenadiers, wjio were with the left column, under 
Colonel Montizambert and Lord Melgund. They had 
heard the firing of the artillery early in the forenoon, and 
the Grenadiers, with the Winnipeg Field Battery, had 
been ordered to the river, skirmishers going in advance, 
and French's scouts watching the north, where it was 
supposed another body of the rebels was hovering. The 
troops had a good five-mile march. They headed for the 
spot where the artillery firing was loudest, and at noon 
were at the river bank. General Middleton's messengers 
at once signalled them to cross, and they came over in a 
scow. By 1.15 o'clock the Grenadiers had crossed. They 
were eager to get into action, but by this time Dumont's 
men were retreating. The Grenadiers, however, were 
pushed on, and soon joined the 90th and C, their arrival 
being greeted with tremendous cheering, to which they 
responded by hoisting their head-gear on their bayonets 
and cheering in reply. 

The rebels now emerged from the woods at the end of 
a second ravine, behind the one in which they had fought 
so toughly, and about a mile from the advancing troops. 
A Battery sent a couple of shells after them, but most of 
the rebels had their horses tethered behind a clump of 
trees, and they rode away shouting and defiantly brand- 
ishing their guns. This was at 2.30 o'clock. 

The infantry could not, of course, follow mounted 
men, and Boulton's scouts were not numerous enough to 

I 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 133 

attempt a pursuit. The whole force was, therefore, 
ordered to halt, and at 3.30 it marched back a little to the 
south of the ravine where the fight began, and close to 
the river, where dinner was prepared, and the men 
repaired damages after their hard day's work. The 
Winnipeg Field Battery arrived from across the river, 
and, with the Grenadiers, gave the best they had to their 
gallant comrades of the 90th, A, and C. Camp was 
pitched here for the night. Just below the camp was the 
rough field hospital, in charge of Dr. Orton and others, 
who were busy with the wounded. Nurses were drafted 
and everything made comfortable for the poor fellows. 
Rain had fallen from time to time during the day, and 
about 8 p. m. a heavy storm of rain, hail, and lightning, 
with terrific thunder, passed over the camp. Double 
guards were put on, and pickets and vedettes posted 
everywhere, the General taking the utmost care to protect 
the troops in case the rebels returned. Nothing was seen 
or heard of them, however, except when a small mounted 
party of them approached the outer pickets and cheered. 

Dumont was not seen during the fight, but one of our 
scouts saw him riding off after all was over. His direct- 
ing hand was plainly seen, however, as nobody else on 
Kiel's side could have arranged the rebel plans or picked 
the ground so well. The rebel movements appeared to be 
directed by long, low whistles. General Middleton said 
it was like the piping of a boatswain. Occasionally they 
could be heard shouting to each other to " Keep back," 
"Goon," "This way," "Fire lower," "Fire higher," etc., 
but during the serious part of the day they fought in grim 
silence. The rapidity with which some of them loaded 
their shot-guns with the old-fashioned powder-horns and 
paper wadding was truly marvellous. A few of them 
who had Winchesters ran from one part of the ravine to 
the other, strengthening their line as circumstances 
directed. General Middleton says they are finer skirmish- 
ers and bush-fighters than he ever imagined them to be. 

A correspondent writing the night after the fight says : 
" The buckshot made very ugly and painful wounds. 



134 CANADA'S NORTH- WEST REBELLION. 

Old-style leaden balls were also fired with considerable 
effect. Had the rebels been armed with Sniders they 
would have wiped us out in short order from the shelter 
which they occupied." 

The following is General Middleton's official report of 
the engagement : 

To the Hon. A. P. Caron : 

FROM FISH CREEK, twenty-five miles ) 

north of Clarke's Crossing, N.W.T., April 24. J 

I have had an affair with the rebels at this spot, on 
the east bank of the river. My advanced scouts were 
fired upon from a bluff, but we managed to hold our own 
till the main body arrived, when I took measures to repel 
the attack, which was over about 2.30 p.m. We have 
captured a lot of their ponies, and have three or four 
apparently Indians and Half-breeds in the corner of a 
bluff who have done a great deal of mischief, being evi- 
dently their best shots ; and as I am unwilling to lose 
more men in trying to take them, I have surrounded the 
bluff and shall wait until they have expended their 
ammunition to take them. Lord Melgund joined me as 
soon as he could from the other side of the river with the 
10th Royals and the Winnipeg half battery, but the affair 
was over before the most part of the left column had 
crossed, as it is a work of difficulty to cross. I have 
ordered the rest to follow, and shall march to-morrow 
with the united force on Batoche's. The troops behaved 
very well in this their first affair. The killed and 
wounded are, I deeply regret to say, too numerous. 
They are as follow : 

KILLED. 

Private Hutchinson, No. 1 Company 90th. 
Private Ferguson, No. 1 Company 90th. 
Private Ennis, No. 4 Company 90th, 
Gunner Demanoilly, A Battery. 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 135 

WOUNDED. 

Captain Clarke and Lieutenant Swinford, 90th, seri- 
ously. 

Captain Wise, A.D.C., and Lieutenant Doucett, A.D.C., 
one in the leg and the other in the arm. 

Mounted Infantry D'Arcy Baker and Lieutenant 
Bruce, seriously ; Captain Gardner, two wounds, not very 
serious ; C. F. King, H. P. Porin, J. Langf ord. 

A Battery Gunner Asseltine, Gunner Erneye, Acting- 
Bombardier Taylor, Sergeant- Major McWinney, Driver 
Harrison, Private P. H. Wilson, E. G. Maunsell, Private 

C. Ainswoi th, very seriously ; Walter Woodman. 

C School of Infantry Arthur Watson, very seriously 
(since dead), R. H. Dunn, H. Jones, Colour-Sergeant R. 
Gumming, R. Jones. 

90th Regiment Corporal Lefchbridge, C Company; 
Private Kemp, A Company, very seriously ; Corporal B. 

D. Code, C Company ; Private Hartop, F Company ; 
Private A. Blackwood, C. Company ; Private Canniif, C 
Company ; Private W. W. Mathews, A Company ; Pri- 
vate Lovell, F Company. 

I do not know what the loss of the enemy was, but I 
doubt not it was pretty severe, though from their great 
advantage of position and mode of fighting it might well 
be less than ours. I shall proceed to-morrow after bury- 
ing the dead and sending the wounded back to Clarke's 
Crossing. By moving on this side I lose the telegraph 
line, but I shall keep up constant communication by 
Clarke's Crossing if possible. I regret very much the 
wounding of my two A.D.C.'s. Captain Wise's horse was 
shot previously to his being wounded. 

(Signed) FRED. MIDDLETON, 

Major-General commanding the North- West Field Force. 

A corrected list of the killed and wounded in this 
engagement stands as follows : 



136 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

KILLED. 

Lieutenant Swinford, 90th. 

Private Hutchinson, No. 1 Company, 90th. 

Private Ferguson, No. 1 Company, 90th. 

Private Ennis, No. 4 Company, 90th. 

Gunner Demanoilly, A Battery. 

Arthur Watson, School of Infantry. 

D'Arcy Baker, Mounted Infantry. 

Gunner Cook, A Battery. 

Wheeler, 90th. 

Ainsworth, A Battery. 

WOUNDED. 

Captain Clarke, 90th. 

Captain Wise, A.D.C. 

Lieutenant Doucett, A.D.G. 

Lieutenant Bruce, M.L 

Captain Gardner, M.I. 

Private C. F. King, M.L 

Private H. P. Porin, M.I. 

Private J. Langford, M.I. 

Gunner Asseltine, A Battery. 

Gunner Emeye, A Battery. 

Bomhardier Taylor, A Battery. 

Sergeant- Major Mawhinney, A Battery. 

Driver Harrison. 

Private H. P. Wilson. 

Private E. Maunsell. 

Private Walter Woodman. 

Private R H. Dunn, School of Infantry. 

Private H. Jones, School of Infantry. 

Private R Jones, School of Infantry. 

Colour-Sergeant Cummings, School of Infantry. 

Corporal Lethbridge, 90th. 

Private Kemp. 

Corporal Code. 

Private Hartop. 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 137 

Private Blackwood. 

Private CannifF. 

Private W. W. Matthews. 

Private Lovell. 

Private Lane, 10th Royals. 

Private Wheeling, 10th Royals, knee dislocated. 

Private Hislop, 90th. 

Private Chambers, 90th, 

Corporal Thecker, 90th. 

Private Bouchette, 90th. 

Private Swan, 90th. 

Corporal Brown. 

Seen as it was from many points of view, the story of 
the Battle of Fish Creek can best be brought out by a 
patchwork of letters written by eye-witnesses from time 
to time, after the fight. A correspondent who, far more 
than any other correspondent with either Middleton or 
Otter, manifested an ability to perform the functions of a 
war correspondent, writes as follows : 

BATTLEFIELD OF FISH CREEK, twenty miles north of 
Clarke's Crossing, April 24. The telegraph has advised 
you of our fight here, and with the present facilities and in 
the confusion incident to the battle, with twenty wounded 
men groaning within twenty feet, and as many more too 
badly hit to groan as near by, with a scattering spray of 
fire two hundred yards in front, and the Cree war-whoops 
rising from the infernal ravine in which the Half-breeds 
and Reds are hidden, one finds little opportunity for 
finished composition. The fight commenced at 9.15 a.m., 
and in the settlement of only a few houses within five 
miles of last night's camp, the Reds and Indians number- 
ing, by guesswork, three hundred, opened fire on our 
scouts from clumps of trees, the "mattes" of the Southern 
plains. The ground is rolling down to the river bank. 
The stream is a mile and a-half west, and here and there 
are depressions, but the ravine through which Fish Creek 
takes its winding course is more than a depression its. 



138 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

depth is fully forty feet and the approaches precipitous. 
On the abutting banks of the stream itself the rebels 
have their rifle pits, and the timber in the valley, two 
hundred yards wide; completely conceals them. Ahead 
the vibrations of a war-whoop, the flash of a gun, or the 
quivering of a willow are the only objects for the marks- 
men. We hope many are killed, and as we can see fully 
a score of horses dead in the stream or on its edge, proba- 
bly our hopes are well-founded. But we killed more 
before the whole body of rebels retired into the ravine 
or fled incontinently. The heaviest loss to the loyal 
troops was on our right wing, where a party of half and 
full bloods at ten o'clock made a determined effort to turn 
our flank. They were repulsed after a hot fire. The two 
guns of A Battery got into position early, and got the 
range of the ravine and of the ground in front of the 
ravine, but the rebels were too well protected in the deep 
rifle pits, as we now suppose, to be dislodged. They shoot 
with great accuracy, and have the advantage of seeing 
their mark. General Middle ton 4ms been on his horse and 
along the entire line time and time again. He has been 
a constant mark, and one bullet struck his cap, missing 
the left, temporal bone by about a quarter of an inch. 
Captain Doucet, Aide- de- Camp, and brother-in-law of the 
General, had an ugly not dangerous flesh wound in the 
right arm. Captain Wise, Senior Aide-de-Camp, had two 
horses killed under him, and finally, while forward with 
C Company on the edge of the ravine, was shot through 
the right foot, the ball, a 44-calibre Winchester carbine, 
flattening like putty against the bone. Everybody has 
behaved with the greatest gallantry, and would long ago 
have cleared the ravine at the point of the bayonet, had 
General Middleton permitted. This, up to now he has 
not done, declining to sacrifice more, lives than are abso- 
lutely necessary. Some of the best shots among the rebels 
are in the bush on our right flank, and thus far the east 
end of the ravine is not covered by our artillery or skir- 
mishers. Not a movement to escape, however, could be 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 



139 



made without a withering volley from our men. Since 
the courier left for the telegraph station Captain Charley 
Swinford, of C Company, Ninetieth Battalion, has been 
mortally wounded, shot through the brain.* The French 
Count DeManally, cook for our mess, had the top of his 
head blown off by a charge of buckshot early in the 
engagement. We all fear that when the battle is ended 




OAPT. CHARLES BWlNFOBD. 

we may find a good many more dead and wounded lying, 
as DeManally does, where they fell, and in no good range 

* Captain Swinford was a favourite with all who knew him. H 
was thirty-four years of age, and in 1876 went to Winnipeg from Guelph, 
Ontario, where he resided with his parents for upwards of twenty years. 
His birthplace was at Greenwich, England. At the time of the breaking 
out of the Rebellion he was Assistant Manager of the Freehold Loan and 
Savings Company for Manitoba. 



140 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

to be brought in. The troops on the west bank of the river 
went nearly wild with excitement when the firing com- 
menced, and when the scow came down sixty men of No. 
2 Company, Royal Grenadiers, Captain Mason, made a 
rush for the brush and down the bank. Lord Melgund 
pulled once more on the bow oar and the crossing 
was quickly effected. The advance was hurried by a call 
from General Middleton for more infantry, and in two 
hours three companies of the Grenadiers were on this 
side pegging away. The guns of the Winnipeg Field 
Battery and the rest of the troops from the east side 
are now being crossed as speedily as possible. As I 
close to catch the courier, only a dropping shot is heard 
now and then, and the men are munching biscuit and 
canned beef. The shells of the artillery set fire to several 
houses on the right flank, and while they were burning 
the rebels fired slough grass on the right centre to cover 
a change of position nearer to our centre. 

FISH CREEK, April 25. Doubtless there will be as 
many accounts of this engagement, which may almost be 
dignified as a battle, as there were of that preliminary 
fight in which Crozier lost more than we did. We are 
now camped within sight of the river, and nearly a mile 
in the rear of where the action took place. The dead are 
resting under the prairie sod; the badly wounded are 
bearing their pain quietly ; those but moderately touched 
are groaning. Without being hypercritical one can find 
many faults with the result of the action of yesterday. 
Though not actually defeated, the force, five times as 
large as that of the rebels, has retired. The enemy, whom 
we came so many miles to meet, or the greater portion of 
them, are in that infernal ravine still. No man on our 
side knows the locale of their covers. No one except 
themselves has any idea of the maximum or the minimum 
of their casualty list. Every man you meet has killed 
at least two. In plain sight there are but two bodies. 
General Middleton, with mistaken kindness, did not order 
a charge through the ravine. Had he done so we would 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 141 

probably have lost twice the number in killed, but the list 
of wounded would have been smaller, and the result very 
different. Ten miles to the north of us a far more difficult 
field 4han that of yesterday's fight awaits our advance. 
The moral effect upon the Indians of the North-West 
cannot fail to be exceedingly bad. So much for the 
pessimistic side. Looking on the silver lining, one cannot 
help complimenting the troops, who fought like veterans, 
or rather better than veterans, as they exposed themselves 
time and again when there was no need. They were 
largely encouraged to this by General Middleton, who rode 
back and forward, a plain target for the enemy, one which 
they took frequent advantage of, as a ragged hole in his 
Astrachan cap will bear evidence. The country in which 
we fought : To the west runs the river, through the rough, 
deep-cut banks ; further down they are sloping and pos- 
sible of ascent ; thence eastward the country is of a semi- 
rolling character, studded with clumps of timber varying 
in area from one-half to ten acres. A mile and a-half 
from the bank runs Fish Creek, henceforth to be noted in 
Canadian history as the scene of a fruitless fight. The 
banks of the creek resemble those of the river, on a 
reduced scale, but instead of stones the land is of the 
savanna sort. Of course the creek winds, and very 
-crookedly, and equally of course, the rebels took advantage 
of one of its most abrupt turnings to make their shelter. 
In the bank furthest from us, as far as we can judge with- 
out seeing, are caves and rifle pits, ensconced in which 
they were as thoroughly safe from fire as if within the 
strongest battlements ever erected. To the right and left 
of the ravine the country is the same as that between the 
river and battle-ground. So much for the scene of 
action. It was yesterday morning when the mounted 
infantry and the scouts first felt the rebels by the token 
of a couple of shots, followed by a volley, which sent 
them back in rapid transit. C Company, of Toronto 
Infantry School, in advance of the 90th, rapidly deployed 
to the front, taking position in extended order, and firing 



142 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

at the timber from which the first shots had been discov- 
ered. Rapidly the fight became general. Our line 
extended over fully a mije of frontage in less than 
twenty minutes, the guns taking position first on the 
left centre and later on the extreme right. A well-directed 
shell fired the houses of the Half-breeds half-a-mile east 
by north of the clump of bushes in which they were first 
found, but beyond the destruction of property no harm 
was done the enemy. Infantry companies supporting 
the advance were rapidly deployed, and in a semi-circular 
fashion surrounded the enemy. 

It soon became evident to every one that the Half- 
breeds and Indians (General Middleton numbers them 
at one hundred and twenty-five), knowing their advan- 
tage of position, were determined to make it very 
hot for us. Without any reckless display of bravery 
they were able to make their fire an exceedingly 
well-directed one. Our artillery found trouble in getting 
the range of the ravine, which is heavily wooded along 
the brink, and the caves which the enemy knew of, were 
ready to receive them. As but natural with volunteer 
troops, a slight nervousness was displayed at first. This 
wore off as the shots increased in numbers, and lives were 
hazarded as recklessly as if they amounted to naught. 
Captain Peters, with a detachment of A Battery, 
started from the left centre by permission of General 
Middleton into the ravines and to the woods opposite the 
centre proper. Here they came within easy range of the 
enemy, who returned from the bluffs on the edge of the 
hill ; and here the fighting was the hottest. Meantime 
our skirmishers advanced and the rebels shied into their 
covers. The nnie-pounders kept pegging away, and of 
their moral effect no one can complain. Finding it too 
hot for him, and losing a number of men (poor Cook 
still lies in the open, dead), Peters retired to his guns, the 
rebels by this time occupying the thick brush, rifle pits 
and bluff caves. From that time until four o'clock in the 
afternoon it was a case of pot shots. You have seen 



THE BATTLE OF FISH GREEK. 143 

men shoot at a turkey half buried in the ground, the 
killer to own the bird. I can think of no better simile 
for our fight. If good luck served, the marksmen could 
see the heads and even the shoulders of their opponents, 
but the best nine times out of ten a flash of the rifle or 
<moke of the powder was the mark at which they had to 
aim. Either through forgetfulness or because they had 
a reserve supply, the rebels left a number of their ponies 
on the bank of the creek. The fire from the right centre 
soon disposed of twenty-five or thirty of them. How 
many of the enemy were killed no one knows, probably 
a dozen. When th. Royal Grenadiers came up from the 
other side they took an advanced position on the right 
centre, and although rather too close for comfort, were 
rewarded by the killing of a couple of red devils. The 
pair had evidently been sent out to see what chance of 
escape to the east presented itself. Probably more were 
sent out than the two who were killed, as at five o'clock 
the firing from the enemy had almost entirely ceased and 
there was every indication that not more than a dozen 
remained in the ravine, the larger part of the force having 
escaped to the eastward. One would naturally ask why they 
were not completely surrounded. I cannot answer the 
question any more than you can why. the thirty-five 
mounted rebels who had a parley with Howie, the inter- 
peter, were allowed to ride to the east out of their rifle 
pits and jeer at our troops, who were ordered to retire to 
the camp by the river bank. Neither can I explain why 
the scouts reported this morning that these same thirty- 
five were allowed to retire to this ravine. The hospital . 
tents were in the rear of the centre, and the accommoda- 
tions for the wounded were ample. Every comfort was 
given to those who were hit, and the doctors were cool 
and efficient. The dead whom we were able to bring 
from the field were laid beside one of the hospital tents, 
and were allowed to remain in plain view. The moral 
effect of course was bad. Later a tent flag hid the 
bullets' work. The character of the wounds was two- 



144 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

fold. Where the forty-five calibre Winchester had been 
used the orifice of the hurt was clean cut. At close quarters 
their shot guns made very jagged and terrible injuries. 
Duck shot, round ball, pieces of lead, irregular in shape, 
had been used in loading the guns, and in many instances 
the probe followed the track of one bullet, while the 
mortal wound lay in a totally different direction. Almost 
everybody as the action proceeded advanced to the edge 
of the ravine, and took a pot shot at the rebels, and many 
of the wounded have to thank their temerity for their 
sufferings. Captain Wise, Middleton's aide, after losing 
two horses, was struck by a ball, which evidently 
ricochetted from a stone, though they say it was flattened 
on the bone. 

A VOLUNTEER'S LETTER. 

Corporal Thos. McMullen, of No. 4 Company, Royal 
Grenadiers, sent the following letter from Fish Creek 
under date of April 28, to his father : 

I now take advantage of the little time I have to 
write, assuring you of my safety, as we fought a battle 
with Kiel's Indians on Friday, and we came out all right. 
But it was a dreadful fight, as five of the 90th were killed, 
three of A Battery, Watson, of the School, and two of 
Boulton's scouts ; poor Bob Dunn got shot three times in 
the arm. We were on the other side of the river when 
the fight started, and about four miles below the 90th's 
position. As soon as we heard the cannon firing we fell 
in and advanced in the following order : No. 1 Company 
extended in skirmishing order, No. 2 as support, Nos. 3 
and 4 reserve. When about opposite the scene of action 
we got a command to cross the river, and they had to go 
to the crossing for the scow. No. 1 crossed first, then No. 
4, followed by No. 2 ; No. 3 being left behind with the 
Winnipeg Field Battery to guard our supplies. When we 
(No. 4) arrived at the field No. 1 Company was already 
extended and advancing in splendid form. A% soon as 
we arrived Tom Mitchell, Fred. Curzon, Joe and Will 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 145 

Dent, McMurray, and myself were detailed off to join A 
Battery and we slowly crept up until we came to 
the edge of the bluff, where the enemy were 
entrenched in an impregnable position. One of the 
Battery boys was shot alongside of me, and I saw a 
Half-breed raise himself to see the result of his shot, and 
I took very good aim and fired at one hundred yards, 
but it was hard to tell if he was hit, but no more shots 
came from his rifle pit. Judge and Joe Dent were in the 
gully with me, and they are responsible for killing two 
Indians, but we could not dislodge them, and the whole 
force retired four hundred yards and encamped with the 
exception of ourselves, the 10th covering the retreat for 
100 yards, where we halted and hid in a swamp, and had 
to lie (soaking wet as we were, it having rained all the 
time we were fighting) in three inches of water for one 
hour, without our overcoats. As soon as it was dark we 
rose up and had to patrol up and down until half-past 
twelve at night, when the 90th came out to relieve us, 
and we retired into the tents just vacated by them. 
When we retired from the bluff the Half-breeds followed 
us up, but as soon as we halted in the swamp they 
stopped, and kept signalling to each other all night. 
As soon as we commenced to patrol, it started to 
freeze and snow for the rest of the night. Taking 
it altogether it was a terrible night. The 90th, the 
Battery, and particularly School had about forty- 
five or fifty wounded, C having no less than fifteen, 
having been in a regular trap, which accounts for their 
heavy loss. The troops behaved in grand style, and I 
think, although we were late in action, through no fault 
of our own, that Toronto was not disgraced by her " crowd 
of toughs." No. 4 Company alone offered to charge the 
position with fixed bayonets, but General Middleton said 
there were enough good men gone, and he also said to 
our Colonel, "Well done, Grasett, I did not expect you 
so soon." We crossed the river in very quick time. There 
is one thing *bgut> our regiment, that our officers are good. 

V 



146 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

especially our Colonel, who since we started has asked 
no man to do what he would not do himself, and he 
allowed no officer to impose upon any man. Altogether 
every man is proud to be under such a man. We don't 
know when the next fight will take place, but I am sure 
we shall see some more. The 90th and A Battery went 
into the bluff on Sunday to recover the bodies of two of 
their men, and found it deserted by all but the dead, 
There were two dead Indians which the enemy were 
afraid to carry off, on account of their proximity to our 
pickets. The bluff is sloping on all sides and the Indians 
were all hidden in formidable rifle pits which were swim- 
ming in blood, telling us that many a Half-breed or Indian 
had fallen. The pits rose one upon another and were very 
neatly contrived, the Indians showing much ingenuity in 
their construction. We are lying encamped at Fish 
Creek and will remain here probably some time. 

BACK TO THE FATAL RAVINE. 

Mr. Johnston, the correspondent already quoted, fur- 
nishes the following graphic picture of a visit to the ravine 
two days after the battle, and finishes with some very 
sensible conclusions regarding the fight as seen in the 
light of cool after thoughts, and such facts as had come 
to light since the fatal day. He says : Almost every 
one was prepared to discover that the ravine was empty, 
but there was ghastliness in its silence. It proved an 
almost impregnable stronghold. The bank nearest our 
centre and left and right centres is wooded very heavily 
(none the less, the Gatling we expect on the steamer from 
Swift Current would have let daylight through it), and 
is more precipitous than a gable roof. Our fellows shud- 
dered when they saw how near they had been to the 
very muzzles of the guns of their opponents snugly lying 
in rifle-pits dug like steps all the wa^r up the bank. The 
Half-breeds and Indians could see us unless when prone 
to earth, but even he who had the hardihood to peer over 
the brink could see nothing but perhaps the flash of a 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 147 

shot gun or rifle. Their pits were three and sometimes 
five in a row, forming the finest of coverts. These hastily 
constructed safety trenches pointed up the hills, and over 
the edge the Half-breed or Indian could rest his gun and 
take steady and sure aim. Our tire was always quad- 
ruple as heavy as theirs, but we fired at a point of the 
compass from which the killing bullets came. They saved 
powder, except at the very opening of the fight, and when 
they saw a white man they tired, not before. The rifle 
pits were all along the declivity, and not a few were at 
the bottom of the gully to the right. Further up the 
stream horses, and tine ones, lay so thick that we could 
walk from body to body as if on stepping stones. I 
counted fifty-two dead animals in the ravine, some of 
them quite high upon the hill, others lying in the stream, 
but a larger share at a spot along the creek. Many of 
the animals had been tied to trees by the owners who 
charged on foot in the open ground in the early morning 
of Friday. In the woods in the rear of this equine cem- 
etery was the main camp of the Indian allies, and here 
they had killed an ox ; pieces of which, skewered and 
stuck in the ground before the fire, we found where their 
intended eaters had left them. On all sides there were 
evidences of a hurried retreat, and it now seems probable 
that the twenty-five jeering Half-breeds who showed 
themselves late in the evening were not in the ravine at 
all, but among those who made so determined an attempt 
to turn our right. Like enough from four p.m. onward 
not a dozen of the enemy lay in the ravine, and these left 
as soon as darkness had fallen. Fortunately for them 
the rain fell heavily all that night, and the darkness was 
intense so that their escape was easily effected. Although 
their position as described was almost impregnable, yet 
they must have passed several evil hours. They took 
away all their wounded, and of their dead but four 
remain ; one Teton Sioux was shot. 

Before he could reach the shelter of the hollow, one 
Cree, Beardy's son-in-law, was shot through the neart, 



148 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

and held by a tree trunk from falling into the ravine, one 
Cree on the extreme left, and a Half-breed on the upper 
flank of the right centre. As stated above, fifty-two 
horses were killed. In three of the rifle pits deep pools 
of blood remain, and in others lighter marks of injury. 
Since we have been in the ravine the general conclusion 
is that the rebel force numbered nearly three hundred 
(some of them on the extreme right) and that they had 
ten to twelve killed and wounded. They were led by 
Gabriel Dumont, and had they been provisioned with 
ammunition and arms as plentiful and good as our men, 
our casualty list, large as it was, would have been trebled. 
On our side, before the arrival of Mason's company of 
Royal Grenadiers from the other side of the river, there 
were about three hundred in action. This includes the 
Artillery, 90th Infantry, and Boulton's scouts. Probably 
General Middleton was wise in not allowing a charge, 
although we all felt that night as if we had been practi- 
cally defeated. Cook and Wheeler, whose dead bodies 
we found yesterday in the brush, got to within a few feet 
of the rebels and were killed instantly. We made a trip 
through the house in plain sight throughout the fight to 
the east of the ravine. It is owned by a widow, Marie 
Tourand, who has four Half-breed rebel sons. The house 
had been deserted in short order, and soiled plates and 
knives showed where a hurried breakfast had been taken. 
A sewing machine was standing near a chest of drawers, 
which a fuse shell had shattered into atoms. General 
Middleton strictly forbade any looting on personal 
account, but a good many provided themselves with one 
thing or another of interest as a trophy. Most of the 
horses killed had their saddles and bridles on, and this 
shows the haste in retreat, since the Half-breeds value 
such paraphernalia highly, and would not have left them 
except under stress. In several of the unburned houses 
of this longitudinal settlement known as that of St. 
Antoine de Padua, stores taken from the merchandise at 
Puck Lake were found, $nd in almost every tent in $} 



THE BATTLE OP FISH CREEK. 149 

camp you can find a French love letter. The division on 
the west side did not get their impediments until late last 
night, and the inconvenience almost amounted to suffer- 
ing. We hadn't any blankets or mess facilities. Not a 
change of apparel and the rain poured down all Friday 
night. But complaint is not the order of the day, nor is 
it likely to be when a groan from the operating table 
might intercept a growl, or the provost stop the growler 
ere he came too near to those shapeless things under the 
canvas yonder. What are we to do ? Now, I don't pre- 
tend to guess in detail, but Middleton regards the action 
as a victory, and is inclined to think we will have no more 
serious affairs. Many differ from him in both beliefs, 
but it is guess work on the part of everybody. As Fri- 
day's fight, if nothing else, put Kiel, Dumont, and all his 
abettors beyond the pale of pardon, they must fight or 
run. Dumont would much prefer the former. In one 
rifle-pit I picked up a Snider, a Peabody and a shot gun, 
No. 12 shell. The shot gun cartridges had the shot 
drawn and a couple of round balls forced in. They did 
much damage at short range and made the ugliest sort of 
wounds. 

MAJOR BUCHAN'S ACCOUNT. 

The following is a description of the infantry move- 
ments, written by Major Lawrence Buchan, of the 90th : 
The Battle of Fish Creek was peculiar from many points 
of view. One of the most striking features of it was that 
for the whole time of the engagement the infantry, or 
rifles, as the 90th Battalion are called, fought with- 
out support or reserve behind them, the whole of their 
available force, save about a dozen or so of a guard in the 
reserve ammunition train, being extended in the fighting 
line. So soon as the first shots were heard in the front 
when the enemy opened fire on the scouts, the advance 
guard, composed of F Company and a dozen men from 
other companies of the 90th were pushed to the front and 
extended in the bluffs jutting out, into the side of which 



150 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

at from two to four hundred yards distance the puffs of 
smoke, followed by the ring of the passing bullets, alone 
denoted the presence of the enemy who were concealed 
from view. A return fire at the fringe of smoke puffs 
on the outer margin of the plains was at once opened by 
the 90th men, among whom were a dozen and a-half of 
sharpshooters armed with the Martini-Henry rifle. Pre- 
sently a company of the 90th came up in support, but 
the enemy's fire was so hot and evidently increasing in 
strength to the left, that the officer in command of the 
advance guard at once extended this company to the 
right and brought them into the fighting line. Mean- 
while B and C Companies of the COth were extended in 
through the brush on the left and came to the front, 
while the Infantry School was extended iu the same man- 
ner to the right, finally appearing at the edge of the 
plain on the right of A Company, and supported by D 
Company and part of E Company. The enemy had by 
this time developed a very strong attack against our 
right at a point where the edge of the ravine in which 
they were concealed and the bluffs in which the Infantry 
School were extending came within about sixty yards of 
each other. It became evident that they intended to get 
possession of the bluff if possible. By so doing they 
could readily enfilade our centre and completely outflank 
us. To checkmate this, Company D, and the portion of 
Company E which were in support, were at once brought 
up into the bluff to" reinforce the Infantry School, as was 
also the left half of Company A, the remainder of which 
was extended further to the right, thus making the bluff 
spoken of the centre of our right defence with flanking 
parties on either side, the whole covering a front of about 
three hundred and fifty yards. At this point a very hot 
fire was directed by the enemy for about two hours, while 
our men lay quietly in the scrub, and as the rebels, after 
a deal of ki-yi-ing and whooping, would rush to the top of 
the bank and deliver their fire, our men would return it 
with interest. The enemy failing to dislodge us by their 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 151 

bullets set the prairie grass on fire at the brow of the 
hill, and as the wind was blowing towards us, the smoke 
filled our men's eyes, while the enemy had clear sight. 
Presently the fire reached the scrub, so that our men had 
to jump the flames and lie down again on the burnt and 
scorching ground. The casualties in our force were very 
heavy at this point ; three of the 90th were shot dead 
and over a dozen wounded, as well as three men of the 
Infantry School The enemy, finding that the efforts 
against us were in vain, slackened their fire, when an 
advance was ordered along the line and creeping forward 
to the brow of the ravine they were discovered in full 
retreat to the east. A few parting volleys were sent 
after them, as our men followed them, and their retreat 
being reported to the General, he ordered the artillery to 
shell them, which was shortly done, as they got behind a 
house about two thousand yards distant. The house was 
fired by the second shell, and the rebels scattered into 
the wood to the east. 

GENERAL MIDDLETON ON THE SITUATION. 

" I think you criticize me wrongly when you say I 
exposed myself unwisely last Friday/' said General Mid- 
dleton apropos of numerous strictures by almost every 
one. " I couldn't do otherwise," he continued, " I had 
green troops, and, worse still, green officers green in the 
sense that they had never been under fire before. They 
did well and bravely, but while you can drill a man into 
a soldier in a few months, it takes years to educate officers 
in whom a general commanding can have implicit confi- 
dence. If 1 had been in command of regulars, or, possibly, 
if Lord Melgund had been with me from the first, I would 
have taken a position in rear of the line of battle, set up 
my flag, and sent my orders. I would have done this, 
that is as soon as the troops had been inspired with con- 
fidence. I value my life as much as any one can, and it 
is not necessary to prove my bravery, at least in England 
where I am known, but it was necessary that I shouldn't 



152 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

dodge. By the way," pointing to his Astrachan cap with 
a smile, " if I had been ducking when that fellow hit me 
the bullet would have gone into the top of my head and 
my quietus made. If I hadn't exposed myself you would 
all have been scalped. I am in an embarrassing, but not 
a novel position. We have driven off the enemy, but by 
this enforced wait we are losing all the fruits of victory, 
while the enmy are boasting that we are afraid to move, 
and are given ample time to make further preparations 
for escape or defence. I know the effect of delay is bad, 
yet what can I do ? Here I am with nearly forty 
wounded, and the long-expected boat is not even within 
hail from one hundred miles southward. I can't move 
the wounded to Saskatoon, for that is two days' march 
away, and the one day transport to Clark's Crossing by 
waggon and rough roads may, the doctors say, result 
fatally in several cases. Send them to Clark's Crossing, 
and the wounded can't be left without a guard or without 
ample medical assistance. I can spare neither from my 
present force. I can no longer trust to the boat, but 
must order her munitions and stores forward overland. 
We have a good deal of ammunition, and oats enough for 
several days. I have no complaints to make of the trans- 
port service. It is very effective, and I should not wait 
one day longer for either. The horses couldn't starve 
before we attacked Batoche." 

The following from a correspondent's letter gives an 
idea of the feelings with which the troops regarded the 
enemies against whom they were fighting: 

"The feeling that the Half-breeds have been wronged, 
that the Government has been criminally negligent in its 
treatment of their claims, and that the politicians should 
be held accountable for the whole trouble, grows more 
deeply rooted and more widely spread. The sight of 
these comfortable homes and the coupled knowledge that 
the men who reared them, suffered the rigours of frontier 
life and fostered a love for the very soil itself, cannot get 
sufficient title to raise $10 by mortgage on one thousand 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CHEEK. 153 

acres, bring home to every man the reality of the resi- 
dents' grievances. No one defends the alliance with the 
Indians, nor do any deny the folly of the insurrection 
or counsel compromise at this stage of the proceedings, 
but feelings nearly akin to sympathy find lodgment in 
many of the bravest breasts. JHostility against Kiel is 
outspoken, because it is believed his have been the 
unwise and demagogical counsels and measures which 
have led to hardship and bloodshed. It seems paradoxi- 
cal, but it is actually probable that the men won't fight 
any the worse for this sympathy." 

It would seem from the following extract that men 
composing the left column, which was advancing down 
the west side of the river, were in no very amiable humour 
at having been practically left out of the Fish Creek 
fight. It will be seen that it was no fault of theirs they 
were not earlier on the scene : 

"The left column has probably uttered more oaths 
than any given body of men of equal number assembled 
in the last decade, and rivals the army in Flanders. They 
had been halted during the morning to wait for oats, the 
teamsters having represented to Colonel Montizambert 
that they could not move unless their horses were fed. 
About 9.30 they heard the opening of the artillery. The 
scouts hurried forward to report, if possible, what was 
going on beyond the dividing river, but soon they were 
not needed, as the roar of guns and volley-firing were 
plainly audible. The Winnipeg Field Battery was quickly 
sent to the front, Lord Melgund and Colonel Montizam- 
bert at their head, and after driving over places which in 
cooler moments would have been regarded as impassable, 
the river bank was reached. Two guns were spotted and 
held ready for the assistance of those on the opposite 
side. They were not fired, as a mounted aide hurrying to 
the opposite bank yelled across that Middleton wanted 
infantry to help him and not artillery. The scow which 
had been used in the morning to transport oats from the 
right to tho left column was hurried downward. Mason'i 



154 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Company embarked, while two companies were ordered 
to follow as quickly as possible. Lord Melgund pulled 
number one at the bow oar of this deeply sunken scow, 
sunken by reason of water in her hold, and the crossing 
was effected in less than fifteen minutes. The bank on 
the east side had an incline of about sixty degrees, but 
horses and men climbed it as if stairs had been inserted 
therein, and soon started for the scene of the action on 
the double. The advance company reached the ravine, 
and took position on the right centre before two o'clock, 
and did good service not only morally, but actually. 
The other two companies crossed as speedily as 
possible, also the other two guns of the Field Battery, 
with the detachment of A Battery, of Quebec, and by six 
o'clock all but one company of the Grenadiers of the left 
column and transport had reached this side of the 
Saskatchewan. If General Middleton made a mistake in 
dividing his force it was one into which anybody was 
liable to fall. That the enemy would make so determined 
a stand was something which neither he nor anyone else 
not omniscient could have even guessed at. The rel els 
have underrated the pluck of those they have been 
pleased to term " militia soldiery." There is no question 
whatever but that we will be at them eventually. The 
men did not get anything to eat from 7 a.m until 7 p.m., 
if a few pickled pieces of hard tack are excepted. The 
telegraph operator did not cross to the west side last 
night, and ail the despatches had to be sent to Clark's 
Crossing twenty-two miles southward. Incited thereto 
by their chief, Lieutenant L. Bedson, many of the trans- 
port teamsters took a hand in the fight, and a few of the 
good shots were in the fore front of the affair." 



THE BATTLE OF FISH CREEK. 155 

"IN MEMORIAM." 



Growing to full manhood now, 
With the care lines on our brow^ 
We, the youngest of the nations, 
With no childish lamentations, 
Weep, as only strong men weep, 
For the noble hearts that sleep, 
Pillowed where they fought and bled, 
The loved and lost, our glorious dead. 

Toil and sorrow come with age, 
Manhood's rightful heritage, 
Toil shall only make us stronger, 
Sorrow make our hearts bear longer 
All the sunderings of time ; 
Honour lays a wreath sublime, 
Deathless glory, where they bled, 
Our loved and lost, our glorious dead. 

Wild the prairie grasses wave 
O'er each hero's new-made grave, 
Time shall write such wrinkles o'er us. 
But the future spreads before us, 
Glorious in that sunset land ; 
Nerving every heart and hand, 
Comes a brightness none can shed 
But the dead, the glorious dead. 

Lay them where they fought and fell, 
Every heart shall ring their knell, 
For the lessons they have taught us, 
For the glory they have brought us, 
Tho' our hearts are sad and bowed, 
Nobleness still makes us proud, 
Proud of light their names shall shed 
In the roll call of our dead 



156 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Growing to full manhood now, 
With the care lines on our brow, 
We, the youngest of the nations, 
With no childish lamentations, 
Weep, as only strong men weep, 
For the noble hearts that sleep, 
Where the call of duty led, 
Where the lonely prairies spread. 
Where for us they fought and bled, 
Our loved, our lost, our glorious dead. 



CHAPTER XVII 

BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 

WHILE the Battle of Fish Creek was still an absorb- 
ing topic from Halifax to Victoria, and while 
Middleton was preparing to advance on the enemy's posi- 
tion at Batoche, Colonel Otter was making ready for 
taking the aggressive with his column. Though there is 
no satisfactory evidence that Poundmaker had taken any 
active part in the rising at Battleford up to this time, it 
was known that there was a considerable body of Indians 
besides his own band camped on his reserve, that they 
had a large band of settlers' cattle feeding near their 
camp, and that they were living on the fat of the land 
generally, while Colonel Otter and his men were not 
faring particularly well at Battleford, 

What Colonel Otter expected to accomplish by attack- 
ing the great Cree chief on his own reserve is not now, 
and in all probability never will be, properly understood. 
Be this as it may the result was far from being satisfac- 
tory. In spite of all the despatches to the contrary, 
when the whole truth became known, it was found that 
with about three hundred men, one Gatling and two 
seven-pounders, Colonel Otter surprised Poundmaker, 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 157 

who had about two hundred and fifty poorly armed 
Indians and Half-breeds, and that after a sharp contest 
of some seven hours' duration he was compelled to make 
a hurried retreat, and that it was mainly owing to Pound- 
maker's forbearance that the retreating column was not 
cut to pieces. Of course every one who saw the fight, or 
thought he saw it, had a different story to tell ; but take 
all the accounts from both sides and weigh them fairly, 
and the above will be found to be pretty nearly the only 
conclusion that can be arrived at. 

It was not till after dinner on Friday, 1st May, that 
it became known in the police barracks that Colonel 
Otter intended moving out that day. The question as to 
when the expedition would start had been the engrossing 
subject of speculation ever since the arrival there on the 
23rd April. On Tuesday the Colonel announced the corps 
that had been selected to form the column to proceed to 
Poundmaker's, but then it was not generally believed 
that an early start would be made. Scouts had already 
brought in particulars of the position taken up by the 
Indians, and Bresaylor, a Half-breed who came to the 
lines on Wednesday, and was arrested as a suspected 
spy, gave further information. He said he had been 
taken prisoner by the Indians, and escaped. The force 
at Poundmaker's, he said, was not more than three 
hundred and fifty braves. On the following day, Thurs- 
day, Mr. McArthur, a surveyor, of Edmonton, came in to 
the camp and said that he too had just escaped from the 
Indians at Poundmaker's. He had left Edmonton unaware 
of the rising of the Indians, and had walked right into 
their hands. For the most part he corroborated the 
Half-breed's story, and the latter then gained more 
credence. This was the whole of the information that 
Colonel Otter possessed of the position and strength of 
the enemy, and as the stories of scouts, Half-breed, and 
surveyor agreed in the main, there was every reason to 
believe that it was as nearly correct as possible. 



158 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



It was past three o'clock on Friday afternoon when the 
long column of teams, forty in number, with the Mounted 
Police and scouts under Superintendent Herchmer * and 
Inspector Neale in advance, moved out of the camp on 
south side of the Battle River in the direction of Pound- 
maker's. Following the police came the artillery with 




COLONEL HEHCHMEB. 

the Gatling and two seven-pounders, under Major Short 
Captains Farley and Rutherford, and Lieutenants Pelletier 

# Superintendent Herchmer, one of the most effective and dashing 
officers of the North-West Mounted Police, is a native of Kingston, where 
he had attained to the rank of a volunteer Colonel before leaving for the 
North-West. As an officer of the North-West Mounted Police he has 
always been very highly esteemed by his fellow-officers as well as the men 
under his command. Kind hearted, courteous and brave even to rashness ; 
be ia just the sort of man for a leader of red-coated prairie troopers. 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CRKEK. 159 

and Prower. After them came in succession C Com- 
pany Infantry School, under Lieutenant Wadmore and 
Lieutenant Cassels (attached from Q.O.R., during the 
expedition) ; Ottawa Foot Guards, under Lieutenant 
Gray; No. 1 Company, Queen's Own, under Captain 
Brown, Captain Hughes and Lieutenant Brock ; ammu- 
nition teams, forage and provision teams, and the Battle- 
ford Rifles, under Captain Nash and Lieutenants Marigold 
and Baker, bringing up the rear. 

As the column moved out the men who had been left 
behind gave a parting cheer, and in a few minutes the 
intervening woods shut out the sight of the camp ground. 
Rain was dribbling, but the sky soon cleared. The trail 
ran through an uneven country, with high hills covered 
densely with poplar and underbrush on the left and the 
river on the right in a north-westerly direction. It was 
just such a tract as the Indian delights most to fight in. 
Coulees or ravines were crossed in endless succession, and 
the poplar and underbrush that grew thickly up to the 
trail in many places was impenetrable for any consider- 
able distance with the eye, and in it might lurk a 
thousand redskins within fifty yards without being seen, 
despite all the care and sharpness of the scouts, who 
scoured the country, wherever it was possible, for half-a- 
mile on either side. The distance to Poundmaker's was 
thirty-five miles, and by seven o'clock the column had 
made half the journey, and halted to await the rising of 
the moon. The teams were corralled in an open piece of 
ground surrounded with underbrush at a distance of 
probably three hundred yards on all sides. Fires were lit, 
and the men got twenty-four hours' rations of canned 
corned beef, hard-tack and tea. About the fires they whiled 
away the time till eleven o'clock, chatting about the 
chances of surprising the Indians in the morning. They 
were all unquestionably eager for a brush with them, a 
fact which was plainly evidenced by the impetuosity 
with which they set upon the foe in the morning when 
the engagement began. The clouds had cleared almost 



160 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

entirely from the sky when the moon began to peep over 
the horizon. But it had grown chilly and the fires were 
kept blazing brightly for the warmth they gave. At 
half -past eleven the teams were all harnessed and shortly 
afterwards strung out in a long column, winding at a 
quick walk over the trail to Poundmaker's. The men 
made themselves as comfortable as possible in the wag- 
gons, but the rugged nature of the trail made any 
attempt at sleep futile. The scouts still kept well to 
their work, for the moon, just beginning to wane in a 
clear sky, rendered it almost as bright as day. A large 
number of the men, in order to keep themselves warm, 
walked alongside the waggons during the night. The 
trail was running through a more open country, at inter- 
vals there being some long stretches of flat, grass-covered 
land with only here and there a clump of red willow. 
The glow in the east was observable long before the 
almanacs ascribed to the sun any intention of rising. At 
length it rose redly, and just as it tipped the horizon the 
hollow was reached where the Indians had been encamped 
according to the reports of the scouts, three days pre- 
viously. The place gave every indication of having been 
very recently vacated, and it was thought by many that, 
learning ot our approach, they had hastily retreated. 
There was strong disappointment expressed, for the boys 
were anxious for a fight. 

The column advanced through this hollow, and the 
trail then led them through a deep gully several hundred 
yards wide, densely wooded with poplar and willow 
underbrush, through which the Cut Knife Creek wound 
its tortuous course. The creek is probably eight or ten 
yards wide, two and a-half feet deep, with a swift cur- 
rent. Into this gully the column passed without hesitation. 
The men knew they were in the heart of the enemy's 
stronghold, and might expect to come in view of them at 
any moment. That was just what was wanted. There 
was not long to wait. Immediately that the column got 
into the gully the men could see to the left, on the slope 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 161 

of one of the high, rolling hills that led up from the gully, 
two or three dozen head of cattle calmly grazing. The 
Indians were known to have driven away some hundreds 
of them from the settlers, and it was even thought that 
in the haste of their flight they had left these behind. 
The column, as it went through the winding path in the 
gully, was somewhat straggling. The scouts went along 
considerably in advance, up a long but not precipitous 
incline, which carried the trail to the head of the Cut 
Knife Hill, on the opposite side. While passing through 
the gully a glimpse could be got of the tops of the Indians' 
teepees, or wigwams, on the summit of a high hill, 
removed a considerable distance to the left. There was 
now no doubt about the presence of the Indians, and the 
word went along the column, " There they are." One or 
two mounted Indians also now could be seen on the top 
of a hill to the left. The creek which had been crossed 
is called by the Indians Cut Knife Creek, and the hill 
upon which Colonel Otter made his stand Cut Knife Hill, 
in commemoration of the defeat by the Crees of the 
Blackfoot chief Cut Knife and his braves, which took 
place there. 

When the scouts reached the summit of Cut Knife 
Hill, over which the trail ran, they were seen to draw 
back and take shelter behind some willows on the brow 
of the hill. The ' Mounted Police, Colonel Herchmer 
leading, came up almost at once, followed by the artillery, 
C Company, the Guards, and Queen's Own close behind, 
but the rest of the teams were still well down the incline, 
and the rear teams with the Battleford Rifles not }^et 
half-way over the gully. The scouts, Mounted Police, 
and artillery advanced immediately. 

In a moment the rattle of rifle shots was heard. The 
fight had begun by the Indians firing on the police and 
scouts. Those on the incline could not see the enemy, 
but their presence was no longer in doubt. The artillery 
pushed at once to the front, and brought their guns ii.to 
position. The bulk of the enemy engaged was not more 
10 



162 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

than one hundred and fifty yards away, sheltered in the 
uhderbrus^ of a coulee on the left slope of the hill the 
attacking lorce had ascended. The garrison division of 
B Battery, under Captain Farley and Lieutenants Pelle- 
tier and Prower, were instantly extended in skirmishing 
order on the brow of the hill, and began to reply to the 
enemy's fire, dropping flat on their faces, only their heads 
appearing over the crest as marks for the enemy. The 
police at once took up similar positions, having dismounted 
and placed their horses in a slight hollow on the incline 
up which they had come. They were no sooner extended 
in this position than thirty or forty Indians made a rush 
up the hill on to the guns. The danger of the position 
was tremendous. Had they gained that hill-top and 
captured the guns, they could have dealt certain destruc- 
tion to the column advancing up the hill. Major Short 
saw the danger instantly, and called on the men about 
him to repel the charge. They responded without a 
moment's hesitation, Major Short, revolver in hand, lead- 
ing the way. The Indians rattled into them as soon as 
they appeared on the hill-top. The distance was thirty 
yards, and some of the more daring Red- skins had got to 
within half that distance. One of these the Major shot 
at once. The Indians kept the fire up for two or three 
rounds, and then retreated pell-mell to their cover. The 
Indians, as they rushed for the guns, would throw their 
blankets high over their heads to draw our fire, then 
dropping down would deliver a volley, and repeat the 
same tactics every time. Besides the fire of the attacking 
party, the bullets were whistling in scores from a cover 
two hundred yards off. Before our men could get back 
to cover again, Corporal Sleigh, of the Mounted Police, 
lay dead on the field, Lieutenant Pelletier had been shot 
through the thigh, and Sergeant Gaffney and Sergeant 
Ward wounded. Major Short had a close call, with a 
bullet-hole through his wedge cap. Immediately that the 
firing was heard by those behind, they rushed up the hill. 
The order was given to extend in skirmishing order. The 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 163 

men were in line in a moment. The Queen's Own and 
Ottawa Foot Guards went to the left until the enemy 
came in view. Dropping down they narrowly escaped a 
hot volley from the enemy, sent in as soon as they 
appeared. The main body of C Company were turned to 
the right, to cut off the fire of the Indians, which was 
beginning to come in hotly from over a deep ravine that 
ran only about twenty yards from the trail, and, for a 
distance, almost parallel with it. The Battleford Rifles 
had jumped from the teams at once when the firing began, 
and started on a run up the incline. Most of them were 
called back to protect the rear teams going up to the 
slight hollow on the trail, when they were drawn up in a 
bunch. No sooner had the teams got up than the Indians 
appeared on the trail in the gully below. Thus, in five 
minutes after the first shot was fired, Colonel Otter's force 
was completely surrounded and b'eing fired on from all 
sides. It was evident he had run into a trap. The situ- 
ation began to look desperate. On all sides the action 
was hot. The intention of the enemy was to cut off his 
retreat, and if possible stampede the horses. The little 
hollow on the face of the hill into which the teams were 
drawn, afforded them some protection, but from the rear 
they could easily be reached if the enemy were advanced 
a little further than they were up the slope. The artillery 
occupied the top of the hill furthest advanced. The 
Gatling gun had opened fire on the enemy first, at a 
range of about two hundred yards, on the left slope of 
the hill, into a cluster of brush. The Indians got out of 
that cover and beat a hasty retreat round to the hill 
on the other side of the hollow, where they again 
got an underbrush cover. After the first rush it 
was impossible to see more than two or three of the 
Indians at once, so that the Gatling was not so destruc- 
tive as it would have been under other circumstances. 
But it was kept going for a time almost continuously, and 
created a terrific din. The two seven-pounders were 
placed on either side of the Gatling, at a distance of 



104 CANADA'S NORTH- WEST REBELLION. 

perhaps fifty yards. The first three shells were put into the 
teepees on the hill to the right front. They were admir- 
ably aimed, and created consternation. The teepees were 
ripped over, and the people scattered in every direction. 
Both guns soon were throwing their deadly shells into 
the cover into which the Indians had retreated after their 
rush. The range was about one thousand five hundred 
yards. Wherever a shell fell its effect could be seen by 
a scattering of the enemy in all directions. The firing on 
us grew hotter and closer. Volley after volley from 
friend and foe on all sides, the booming of the cannon, 
the rapid rattle of the Gatling and the rifles, mingled with 
the wild whooping of the Indians, made up a furious 
tumult, of which no description can give an adequate 
idea. Officers and men were as cool and determined as 
if the day was already theirs. About an hour after the 
engagement was begunj the order was passed from Colo- 
nel Otter to Captain Nash, of the Battleford Rifles, that 
the rear must be cleared. The men of the ununiformed 
company did not wait to hear the order twice. With a 
loud cheer they dashed down the incline and into the 
wood of the deep gully, over which the column had 
crossed. The Indians under cover stood the attack a few 
moments and then began to fall back. The Battleford 
boys raced them up the gully to the right, firing whenever 
an Indian head appeared. It took half an hour to clear 
the back, and then Lieutenant Marigold turned his men 
to clear the gully on the other side of the trail. The 
Indians posted there also gave way and ran back to their 
former position. It was a grand charge, valorously 
executed. The rear was entirely cleared of the enemy, 
and Colonel Otter remained in command of the position, 
But the Indians were again coming down into the gully 
into the position on the right side of the trail, from which 
Captain Nash had previously dislodged them. Charlie 
"Ross, the famous Mounted Police scout, who had been all 
over the field during the action, saw the position, and 
stepped into the breach. Calling for volunteers, some of 
the Queen's Own, Company, and Ottawa Guards were 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 165 

at his side in an instant, and they started to intercept the 
Indians' advance. The Reds cleared out at once up the 
gully and into a ravine, from the covered sides of which 
a number of them had been firing on the men of C Com- 
pany, who were replying across the ravine near where the 
teams were stationed. Ross and his followers pursued 
them hotly. The Guards could not understand why the 
enemy they had been watching across the ravine had 
silenced their fire so suddenly. But the Guards did not 
know that Ross and his daring followers had got round in 
the rear of the enemy and were engaged in hot pursuit. 
Ross immediately cleared up the side of the ravine, and 
the instant he reached the summit, where the Indians had 
previously been firing from, the skirmishers of C Com- 
pany mistook him for one of the enemy, and in an instant 
a dozen rifles were brought to bear on him. But he had 
tied a white hankerchief to the muzzle of his rifle and 
waving it above his head the rifles were lowered. One 
man standing among the teams raised a rifle and fired at 
Ross, the bullet providentially going wide. Colonel Otter 
saw the white flag waved and, not recognizing Ross, 
standing as he was on the ground only a few minutes 
before occupied by the enemy, evidently mistook the flag 
as a signal of truce from the Indians. He walked over 
to the edge of the ravine as if to parley, but Ross was 
recognized by this time, and in a moment the red coats 
of his men came up from behind the hill riding the ponies 
they had captured. 

It was now half-past eight o'clock, and the fight had 
lasted about three and a-half hours. The cannons and 
Gatling were belching incessantly, but the trail of one of 
the seven-pounders shortly gave out ; the carriage, rotten 
with age, fell to pieces, and the gun was silenced. A 
number of C Company had come over to the left flank, 
and fell into the skirmishing line up to this time held by 
the Queen's Own, Guards, Police, and Garrison Artillery. 
All were lying flat on their faces peeping over the side of 
the hill and across a hollow into an underbrush on the 
summit of the opposite hill, where the enemy were keep- 



166 CANADA'S NOETH-WEST REBELLION. 

ing up a constant fire at a range of from six hundred to 
seven hundred and fifty yards. If one of the men 
unluckily rose up into view a dozen puffs of smoke would 
come out of the underbrush and he had to drop again 
instantly to get under cover, while the bullets would 
whistle fiercely but harmlessly over. This position was 
held with little change for an hour and a-half. The 
Indians were constantly playing their old game to draw 
fire. Up would go a hat on the muzzle of a rifle, or 
a blanket would be thrown up, and as the men took aim 
at the decoys the enemy would fire on their uncovered 
heads. Otter's men " got on to the dodge " at length, and 
played similar pranks. The enemy were shooting with 
remarkable accuracy, and it was believed that many 
Half-breeds were among their number. At ten o'clock 
the guns had about silenced the fire of the enemy directly 
in front, but they had worked round to the left near the 
gully, and were beginning to pour in a dangerous flank 
tire on the skirmishers on the side of the hill. This had 
to be stopped. Captain Rutherford directed a shell into 
the gully. It burst almost over the heads of the Battle- 
ford Rifles, who were hotly holding the position to which 
they had been ordered. The shelling of the gully caused 
them to fall back, but the word was soon sent along 
that no more shells would be fired there and they 
resumed their position. Colonel Otter ordered Captain 
Brown to send the left half of the Queen's Own to occupy 
a small hill over which the flank fire was coming. The 
order was passed to Lieutenant Brock, who was in charge 
of the left half. The object was to drive the Indians 
farther back, and the Battleford Rifles going up the gully 
would prevent them again taking cover there. It was a 
hazardous venture. About twenty men, some of them 
Guards and Police, responded to Lieutenant Brock's call 
to charge for the hill. Away they went on a quick run, 
ducking down to escape the bullets. Brock, revolver in 
hand, was leading by half-a-dozen yards. The men in 
the skirmishing line behind let out a loud cheer as 
they saw the plucky fellows dashing up the hillside, right 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 



167 



into the line of the enemy's bullets over the top. More than 
half the men dropped flat just as the summit was reached. 
Brock and the remainder passed right over out of view. 
A thrill ran through every spectator. The men got over 
the hill and started down in full view of the Indians a 
little over a hundred yards away. The men opened fire, 
Brock with his revolver, but it was useless. The enemy 




COLOUR-SERGEANT GEO. E. COOPER. 

sent up a withering fire, and the men were forced back 
again over the top of the hill and dropped into cover, five 
of them having felt the bullets of the enemy. It was a 
plucky charge. Lieutenant Brock and his brave follow- 
ers, Colour-Sergeant Cooper* and Privates Varey and 

* Colour- Sergeant George E. Cooper is a native of Birmingham, Eng- 
land, and is about thirty-seven years old. He came to Canada about four- 
teen years ago, and Joined the Q. O. R. about seven years ago. He is an 
engraver by trade. He is of unusually fine physique and is one of the most 
accomplished amateur leapers in Canada. 



168 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Watts of the Queen's Own, and one of the Guards were 
more or less seriously wounded, and Colour-Sergeant 
McKill's forehead was grazed by a ball. Colonel Otter 
forwarded orders that the hill should be held, and they 
kept it until the final withdrawal, in order to protect the 
teams on the way out. 

The Indians were making a great fight of it, and when 
chased out of one position resumed the fire in another. 
Their tenacity is, perhaps, unexampled in Indian fighting. 
Their losses must have been severe. It looked as if they 
intended keeping it up all day, and it would have beep 
certain disaster to the force to have been left at night 
fall in the position into which they had been entrapped, 
without the assistance of the guns, one of which was now 
perfectly useless and the other almost so. The only 
safety was in a retreat, and for this Colonel Otter began 
to lay his plans. The Scouts, Battleford Rifles, and 
Captain Rutherford and his men, with one of the seven- 
pounders, were ordered to proceed through the gully and 
occupy the high banks on the opposite side, through 
which the trail ran. This position commanded the whole 
line of retreat. The order was obeyed in splendid style. 
In a quarter of an hour they were all in position, the 
rifles and artillery on a cut bank forty or fifty feet high, 
and the scouts on the top of a high sandhill. The trail 
out of the gully passed right between these positions. 
The teams were the first to descend through the gully, 
and the Indians then became aware that Otter in- 
tended to withdraw. This was shortly after twelve 
o'clock. At that time the enemy had almost ceased firing, 
and it is the belief of many who know the Indians pretty 
well, that they were just on the point of getting away 
themselves when they saw him leaving. None of the men 
left their positions on the Md till every waggon and 
horse had safely passed though the gully. Then came 
the real danger of the situation. The men had to retire 
down the long incline leading to the gully always with 
their faces towards the enemy, who were following them 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREJ3K. 169 

up over the ground they had just left. The firing from 
both parties was hot, and appeared, from the position of 
the party who were occupying the hills to protect the 
retreat, much more deadly than it afterwards turned out 
to be. But it was a moment of supreme danger. A 
large body of Indians poured down into the gully a con- 
siderable distance up, with the object no doubt of coming 
up with the men as they were crossing the gully, and 
cutting them off from the teams and the party on the 
other side. If this could have been done, the chances 
would have been in favour of the whole brigade being 
slaughtered. But the foresight of Colonel Otter had pro- 
vided against such a chance. From the gun on the bank 
Captain Rutherford sent a couple of shells directly into 
the horde of Red-skins, who were coming down the hill 
over the field where the men had fought all day. When 
the smoke cleared away again, the Indians were turned 
right about and going in the opposite direction. The 
Indians who had got down into the gully further up came 
on, but the scouts posted on the sand hill kept them in 
check. After all Otter's men had got down to the bottom 
land in the gully they were thoroughly covered by the 
men posted on the bank and came right through leisurely 
enough. 

The whole column immediately took to the waggons 
and returned to Battleford, arriving at 10 o'clock that 
night. The Indians did not attempt to follow. 

The Queen's Own Rifles ambulance corps worked 
heroically during the whole day. When there was a call 
for them to any part of the field their courage carried 
them even under the enemy's fire to rescue a wounded 
man. No praise of their work is too great. 

One incident of the fight cannot be left unrecorded. 
Private Acheson, of the Queen's Own, ran out from cover 
at the time the withdrawal was being made, to recover 
the body of Private Dodds,' of the Bat-tl ford Rifles. 
Private Lloyd, of the Queen's Own, was near him at the 
time, and Acheson asked him to cover him while he went 



170 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



out. Lloyd did so, and went out to assist Acheson, who 
had shouldered the dead man. When they were return- 
ing Lloyd fell, shot in the back. He was in a stooping 
position when struck and the bullet, entering the centre of 
the back, penetrated up to the shoulder, under the blade. 
When Acheson had deposited the body under cover he at 
once returned to bring in Lloyd. Colour-Sergeant 




BUGLES FOULKES.* 

McKell, of the Queen's Own, went out to assist him, and 
between them they got Lloyd safely away from the enemy. 

* Herbert Foulkes of "C" Company who was killed in the fight with 
Poundmaker's band came to this country from England about eight years 
ago. He worked on farms until last September, when he went to Toronto 
and took a situation at Oak Hall, where he was a general favourite with the 
employes. He has no relatives in this country. 



BATTLE OP CUT KNIFE CREEK. 171 

It was a remarkable exhibition of heroism. The enemy 
were at moderately close range, and firing incessantly. 

Poor Rodgers, of the Foot Guards, was killed instantly 
while lying in the skirmishing line on the side of the hill. 
He was speaking to Capt. Hughes, who was lying along- 
side of him, only a moment before. The ball penetrated 
his head, and he died without a groan. Following is the 
list of killed and wounded : 

KILLED. 

Brigade Bugler Foulkes, Toronto Infantry School, shot 
in the breast. 

Private John Rodgers, Ottawa Foot Guards, shot 
through the head. 

Private Arthur Dobbs, Battleford Rifles, shot through 
the breW. 

Corporal Sleigh, Mounted Police, shot through the 
mouth. 

Corporal Lowry, Mounted Police, shot through the 
abdomen (died while being taken back in the waggon). 

Buglei Burke, Mounted Police, shot through the body 
(died on Sunday morning). 

Teamster Winder, shot through the head. 

Private Osgoode, Ottawa Foot Guards, missing, but 
known to be killed. 

THE WOUNDED. 

Sergeant Ward, Mounted Police, wounded in the left 
part of the lower abdomen. 

Sergeant Gaffney, wounded in the left fore-arm. 

Corporal Morton, B Battery, wounded in the groin. 

Private Reynolds, B Battery, compound fracture of the 
right arm near the shoulder. 

Sergt. Winters, Foot Guards, shot in the cheek. 

Lieut. Pelletier, B Battery, (attached from 9th Bat- 
talion), shot in thigh near hip flesh wound. 

Colour-Sergt. Cooper, Q.O.R.. shot in the hip flesh 
wound. 



172 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Private Lloyd, Q.O.R, shot in back, bullet coming 
out of the point of the shoulder. 

Private McQuilkin, Foot Guards, shot in the left side, 
superficial. 

Private C. Varey, Q.O.R, shot in the shoulder. 

Private Geo. Watts, Q.O.R, flesh wound in the left 
leg above the knee, slight. 

Bugler Gilbert, Battleford Rifles, shot through the 
scalp at back of the head. 

Brigade Sergeant-Major Spackman, flesh wound in the 
right arm. 

Private J. Fraser, Q.O.R, bruised by a spent bullet in 
the shin. 

ANOTHER ACCOUNT OF THE FIGHT. 

Half-an-hour after we marched a dense column of 
smoke arose from the trail several miles in front. This 
was answered by another column of smoke further on, 
and showed how close the enemy had been watching 
every movement. They were signal fires telling of our 
approach. We camped about sunset on a fine piece of 
open prairie, and men and horses received a feed the 
last, alas ! for some of the brave boys who marched out 
with us. We waited for the moon to rise, and as soon as 
it was up the column was again in motion. We travelled 
all night, passing over some very rough ground, the 
cavalry and scouts beating every bush for half-a-mile on 
each side of the trail. At last the grey streaks of dawn 
appeared on the eastern horizon, and shortly afterwards 
the now deserted houses on the reserve. Directly in 
front were hills in which, if the reports of the scouts were 
to be relied on, were the Indians. 

But all was quiet, bright and beautiful. The wild 
fowl, frightened from their quiet morning nap, flew screech- 
ing across the prairie towards some quieter resting place. 
There was not the first sign of Indians. As we rounded 
a small bluff on the trail we came upon their deserted 
camp. The marks of a couple of hundred tepees could 



BATTLE OP CUT KNIFE CREEK. 173 

be seen on one side. They appeared to have been hastily 
deserted, as many of the poles still stood as they had first 
been placed. We hurried on. The Indians were no doubt 
ignorant of our approach and did not expect us until the 
afternoon. To get as close to them as possible without 
being discovered was our aim. Everyone was anxious 
for the fray, and Colonel Herchmer, who had charge of 
the scouts and Mounted Police, pushed on swiftly. We 
were soon at the foot of the hills, and there ri<rht in front 
of us, and not more than a mile distant, was a herd of the 
stolen cattle quietly feeding on the hill side. But Cut 
Knife Creek flowed between steep banks at the foot of 
these hills. Its sides were in places well wooded, while 
scrub brush extended in patches in every direction. The 
scouts and police crossed the creek and then, extending 
from the centre, moved up Cut Knife Hill, a sloping piece 
of ground of a few hundred yards in extent. I was with 
the ammunition waggon, and could see everything going 
on in front. The guns and baggage waggons pushed on 
after the cavalry. To cross the creek was a somewhat 
difficult matter. The sides were steep and sandy, and 
some of the teams stuck fast. The teamsters, in some 
cases, insisted on watering their horses, and halted half- 
way across the stream for that purpose. But they were 
soon anxious enough to push on when" the bullets began 
singing about their ears, as they did a few minutes later. 
Colonel Otter, Colonel Herchmer, Captain Sears and 
Inspector Neale were amongst the first to follow the 
scouts. The guns, under Major Short, were only a few 
seconds behind when " ping " came a rifle bullet amongst 
the scouts from the ambushed foe. 

The Indians had, therefore, fired the first shot, and all 
we had to do was to open on them. The guns dashed 
forward at a gallop, unlirnbered and went into action, 
A shell was thrown amongst the tepees, followed half-a- 
minute later by another and another. One could hear 
the enemy scampering through the bushes on every side. 
There seems to be little doubt that they did not expect 



174 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

us so soon, otherwise we should never have got as far as 
we did without a volley. At the first shot the members 
of the different corps sprang from the waggons. In fact 
some of C Company and the Queen's Own were out before 
a shot was discharged. They were crossing the creek on 
a small log that afforded but a slippery footing to one 
man at a time. I ran down to this primitive bridge and 
found about thirty of the Queen's Own waiting to cross. 
They were crowded together and must have had the 
enemy on two sides of them. But not a shot was fired. 
A well-directed volley would have dropped out half of 
them, but, as I said before, I believe the Indians hardly 
expected us so soon. They may have been afraid to 
open, not knowing how many were behind. I left this 
group, for I saw there was little chance of an opportunity 
to cross, and jumping on a waggon that was just entering 
the water reached the opposite shore. There the men 
were streaming up the hill like bees. Off to the left front 
and just above the cattle (set as a bait for us) was an 
Indian circling his horse round and round. This signal 
was taken up by another further along the hill, and even 
before the first shot was fired the enemy were streaming 
out of the tepees. Squaws, old men, and boys, or rather 
children (for boys of fourteen years fight beside^tkeir 
fathers) started on a run for the rear and herded the cattle 
together. We could see them later on upon a hill a mile 
or so behind the scene of action, where they watched 
every movement. 

It takes a great deal longer to tell the story of those 
first few minutes than to act them. The guns had scarcely 
got into action when a body of Half-breeds rounded a 
small hillock in front of the guns, and actually made an 
attempt to carry them. The police and B Battery, how- 
ever, had just got into position on the left of the guns, 
and well it was that they were there and answered the 
summons of Major Short with so much alacrity. The 
breeds dashed up with a wild war whoop when Major 
Short, springing to the front, cried "Who'll follow me?" 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 175 

and rushed at the advancing enemy. His appeal fell upon 
willing ears. The men sprang to their feet, fired a volley 
into the breeds, who turned tail when within twenty yards 
of the guns and sought cover. Here was an opportunity 
that was not to be missed. 

The men were anxious to follow the retreating enemy, 
but Short called them back. A few seconds sufficed to 
get the Gatling at work. Its "growl" as the bullets 
streamed out reminded one -more of the explosion of a 
huge bunch of fire-crackers than anything else. The 
bushes were fairly mowed down, and how anything in 
shape of flesh and blood could have lived through that 
leaden hail is a mystery. A wail went up from the 
squaws when they saw what had happened, while off to 
the right the Indians in the scrub gave utterance to that 
indescribable cry of theirs which is only given when they 
are in a tight corner. Leaving the Gatling when the 
further grinding out of bullets would have been of little 
use, Major Short took his post at the seven-pounders. 
Shell after shell was sent shrieking through the air, and 
shell after shell burst amidst the brush where the Indians 
were concealed. Splintered branches were scattered 
round, and the ground was ploughed and furrowed by 
the iron fragments. The Indians appeared to be dis- 
mayed, for their fire slackened for a time, and we were 
beginning to hope that they were having enough of it, 
when they resumed the attack. Our musketry tire was 
at first wild, but the men soon got down to actual work. 
The Indians succeeded for a time in practising one of 
their old dodges. A blanket rolled about a stick, or a hat 
raised upon one would be cautiously lifted above the 
brush. Our men, mistaking it for a man, would rise and 
fire, and as they did so they made excellent targets for 
the Indians, who were not slow to avail themselves of 
this opportunity to pick oft a soldier. But the boys soon 
saw through the ruse, and after one or two had been 
struck very few shots were fired at dummies. 



176 CANADA'S NOJRTH-WEST REBELLION. 

To the left and right of the guns was the skirmish 
line, the men being on the reverse slope of the hill and 
looking down into the coulees or ravines that separated 
them from another range of hills beyond. Down by the 
creek the Battleford rifle company was extended on each 
side of the hill. Here it was that some of the heaviest 
fighting of the day took place. The teamsters, with their 
usual desire not to hurry too much, lagged behind, and 
some of them were still in- the creek when the Indians 
opened upon them. Their fire, however, was so promptly 
met by the Battleford boys that they were more cautious, 
and only single shots were fired until after the teams were 
all well up the hill and under comparatively good cover. 
Still the rear was somewhat exposed. A resolute body 
of men might have given an infinite amount of trouble 
from the bru>h along the creek there. jBut Indians are 
not the best long- range shots in the world, for beyond 
the point-blank range of their rifles their firing is all 
guess-work. 

Once more were the Battleford boys called upon to 
show what they could do. The brush had to be cleared 
and bravely they did it. " Remember Smart," someone 
shouted as they rose from their cover, and with a wild 
cheer dashed into the scrub at the ambushed enemy. A 
volley was fired to " stir them up a bit," as one of the 
men remarked, then they pushed on, each man getting 
the best cover he could find. The Indians did not wait. 
The Half-breeds who were with them did better. One or 
two turned to fire, but the boys in civilian clothes were 
pressing them so closely that they did not have time to 
draw a bead. Their shots flew over the heads of our men, 
cutting the branches of the brush or flying as spent 
bullets into the front of our line. It was hot work while 
it lasted, but a few minutes sufficed to clear the Indians 
off from the neighborhood of the crossing. 

Boss, the scout whom I have already mentioned, was 
there. He had a brother's death to avenge and anything 
with a red skin received no mercy from him. He dealt 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 177 

with them in their own fashion. As he was rushing 
down the ravine he came upon an Indian who seeing he 
was discovered feigned death. But Ross's quick eye saw 
through the disguise. Another man might have passed 
on and received a shot in the back. But he did nothing 
of the kind, and as he ran past he drew his revolver and 
like a flash a bullet sped into the red-skin's brain. Down 
in the coulee and close to the heaviest part of the scrub 
they came upon four Indian ponies which their owners 
had left in their hurry to get away from the " pale faces " 
whose cheer yet rang in their ears. These they captured, 
Ross recognizing one of them as belonging to Little 
Poplar. They mounted and were about to ride back to 
the lines when a shower of bullets whistled past in 
uncomfortable proximity to their heads. It is unneces- 
sary to say they dismounted. They did it in a hurry and 
were by no means particular as to which side they dis- 
mounted from either. In their civilian dress they had 
been mistaken for Indians and had drawn our fire upon 
them. Ross, who had sensibly discarded the feathers 
from his hat, dashed out waving his handkerchief. " A 
flag of truce," shouted some one. " Flag of truce ? " a 
dozen cried ; " look out, it's an ambush, fire on them." 
" Why, it's Ross," said a keener-eyed skirmisher, and a 
few seconds later the boys were back. To say that Ross 
expressed himself as slightly displeased at their being mis- 
taken for enemies will hardly convey a correct idea of 
his words. 

Now come with me to another part of the field. There 
is no danger now. The bullets have found their billets, 
and not so much as the smell of powder remains to mark 
this as the one of the worst places on that battle-field. 
But something does remain. The empty cartridge cases 
strew the ridges where the frj^ge of fire from our rifles 
swept the grass away. And here and there you may see 
a stain upon the ground not much of course you would 
scarcely notice it even if strolling along, yet it is there 
all the same, ' What did it?" do you ask, Well, that 
11 



178 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

question is easily answered. A bullet found its billet 
there. Some brave fellow exposed himself for an instant, 
but that instant was sufficient to allow an Indian to cover 
him with his sight and touch the trigger. " Was he 
wounded?" Well, that is a curious question to ask. 
Do you think an Indian from that ridge there would 
only wound a man if he got his sights on him ? No, he 
didn't wound him ; Jie killed him. His comrade, who was 
lying alongside, asked him a question. " What's that ? " 

he replied, raising his head. " What's that you ? " 

He never finished it. The bullet struck him in the fore- 
head and passed clean through his head, and Private John 
Rogers, of the Guards, had answered his last roll-call. 
He died with his face to the foe, as did every one of the 
noble fellows who fell on that hill-side. 

We have reached the ridge I spoke of. It is on the 
left flank, or rather on the left rear of the guns that have 
been so steadily speaking with iron voices to the enemy 
beyond. Here some hard work was done. The Indians 
again and again tried to carry that ridge. Had they 
succeeded they would have got at the horses belonging to 
the baggage waggons, which were corralled under cover 
of the ridge. At times the bullets fairly rained across it, 
and whistled a deadly chorus about the ears of the team- 
sters. One horse was struck, and went down like a log, 
only to plunge in the harness, however, and frighten the 
animals standing around. He was quickly unhooked and 
dragged out of the way. That ridge beyond was where 
the Indians made what I would call their greatest "blanket 
display." Every artifice was adopted by them to draw 
our fire, and, as I have previously stated, it succeeded for 
a time. But Ross came down the line and warned the 
boys personally. Then our turn came. Let a white man 
understand the situation and he can usually outwit an 
Indian. It was so in this case. Five of the scouts, who 
occupied a position on the ridge, put up what they called 
a "job " on the Indians. Four of the five laid their rifles 
Cor tjhe brow of the opposite ridge, and wai^d. Then 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 179 

the fifth sprang to his feet, only to drop like a flash. 
But the ruse succeeded. Four dark visages were raised 
behind as many rifles, with the amiable intention of send- 
ing as many bullets through the audacious rifleman. His 
four companions, however, were just waiting for this. 
The Indians were scarcely up when they fired upon them. 
Quick as the Indians were, they were not quick enough 
to escape the leaden compliments that were sent over. 
Whether they were killed or not it is impossible to say, 
but for some minutes afterwards a man did not run much 
risk by looking over the ridge. This was tried twice* to 
my certain knowledge, and how much oftener of course 
I cannot say. 

And now there were signs of the enemy crawling 
down towards the creek again and on towards the guns. 
They had to be dislodged, and somebody had to do it. 
The work was particularly dangerous, for at the first rush 
our men would have to expose themselves on the ridge 
to the full fire of those in ambush. "Was there any. 
difficulty in getting volunteers ? " you ask. " Had the 
men to be ordered to go?" No, nothing of the kind. 
Ross, who had been through there before, and knew just 
where to go, shouted, " Come on boys," and with a bound 
he disappeared over the ridge. He had no need to look 
behind to see if they were following. The boys were there. 
The way some of C Company and the Mounted Police 
" went for" for that brush is deserving of every praise. 
"How many had fallen by this time ?" you ask. I cannot 
tell. _ Those who were dead had to lie on the field. It 
made no difference to the poor fellows themselves. They 
were then but clods of the valley, and it would have been 
unjust to risk the lives of others to carry them in. ' Did 
the wounded suffer much ? Were they allowed to lie 
where they fell until after the action, when it would be 
perfectly safe to carry them in ? " No, sir ! Veterans 
could not have done better than the ambulance corps of 
the Queen's Own. Fifteen minutes after the first shot 
was fired a call of " Ambiance," came from the front, 



180 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

It did not need to be repeated. Sergeant Ward, of the 
Mounted Police, who was by the guns, was struck in the 
abdomen. He was the first on the long list of casualties, 
and as the cry for men to carry him off rose above the 
musketry rattle the stretcher-bearers dashed forward. In 
doing so, one of them got a bullet through his forage 
cap, and another bullet cut his shoulder-strap in two. 
They soon had the poor fellow on the stretcher, and bore 
him safely through to the baggage waggons, where Sur- 
geons Strange and Leslie had established a field hospital. 
Everything that medical skill could do to alleviate his 
sufferings was done, and he was soon as comfortable as it 
was possible to make him. Bags of oats were built up 
to stop any stray bullets that might come that way. 

For the time being, therefore, the wounded were safe. 
After that the call for stretcher-bearers came every now 
and then from all points of the field. Up by the guns, 
down in the scrub of the creek, off to the right, and off 
to the left, one . could see the Red Cross men doubling 
about, or slowly and carefully carrying a wounded com- 
rade down to the hospital. The surgeons were hard at 
work while the fight lasted, and so were the stretcher- 
bearers. There were some wonderful escapes. Remember 
the men had had no breakfast that morning. They had 
their last meal about nine o'clock on Friday night, and 
went into action on an empty stomach. At 9.15 hard- 
tack was passed along the line by a couple of police, but 
few took advantage of making a breakfast under fire. 
Their time was too fully occupied in looking after the 
enemy. By half-past nine the fire had slackened off 
considerably, and for a time it looked as though the 
enemy had quietly slipped away. But we were mistaken. 
Up on the hill, away to the left front, was an Indian who 
had occupied the same position for hours. He was sur- 
rounded by a few companions, and seemed to be acting 
as commander-in-chief . On several occasions some of our 
men had tried a long shot at him, but their bullets all 
dropped short. The fellow scorned to be directing their 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 181 

movements by the aid of a small mirror, with which he 
flashed the sunlight first on one part of the field and then 
on another. He could see almost the whole of our position, 
and made the most of it. The Indians fought desperately. 
Boys of fourteen years of age were seen in the bush blazing 
away with " trade " guns, while others used bows and 
arrows. In fact a great many arrows were fired, and 
some of our men were slightly wounded by them. 

At last it seemed as though the ammunition of the 
Indians was being exhausted, and Colonel Otter decided 
on making a rush for the tepees and burning the whole 
encampment. There were just two courses open to him, 
namely, either to withdraw his troops or make a grand 
rush for their camp. But here fate settled the question. 
The trail of one of the seven-pounders broke as the gun 
was discharged, rendering it, of course, useless. The other 
was cracked some time before, and had been strengthened 
by a piece of two-inch oak, which was bolted on the lower 
side. But the constant firing had loosened this, and every 
time the gun was discharged it jumped out of the trunnion 
holes. In fact it was a race between the gun and the 
gunners. The former jumped back every time it was 
discharged, and the latter had to follow it and carry it 
back to its place again. It would have been folly to 
attempt to destroy the tepees without the guns, and so 
Colonel Otter decided on withdrawing. At 11 a. m., 
therefore, the teamsters received orders to hook their 
horses in and load their waggons. And now came the 
question most important of all : How were we to get out 
of the box ? We were surrounded by thick scrub on every 
hand, and the idea of crossing the creek under a cross-fire 
from the enemy could not be entertained. Colonel Otter 
therefore ordered Captain Nash to clear the woods in the 
rear, and this was beautifully accomplished by his com- 
pany and some of the police scouts, the ubiquitous Ross 
being, as usual, a prominent figure wherever there was 
anything particularly dangerous to be accomplished. 
They did their work magnificently, cutting across the 



182 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

ridge to the right of the waggons, and going right down 
into the teeth of the enemy. These they drove down the 
creek, running them nearly half-a-mile through the coulee. 
A couple of the Red-skins were killed, and two others 
were known to have secreted themselves along the edge 
of the creek, and could not be found. They then returned, 
crossed the creek, and with the scouts, drove the enemy 
back from that side also. The high sand bluff on toe 
right of the creek was occupied by some of these Battle- 
ford men, while the remainder held possession of the 
wooded height on the opposite side of the trail, the scouts 
holding the woods further up the creek. 

Then, and not till then, did the waggons receive orders 
to move. The dead were carried in from every part of 
the field, and that a/t considerable personal risk to 
those engaged in the work. The wounded were made 
as comfortable as possible in the waggons ; every bag of 
oats taken on, and, covered by the fire of the troops lining 
the ridges, they began to withdraw. The enemy had not 
the slightest idea of what was taking place. The men 
covering what was now the rear had orders to keep up a 
smart musketry fire, and this they carried out to the 
letter. Not till the Indians saw our teams drawing out 
on the other side of the creek did it appear to dawn on 
them that we were about leaving. I firmly believe that 
when they saw the first teams in the creek they imagined 
we were about to execute a flank movement to destroy 
their tepees. But they soon discovered our object, and 
began pressing our men savagely. The guns were with- 
drawn, together with the Gatling, which covered the 
retreat of the first line. These,* in turn, were covered by 
some of the Queen's Own, under Lieutenant Brock, who 
had been doing good work down near the creek. At last 
all were over, and one of the guns dashed up at a gallop 
to the top of the sandbank. The Indians at once made 
an attempt to cut off our retreat. They came galloping 
down on both sides under cover of the bushes, but the 
gun was not long in getting into action, and a well- 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 183 

directed shell dropped in the very midst of them made 
them hesitate. Another shell fell near the same place, and 
the Indians scampered under cover, and we saw no more 

In the meantime the waggons had drawn off to the 
deserted camping ground of the Indians, through which 
we had passed seven long hours before. Then the line 
was formed, the men got into the waggons, and the column 
started on its way back to Battleford. The scouts were 
the last to leave, but on doing so fired the prairie to pre- 
vent the Indians from following us. There was a stiff 
breeze blowing at the time, and the flames getUuj into 
the woods made a huge blaze, and kept the enemy from 
heading us off in the woods, no matter how well disposed 
they might have been to lay another little surprise for 
us. After travelling for an hour or so we camped and 
fed the horses and men. Then the march was resumed, 
and about ten o'clock on Saturday night we reached 
Battleford, having within thirty-one hours marched eighty 
miles and fought for seven hours on one meal and a 
" hard-tack." 

We did not succeed in destroying the Indian village 
or carrying off the stolen cattle. Instead of two hundred 
warriors we met between five and six hundred. There 
are those who say that Big Bear's band was in the fight. 
Ross claims that one of the ponies captured by him 
belonged to Little Poplar, and if so Big Bear must have 
been there. On the other hand, there are those who say 
that had Big Bear and his band been on hand we should 
not have got away ; that, in fact, it would have been a 
repetition of the Ouster Massacre, and I think this is too 
true. But, be this as it may, we certainly had our hands 
quite full. Shortly after the fight began a huge column 
of smcke rose above the woods across in the direction of 
the Saskatchewan, and some thought it was a signal from 
Big Bear to Poundmaker which meant " Hold out, old 
man, and I'll be along to help you." If so, he did not get 
in in time. On our way back there were times when the 



184 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

prairie seemed on fire in every direction. On the flats 
between the Saskatchewan and Battle Rivers the woods 
were in a blaze, and as night cast its mantle over forest 
and prairie the red glare of the fires could be seen for 
miles on our left between the two rivers. On reaching 
camp the wounded were the first to be cared for, before 
anything else was done, and they were made as comfort- 
able as circumstances would admit. Next morning (that 
is Sunday) they were removed to a marquee tent across the 
river. 

On the way down, Lowry, of the Mounted Police, died 
in the waggons. He was a son of General Lowry, and 
had been in the force about two years. He was expecting 
to get a commission in it when his untimely death 
put an end to his career. Bugler Burke, of the Police, 
who was wounded in the stomach, died about ten o'clock 
on Sunday morning. He leaves a wife and six young 
children. 

Our losses were heavy. The ratio of killed to wounded 
was far beyond the usual proportion. There are generally 
three or four wounded for each one killed, but with us 
our dead numbered eight and the wounded only thirteen. 
This shows what every one of us knows to be a fact, that 
the Indians fired with the greatest deliberation, and never 
threw a shot away if they could possibly avoid it. During 
the first few minutes of the engagement our men fired 
somewhat recklessly, as I have said before, and several 
were wounded by unnecessarily exposing themselves. 
But they very soon discovered their mistake, and after 
that the practice was better. 

Altogether the battle at Cut Knife Creek can hardly 
be regarded as other than disastrous to the loyal cause. 
The attack was ill-judged and wholly unnecessary. 
Battleford was safe and Poundmaker was staying quietly 
on his reserve. There was no evidence that Poundmaker 
and his band had up to this time committed or even con- 
templated any acts of violence, but when he was attacked 
on his own reserve and his lodges containing his women 



BATTLE OF CUT KNIFE CREEK. 



185 



and children shelled, no one could wonder at his taking 
up arms to defend them, and it must be admitted that 
when he and his people were forced to fight they fought 
gamely from first to last. That Colonel Otter and his 
column owe their escape from Cut Knife to Poundmaker's 
forbearance there is now no room to doubt, but Pound- 
maker and his version of the fight at Cut Knife Creek 
will form the subject of another chapter. 




CAPT. E. T. BROWN, 

Of Boulton's Scouts, killed at Batoche. 
See page 236. 




POUNDMAKUB. 

CHAPTER XVIIL 

PCUNDMAKER. 

A GENTLEMAN who spent some two years in the 
North- West, and who knew Poundmaker intimately, 
furnishes the following sketch of the great Cree warrior 
and statesman : 

When I learned in the winter of 1883-4 that Pound- 
maker was making trouble at Battleford I was greatly 
surprised, for at that time it looked as though the great 
Cree Chief had been actuated by something like personal 
animosity, and knowing him as I did I thought it impos- 
sible that he could be so much moved by such a motive. 
When I learned of his connection with the present lamen- 
table outbreak in the North-West I was not at all sur- 
prised, for I knew him to be a patriotic lover of his own 



POUNDMAKEB. 187 

f race~ and people, ready at any time to lay down his life 
their service. Though the effort was a mad one that 
could only end in disaster to those concerned in it, I can 
readily understand how Pound maker may have been 
drawn into it. Though a man of much more than ordi- 
nary intellectual force and keenness of perception, even 
to prescience, it must be remembered that Poundmaker 
nas had no opportunities for learning what is going on in 
the busy world south of the Milk River Ridge, east of the 
South Saskatchewan, and west of the Rocky Mountains. 
Concerning it his ideas are very hazy. Like others of his 
race he has a good opinion of human nature generally, 
and is especially adverse to lying in all its forms. If it be 
true that Riel told the Indians that he expected plenty 
of help from the Fenians and American Half-breeds in 
carrying his rebellion to a successful issue, Poundmaker 
would be just the man to believe it. Weary with waiting 
for Mr. Dewdney, as the representative of Canadian 
authority, to carry out the extravagant promises he has 
been making to the North Crees, Poundmaker was brought 
to the conclusion that these promises never would be ful- 
filled, and that the Government were quite prepared to 
see the Indians perish from the torments of cold and 
starvation. Believing this, it was easy for a brave and 
resolute leader to decide that it was better to die fighting 
than to starve like a coward, and see his race supplanted 
by a people whom no promise bound and whom no moral 
obligation affected in the smallest degree. 

When Lord Lome and his party were travelling from 
Battleford to Calgary, in September, 1881, the train 
which left Battleford was decidedly a large and imposing 
one. A long stage of the journey was before us and a 
formidable supply of stores for the men and forage for 
the horses had to be carried. This necessitated an unus- 
ually large number of horses, and the presence of each 
additional horse rendered necessary the carrying of more 
grain, so that altogether the train was an enormously 
large one when the number of actual passengers it carried 



188 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

is taken into account. There were many Indians and 
Half-breeds accompanying us, and it took me some days 
to learn the names and occupations of the more important 
of these. I know that the guide was Johnny Saskatche- 
wan, a swarthy, square-shouldered, medium-sized man, 
wearing a heavy black beard, and looking very much like 
a French Half-breed, but who did not speak French, and 
who used to stoutly aver that there was not a drop of 
French blood in his veins. 

We had not been long upon the route to Calgary when 
the belief became very general that Johnny Saskatchewan 
had too big a contract on his hands. The train was a big 
one, and he tried to make as much use of the firewood to 
be reached en route as possible. For a considerable por- 
tion of the way there was no trail, and in thus turning 
aside (for wood and water) from the general direction he 
wished to take, Johnny Saskatchewan was evidently 
becoming somewhat confused. Many a time could we 
see him rein in his blacky-brown " cayuse " on the crest 
of a great yellow ridge a mile ahead of us, and standing 
there in sharp relief against the hazy blue of the horizon, 
horse and rider looked like an equestrian statue of bronze. 
Whenever Johnny Saskatchewan would thus draw rein a 
tall, slender figure in a close-fitting black frock coat, and 
mounted on a slender-looking roan cayuse of something 
of the same pattern as his rider, would soon hurry out of 
the train to him. The tall, slender rider of the leggy roan 
pony would talk and gesticulate with the broad-should- 
ered guide who rode the brown pony, and at length 
Johnny would resume his journey, while his prompter 
would drop back into the train. I soon learned that this 
tall horseman who was thus "guiding the guide " was no 
other than the great Oree chief, Poundmaker, and that he 
was taken with us for the purpose of translating glack- 
fhoLinto Cree, which was in turn to be translated from 
QEE^into English by our Cree Half-brejxi interpreter. I 
hacHieard of him as a prominent iigure'among the North 
Crees, and indeed among all the Crees, but further than 



POUNDMAKER. 189 

this I knew nothing of the man. I soon found that in 
our night camps his tent was usually pitched in the same 
locality as my own, and I was not long in making his 
acquaintance through Peter Countois, my own guide and 
interpreter. I was not long in learning that, though 
singularly solemn and dignified in his manner, Pound- 
maker was very communicative in all matters pertaining 
to his own people. Knowing in a general way that my 
business was that of writing for the public, he appeared 
to think that much was to be gained by having the char- 
acteristics of the Indians in general, and those of the 
Crees in particular, discussed in my letters. 

He told stories of his people, of their traditional loy- 
alty to the British flag ; their gentleness to the poor, the 
suffering, and the unprotected ; and their love of the pur- 
suits of peace as opposed to those of war and pillage. 
Like Piapot and other Cree chiefs, Poundmaker was very 
proud to say that the Crees had never shed the blood of 
the white man. He was never given to boasting or "count- 
ing coo," and always spoke of war and of the old feuds 
between the Crees and Blackfeet with a perceptible aver- 
sion, as though their recollections made him shudder. 

Though Poundmaker's views regarding his own race 
and people were warped by superstition and Cree or 
Blackfoot legends and romances, they were surprisingly 
well balanced, and betrayed a breadth of intellectual 
grasp that seemed to me incredible as coming from a 
pagan Indian with no pretensions to intellectual culture 
of any kind save mental introspection. He always 
appeared to me to be more anxious to shine as a statesman 
than as a warrior ; but though he never spoke boastfully 
of his own exploits, I could easily gather, from little facts 
that cropped up as if by accident in the narration of events 
in his own career, that he was a man who in the fray must 
have been absolutely indifferent to personal danger. In 
speaking of fighting he neve/ : upeared to recognize the 
element of personal danger. Iteath in battle appeared 
to him to be a matter of course, a danger always present, 



190 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

but, though ever imminent, never to be considered or 
regarded. 

But talking of wars and bloodshed was not what 
Poundmaker liked best. He would refer to these as 
things of the past which he earnestly hoped would never 
be revived. He was proud of having made peace between 
the Crees and Blackfeefc, prouder of that than of the 
many incursions he had made into the Blackfoot country, 
killing their people and taking away their horses. In 
the latter, though he might have brought glory and 
wealth to his own people, he still brought misery and 
want to another people of his own race. Indians should 
all be as brothers, brothers with those of their own race, 
and brothers with their friends the white men. War 
must bring misery and sorrow to some, while peace and 
industry must bring happiness and enjoyment to all. He 
would show a sort of contempt for what he would term 
military greatness. Men who could fight the Blackfeet 
best in the old times were not all of them " any good " 
except when at war. "They took no care of their 
families ; they saved nothing, and did not care to work 
or do anything except fight and steal horses." For such 
men Poundmaker entertained the greatest contempt. 
They would never help the Crees to become a wealthy 
and prosperous people like the white men. Turning to 
another and to him a much more agreeable subject Pound- 
maker would ramble on in a soft, low voice, speaking 
very deliberately and often with closed or half-closed 
eyes, and pausing at regular intervals, often in the mid- 
dle of a sentence, to allow the interpreter to translate 
what he said. 

I can almost see him now, while I write, as he used to 
lie close beside a little handful of glowing embers that 
could hardly be called a fire, but which was all we cared 
to indulge in on the great treeless stretches where we 
hauled our fuel from > iirty to fifty miles and flanked 
our tiny tires with dry buffalo chips. The picture was 
one not easy to forget, The camp all quiet, the snowy 



POUNDMAKER. 191 

cones of the bell tents bathed in bright moonlight, the 
yellow prairie grass sparkling with hoar frost, and our 
little group gathered about the fire listening to the mel- 
low voice of Poundmaker as he lay stretched along the 
grass, his black blanket wrapped around him below the 
shoulders, his right elbow resting on the ground and his 
right hand propping up his head, his fine, classically cut 
face turned partially toward the sky and thrown a little 
back from his breast, across which one of his two long 
shining braids of hair hung like a great black rope, and 
trailed upon the grass. In that mellow musical voice he 
would tell us how, after wasting years of his boyhood 
and youth in raiding the Blackfoot country, killing their 
people and stealing their ponies, it was proposed that the 
Crees should make a treaty with their brothers, the white 
men. He saw that peace was good, and he saw, too, that 
his people could not well adopt the pursuits of peace, as a 
treaty with the whites implied, and at the same time 
carry on a successful warfare against the Blackfeet. He did 
not wish to see his own people turning to farming, when 
the Blackfeet might attack them and destroy their homes. 
He thought that a " whole peace " would be good for the 
Crees and good for the Blackfeet, and he thought it best 
that they should make peace between themselves, and 
then all make a treaty with the Government. To accom- 
plish this end Poundmaker set himself at work, and 
though he passed through perils in the Blackfeet camp 
while on this peaceful mission, the thoughts of which (to 
use his own expression), " still made his body shrink," he 
never faltered in his purpose till the work had been 
completed. 

On this portion of his career Poundmaker used to 
delight to dwell, but some of the legends of his own peo- 
ple, especially those having a pretty or sympathetic turn, 
were favourite themes with him. One day we passed an 
alkali lake with a small island in the centre. That night 
he told us that it was Child's Lake that we had passed, 
and that it received its p^me many years ago. A good 



192 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

chief had been killed in battle with the Blackfeet, and all 
his family slaughtered except three little children. A 
good spirit in the form of a great black dog saved the 
children, and took refuge with them on this little island. 
They were beyond the reach of their enemies there, and 
beyond all harm, danger, and death. They never grew 
old, but remained the same for all time. To this day 
they were sometimes seen playing together on this island, 
and the children never grew any larger for their little 
faces could just be seen peeping over the big dog's back 
as he stood in front of them to protect them from danger. 
Child's Lake is between Battlef ord and Sounding Lake. 

Lord Lome would at times have Poundmaker in his 
mess tent after dinner and listen for hours to his Cree 
legends as well as to his story of how he made peace 
between the Crees and the Blackfeet. When he had con- 
cluded the latter history, Lord Lorne, having listened 
with the closest attention, and with evident interest from 
beginning to end, spoke in the kindliest and most encour- 
aging manner to him, telling him that his ambition for 
the progress of his people in enlightenment and material 
prosperity was one well worthy of a great chief, and that 
he hoped he would continue to be in the future as he had 
been in the past, a peacemaker. 

Knowing Poundmaker as I do, I shall watch with 
considerable interest the development of the story of his 
connection with the rising in the Battleford district. I 
shall be particularly anxious to know to what extent he 
acted on the offensive before his reserve was invaded. 

The reader is not yet done with Poundmaker, but it 
will be preferable to let the events related in this history 
bring his true character to light in their own time than to 
make unsupported assertions concerning it just now. We 
may here state, however, that the story of the Battle 
of Cut Knife Creek is but half-told. We have heard 
Colonel Otter's side of the story, but at a later period 
Poundmaker will have an opportunity of giving his 
version of the affair. It may be added here, however, that 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 193 

while the first telegraphic reports estimated Poundmaker's 
force at six hundred and his loss at from sixty to one 
hundred and twenty-five, the facts were that his force 
was little if any over two hundred and fifty and his 'loss 
was six or seven killed and about as many wounded. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 

WE now come to the decisive battle of the rebellion, 
the engagement which crushed the last hope of the 
Half-breeds and sent out their leaders Dumont and Kiel 
as hunted fugitives and outcasts. 

The events which took place on the South Saskatche- 
wan between the Battles of Fish Creek and Batoche can 
be briefly summed up. The wounded remained to be 
cared for and put in a place of safety before the column 
could move on down the river, but besides this there were 
other causes why General Middleton could not move on. 
The steamer Northcote, with the Midlanders, with sup- 
plies and with the invaluable Gatling, made very slow 
progress. The journey was a long one, the boat was 
heavily laden and the water was low. Day after day the 
boys remained in the neighbourhood of Fish Creek, 
where, as they afterwards learned, a mere handful of one 
hundred and twenty-five badly armed rebels had wrought 
such havoc upon a vastly more numerous force fully 
supplied with small arms and ammunition, as well as a fair 
complement of artillery. 

During this tedious delay General Middleton gave all 
sorts of excuses for his inaction. One day it was want 
of supplies, then he had not a sufficient medical staff to 
take with him after leaving a suitable force to look after 
the wounded. Then the excuse was that the wounded 
could neither be left where they were nor removed up the 
12 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

river to Saskatoon. The truth was that he was afraid 
to advance on the rebels' position at Batoche until he 
had been materially re-inforced. He had received a 
lesson at Fish Creek with regard to the fighting capacity 
of the Half-breeds, which he was not disposed to disregard. 
He might talk as he pleased, but there was no possible 
chance of his risking another reverse such as he had 
experienced on the 24th of April. He would have the 
Midland Battalion and the Gatling gun before again 
attacking the rebels. 

Again and again reports were sent out that General 
Middleton would certainly move at once, but the canny 
old soldier had no notion of bringing on another fight 
until he had overwhelming odds on his side. 

And it is not quite fair to accuse him of cowardice 
because he adopted this course. He had a superior force 
available and would have been to blame had he not used 
it. What he was blamed for, however, was for not 
exercising more nerve at Fish Creek, many thinking that 
prompt and resolute action on his part at the critical 
moment on that fatal day would have turned the tide 
and won the day for the loyal troops. Had that battle 
been won and the rebels routed there would have been 
no battle at Batoche's Ferry. 

On the 5th of May, the Northcote arrived at Clark's 
Crossing, and on the 7th (two days later) General Middle 
ton moved out of his camp at Fish Creek. 

In the meantime the commander had conceived the 
rather ludicrous idea of converting the Northcote into a 
gunboat. She was furnished with clumsy barricades, 
which were to serve as bulwarks, and, as she had no 
cannon to contend against, the task of rendering these 
barricades bullet-proof was not a difficult one. The utter 
folly of equipping and arming her in the manner 
described, was seen when she passed down the river and 
began the fight of May 9. Those on board of her not 
only failed to accomplish anything, but after barely 
escaping being caught by the ferry rope and held till 




MAP OT THE BOENES OI THB BATTLES OF DUCK LAKE, FISH GREEK, 
AND BATOCHB. 



196 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

every one on board could have been massacred or cap- 
tured, she drifted helplessly down stream where those 
aboard of her could not even see, to say nothing of taking 
part in, th battle. 

The battle at Batoche's Ferry was scattered over so 
much ground and covered so much time that it would be 
extremely difficult to present anything like a complete 
picture as from one point of view. A better plan will be 
to give the story of the fight in the words of those who 
witnessed it. The following is the story of the first day's 
fighting : 

On leaving the Fish Creek camp on Thursday after- 
noon we followed the river up to Gabriel Dumont's cross- 
ing, which we reached at 6 p.m., camping for the night. 
Our scouts under Lord Melgund had repeatedly pene- 
trated to Gabriel's, and knew that the woods were clear. 
Early on Friday morning Dumont's house (on the line 
between Sections 17 and 20, Township 42, Range 1, west 
of the third meridian) was visited and found deserted. 
The troops took out a billiard table and a washing 
machine and put them on board the Northcote, and then 
fired the house. The scouts then went on to the houses 
of Vaudal and Poitras on Section 29, right by the river, 
and fired them. They also attempted to get to Maxime 
Debois' house, Section 32, but this was unknown ground 
and they were recalled. Meanwhile the Northcole, fitted 
up as a gunboat, patrolled the river, keeping a sharp look- 
out on the west bank, where a few rebels had been seen 
on Thursday. On Friday afternoon the entire force 
marched from the camp at Gabriel's, following an old 
road running almost due east. The scouts had reported 
this route to be safe. It took us out of the dense under- 
brush fringing the river. It was slow marching. The 
path was narrow and broken, and on each side lay clumps 
of poplar and willow, with here and there a swamp. The 
road brought us to the old trail to Pritchard's Crossing 
v. Prince Albert, which further north skirts the base of 
the Birch Hills. After turning north on this trail for 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FEKRY. 197 

two miles, we camped for the night near one of the 
numerous alkaline ponds, and not far from the cross-trail 
leading into the Carrot River settlement. We were then 
eight miles east and a little south of Batoche's. 

The Northcote, under Captain Sheets, had been ordered 
to move slowly down the river. Our plan was to move 
on Batoche's from the east, while the boat took care of 
the river to the south of the settlement. The rebel pits 
began three hundred yards to the east of the church and 
ran in zig-zag form east and north. There were thirty 
or forty rows of them, one row partly covering the other 
and extending in a huge irregular three-quarter circle, 
embracing in all probably five sections of land, or three 
thousand two hundred acres, and running at least two 
miles north-east of Batoche's. The pits, placed from ten 
to fifty yards from one another, were five feet long, two 
and a-half feet wide and eighteen inches deep, with a 
breastwork of earth, rock and boughs a foot high at each 
end. A man could scoop out one of them in a few 
minutes. There were from five to twenty-five pits in a 
row, according to the nature of the ground. Retreat or 
advance from one row to another was readily accomplished 
through the scrub and along the rivulet bottoms. The 
rebels had also prepared excellent cover in the innumer- 
able small bluffs by throwing up breastworks of rock 
and poplar trees. A number of bluffs and ravines, lying 
far out, protected the main circle of pits, which was also 
well guarded in the rear. 

One week's sojourn at Fish Creek had enabled 
General Middleton to procure a great deal of information 
regarding the lie of the land : and it was a lucky thing, 
for the whole district was full of pits and ambuscades. 
Dumont had turned it into a perfect rabbit-warren. 

Friday night was fine but cold. Double pickets 
were posted, and the scouts were on the alert on every 
side. The men knew what was before them and few of 
them slept. We lay formed in a zareba. A Battery and 
the Gatling men under Lieutenant Howard (of the State 



198 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

National Guard of Connecticut, and agent for the Gatling 
factory there), were at their posts all night long. 
General Middleton issued a general order at 8 p.m., 
instructing the troops to be on parade at 4 a.m., to break- 
fast at 4.15, and to be ready to march at 5 sharp, each 
man carrying 100 rounds of ammunition. The baggage 
and the armed teamsters were to remain in the zareba 
camp, and also the few invalided and used-up men, most 
of them suffering from rheumatism, which of late had 
played the mischief with our entire force. 

At 4 am. in this northern latitude there is a good 
dawn. The men fell in sharp on time, the parade being 
conducted with as little noise as possible. The rebel 
scouts had kept track of us, however, from the time we 
left Fish Creek ; and had even fired at our men as we 
were leaving Dumont's. 

At 5.30 we started, going two miles north and east, 
and then striking the old trail that runs to Batoche's, the 
junction of the two roads being about nine miles from 
the settlement. Captain Secretan, of the Transport Corps, 
was left in charge of the camp, which, as I have said, was 
left standing. Our march due west was made in the 
following order: 

Boulton's Scouts 75 

Gatling (Captain Howard) 4 

Royal Grenadiers 262 

90th Battalion 275 

Midland Battalion 116 

A Battery (two guns) 95 

Winnipeg Field Battery (2 guns) 60 

French's Scouts (on flanks) 30 

Hospital and ammunition waggons. 

Total 917 

Nos. 1 and 2 Companies of the Royal Grena- 
diers headed that regiment. The country on the east 
side of Batoche's is broken and full of clumps, 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 199 

great caution was exercised. When about four miles 
from Batoche's, at 7 a.m., we heard the Northcote 
whistling a signal that had been agreed upon, and we at 
once answered her with a blank shot from a nine-pounder. 
Batoche's lies on both sides of the river, and the main 
village is in a basin-shaped depression, with stores on the 
east side of the river. When about a mile from the east 
bank, we came in view of the outskirts of the settle- 
ment, and the Gatling fired at the first house, but there 
was nobody there. It was a bright, clear morning, and 
we could watch operations quite distinctly at first ; but 
later in the day dense clouds of smoke hung over the 
whole basin. Our scouts now fell back, and A Battery, 
pushing on ahead, sent a shell through the second house. 
Some rebels immediately ran out of a ravine behind the 
house into the bush. The two houses took fire and were 
soon in ashes. Three hundred yards further on stands 
the Church of St. Antoine de Padua. A small school 
house stands near the church, both buildings being about 
two hundred yards from the high bank of the river. IB 
the rear is a thick wood of poplar, hazel and willow 
through which a deep ravine runs. The river makes a long 
sweep westward and then eastward, leaving Batoche's in 
a broad peninsula. We moved slowly on, and soon 
heard heavy firing along the river, the report of the big 
gun on the Northcote being easily distinguishable. The 
Gatling advanced to within a hundred yards of the 
school house and church, when a priest opened the door 
of the latter and waved a handkerchief. General 
Middleton at once rode up and found five priests and six 
men who had taken shelter there. They were taken 
care of, and were extremely thankful for their rescue. 
The Half-breeds had threatened to kill them all, and 
would have done so without doubt had not Garnot, one 
of the rebel leaders, insisted that the church should not 
be desecrated by murder. No sooner had the priests 
been saved than the Gatling let fly at the school house 
from our high elevation, but there was no response. A 



200 CANADA'S NOKTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Battery now came up, and began shelling the houses on 
both sides of the river. A dozen women and children 
were seen rushing out, and our men ceased firing for an 
instant, General Middleton having given strict injunctions 
to the force to spare non-combatants as far as possible. 

While we were watching these people run off, the 
rebels suddenly rose from the ravine right in front of us, 
and opened fire. The guns were ordered to the rear, and 
the Gatling, which Howard had been working so well, 
rained down a fusilade, but our position was too high, 
and the bullets flew over the ravine, and did no harm. 
This was a ticklish moment, and our men were thrown 
into some disorder. Howard, however, worked like a 
Trojan in the thick of it, and kept the rebels from 
charging us. We should have lost many lives, and 
probably our guns, but for the Gatling. Meanwhile the 
first two companies of the Grenadiers advanced to the 
edge of the wood in rear of the school house, and a little 
to the right of the spot where we first felt the rebel fire. 
The rebels detected the movement, and desperate efforts 
were made to turn our left flank by their men in the 
bush under the high river bank and on the slope, who 
fired with great vigour; but they had nothing but shot 
guns, and their fire fell short. Some rebels with rifles on 
the other side of the river also took a hand in, but the 
Gatling silenced them. 

It was now 9.45 o'clock. The sharpshooters of the 
90th, armed with Martini-Henry rifles, and the dismounted 
men of A Battery were here brought up and ordered to 
lie down and fire over the crest of the rising ground into 
the ravine and the bush on the river. The main body of 
the 90th was deployed to protect our right centre, which 
was threatened by another row of rebel riflemen in a 
ravine, and to support our left centre and left. The 
heaviest firing was now being done at these points. The 
Gatling, having done excellent work on the left of the first 
ravine, was forthwith brought to the rear of the left 
centre, and was just opening out, when the underbrush 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 201 

in another ravine behind us took fire and spread fiercely. 
For a time we were surrounded by fires from the sloughs, 
the smoke of which rolled along the ground like a dense 
fog. It was a tight place, but the troops never for a 
moment flinched. They simply looked to their officers, 
who in turn patiently waited for orders from the chief. 

At 11.30 a.m. the order came. It was for the force to 
move back a little. Our wounded had been placed in the 
church, but as it was well within the rebel range and the 
bush fire seemed likely to reach it, they were taken out 
and carried to the rear near the ammunition waggons. 
By the time this had been done the rebels had opened at our 
left flank, and also in rear of our right flank, all the time 
maintaining their steady f usilade upon our centre and left 
centre. Here it was thought by some officers that we 
were about to be surrounded, and they certainly swarmed 
on all sides, shouting and cheering, as though they 
thought they had us in a trap. The Winnipeg Batter y 
however, succeeded in planting four shells right in front 
among their pits, and this kept them off. Evidently, 
from their experience at Fish Creek, the rebels were well 
aware when shell was fired. They detected either the 
report or more probably the word of command, and en- 
sconced themselves in their pits, lying flat on their faces, 
until the shell burst and the danger was past. 

At 1 p.m. we caught sight of a small body of rebels 
gliding up a ravine on our left, and it was supposed they 
were moving away. Five minutes later they popped up 
their heads within one hundred yards of our men and 
fired a volley with Winchesters. Gunner Phillips of A 
Battery was killed, and two of the same corps wounded, 
and the battery with the scouts was compelled to fall 
back. The fire now slackened until 2 p.m., when half 
the Midland Battalion was sent up to the ravine last 
mentioned, with a stretcher in charge of Dr. Codd, of 
Winnipeg, to get out Phillips' body. They were met with 
a hot fire, but the Winchester men on the rebel side had 
gone away to another part of the field, and the rest had 



202 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

only shot guns. The body was secured, none of the Mid- 
land men beipg injured on the trip. 

Four scouts were sent back at this time (3 p.m.) to 
order up some tents and waggons. The firing almost 
ceased for a time now, and our men lay down while the 
scouts reconnoitred. At six o'clock the rebels began 
again, and at 7 p.m. the firing was going on, but it was at 
long range and no damage was being done. 

It was painfully evident that we had not men enough. 
Owing to their position, one rebel was as good as ten volun- 
teers, just as it was at Fish Creek. The firing on our 
part had to be done at the puffs of smoke from their guns, 
or at the spots where we supposed the enemy to be. The 
terribly broken ground rendered it difficult for the big 
guns to get into action, and when they did open they could 
do little with an enemy lying in pits and protected by 
trees and a heavy underbrush. General Middleton said 
the men had done remarkably well that day all things 
considered. Captain Howard was loudly cheered that 
evening. His Gatling saved us from serious disaster. 
At 5 p.m. our scouts captured Wm. Brush, a breed, who 
was hovering near our rear. He said he escaped from 
Kiel three days before. He placed the rebel force at four 
hundred men, half of whom were Indians. Two hundred 
of them were on this side and two hundred on the other 
side of the river. The priests confirmed this. They 
said the Northcote ran down the river that morning under 
a heavy fire. At 8.30 a.m. our men saw that her smoke- 
stack had been knocked down. Bullets had probably 
smashed the wire bracing. We saw no more of her but 
about noon she was heard whistling, and then appeared 
to be going down the stream in the direction of Prince 
Albert. At 6 o'clock she began whistling as though from 
up the stream. 

Such is the account of the first day's fighting at 
Batoche, written the same night and in the hurry and 
excitement of a camp, not only under a dropping fire at 
long range, but in momentary expectation of an attack 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 203 

from an exultant foe. The following more detailed 
account, written under more favourable circumstances, 
will be found interesting and valuable : 

It is needless to say the result of Saturday's fight has 
not been satisfactory to either side, and that the enemy 
find themselves under fire in their last stronghold is about 
the greatest satisfaction we can get out of the situation. 
The day commenced at four o'clock, and by six we were 
en route; the teamsters, under Transport Officer Secretan, 
being left to guard the camp, every tent standing and all 
the baggage except haversacks behind. The road was 
miry in many places, and several ammunition waggons 
sticking fast delayed rapid advance. When within four 
miles of Batoche and within site of the opposite bank of 
the river, the whistle of the Northcote was heard, and one 
of the Winnipeg guns fired a blank cartridge as an answer- 
ing signal. There seems little doubt that this was a mis- 
take and some other means of communication should 
have been adopted. The report gave notice to the enemy 
of our approach, and so far as we know was regarded as 
an order to advance by the boat. Two miles further on, 
after passing a Half-breed cemetery, we reached the first 
evidences of a regular settlement, though isolated houses 
and Cree cabins (our daily trail lay through one Assoris 
reserve) were always in sight. All the houses and barns 
along the road but one were burned as our infantry 
reached them. 

At eight o'clock one of the A (Quebec) Battery 
guns fired a shell through the upper storey of a house on 
the right of the road and several rebels hurriedly skedad- 
dled. Very little further on, the Boulton Infantry with 
Howard and his Gatling being in advance, we came in 
full view of the much -talked -of Church of Antoine de 
Padua, a weather-boarded, unpainted structure sixty by 
thirty or thereabouts, with a two and a-half storey 
school house similar in materials, fifty feet distant and 
toward the river. Between the school-house and the 
church was a camp of Indians, and the scouts retiring, 



204 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Howard opened with his Gatling, scattering the enemy, 
who ran rearward, leaving their breakfasts on the fire. 
Thirty shots were fired high in the school house, in which 
were several Half-breed women and children. These 
waved a flag of truce. A quarter of an hour passed in 
parley with the priests, from whom it was learned that 
the enemy numbered about two-hundred Halfbreeds and 
as many Indians, equally divided by the river; they 
were absolutely without flour, sugar, and tea, (the latter 
almost a necessity to them) short of ammunition, 
especially lead, and many of them dissatisfied with Kiel. 
From the priests we learned that at 8.30 the boat sailed 
past Batoche's Ferry, the smoke-stack down ; and while 
the talk progressed we heard her whistle from below the 
Ferry, seemingly a couple of miles away by water. The 
stream makes a semi-circular curve and thus leaving 
Batoche's and the church, in a rounded promontory in 
rear of the opposite landing, at which the ferry scow was 
moored, was a group of tepees, some of them brilliantly 
painted. At these and one or two houses beyond, A 
Battery first fired and then we saw the enemy. They 
scurried over the hills north-eastward and southward in 
great haste, women and children being in the majority. 
Several shells were next fired at the houses beyond 
Batoche's dwelling, and we were all standing watching the 
effect as if the enemy had retreated. In moving one of 
the guns after it was shotted the shell was jammed and 
several times missed fire. As if the snap of the primer 
had been a signal, fiendish whoops came from the ravine 
beneath our feet; the rush of men through the scrub 
below was heard, and a shower of bullets rushed over 
our heads. The heavy guns were ordered to retire 
instanter, and one of them catching in a tree, was held 
fast for a few minutes. A semi-panic seized most of the 
onlookers, and they ran backward into a coulee behind. 
How we all escaped from death or wounds at the first 
fire no one can tell. But that we all got out eventually 
all right is due to Captain Howard (the American officer) 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 205 

and his Gatling. Instead of retiring, he advanced and 
poured in a withering fire. One of the gunners was shot 
through both legs, but Howard never flinched. He was 
a target for concealed marksmen, but he turned the 
crank as coolly as if giving an exhibition. While the 
artillery bad been playing from the crest, A and B 
Companies of Grenadiers, the advance of the column, 
had come beyond the church, moving in from the right. 
When the attack was made from the ravine they were 
advanced rapidly into the brush and, extended as 
skirmishers, took position within one hundred and fifty 
yards of the rifle pits. The sharpshooters of the 90th, 
armed with Martini- Henrys, were sent forward to the 
crest to support the Gatling, two companies of the 90th 
to the left flank and along the river bank, the dismounted 
detachment of A Battery and French's scouts being 
sent down the small ravine into which we retreated from 
the crest. The rest of the Grenadiers formed the centre. 
The Midlands were in reserve near the church, near 
which the General and staff took a position, while the 
remaining companies of the 90th, aided by the Winnipeg 
Field Battery and dismounted detachments, were deployed 
on the right centre, right, and right flank. Before very 
long the enemy came around from the mouth of the 
main ravine and attacked A Battery and the scouts. 
Both sides fought persistently, and here Phillips lost 
his life and Cook was wounded. The scouts being 
farther down were in a bad place, but Howard discerning 
it moved his gun farther along the crest and diverted the 
enemy until the scouts and batterymen got into better 
position? The rebels had a great deal more ammunition 
than they were credited with. For hours the falling 
shots kept up, and about noon the enemy had crawled 
around, and were trying to turn our left. This they did 
not succeed in doing, troops being sent to a small ceme- 
tery which was on a point of the bluff on our left flank. 
On the right centre the enemy kept an individual tire, 
and about one o'clock got on our right flank, Boulton's 



206 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

scouts and the Winnipeg artilleries held them off ; but as 
by this time we could hear the enemy on almost all sides, 
the fear of a surround grew into prominence in many 
hearts. We had not heard anything from the steamer 
for hours, but between one and two her whistle sounded 
several miles further down stream. That the enemy had 
not deserted her vicinity was shown by several volleys 
which followed the sound of the whistle. Again the 
Indians resorted to their old tactics and fired the brush 
and grass in front of our right, trusting to the wind to 
blow the flames into our centre and left. For a time it 
looked as if the plan would prove successful and the 
outlying skirmishers had a smoky time of it. The 
church had been turned into a hospital ; but as it was 
exposed to fire from the enemy and from the burning 
brush, the wounded were hurriedly made comfortable in 
waggons, and moved to a place of comparative safety in 
the rear. About two o'clock one company of the 
Midlands under Col. Williams was sent into the smaller 
ravine and down the bluff, to get the body of Phillips. 
When first wounded he was able to speak, and it was 
hoped he might be rescued alive. Dr. Alfred Codd, of 
Winnipeg, gallantly offered to accompany the troops and 
did so. They got Phillips amid a terrific fire terrific in 
continuancy, but fortunately too high. The Catling 
again served to distract the enemy. The poor fellow had 
been first shot (and not mortally) through the shoulder, 
but when he tried to move it is supposed the enemy 
made him a target. He was shot through the head. 
At the same time Phillips was first shot the scouts were 
having it hot and heavy, and when about to retreat 
Cook was hit. He called out, " Captain French, my leg is 
broken. For God's sake, don't leave me here." Under 
a rattling rain of balls, French stooped, put Cook on his 
back, and staggered through the brush and up the hill to 
safety amid the applause of comrades. The act was 
worth a V. C. Toward three o'clock the fire slackened 
somewhat, though a head shown by either party was * 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 207 

target for a score of bullets. About this time General 
Middleton concluded to retire to our present position, 
which is between five and six hundred yards distant 
from the church, and immediately sent Boui ton's mounted 
men back to the cainp to bring up the transport. He 
and Melgund had a hurried consultation and the latter 
started, as we supposed, for the old camp, but really for 
Ottawa via Humboldt. By 6.30 all the troops, except 
those actually engaged, were in and about the ground, 
and an advance scout from Boulton reported the transport 
Baf e and en route on the trot. Hurried breastworks with 
earth and poplar trees were thrown up on our rear (then 
thought to be the most exposed portion) and as soon as 
this was done fires were lighted, and the preparation of 
supper such sort as could be hurriedly prepared 
started. The Gatling opened to cover the retreat of our 
advance lines toward camp. Rapidly the transport was 
driven into a zareba shape, except that the lines formed 
were double, and the rear was open. The Gatling kept 
firing quickly (about 3,000 rounds were used during 
the day), and volleys from both sides turned our atten- 
tion to the church from which our advanced lines were 
retreating, covering and being covered by the American 
gun. Here, as elsewhere, the wonder is that our loss was 
not heavy. The only reasonable explanations are poor 
ammunition, poor and hurried marksmanship, greater 
caution on the part of our forces, and a kind Providence. 
At last the men withdrew, tired, hungry and angry that the 
day's work had not proved more successful, and hopeful 
of at least a short rest. They were doomed to disappoint- 
ment; the cartridge boxes had scarcely been laid down 
when they had to be refilled and donned. The rebels, 
well aware of our retirement, took advantage of their 
safe route under the brow of the cliff, and rising over 
the brow fired into the zareba. The 90th and the Grena- 
diers were sent outside on the run and gallantly repelled 
the attack, but not before Moor had been killed (he 
was in the zareba at the time) and five men wounded. 



208 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Night came at length, but tired as we were it was scarcely 
welcome. We were cooped up, and had the extreme satis- 
faction of furnishing a good mark for potshooters. In 
the corral were more than six hundred mules and horses, 
and eighty cattle. Men were busy throwing up hasty 
entrenchments ; teamsters, nervous and frightened, were 
yelling at equally nervous animals ; around the hospital 
tents the doctors were busy in dressing wounds, probing 
for bullets, etc. The bullets were whizzing and pinging 
overhead, and occasionally striking inside. Pleasant 
prospect for the night, especially when one remembered 
that a favourite trick among the reds is to stampede the 
cattle and horses of the enemy. Hoofs would be apt to 
deal worse wounds than balls, and against affrighted 
animals, cooped up within a small space, we had abso- 
lutely no defence. The anticipations of a mean night 
were largely realized, though thus far we have escaped a 
stampede. Few, if any, slept five hours consecutively, 
and the firing was kept up almost all night. At daylight 
on Sunday morning our lines were again advanced 
beyond the night's position, and the scattered shooting 
recommenced. We had better luck yesterday, and several 
dead enemies lay in sight of those who shot them. 
Martin was wounded early in the morning, but no one 
else until evening. By 9 a.m. the usual question was, 
" What are we to do ? Stay here, advance and take 
Batoche, or retreat to our camp of Friday last ? " Of 
course General Mid die ton was the only one who could 
answer these questions, and he wouldn't for some time. 
He evidently hadn't made up his mind, and was at first 
in favour of retiring to the camp nine miles away. 
Afterwards, however, he decided to remain and fortify, 
remarking : " I can make this place impregnable, and we 
can keep pegging away at them. I haven't enough men 
to charge their position." Teamsters and everybody who 
could wield pick or shovel were put to work, and by 
evening the fortifications were in excellent shape. A 
plan was laid by which, when the Grenadiers retired 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 209 

from the front, they were to do so in a seeming hurry 
and entice the enemy to show over the bank, where they 
were to afford good targets for the 90th sharp- 
shooters, who were to relieve the Grenadiers. The plan 
was carried out, except in one important particular. 
The 90th opened too soon and gave the game away 
to the enemy, who did not show over the bank, but fired 
from the position held throughout the day and from 
numerous points across the river. 

The story of the second day's fighting is told in the 
following, which takes up the history on Sunday 
morning : 

After the fight at the southern skirt of the rifle pits 
on Saturday, we camped for the night in a large cleared 
space two hundred yards west of the Church of St. 
Antoine. The rebels on the west side of the river, some 
two hundred strong, fired one or two volleys across, but 
their bullets fell short. It was a fine night though some- 
what chilly. There is twilight now in these northern 
latitudes until 9 p.m., and dawn breaks at 3.30 a.m. 
General Middleton issued an order at 8 p.m. thanking the 
troops for their efforts during the day, and warning them 
that there was still a great deal of heavy work before 
them. Double pickets were posted. The artillery and 
Gatling men stood beside their guns. The troops were 
firing off and on for several hours. The smoke from the 
underbrush fires kindled during the afternoon still hung 
about the place, and rolled down the river. Now and 
then we could hear the ki-yi-ki-yi-yi of the Indians in 
front ; on towards midnight many shots were fired ; and 
on the whole we passed a very hard night. Captain 
Secretan, who had been left behind with armed teamsters 
in charge of our waggons, seven miles to the east on the 
Hoodoo trail, sent word at midnight that everything was 
safe there. This was welcome news, for if Dumont had 
captured our supply train it would have been all up with 
us. Secretan's mounted messengers were mistaken by 
the pickets for Mounted Police, and word went through 
13 



210 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

the camp that Colonel Irvine had come in with a force 
from Prince Albert. But there was no such luck. 

The troops stood to arms sharp at 4 o'clock this (Sun- 
day) morning. There was a film of ice on the water- 
pails, and the men were weary, stiff, and sore from 
fatigue, want of sleep, and rheumatism. The rebels had 
been moving about all night, and the moment we began 
to stir their advance fired a few shots, and gave a loud 
cheer, apparently by way of a challenge. The troops 
were quite cool and collected, though the prospect of 
another prolonged conflict with this wily enemy was by 
no means a cheering one. General Middleton had let it 
be understood, however, that most of the work would be 
left to the artillery ; and at the parade the officers cau- 
tioned the men against exposing themselves. A hurried 
breakfast was made of hard-tack, bacon, and tea, and 
then a brief delay occurred, the General waiting to hear 
from the scouts who had gone forward to the outskirts of 
the bush. 

It was a Sunday morning which we are not likely to 
forget. Dr. Orton and his assistants, aided by a fatigue 
party, had put up a field hospital in the rear, where Satur- 
day's wounded were lying, soon to be joined by many 
other gallant sufferers. I walked down there at 5 o'clock. 
A party had just been detailed to bury Gunner Phillips, 
of A Battery, killed on the previous afternoon. The grave 
was being dug, but I learn that he was not buried until 
this evening, the men having been called into action. 
The doctors, anticipating another ghastly day's work, 
were busy in their main tent, getting ready lint bandages 
and making rude camp beds out of all sorts of material. 
Dr. Orton said the rebels were now using slugs in their 
shot guns and even duck shot. 

Our artillery moved forward at 5.20, and opened on 
the ravines where the fighting was done yesterday. Two 
guns were directed against the houses in the basin-shaped 
depression along the river. A few rebels lay behind three 
log shanties just below the river bank, and the artillery 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FEKRY. 211 

soon drove them out. The enemy did not attempt to 
answer our artillery fire except at times, between shots, 
when they let fly at the artillery men, who were pretty 
well covered, however, by skirmishers. Nothing was 
seen of the Northcote. At 8 a.m. skirmishers from the 
Royal Grenadiers and the 90th were sent a little ahead 
towards the groves of spruce and poplar north of our 
position. Howard, with the Gatling, accompanied them, 
and kept up a rattling fusilade for half-an-hour. The 
rebels did not fire back, but lay low in their rifle pits. 
Occasionally two or three of them would jump up and 
fire and then run, apparently with the view of drawing 
our men after them ; but strict orders had been issued 
against following them. This game of hide-and-seek 
lasted a long while, no damage being done on either 
side. We could not, for prudential reasons, attempt to 
charge the pits ; and, for similar reasons, the rebels 
refrained from running up against our big guns and 
Gatling. 

The rebel shanties along the river were knocked into 
splinters by 8.30 a.m., and troops were ordered up to 
make a dash for the principal houses behind the bluffs. 
But the men had no sooner formed on the slope than the 
rebels on the west bank of the river popped up, and began 
firing, many with Winchesters, at long range. Six or 
seven volunteers were wounded here, and the men were 
at once ordered back. This was repeated two or three 
times during the day. 

The fighting during the rest of the day does not admit 
of detailed description. Our artillery would blaze away 
for an hour, and then the skirmishers would advance, 
only to fall back as the rebels, who kept well under cover 
while shells were flying, suddenly rose in rows in their 
pits. Neither side gained the slightest advantage. Had 
Colonel Irvine appeared in the rebel rear we should have 
had them in a trap. It was rumoured early in the day, 
two couriers from Prince Albert having come in on 
Saturday night, that he was on the way ; but this was 
not true. 



212 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

The big gun firing, advancing, and withdrawing grew 
quite monotonous, especially as the rebels were a long 
way off, and out of sight ; but it was the only safe game 
to play. Their pits covered an enormous lot of ground, 
and being placed at every possible angle, one partly 
covering another, with easy means of access between 
them, a charge would expose us to an enfilading and cross 
fire. Besides this, the ground is rough and broken, with 
sloughs and ravines and dense underbrush. Under such 
conditions a bayonet charge would be sheer murder for 
us. If we had mortars, no doubt we could drive them 
out of the pits, but the nine-pounders simply wreck the 
trees over head, while the rebel lies snug in his hole. 

The rebel position as well as we can make out is this : 
Behind their rows of pits which lie to the front of us, to 
our right, and then away north in a half-moon, trenches 
ten or twelve feet wide have been dug, which they will 
use as their "last ditch." These trenches run north-east 
and then north-west, a breast work being formed on the 
inside of each gully with fallen timber and underbrush. 
Should they be driven out of their advance pits, the rebels 
will, of course, retreat upon the first row, from that to 
the second, from there to the third, and so on till the 
trenches are reached. The priests say they are short of 
ammunition and have only a few cattle. To-day they 
certainly practised great economy in firing. Our scouts 
at first thought that the Half-breeds in the Qu'Appelle 
valley were supplying them from the west side of the river, 
but this was a mistake. They appear to be entirely 
cut off from supplies. 

At this hour (G p.m.) our big guns are firing occasional 
shots, to which no response is being made by the rebels. 
Practically, we stand just where we did this morning. 
The houses north of the church have long since been ren- 
dered uninhabitable, and it is evidently the General's 
intention to send the troops quietly alon^ the river, so as 
to get on the rebel flank, provided this can be accom- 
plished in the face of the rebels on the west bank. Our 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 



213 



casualties have not been very serious. How the rebels 
have fared we do not know. 

General Middleton will not renew the fight in the morn- 
ing unless attacked, his aim bein^to starve the rebels out. 

The troops behaved splendidly. The General says 
they are fast becoming veterans. Most of the injured 
to-day were hit with slugs, which cause jagged and painful 
flesh-wounds. 




OAPT. JAMBS MASON, ROYAL GRENADIERS. 



Lord Melgund has gone to Ottawa on private business. 
He came here at first as a spectator, and had arranged 
to start for England with his family this month. He has 
rendered us invaluable service. 

Reinforcements are expected to-morrow night with a 
quantity of supplies from the Minnow. 

Captain Mason's wound is a painful one, but by no 
means serious. He led his company with great dash. 
The wounded are doing well 



214 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

General Middleton's headquarters to-night are in the 
church. We have a strong position here and are quite safe 
in case of attack. 

The Northcote has not been heard of since yesterday. 
She had a number of men on board, among them Lieu- 
tenant Hugh J.Macdonald, of the 90th (son of the Premier). 

On Sunday night about half -past ten the waggons 
came up and formed & close corral enclosing about twelve 
acres with waggons on all sides except one about one 
hundred yards east of the church. No tents were pitched 
except two for hospital use. , The camp was not formed 
when the enemy attacked in the front and on both flanks. 
A heavy skirmish line was sent out and repulsed the 
attack, but not before hundreds of shots fell in the enclos- 
ure. Thomas Moor. C Company, Grenadiers, was shot 
through the head and killed. Private Stead, A Com- 
pany, Grenadiers, was shot through the arm, both while in 
the corral. During the retiring of the advance line of 
skirmishers from the ravine on Saturday night, Privates 
Scovel, A Company, and Cantwell, B Company, the 
first in the arm, the second in the thigh and shoulder, 
were severely wounded. Private T. Kemp, A Company, 
90th, severely wounded in the left eye at the same time. 
On Sunday morning Private Martin, Royal Grenadiers, 
while on left front was severely wounded in the shoulder. 
The total casual ties to this date were two killed and eleven 
wounded, but the list would have been much larger if the 
enemy had had more ammunition. 

A correspondent writing from Batoche on May 11 
tells his portion of the story thus : The rebels let us alone 
last night. A few scattering shots were fired about day- 
break. Shortly after seven we began to make a recon- 
naissance in force. We had been making reconnaissances 
over and over again since Saturday, advancing and then 
withdrawing time after time, not much damage being done on 
either side. General Middleton had half-led us to think 
that he intended to remain in our strong positions with- 
out carry ing onaggressive hostilities until the Half-breeds 



THU BATTLE OF BATOCHE's FERRY. 215 

succumbed to lack of supplies. About 10 a.m., however, 
it became evident that something more than a mere 
reconnaissance was on foot. v The artillery were ordered to 
fire vigorously, and the A men worked for all they were 
worth. The Winnipeg Battery, posted on the top of the slope, 
sent shells into the houses north of the church and across 
the river, where a few Indians had gathered threaten- 
ingly. In the forenoon the Grenadiers, 90th and Midland 
were fighting in a long line, pressing in upon the rebel pits 
that protected the houses below the church. The rebels 
replied to our fire with great energy at first, but at 11 
a.m., they had almost ceased firing, probably from want 
of ammunition. General Middleton had worked round on 
the rebel rear, and at noon our cannonading increased. 
Some time before this a message had been brought to him 
under a flag of truce. The rebel chief threatened to 
murder his white prisoners if the troops fired on the Half- 
breed women and children. The General replied that 
the women and children should be placed in one of the 
houses and that if this were done the troops would save 
the house. Kiel sent back a vague answer, his object 
evidently being to bring about delay and get the troops 
to stop firing for a while. At the time he sent the first 
message the women and children, as we afterwards 
learned, were safe, some on the other side of the river and 
some ten miles up north. 

The artillery fire grew hotter and hotter up to 2 p.m., 
when preparations were begun for a charge upon the first 
row of rifle pits covering the houses. The Gatling (Howard 
in charge) delivered a raking fire upon the pits, driving 
the rebels back. The moment their line of sharpshooters 
began to waver, General Middleton ordered Colonel Van 
Straubenzie to lead the troops forward, and a rush was made 
all along the line. The rebels stoutly contested every pit, 
but ultimately broke and fled north-east into their other 
pits, where they now are. The buildings north of the 
church were at once occupied by the troops and the 
prisoners saved. The men behaved magnificently, getting 



216 CANADA'S NORTH- WEST REBELLION. 

over the broken ground amid the rain of buckshot, slugs, 
and bullets in splendid style, cheering as they charged. 

The following is an official despatch from General 
Middleton: 

Hon. A. P. Caron, Ottawa : 

BATOCHE'S HOUSE, May 11, ) 
via CLARK'S CROSSING, May 12. j 

Have just made a general attack and carried the whole 
settlement. The men behaved splendidly. The rebels 
are in full flight. Sorry to say have not got Kiel. While 
I was reconnoitering this morning, William Astley, one of 
the prisoners, galloped with a flag of truce and handed 
me a letter from Kiel, which read 

" If you massacre our families I shall massacre the 
prisoners." 

I sent answer that if he would put his women and 
children in one place and let me know where it was, not 
a shot should be fired on them. I then returned to camp 
and pushed on my advance parties, who were heavily 
fired on. I so pressed on until I saw my chance and 
ordered a general advance. The men responded nobly, 
splendidly led by their officers and Col. Van Straubenzie ; 
drove the enemy out of rifle-pit after rifle-pit ; forced 
their way across the plain and seized the horses ; and we 
are now masters of the place, and most of my force will 
bivouac there. Right in the heat of the action Mr. Astley 
came back with another missive from Kiel, as follows : 

" GENERAL, Your prompt answer to my note shows 
that I was right mentioning to you the cause of humanity. 
We will gather our families in one place and as soon as 
it is done we will let you know. I have, etc. 

" Louis DAVID (sic) KIEL." 

On the envelope he had written as follows : 

" I do not like war, and if you do not retreat andrefuse 

an interview, the question remains the same concerning 

the prisoners." 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE*S FEKBY. 217 

Our loss, I am afraid, is heavy, but not so heavy as 
might be expected, as yet. The prisoners are all released 
and safe in my cnmp. Among them is Jackson, a white 
man, who was Kiel's secretary, but who is mad and rather 
dangerous. 

(Signed) FRED. MIDDLETON, 

Major- General. 

The following accounts will be found more compre- 
hensive than the foregoing, as the writers had an oppor- 
tunity to put the events together in something like the 
order in which they occurred. 

One correspondent thus tells the story after reaching 
Prince Albert: About five o'clock on the morning of the 
9th inst. the entire force under the General left their camp 
of the previous night and moved on Batoche, about eight 
miles distant. The camp was left standing, that no im- 
pediments might interfere with the best righting being 
done by every available man. The trail led through an 
open country until the Indian houses were reached, when 
it became bluffy, with frequent sloughs, and afforded a 
safe covering for the enemy from which to pepper our 
men as they advanced to their four days' fight. Major 
Boulton's scouts led the advance, and about eight o'clock 
the Northcotes whistle was heard and answered with 
volleys of blank cartridge from the Winnipeg Field 
Battery. In another minute the battle of Batoche was 
begun. No. 1 Company, Royal Grenadiers, was ordered to 
the front, followed by the remainder of the battalion, and 
the whole extended in skirmishing order under the fire 
of the rebels coming from behind the protection of their 
rifle pits. While this was being done the guns and Gat- 
ling were ordered to the front, and the orders were obeyed 
at a gallop and with cheering. Howard, with his *'pet," 
as cool as a right-do wn-easter, reached the open at the 
church and opened his rain-fall of lead upon the Indians 
with a " Take that, and that, and that, you devils, " as if 
he were sportingly firing into a covey of birds. With each 



218 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

turn of the crank he would repeat his set phrase, until the 
scene became humorous, and the Indians scattered before 
the hailstorm of bullets. The guns then came up and 
occupied a position upon the plateau overlooking the river 
and Batoche, and shelled the houses to the front. Then 
it was that poor Mason was shot, a little distance to the 
right of the church, and Major Dawson rushed back for 
the surgeon, the bullets whistling with a tish as he left 
his place for the moment. The guns upon the plateau 
were noticed to be in danger, and an Indian rush upon 
them was only averted by the Gatling being run in to 
their front, and pouring upon the advance the deadly 
missive with Howard's accompaniment to every turn of 
the crank: "Take that, and that, and that." The infantry 
at this period occupied a position somewhat irregular in 
shape from its following the line of bush in front of the 
enemy's pits, and the men lay down and opened fire. The 
right of the column was somewhat thrown back, part of 
the 90th covering its right flank. The Grenadiers occu- 
pied the centre, with one company of the Midland on 
their left. This was the position the forces maintained 
for the remainder of the day, under a well directed fire 
from the enemy, with a more or less irregular fire from 
our men. At four o'clock Lord Melgund left the field, 
arriving at Humboldt under the guidance of two scouts the 
next morning at six. A multitude of causes have been 
assigned for his sudden departure at such a critical 
moment in the history of affairs. Camp gossip has it this 
and that and the other thing. Some whisper that he has had 
a disagreement with the General. Others, again, allege 
that his errand away was one for "Regulars," so despondent 
had the General become at the determined resistance of the 
rebels. There is little question of the doubtful position 
of affairs in the General's mind being the true reason, and 
the entire matter possesses important suggestions of the 
absolute need of mutual knowledge and confidence between 
officers and men, so that the former may not incorrectly 
assume against the latter until they have been given a 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FEBRT. 219 

trial. Plucky as was our fire, it seemed to be entirely 
ineffectual. The rebels seldom, if ever, showed up, being 
completely sheltered in their pits. About two o'clock the 
order came to retire, but the movement was immedi- 
ately perceived by the enemy, as indicated by the brisk 
fusilade opened upon our men, indicating again that our 
opponents were quite alive to every movement of the 
General. As quickly as it was given, therefore, the order 
was countermanded, and our attack resumed, and kept up 
unceasingly until dark. It having been decided not to 
abandon our position, an escort was sent back and a zareba 
formed about 700 or 800 yards to the rear of our line of 
skirmishers, upon which the men fell back with the most 
perfect order and great steadiness worthy of the best form 
of the oldest campaigners. Darkness overtook the men 
before they were told off for their positions of the night, 
but the metal was there, and though under continuous fire 
no time was lost in forming an outer line of defence with 
fence rails, bags of oats, bales of hay, and whatever other 
protection hands could be laid on. All the while rebel 
bullets came showering into the zareba wounding both 
man and beast, making the position most unpleasant, the 
more so as the game of " tit for tat " was impossible and 
useless, for not a rebel could be seen. In this disagree- 
able and dangerous state of affairs our men had to snatch 
their tea not tea, for fires were not permitted of hard 
tack and potted meat, and then their sleep, and truly it 
was the sleep of the weary, for every man was done up 
after his all-day fight. 

The night passed slowly enough ; but too quickly, 
though, for the men ordered out next morning at. five to 
occupy the position of the previous day. The attempt to 
do this was made, and made in a truly soldierly spirit, 
but it failed, for we did not succeed in getting within two 
hundred yards of our position of the day before. From 
five in the early morning until sunset the men fought, and 
fought bravely, lying upon their faces and keeping up a 
desultory dropping fire upon the enemy's pits, but nothing 



220 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

was gained, and our men were becoming dispirited at the 
result and longing for the word to charge, which did not 
come. The Midland copied the tactics of the enemy, and 
on the left, overlooking the river, dug out rifle pits, and 
saved a successful flank attack from the enemy in that 
direction. Thus the day passed wearily enough indeed, 
and hard- tack and potted meat was again eaten with the 
relish of exhausted and hungry men. Sleep was less 
interrupted this night, for the enemy's fire ceased with 
darkness coming on, perhaps because they failed to come 
within the same range of our camp as that of the night 
before. Another day the third day and still the same; 
no advantage seemed to be gained, except that the 90th 
forced their advance as far as the church, and the Mid- 
land, under Colonel Williams, advanced far enough along 
the river bank on the left side to allow two guns of the 
Winnipeg Battery to throw a few shells into Batoche, a 
mile or so distant. Again the men lay down, and fought, 
being peppered at all the while, and presenting an open 
target for the rebels. The coolness and indifference of 
our men was most praiseworthy. Their self-restraint 
under the unerring fire of the enemy is the surest 
evidence of the truest discipline in the men. Their one 
desire was to charge, and the word to charge would not 
come, so they did their duty as it was given them to do, 
but with a mental resentment at being made a target for 
bullets with no means of retaliation. Perhaps it was as 
well, for their passive submission to the state of affairs 
goaded the men into fierceness, and when the moment 
came each man was possessed with the ferocity of rage 
and revenge. Colonel Van Straubenzie, Colonel Williams, 
Colonel Grasett, and Captain Hague knew the pulse of 
the men, and saw that something must be done, and 
decided upon a charge, weal or woe. Captain Hague 
pointed out the point of attack, and the next day was 
settled upon to end this dispiriting fight of three days. 
On Tuesday the General left the camp about nine in the 
morning with the Intelligence Corps under Captain 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 221 

Dennis, and one gun of A Battery and the Gatling, going 
by the old trail on to the open plateau. His instructions 
to Colonel Van Straubenzie were that if he engaged the 
enemy the Grenadiers and Midland should advance at 
the double. No sound came from the General's direction, 
and so his orders were not carried out. On his return 
the troops knew their wishes were to be fulfilled, and the 
word to double would be given. Dinner and then to 
work was the order. The key of the position was again 
pointed out, and a further consultation was held between 
Van Straubenzie, Williams, Grasett,and Hague. Theattack 
should be made on the left if practicable, and the men had 
barely reached the position held on the first day when the 
long-looked-for command : " Break into double, double," 
came, and was answered with thrilling cheers of satisfac- 
tion from the men. Their turn had come they knew 
it they felt it, and with a rush and a cheer they 
were down on the rebels with the fierceness of Bashi- 
Bazouks, the Midland on the left, and the Grenadiers 
in the centre, and the 90th on the right. The advance 
came sweeping round until but a few minutes saw the line 
of direction at right angles to the original line of attack. 
The cheering was that of satisfied and contented men, and 
the enthusiasm was intense. Nothing could have withstood 
the pace, the force, and the dogged determination of the 
men. The cheering attracted the General, and, taking in 
the situation at a glance, he came on with the Winnipeg 
Artillery, Gatling, and three companies of the 90th. The 
guns posted on the plateau shelled the houses, destroying 
them as if they had been houses of cards. The 90th 
joined the Grenadiers and prolonged their line of attack 
upon the right, while the Intelligence Corps andBoulton's 
scouts were on the extreme right of the 90th. Colonel 
Williams gained the rifle pits on the left, and took them, 
following up his success by pushing ahead, having to 
traverse the greater distance made by the course ot the 
river. The WL^npeg Field Battery played upon the 
houses across the river, from whence an irregular fire, 
more or less damaging, had been kopt up upon our men 



222 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

from first to last. Captain Ruttan, of the 90th, cam up 
with two companies and reinforced Williams in his hot 
position, extending from water's edge to plateau. Here 
two or three men were wounded, but the charge was 
irresistible, and any resistance ineffectual. The two 
Helliwells were badly hit when within about two hundred 
yards of the houses from which the enemy were firing ; 
but their fire seemed less steady, as if thej Telt the result 




LIEUT. -COL. VAN STEAUBENZIK. 

of such an advance as was coming on them. Captain 
Stewart, No. 2 Company, 90th, was sent back by Colonel 
Williams to the General, to say that he was determined to 
charge the houses, and charge them he did. All the while 
Colonel Van Straubenzie was leading on the column, 

* No better officer than Colonel Straubenzie could have been chosen to 
fill so important a position. An old soldier of much and varied experience, 
be entered the army at an early age, and was appointed to an ensigncy in 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FEKBY. 223 

hat in hand, waving it and cheering as he went along. 
The excitement was intense, and nothing could have 
withstood the enthusiasm of the men. On they came, 
and in fifteen minutes after the Midland were reinforced 
they reached the top bank, and were down upon the 
houses. The first one to come over to us was the small 
one on the bank, from which the firing was pretty hot, 
then the log stable opposite to the white store, in the 
latter of which were Kiel's prisoners, pale, slimy, and 
emaciated with eighteen days of darkness and starvation ; 
then two other stores to the north, and away flew the 
rebels, fighting as they retreated. Major Hughes, the 
while, forced round the left flank of the rebels on the 
sloping bank of the river, and Captain Young, Captain 
French, and Captain Dennis, with a mixed body of men 
from the Midland, 90th , and Grenadiers, charged and took 
Batoche's store and house. Here poor French was killed 
by a ball from a rebel rifle on the river slope, shot at him 
as he looked through the upper window. Part of the 
90fch, Grenadiers, and Midland advanced with Captain 
Young on past the stores already taken, past the prison- 
cellar, on to Kiel's Council House, at the extreme east of 

the famous old 32nd Light Infantry. Not long after his appointment he 
was called upon to see active service, and, in the ever-memorable Sikh 
campaign of Lord Gough, our well-known citizen highly distinguished him- 
self. During those trying times for England, Lieutenant Van Straubenzie 
led the forlorn hope at the seige of Mooltan, and for his pluck and gallantry 
was specially mentioned in the home despatches. At that time there was 
no such thing as a Victoria Cross, but had there been the Colonel would no 
doubt have worn that much-coveted reward on his breast to-day. His 
wounds were serious, and he was obliged to return to England and serve 
with the depot of his regiment, where he gradually recovered. Before very 
long, however, the " war-cry " again sounded, and as a Captain he pro- 
ceeded to the Crimea on the staff of his brother, Sir Charles Van Strau- 
benzie, who commanded the "Light Brigade." Again the subject of our 
illustration was favourably mentioned in home despatches. After peace 
was proclaimed with Russia, the Colonel was once more destined to smell 
powder, and, from the knowledge the authorities had of his varied and 
useful services, he was given an important position oa the Staff of Sir Hope 
Grant when the Chinese War broke out. He was at the taking of the 
Summer Palace, and on that occasion his name was again mentioned in 
despatches. Colonel Van Straubenzie is much respected, and, looking at 
his fine soldier-like bearing, there are not many who would imagine that 
even to-day be is still suffering fr*nn his severe wounds of 1849. 



224 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Batoche, and secured Kiel's papers, and released Jackson, 
McConnell, and Monkman, who had been imprisoned by 
Kiel for insubordination. The rebels in the meantime 
had been driven past the line of houses, and pursued 
by part of the Grenadiers under Grasett, and their 
centre was driven back with the irresistible force of the 
Grenadiers, the 90th, and the Mounted Scouts. At four 
o'clock the charge had proved a grand success, the settle- 
ment was captured, and the end had come, the rebels 
being completely routed. The pursuit was kept up, how- 
ever, and at 7.30 the last shot was fired. Thus ended a 
grand and successful charge, begun after dinner, and 
winning the day, and ending the rebellion at four o'clock 
in the afternoon. 

But during this three days' fighting, where was Gen- 
eral Middleton's " navy," the steamer Northcote. Let one 
who was on board tell the story of the "Middleton Navy" 
before we give any further particulars of the more effec- 
tive operations of the army on shore. 

According to General Middleton's preconcerted plan 
the Northcote, with two heavy laden barges, left Gabriel's 
at 6 a.m. to-day, and after anchoring a short time so 
as not to anticipate the arranged time of arrival 
at Kiel's headquarters, reached within one and a-half 
miles of our destination, where we were to remain until 
the bombardment of the rebel stronghold by t General 
Middleton was heard, he starting at daybreak from the 
camping ground reached on the previous day, nine miles 
east of Batoche's. The rebels, however, materially inter- 
fered with the carrying out of these plans by opening fire 
on the steamer at ten minutes past eight, just after she 
had got under headway. The first bullet passed through 
the pilot house. The rebel spies had watched the steamer 
the previous night on the opposite bank from Gabriel's, 
and the sentry could hear them shouting, one boastfully 
singing out to us as he departed : " Now come on, you !" 

This first shot was evidently the signal to the rebels 
of 'our boat's approach, and as we rounded the bend a 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 225 

moment or so later we were raked fore and aft by a fierce 
storm of bullets coming from both banks. From almost 
every bush rose putts of smoke, and from every house 
and tree on the top of the banks came bullets buzzing. 
The fire was steadily returned by the troops on board, 
consisting of C Company School of Infantry; and not- 
withstanding that the rebels were protected by the brush 
and timber which covers the banks, apparently some 
injury was inflicted upon them. Volley after volley was 
fired, and several of the lurking enemy were seen to drop 
headlong down the sloping banks. 

So the fight went on, fierce and hot, as we approached 
Batoche's. 

The pretty little church of St. Antoine de Padua 
lifted its cross-crowned steeple high above the other 
buildings, on the eastern bank. A horrifying spectacle 
met our gaze on the opposite bank. A man, presumably 
one of Kiel's prisoners, was dangling by the neck from a 
branch of an almost limbless tree a victim of rebel rage 
and vindictiveness. Near at hand the rebels, who lined 
both banks for a couple of miles, were running swiftly 
and keeping pace with our progress. Several mounted 
men, evidently leaders, were directing their movements. 
A few volleys quickly dispersed them to their hiding 
places, where they fought the customary bush fight. 
They completely riddled the steamer with bullets, but it 
was strongly bulwarked on the boiler deck where the 
soldiers were standing and our casualties were conse- 
quently very light. 

Just above Batoche's the rapids commence, and a big 
rock covered with sand juts out into the stream, leaving 
a narrow channel immediately on the western side, the 
head of which is at a sharp bend, to round which the 
boat had to run her nozzle almost on to the bank. It was 
here the firing became terrifically hot from a favourably 
located ravine directly in our front in which the rebels 
were hidden. The rapids were passed safely, notwith- 
standing that the pilots were totally unacquainted with 
14 



226 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

the river and that the two heavy barges handicapped 
them in handling the steamer. Fortunately there was no 
wind to render their duties still more arduous in control- 
ling the boat's movements. 

In a few moments the crossing was reached, and in 
passing it the ferry cable caught the smoke stacks, which 
came crashing down on the hurricane deck, tearing with 
them spars and masts. Our misfortune excited loud 
cheers from the Metis, mingled with fiendish war-whoops 
from the Indians. The cable, which is strung from the 
upper banks, was lowered just as we approached it, the 
intention of the rebels being to corral the steamer and, in 
the confusion expected to ensue, to capture the boat and 
massacre its human freight. Very fortunately for us 
this scheme failed, but only by the merest chance, for had 
the cable caught in the pilot-house, which it barely 
missed, the wheelsman, exposed to the enemy's fire, would 
have been shot down and the steamer rendered utterly 
helpless. It was successful, however, in cutting off our 
communication with General Middleton by our code of 
whistling signals previously arranged upon, the whistle 
being carried away with the pipes. 

Just then the steamer, to avoid two large boulders 
directly in her course, was allowed to swing around, and 
floated down stream stern foremost for a while. One 
barge barely grazed the bank, and the boat would have 
been boarded by the rebels but for the steady volleys our 
men poured at them. A witheiing fire was still main- 
tained from some rifle pits which the enemy had dug at 
different places, and this was hotly returned until 9 
o'clock, when the rebel firing ceased, save a stray shot or 
two. We had run the gauntlet of their fire for five miles. 
Many of the enemy's bullets fell short of the mark when 
we were midstream, shot-guns with common balls being 
their weapons, although without doubt some had Win- 
chesters and Snider-Enfields. So fast and furious was 
their fire that it was evident the whole rebel force had 
gathered here to make a determined stand. As some of 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE*S FEREY. 227 

the red coats were seen coming up in skirmishing order 
in the distance, our small force gave three lusty cheers. 
This was the only glimpse we had of the troops. 

Dropping below Batoche's nearly three miles, anchor 
was cast in midstream, but the steamer, almost unnotice- 
ably, drifted another mile before the anchor firmly caught. 
The work of repairing damage was begun, and in a short 
time the smoke stacks, which were reduced in length, 
were re-erected : but scarcely had this been accomplished 
before firing disturbed the workmen, who were working 
behind a barricade of boxes. Afterwards the whistle 
was repaired a dangerous task which two men could 
only be induced to undertake on the promise of a reward 
of fifty dollars each. The men were driven from this 
also. Our signals to General Middleton, which had been 
interrupted altogether since passing Batoche's, were 
resumed ; but although we could distinctly hear the sound 
of cannonading no answer to our shrill whistle was given. 
The scouts evidently could not reach us owing to the 
presence of ambushed rebels secreted in the bluffs between 
us and the General's headquarters. 

Captain Bedson, Major Smith of C Company, and 
Captain Wise, A.D.C., held a consultation and decided to 
return up the river, but the captain peremptorily refused 
to-do so, claiming that not only was it certain death to 
the pilots, but contrary to the written orders given him 
by the General. Private William Eccles, of E Company, 
90th, who had had some experience in steamboating, volun- 
teered to pilot the steamer up, but after another consulta- 
tion it was decided not advisable under the circumstances 
to take advantage of his manly offer. Hence we remain 
now out of the fight. A number of hostiles are skulking 
down north. One gave a parting shot to the steamer, 
hitting McDonald, the ship-carpenter, in the heel, but not 
inflicting a serious wound. Near by are about fifty 
Indian ponies quietly grazing, the owners having profited 
by the experience at Fish Creek, where their horses were 
slaughtered. Captains Seager and Streets, who piloted 



228 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

the steamer, remained throughout at their posts, and with 
them was Talbot, the purser, who kept up a steady fire 
from the pilot-house, which was made a special target of 
by the rebel marksmen, they being fully aware of the 
disaster which must overtake us if we were disabled in 
this vulnerable point. Dozens of bullets had pierced the 
wheel-house. Seager received one in his coat sleeve, and 
in the cabin in which I am writing a scene of wild dis- 
order prevails. The skylights are smashed, and the flimsy 
material of which the upper works were constructed 
offered no resistance to the enemy's fire, and are punc- 
tured here and there with bullets. Later in the run, 
however, mattresses and bolsters were piled around the 
sides of the interior, and the place made fully secure. 

Captain Wise, who had been unable to take part in 
the land engagement owing to the wound he received at 
Fish Creek, remained with Chief Transport Officer Bedson, 
who was in charge of the boat, in the cabin, and both 
had several very narrow escapes, the latter having a bullet 
graze his thigh. His state-room was pierced by seven 
balls, which he returned with interest. Owen E. Hughes 
and John Vinen were in a small barricade behind the 
smoke stacks, which fell over them. Both managed by 
the skin of their teeth to escape, but after Vinen had 
entered the cabin and was helping to barricade it, *he 
received a bullet in the thigh. Major Smith, of C Com- 
pany, was in command of the military, having with him 
Lieutenant Scott, of the same corps, and Lieutenants 
Elliott and Gibson, of the Royal Grenadiers. The troops 
on board implicitly obeyed instructions, while the few 
civilians rendered excellent service in replenishing cart- 
ridges in boxes, and also in handling rifles. Lieutenant 
Hugh J. Macdonald, although ill with erysipelas in the 
face, left his bed and took his place in the ranks rifle in 
hand. The conduct of the men throughout was cool and 
gallant ; though they were not exposed to such constant 
danger as at Fish Creek, still the bullets whizzed about 
them in great style, coming through the interstices in the 
barricade and the openings forward. 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 229 

The rebel strength is not known, but from the fury 
with which they fired, their force must have reached 
probably four hundred or five hundred, Indians pre- 
dominating, except at Batoche's, where the Half-breeds 
had congregated. One man in priest's garb was seen near 
Batoche's waving his hands as if in despair, and appa- 
rently endeavouring to keep the breeds from firing at us, 
but their bullets poured around him and he disappeared. 
Some women were also there. In our engagement this 
morning eight rebels are reported to have been killed and 
there must have been a large number wounded. Our 
casualties are trivial. Two besides Macdonald were 
slightly wounded, Pringle (a son of Judge Pringle, of 
Cornwall, and a member of the ambulance staff), receiv- 
ing a flesh wound in the shoulder, and Vinen, of the 
transport service, a similar injury in the thigh, both early 
in the fray. 

MAY 11, 7 a.m. 

The sun heralded another magnificent day yesterday. 
The men were up the greater part of the night, and break- 
fasted at 4 a.m. The boiler broke during the night. 
Between one and two o'clock an alarm sounded, a sentry 
reporting that he had seen an Indian crawl into one of 
the barges. The whole boat was aroused but search 
failed to reveal anything. Almost instantaneously the 
rebels opened fire on us from the west bank, but the 
troops, acting under orders, did not answer it. After 
discharging many shots the enemy dispersed. Sunday 
passed slowly. We were anxiously awaiting news from 
Middleton, whose guns could be heard once in a while, 
but with whom we still had no communication. Several 
small bands of the enemy were seen during the day mov- 
ing about on both banks, and one band patiently watched 
the boat. Shots were exchanged several times, but no 
damage was done on either side. Another consultation 
of officers was held an hour ago, and it was decided to 
render the pilot-house bullet-proof and return up the 



230 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

river nearer Batoche's. This occasioned a delay of several 
hours, the men being interrupted by firing from the bank. 
Then one engineer refused to remain at his post, and 
some of the crew of the boat, who had spent most of the 
time skulking in the hold, acted in a most cowardly 
manner. There were two or three exceptions, and these, 
with Captain Andrews (who with Privates Eccles, Smith, 
and Wilkes, of the 90th, had been put in charge of the 
supplies on the barge), and Joe Labelle, telegraph repairer, 
rendered excellent service. We lay inactive all day, and 
fuel running short and it being impossible to go up the 
stream with the barges, it was decided to run down 
twenty miles to a wood-pile, and then go fifteen miles 
farther down to the Hudson's Bay ferry, where the 
steamer Marquis is reported to be in waiting, and then 
return to General Middleton's assistance. 

A start was made at 6.30 p.m., but scarcely had the 
steamer commenced to move than the rebels, who had 
been hiding, poured in a broadside, the soldiers returning 
it by volley firing. They followed us for some distance 
until cut off by the dense woods. We made nine miles, 
passing many deserted houses, and anchored for the 
night. Although still in the hostiles' country they had 
evidently gone south to join Kiel at his headquarters and 
we were not molested. At 6.30 this morning another 
start was made, but almost immediately the boat ran on a 
sand bar, and four hours were lost in getting her off. 
Maxime Lepine's ferry boat, which we had intended 
destroying, had been taken away in obedience to Kiel's 
orders directing all boats to centre at Batoche's. Obtain- 
ing fuel en route, we passed Hoodoo and several local 
Half-breed settlements which were deserted, and reached 
the Hudson's Bay ferry, twenty-two miles below 
Batoche's, at 3 p.m., where we were received with loud 
cheers. 

From this it will be seen that General Middleton's 
navy project did little more than imperil many valuable 
lives HJid withdrew from his forces a considerable 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 231 

number of men who were badly needed on Saturday, 
Sunday and Monday. 

The killed and wounded at Batoche were as follow : 

KILLED ON SATURDAY. 

A Battery Gunner Phillips, shot through the head. 

WOUNDED ON SATURDAY. 

A Battery Napoleon Charpentier, shot through both 
legs ; Michael Twohey, thigh ; W. Fairbanks, thigh ; 
Thomas J. Stout, ribs broken, run over by a gun. 

French's Scouts Cook, left leg broken by ball below 
the knee ; Allen, shot in the knee. 

Grenadiers fJapt. Mason, flesh wound in the thigh. 

KILLED ON SUNDAY. 

Grenadiers Private Thomas Moor, shot through the 
head. 

90th Battalion Private Hardisty, shot through the 
lungs. 

WOUNDED ON SUNDAY. 

Grenadiers Adjutant Manly, sole of foot; Private 
Scovell, No. 3 Company, flesh wound ; Private Cantwell, 
No. 2 Company. 

90th Battalion Private John Kemp, shot through 
the eye ; Private Erickson, in the arm ; Private Ralph 
Barren, in the forearm ; Private Stead, No. 2 Company, 
flesh wound. 

KILLED ON MONDAY. 

French's Scouts Captain John French, shot dead 
while leading his men. 

Boul ton's Scouts Captain Brown, shot through the 
heart. 

Grenadiers Lieutenant Fitch. 

Dennis's (Surveyors) Corps A. W. Kippen. 



932 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

90th Battalion Private Fraser, Private Wheeler. 

WOUNDED ON MONDAY. 

Grenadiers Major Dawson, slightly in the ankle; 
Private R. Oook, in the arm ; Bugler M. Gaughan, flesh 
wound in the hand ; Private C. Barbour, slight wound in 
the head ; Private J. W. Quigley, flesh wound in the 
arm ; Private J. Marshall, flesh wound in the calf ; 
Private W. Wilson, slight wound behind shoulder. 

Midland Battalion Lieutenant G. E Laidlaw, E.M.C., 
attached, slightly ; Lieutenant J. Helliwell, 15th Battalion, 
shoulder; Private Barton, thigh and groin, seriously; 
Corporal Helliwell, face and arm. 

90th Battalion Sergeant-Major Watson, slightly in 
the ankle ; Sergeant F. R. Jakes, in the hand ; Private 
Alex. Young, flesh wound in the thigh ; Corporal J. 
Gillies, in the leg. 

Dennis's Scouts Lieutenant Garden. 

Total killed, 9 ; total wounded, 30. 

The following sketches cannot fail to be of interest : 

A. W. KIPPEN. 



Among the arrivals in the city from the North- 
West were several members of the Dominion Sur- 
veyors' Intelligence Corps, who are absent from the scene 
of the recent disturbance for a short time on leave. The 
party is composed of Messrs. Walter Beatty, C. Wolff, J. 
McLean, B. J. Saunders, of the Surveyors ; Capt. denies, 
Quartermaster of the Midland Battalion, and Assistant- 
Surgeon Kinloch. Mr. B. J. Saunders was only a short 
distance from the spot where his comrade, Mr. A. W. 
Kippen, met his untimely death. The Surveyors' Corps 
took an active part in the battle of Batoche. The corps, 
under command of Capt. J. S. Dennis, of whom Mr. 
Saunders speaks in the highest terms of praise, joined 
the loyal forces on the afternoon of the second day of the 
Batoche fight. Desultory firing was still going on. The 
corps at once took its place in the trenches, and almost 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 233 

immediately felt the sting of the enemy's lead, Private 
A. W. Wheeler receiving a ball in his left shoulder. From 
that time till the capture of the village and the utter 
rout of the rebels, the corps shared with the boys all the 
work and the danger of the contest, and is no doubt fully 
entitled to a full share of the giory and honour that has 
been and will be accorded to our noble citizen soldiers. 
On the Tuesday morning, the day of victory, the Sur- 
veyors, accompanied by Boulton's scouts, the Gatling gun, 
and the nine-pounder, proceeded to open the attack that 
led to such a successful issue. The nine-pounder felt the 
enemy, and the Surveyors deployed as skirmishers, Mr. 
A. W. Kippen being in the front. They had just taken 
up their position, not more than one hundred yards from 
the rebel rifle pits, and just upon a well-marked sur- 
veyor's line, when the fatal bullet found its mark, and 
Mr. Kippen fell, shot through the head. Death was 
instantaneous. Dr. Ralston, the surgeon, and Assistant 
Surgeon Kinloch, quickly secured the body, but the brave 
surveyor was beyond the reach of their skill. Mr. Saun- 
ders speaks of Mr. Kippen as a man of great energy, and 
brave almost to rashness. He had from the outset mani- 
fested an intense desire to take an active part in 
the struggle, eager to serve his country, and had per- 
formed every duty devolving upon him with a will 
undaunted in the face of gravest dangers. The death- 
blow came almost in the hour when victory crowned the 
efforts of the loyal forces. 

A. W. Kippen, son of Mr. Kippen, of Perth, Ont., had 
been for many years one of the most trusted surveyors in 
the employ of the Hudson Bay Company, and great 
value was put on his services by Mr. C. J. Brydges, He 
came to Toronto this winter and entered upon a course 
of study at the School of Practical Science for the pur- 
pose of qualifying himself for a higher position as IJov- 
ernment surveyor. While in this city his attractive 
social qualities and geniality of disposition won him 
numerous frjends. He was extremely fond of athletics. 



234 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

and was one of the most popular members of the Toronto 
Fencing Club. Shortly before the war broke out he went 
to Ottawa, and upon hearing of the rebellion volunteered 
his services as a scout. His knowledge of the North- 
West was known to be so extensive that his offer was 
gladly accepted and he was enrolled among Dennis's 
scouts. It is said he only reached Middleton's camp on 
Sunday, so that he met his death in the first engagement 
in which he took part. In his native place, Perth, Mr. 
Kippen was a great favourite and his loss will be sin- 
creley mourned. 

LIEUTENANT FITCH. 

Lieut. W. C. Fitch was the only son of Mr. J. C. Fitch, 
of Fitch & Davidson, wholesale grocers, Yongi Street, 
Toronto, of which firm deceased was the junior partner. 
He was born and educated in this city, receiving his 
primary military training in the Governor-General's 
Body Guards. A little over a year ago he was appointed 
lieutenant in the Grenadiers. He immediately after- 
wards took a course in the Infantry School, obtaining a 
second-class certificate, upon which he received his com- 
mission. Since then he has taken a deep interest in 
everything pertaining to the welfare of the regiment. 
He was a member of the Toronto Fencing Club, Royal 
Canadian Yacht Club, and other athletic organizations of 
the city, and universally popular among all those who 
were acquainted with him. No greater tribute could be 
paid to him than that contained in a letter from Private 
Hatch, of No. 3 Company, Grenadiers : " Another whom 
I cannot help mentioning is our commanding officer, 
Lieutenant Fitch, who, with the amount of work, has a 
heavy task, but by his kindness and ready help to all 
members of his company he has the good will of all, and 
by this alone he has brought the company to what it is 
and that is the one which is always there, with every- 
thing ready and in good order. I think if we ever 
return to Toronto he will be a man not soon forgotten by 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 



235 



a single member of No. 3 Company." Lieut. Fitch was 
a cousin of Mr. J. Scriver, M.P. for Huntingdon, P.Q., 
and a brother of Mrs. Senator Clemow, of Ottawa. Prin- 
cipal King, of Manitoba College, writes of Lieutenant 
Fitch : " It is twenty-two years since I first saw him, 
then a winning child of four years of age, the joy and 
pride of his father and mother. He attended for many 
years the Gould Street Presbyterian Church ; and was a 




LIEUTENANT FITOH. 



pupil in its Sabbath school. He was all through a 
gentle and affectionate youth, seldom meeting one with- 
out* a smile. It is not singular that he was greatly 
beloved by a wide circle of friends, and that he was an 
object of special fondness to his parents, who saw in him 
not only an only son, but one in every way dutiful and 
affectionate. There have been already many mournful 



236 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

losses in this deplorable and, one can scarcely avoid say- 
ing, most unnecessary conflict ; there cannot have been 
many, if indeed any, which will occasion wider and more 
tender sorrow than this. His parents, old and respected 
citizens of Toronto, will receive from all who know them 
the deepest sympathy; but how little can even such 
sympathy do to relieve the life-long sorrow which must 
be theirs." The Minister of Militia gave instructions to 
have the remains of the deceased forwarded to Toronto 
for interment. 

CAPTAIN E. T. BROWN. 

Captain E. T. Brown, of Boulton's Horse, who was 
killed at Batoche's on Monday, was a native of Peterboro'. 
He was a son of the late Edward Brown, and grandson of 
Thos. Alex. Stewart, who came to Canada in 1820 and 
was subsequently a member of the Privy Council of 
Upper Canada. Captain Brown went to the North-West 
in 1879 with a surveying party. After the survey was 
completed he remained in that country. When Boulton's 
scouts were raised he joined as a sergeant and after the 
fight at Fish Creek he was promoted to a captaincy. He 
was about twenty-eight or twenty-nine years old and 
unmarried. His mother and brother, Mr. Stewart Brown, 
reside at Goodwood, the family residence, a few miles 
from Peterboro'. 

PRIVATE THOMAS MOOR. 

Private Thomas Moor, of No. 3 Company, Grenadiers 
who was killed on Sunday night, was a son of Mr. Thomas 
Moor, the well-known representative artisan of 42 Oxford 
Street, Toronto, and was just eighteen years old the day 
he left. He was educated in the Public Schools of the 
city, and had followed the trade of a tinsmith, having 
been in the employ of Mr. Sawdon, Queen Street, for a 
number of years. He was a frank, good-natured boy, 
much loved by all his companions, and an obedient son, 
When the call was made for volunteers he was very 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE*S FERRY. 237 

anxious to go, and when he found that he would be 
allowed to do so clapped his hands and danced with 
delight. 

His parents received the following letter from him on 
the day before he was killed, dated at Middleton's camp 
on the 26th of April : 

" DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER. T received your letter 
last night and was very glad to hear from home. We 




PRIVATE THOMAS MOOB. 



left Clark's Crossing on Thursday morning. T was on 
picket duty Thursday evening, and one of the officers 
tried to play sharp on me, and he hid in some bushes on 
my beat. As soon as I saw him I rushed at him with 
my bayonet and scared him instead of him scaring me. 
At Clark's Crossing the 10th Royals, the Winnipeg 
Battery, and Captain French, with fifty scouts, crossed 



238 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

the river and went down one side, and the 90th and A 
Battery with Major Boulton's scouts went down the other 
side. On Friday morning the 90th attacked the enemy 
on the other side. Some of our fellows were down the 
river a mile getting the mail across and were not armed, 
so that twelve men, including me, went to their relief. 
We got the mail across and came back. The 10th had 
moved on to the scene of action, and we had to bring the 
waggons along. Two of us were on each waggon with 
loaded rifles. At last we got up to the 10th and were 
told to join our respective companies. The battle was 
raging on the other side. Nos. 1, 2 and 4 Companies 
were ordered across while No. 3 and the scouts were to 
stay here and shoot any of the breeds that tried to cross. 
The breeds were entrenched in the gully. The battle 
lasted six hours. We were on this side and could hear 
the shots but could not get across though we would 
dearly love to have got there. During the battle the 
General had a shot through his hat, and one of Major 
Boulton's scouts had his ear shot through and his coat 
riddled with buckshot. He got through here yesterday, 
and I saw him. E-iel is strongly entrenched, but we will 
lick him in time. I believe the Fenians are helping him. 
It was a sad sight to see our men burying the dead yester- 
day. I cannot tell you half in writing, but will tell you 
all when I get home. 

" Your affectionate Son, 

"TOM." 
CAPTAIN FRENCH. 

Captain John French, who was killed at Batoche's, 
was an Irishman, formerly a Captain in the Dublin 
Militia, and a brother of Col. French, the first commis- 
sioner of the Mounted Police. In the winter of 1873, the 
deceased was in Toronto, and having secured a position 
as inspector on tfce police went out with the force to the 
North-West. He served with the force for ten years, 
when he retired, and turned his attention to farming, 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 239 

taking up land near Qu'Appelle. When the rebellion 
broke out he organized a corps known as French's Scouts, 
which he commanded, and whose services were of great 
benefit to General Middleton. He leaves a widow and 
several young children, the eldest being a girl of ten. 
The deceased was a bold and dashing officer, as evinced 
on Saturday, when amid a shower of bullets he carried 
away a wounded soldier. His dash into the ravine at 
Batoche's and his daring attempt to relieve the prisoners 
when he was shot will keep his memory green. The 
nearest connection of the deceased in this country since 
Colonel French's removal to Australia is Mrs. Kenneth 
Mackenzie, widow of the late senior judge of York 
County, who is a sister of Colonel French's wife. 

H. A. FRASER. 

H. A. Fraser was a son of Contractor Fraser, of 
Winnipeg. He was about twenty-seven years old and 
married some six months to Miss Speirs, daughter of 
Alexander Speirs, of that city. 

A. O. WHEELER. 

A. O. Wheeler was a brother of George Wheeler, killed 
in the Fish Creek battle, and son of C. H. Wheeler, archi- 
tect, of Winnipeg. 

The wounded are as follow : 

MAJOR DAWSON. 

Major G. D. Dawson, of the 10th Royals, who was 
wounded at Batoche, is an old army officer and experienced 
soldier. He is an Irishman by birth, having been born in 
County Carlow, Ireland, in the year 1839. When only 
sixteen years of age he commenced his military career as 
an ensign of the 47th Regiment. He was ordered to the 
Crimea with his regiment, but when his troopship reached 
Malta news of peace was received and the 47th returned 
home. Major Dawson continued with his regiment for 
thirteen years, but left it at Halifax in 1867, retiring 



240 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

with the rank of Lieutenant. He settled down to busi- 
ness in this city and is now chief partner in the well- 
known firm of G. D. Dawson & Co, 43 Colborne Street, 
Toronto. When the 10th Royals were re-organized by 
Col. Grasett, Lieutenant Dawson took an active part in 
assisting. He was appointed Major at that time, and has 
ever since taken an active interest in the battalion. 

PRIVATE SCOVELL. 

Private Alfred Scovell, when in Toronto resided with 
his mother at 37 Alma Avenue. He has been employed 
for some time in the law office of Messrs. Cameron & Cas- 
well. Being fond of military life he took a three months' 
course in the School of Infantry, at the same time retain- 
ing his connection with the 10th. His father is at present 
in Australia, 

BUGLER GAUGHAN. 

Bugler Gaughan, shot in the hand at Batoche, is a 
native of Guelph, his parents residing there at present. 
He was a member of the Wellington Field Battery for 
some time, and holds a School of Gunnery certificate. In 
Toronto he has been following his occupation as black- 
smith, and when the 10th Royals were called out was one 
of the first to volunteer for active service. 

PRIVATE QUIGLEY. 

Private Quigley joined the Grenadiers three years ago, 
but some months before the outbreak of the rebellion he 
handed his uniform in. He was among the first to turn 
up, however, when the call to arms was sounded. Quigley 
is a stout young fellow of twenty-four years of age. He 
was employed during the summer working on a farm. 
He is a single man, but is in reality the only support of 
his mother, his step-father being in wretched health. 

PRIVATE MARSHALL. 

Private John Marshall, who is reported as wounded 
in the calf, was a watch-case maker with R. J. Quigley, 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 241 

57 Adelaide Street, Toronto. Marshall has been about a 
year with the Grenadiers. His mother lives at 121 Jarvis 
Street. He is eighteen years of age, and a strong hardy 
youth. 




BUGLER QAUGHAff. 



LIEUTENANT LAIDLAW. 

Lieutenant George E. Laidlaw, attached to the Midland 
Battalion, who is reported slightly wounded, is a son of 
Mr. George Laidlaw, of 26 Spadina Avenue, Toronto. He 
is about twenty-five years of age, having been born in 
Toronto, and educated at Upper Canada College. He 
passed through the Royal Military College at Kingston, 
graduating in June, 1882. He afterwards proceeded to 
British Columbia, where he spent some time on a survey- 
ing expedition. When the rebellion broke out he 
immediately tendered his services to the Government, 
which were accepted, and he was appointed to a Company 
under Col. Williams' command. 
15 



242 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



PRIVATE WATSON. 



Private Alexander Watson, F. Co., 90th (Winnipeg) 
Battalion, who was wounded on the last day of the tight 
at Batoche, and died the following Saturday, was born in 
Toronto in 1858, but lived in St. Catharines the greater 
part of his life till about four years before the rebellion, 
when he removed to Winnipeg. While in Winnipeg he 
was in the employ of a contractor and builder, he Laving 




PRIVATE WATSON. 



been brought up to that business in St. Catharines. He 
was the eldest son, but had an elder sister. Personally 
he was a generous, kind-hearted young man and a great 
favourite with every one. He was unmarried, but was 
shortly to have led to the altar a very estimable young 
lady of Winnipeg. 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 243 

PRIVATE COOK. 

Private Richard Cook is the son of Mr. Wm. Cook, 
137 Hope Street, Toronto. He is about nineteen years of 
age, and is a shoemaker by trade. He has been a private 
in the Grenadiers for about a year. 

STAFF SERGEANT MITCHELL. 

Staff-Sergeant Thomas Mitchell is well-known in 
inilitia circles throughout Canada. He is perhaps the 
most famous shot in the Dominion. He has five times 
represented his country among the crack shots of the 
world on the Wimbledon Cnnmon. Sergeant Mitchell 
was slightly wounded in the left eye. He is a member 
of the firm of Dickie & Mitchell, 142 King Street 
West, Toronto. He is a native of Dundee, Scotland. He 
joined the Grenadiers soon after his arrival in Toronto, 
five years ago. Besides being a staff-sergeant he is also 
musketry instructor to the regiment. He has brothers 
who are also famous as marksmen. One of them, Coulson, 
is on the field with the 90bh Battalion of Winnipeg. Mr. 
Mitchell is married, and is about thirty-two years of age. 

ADJUTANT MANLY. 

Adjutant Manly was injured on the sole of the 
foot. Captain Manly is mathematical master in the 
Collegiate Institute, Toronto. He is a graduate of Uni- 
versity College, and took high honors there. He is an 
enthusiastic soldier, and has devoted many an hour to the 
advancement of the Grenadiers. No officer has worked 
harder or longer for the interests of his crops than has 
Frederick F. Manly. He is one of the most popular 
young men about town. 

LIEUTENANT HELLIWELL. 

Lieut. J. E. Helliwell, wounded at Batoche, belongs to 
the 15th Battalion, Argyle Light Infantry, of Belleville. 
His father is rector of Ameliasburg, Ont. Lieutenant 
Helliwell lives at Belleville, where he is employed in the 



244 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



law firm of Robertson & Thomas. He graduated from 
Trinity College three years ago. 

Corporal E. Helliwell, brother of Lieutenant Helliwell 
and who was also wounded at Batoche, is a law student 
from Madoc. 



SERGEANT JACKES. 



Sergeant Franklin Jackes, of the 90th, is well-known 
in Toronto, having been for some time book-keeper for 




SERGEANT JACKES. 



Messrs. Gordon & Co. While in Toronto he was a mem- 
ber of I Company, Queen's Own. About three years 
ago he removed to Winnipeg, where he has since been 
engaged in the hardware business. Friends of his reside 
at Eglinton. 

From the foregoing accounts it will be seen that while 
no one saw the whole of the fighting at Batoche, each 
man who writes saw something worth recording. The 
loss on our own side is of course well known as stated 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 245 

already, but the rebel loss is not now, and may never be 
known. Our people claimed that there were some sixty 
or seventy killed, but the rebels themselves put their 
killed at only nine or ten. In the same way Colonel 
Otter, after his retreat from Cut Knife, thought he had 
fought against six hundred men and that he had killed 
from sixty to one hundred and twenty-five of them. 
When the truth came to be known, however, it was found 
that he had been defeated by only two hundred and fifty 
men, and that of these he had killed only six, or at 
most seven. 

The instances of individual heroism were numerous, 
but there was no more gallant action than that performed 
by poor Captain French on Saturday, which has been 
already related. 

LIEUTENANT HOWARD. 

Lieutenant Howard, who had command of the Gatling 
gun, distinguished himself on more than one occasion 
and made himself one of the lions of the day. Whatever 
his countrymen may think of him as an American fight- 
ing against men who were supposed to be struggling for 
their rights and in behalf of a foreign power, it is certain 
that Canadians have been very glad to avail themselves 
of his services and those of his "patent murdering 
machine." Had it not been for his plucky conduct and 
the efficiency of his machine on the first day at Batoche, 
it is not improbable that General Middleton might have 
found his artillery turned against his own forces, and the 
slight repulse he received that day turned into a dis- 
astrous defeat. 

To judge from the "poetic" effusions that have been 
called forth by this rebellion, Canada must be very easily 
satisfied as to the quality of her poetry, though she may 
be more exacting as to quantity. Here is some about 
Lieutenant Howard that is certainly not any worse than 
the average : 



^ 



246 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 




LIEUTENANT HOWARD. 

THE MAN WITH THE GATLING GUN. 

Full many a line of expressions fine 

And of sentiments sweet and grand 
Have been penned of " our boys " who, from home's deai 



Set out for the North- West land. 
We've been told how they've fought for the glory sought, 

We've heard of the deeds they've done 
But it's quite high time for some praise in rhyme 

For the man with the Catling gun. 

Music hath charms, even midst war's alarms, 
To soothe the savage breast ; 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE'S FERRY. 247 

None can hold a candle to that " music by Handle * 

That lulled Kiel's " breeds " to rest, 
And they sleep that sleop profound, so deep, 

From which shall awaken none ; 
And the lullabies that closed their eyes 

Were sung by the Gatling gun. 

All honour's due and they have it, too 

To the Grens. and Q. O. R. 
They knew no fear but, with British cheer, 

They charged and dispersed afar 
The rebel crew ; but 'twixt me and you 

When all is said and done, 
A different scene there might have been 

But for Howard and his Gatling gun, 

Batoche will long be remembered with a shudder in 
ooo many Canadian households. It broke the back of 
the rebellion, but too many brave hearts are now cold 
and still that beat high with valour, hope and noble 
ambition as the Northcotes whistle gave the signal that the 
fight had begun. 

Though the Indians under Big Bear continued to offer 
a stubborn resistance for a time, the Half-breed rebellion 
as such was crushed, and the hope of the Half-breeds was 
extinguished when some of their bravest and best lay in 
the rifle pits that fatal Monday afternoon soaked in their 
own life blood. We may hate Kiel, we may abhor rebel- 
lion ; but when time shall have elapsed sufficient to enable 
us to look at the events of this sad affair with unpre- 
judiced eyes, there is not a Canadian worthy of the name 
who will not remember with sincere respect and admira- 
tion Gabriel Dumont and his valiant little band of com- 
patriots who fought so gallantly in their hopeless cause. 



24(8 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

BATOGHE. 

"SHOT THROUGH THB HEART." 

God guard my darling boy to-night^ 

And keep him safe from harm ; 
Watch over him in this dread fight> 

Give to his life a charm. 
Let every bullet speed him past, 

And turn each blow away ; 
From him, my well-loved only son, 

Who meets the foe to-day. 

A brave and noble lad is he, 

This one dear son of mine ; 
With loyal heart so kind and true 

And full of love divine. 
I know he's ready should'st Thou call, 

But spare him, God, I pray, 
Let him return to me again, 

My boy not far away ! 

* O, mother dear," a sad voice speaks, 

And by her side there stands 
A girlish form, with tear-dimmed eyes, 

And close locked, restless hands. 
"Well, daughter mine, why come you now, 

With face so wist and sad 1 
Your loving smiles should cheer and make 

My lone heart warm and glad. 

* What say you, child, more news has come, 

A grand victorious fight ; 
The Royal Grenadiers this time 

The rebels put to flight. 
Thank God for that my prayer was heard, 

And I shall sleep to-night, 
With grateful heart and peaceful rest, 

Till comes the morning light. 



THE BATTLE OF BATOCHE*S FERRY. 249 

" But why these tears 1 Why this distress I 

I have not heard aright ? 
What is it, then ? Come, dear, be brave ; 

Your brother leads the fight. 
Shot through the heart ! ' Oh, God 1 My lad, 

For whom I prayed to Thee ; 
My only son, my bonnie boy, 

Will come no more to me I 

44 ' Shot through the heart,' e'en while I prayed 

His form lay still in death, 
Not one fond message could he send, 

None caught his dying breath. 
The cannon's roar, the clash of arms, 

The crash of ball and shell, 
A strangely wild, mad requiem, made 

Where he for country fell ! 

41 Dead, cold and dead, the lonely grave 

Now hides him from my sight ; 
Oh ! pitying God, my heart will break I 

Why send on me this blight ? 
Why is my home made desolate t 

My life of joy bereft ? 
He was my dearest, only son ; 

I have no other left 1 

" Forgive me, Lord ! Thy will be done ! 

Peace send this aching heart, 
That doth rebel o'er this one gone, 

Who was my life's best part. 
At rest with Thee ! Oh, blessed light, 

That finds ray soul at last ! 
It brings me patience, comfort now, 

The darkest hour has past." 

VICTORY AT BATOCHE. 

Victor v ! Glorious news comes down 
As sudden flash of light from falling star ; 

To God the glory the renown 
To our braY e soldiers on the field afar. 



250 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Who knowing that with them the breath 
Of captives failed, should tardy action be, 

Charged bayonets in the face of death-^ 
Into the pit of hell and set them free 1 

While rebel hordes flew, as the dust 
Is onward driven by the strong wind's will, 

Batoche has fall'n, is ours ! Our trust, 
Our prayers are answered ! God is with us still ! 

The great heart of the nation heaves 
With pride in work her sons have done so well, 

And with a smile and sigh she weaves 
A wreath of bays and one of immoitelle/ 

Baptized with fire, they stood the test ; 
And earth, in turn, baptized with blood they shed ; 

Canada triumphs, but her best 
Are not all here she mourns her gallant dead. 

A glorious death was theirs, a bright 
Unsullied ending to a cloudless day : 

They sank, as sinks the sun in sea of light ; 
And in their country's memory live for aye ! 

But flush of victory pales in pain ; 
Tears fall for darkened homes where glad tones ceaso. 

Whose loved that left, come not again 
Heaven give the mourners and the nation Peace 1 





LIEUT. A. M. IBVINO. 



CHAPTER XX. 



RECOLLECTIONS OF BATOCHE S FERRY AFTER THE BATTLE 



ONE of the surveyors thus gives his experiences at 
Batoche : Here we are at Batoche, which has, as you 
know, fallen before us, and we all, from the General 
to the " grub-rustlers," pose as conquering heroes decked 
out in our war paint, which in this instance is principally 
composed of dirt, that has become so much part and parcel 
of our being that the idea of soap and water is as dis- 
tasteful as it would be to the dusky braves we have just 
been shooting at. If you will excuse the dirt, I will try 
to give you an idea of the movements of the Survey 
Corps to date. 

You will remember that our fifty men were strung out 
in a line of pickets from Swift Current Creek to Long 
Lake, a distance of one hundred and thirty miles, to inter- 



252 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

cept fugitives from Kiel's scattered army to more con- 
genial climes. With great forethought was this disposition 
of our little force made by the General in command before 
the battle at Fish Creek ; but after that encounter with 
the rebels we were ordered to the front, and on Sunday 
morning, 3rd May, the messenger reached our head- 
quarters at the Elbow of the South Branch of the Saskat- 
chewan with orders to that effect. To gather in our 
pickets and supplies was our next move. This being 
done on Wednesday at noon we " pulled out," as the 
saying is, and started for here. Our trip was a rapid one, 
for the orders said " at once," and we reported to the 
General on Sunday, the 10th, at 3 p.m., having covered 
the intervening one hundred and forty miles in exactly 
four days, although encumbered with fifteen days' forage 
and provisions. We found the little army about half-a- 
mile east of the church, and rather more than twice that 
distance from Batoche's Ferry, entrenched within a few 
yards of the top of the hill which descends steeply to the 
Saskatchewan, and of all places for entrenchments a 
ploughed field had been chosen, so you can imagine how 
nice and clean everything was and is. 

The entrenchment in which the troops were placed 
was made by throwing up sods about four or five feet 
high, and inside of this, about fifteen or sixteen feet from 
the breastwork, a second square was made of the transport 
waggons, placed in such a position that the tongue of one 
waggon was inside the next one to it, all the baggage and 
provisions being left in the waggons. Towards the centre 
of this square another earthwork was thrown up to pro- 
tect the hospital tents. There were within the encamp- 
ment the 90th, the 10th Royals, the Midland Battalion, 
and four nine-poundeis, besides horses, mules, cayuses, 
and horned beasts of all ages, and lastly an instrument 
known as " Capt. Howard's hurdy-gurdy," otherwise the 
Gatling gun, which had already played ics part and saved 
two of the nine-pounders from being captured by the 
enemy. What had been done before our arrival you will 



AFTER THE BATTLE. 253 

read of in the papers before you receive this ; but we 
found that the troops were extended in skirmishing order 
under cover towards the church exchanging shots with 
the rebels and gradually driving them back. The enemy 
were, of course, in possession of Batoche's, and of the 
slopes surrounding it. 

Immediately below the camp the river flows north- 
westerly for about three-quarters of a mile, when turning 
sharply it runs almost directly north. At the turn the 
banks on the easterly side are bold and steep, and clothed 
with poplar, timber and brush, getting gradually lower 
as they approach the ferry and village, and again rising 
and receding as they extend down the river. The 
approaches to the village were defended by a line of rifle 
pits along the edge of this bank, as was also the retreat 
of the rebels across the river should such have been re- 
quired (as was the case). These pits extended down the 
river for nearly a mile and a-half north of the ferry, and 
were strongly constructed and placed at short intervals. 
Here at the foot of the bank were afterwards found the 
remains of a Half-breed and Indian encampment in a 
state of the greatest disorder, showing that they had not 
looked to the order of their going, but had gone quickly. 
It was, doubtless, in this camp that the women and 
children had been placed to be out of the way of stray 
bullets. A close inspection showed that holes had been 
scooped out of the hill side and covered over, into which 
they could crawl and so escape the bursting shells. 

The main position of the rebels extended along the 
edge of a range of hills running northerly from the 
cemetery and parallel to the river, forming the eastern 
border of the valley. The sides of these hills are covered 
with poplar and brush, and broken by ravines. They 
descend gently to the valley's bottom, leaving an open 
flat around the village. It was while crossing this open 
that the greatest number of wounds were received, and 
it was here Gordon, one of our corps, who had got separ- 
ated from the main body, and was gallantly charging 



254 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

along with the 90th, was severely wounded in the 
shoulder. On the right of the village the ground is also 
open, gradually rising towards the north, while near the 
hills, and some seven hundred yards in an easterly direc- 
tion is a rise covered with timber, from which the Gatling 
did some very effective service. 

Independently of the main line of rifle pits along the 
brow of the hill, pits were dug at every point on the face 
of the hill that could by any chance become a command- 
ing position. This was especially the case in one ravine 
immediately behind the eminence spoken of as being 
occupied by the Gatling, and here after the fight, were 
found no less than six dead breeds, all of whom were 
riddled with bullets. Their pits were admirably con- 
structed, and from them a constant fire could be directed 
upon our men whilst the enemy were completely pro- 
tected from our rifles. An after inspection showed them 
to be three or four feet deep with breastworks of earth 
and logs channelled for the rifles of their defenders, who 
could sit hidden from view'and coolly pot any of our men 
who showed too much of themselves. Their tactics had 
in some sort been adopted by the volunteers, but our 
hastily constructed defences were simply a few sods piled 
one on top of another, behind which the men lay and fired 
whenever they could catch sight of the enemy, and very 
often when they couldn't. 

Our survey life as you know accustoms us to various 
extremes, and after the first half-hour in camp we sat 
and smoked our pipes and listened to the tales of the 
older hands, broken every now and then by the crack of 
a rifle near the church, while an occasional bullet sung 
over the camp from the enemy's lines. Shortly after our 
arrival we were uncomfortably awakened to the fact that 
it was no sham battle going on around us, for Wheeler, 
one of our corps, sitting in a rifle pit on the river bank, 
showed rather more of himself than was advisable above 
the parapet and got a bullet through the shoulder. 
Fortunatel/ it was only a flesh wound. Towards sundown 



AFTER THE BATTLE. 

the firing grew pretty frequent, and we had two horses 
wounded inside the square and some cattle were also hit, 
but fortunately no more of our men. 

That night all hands slept in the trencjies, the lucky 
ones getting a berth under the waggons and carts. The 
novelty of the position did not interfere very much with 
our rest, and we slept the sleep of the just, only growling 
and grumbling a little when we were awakened to take 
our turn of "sentry go," two men of the Surveyors being 
detailed to do this work for an hour at a time. 

Next morning we breakfasted somewhere between 
four and five o'clock, and afterwards got orders to saddle 
up and go out with the Catling, Boulton's and French's 
troops being also told off for the* same service. We made 
a detour to the north and had a skirmish with the 
enemy on that side of their entrenchments, but the 
General withdrew us about noon without any loss on our 
side excepting ammunition. In the afternoon some of the 
Winnipeg Field Battery went down below the church to 
shell some houses on the opposite side of the river. The 
guns were placed side by side about one hundred and 
fifty yards from the cemetery fence. The house aimed 
at was about one thousand five hundred yards distant 
across the Saskatchewan. We always had a sort of an 
idea that an artilleryman could hit his mafrk with much 
greater accuracy than we could with our rifles, for the 
muzzle of a nine-pounder is not so likely to describe 
figures in the air as a weapon whose holder feels a strong 
inclination to duck his head at the whizz of a passing 
ball. But from what we saw that day we think 
we could do better. How many shots were fired I 
do not ljke to say, but they went all round that house 
and apparently any where but through it, until we got 
rather tired of the order : " Common shell, percussion fuse 
load." There were a lot of us grouped around the 
guns all interested in the practice, when a couple of 
figures were seen to cross the trail some five hundred 
yards distant in the enemy's lines, and there was an 



256 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

instantaneous scatteration. We who were not encumbered 
with the dignity of an officer's rank dropped on our faces 
and a bullet whistled over us. Had the fellows fired 
before they showed themselves they might have bagged 
a man or two of any grade from the General down. 

The General sauntered up and down with his cane 
under his arm showing his portly figure most uncon- 
cernedly, but many of the officers were not too dignified 
to stand in line, one behind the other, behind a very 
small poplar, not large enough to shelter the foremost one. 

Then began a rattle of musketry from our side, but 
what they fired at Heaven only knows, for one couldn't 
see any signs of the enemy, and the old General as he 
strutted down to the trail in full view of the hidden 
marksmen, shouted out : " Keep your fire ! What on 
earth are you firing at ? " and then added sotto voce : 

" D d fools," and walked back to camp, whither thd 

guns follow, and we are left to be potted at if we like. 

It was towards sunset when the 90th, who had been 
out all day, were withdrawn from the pits for the night. 
As they gradually retired the rebels followed them up. 
The firing was very heavy, and poor Hardisty was killed. 

One or two of our boys, who went down to the pits 
with them "just to get a whack at the rebels," found it 
was rather the other way round, as the sun was directly 
in our eyes and we could not see any of the rebels, whilst 
they were having nice pot shots at us ; but we all got 
safely back to camp to pass another night in the trenches. 

On Tuesday morning we were off again with the 
Gatling and a gun from the Winnipeg Field Battery to 
attack the rebels in the same place that we did the day 
before. We dismounted and leaving our horses under 
cover of a bluff, moved forward in a skirmishing order 
up a slight rise in the prairie and through some small 
poplars. The rebels evidently expected us, for we had 
only advanced a few yards when they must have caught 
sight of some of us over the rise, and a volley was fired 
into our ranks, at the report of which we dropped on our 



AFTER THE BATTLE. 257 

faces in the brush, one of us never to rise again, for pool 
Kippen fell dead with a rifle bullet in his brain. This 
was the first man of our corps killed, and we realized 
more fully that it was no child's play we were in for, but 
really a fight in which a man's life counts but a very 
small item. Kippen had not been known to many of us 
before the affair began, but short though our acquain- 
tance had been, we found him a pleasant and genial 
companion. We used to chaff him and call him the 
" Historian," little thinking that his people at home, 
instead of listening to his amusing accounts of the cam- 
paign, would be shocked and saddened by a brief tele- 
gram announcing that although no soldier, he had fallen 
as a soldier should, boldly facing the enemy. I am sure 
the whole corps, from whose ranks he is missed, can 
sympathize with his relatives in their far greater sorrow. 

The rebels kept a steady fire upon us, and after 
shelling some bluffs and firing several rounds from the 
Gatling, we were ordered to retire and return to camp, the 
enemy putting some bullets very close to us as we mounted. 

Just as we had finished munching the bullet-proof 
discs of that indescribable compound known as Govern- 
ment biscuit that formed our lunch, one of the Midland 
men on the slope of the hill near the cemetery was hit 
by a volley from the west side of the river, and the 
ambulance men going to his relief were also fired upon. 
This seemed to infuriate the men, and their officers saw 
that there was no holding>%hem longer. Colonel Williams 
therefore decided upon charging, and with only two 
companies of the Midland, he led the way, counting on 
the 90th and Grenadiers for support. This is what 
actually took place, but at the time the first inkling we 
had was hearing the dropping shots of the skirmishers 
come thicker and thicker: then a cheer rises and a 
mounted officer dashes into camp. "Fall in, men" is 
heard everywhere, and the red coats of the l()th, and 
the black of the 90th move rapidly down the trail, while 
the rattle of shots has become a steady fire. Everyone 
16 



258 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

is in excitement. Another side dashes up, and out of the 
enclosure at full speed come the four horses with the 
Gatling gun, whilst a dozen yards in front, his dark face 
beaming with delight and the tassel of his touque stream- 
ing behind him, rides the American Captain Howard, 
just spoiling for a fight. We give him a lusty cheer, 
and in a few moments our troop is ordered to support 
Boulton's and French's men on the right, and we advance 
at the double on foot. 

Did you ever run a race in top boots and spurs, with 
a cartridge belt and heavy revolver in it, and clad in a 
close leather jacket and tight riding breeches ? Add to 
these a hot day and you can imagine how we were handi- 
capped ; but we managed to get down and take our place 
in the line with the scouts on the slope of the hill near 
the church. Whether we were to support the advance 
of the uniforms or not we were not sure, but as the dense 
brush prevented us from seeing our officers, or what the 
infantry were doing in the valley, we just concluded that 
we'd clear all the rebels out of the slopes of the hills, 
and in extended line we started in to do it. Keeping 
up a heavy fire into the thickets as we advance at the 
run ; catching our spurs and falling Ijeadlong ; streaming 
with perspiration ; panting with exertion, and swearing 
with but scant breath, we rush along the hill sides from 
one ravine to another, our cheers doing more to dislodge 
the enemy from their pits than the accuracy of our aim. 
Now and again the boom of a field gun echoes above the 
rifle shots, while frequently a skir-r-r-r, like the rattle 
of an alarm clock, tells us that Captain Howard is turn- 
ing the crank of his " hurdy-gurdy," and in our mind's 
eye we can see him kneeling behind the Gatling doing 
two men's work in managing it, and sending a hail of 
rifle balls over the field, so deadly that one's soul is moved 
to pity for the unfortunate enemy, and we pump the 
lever of our Winchester and take a pot at a disappearing 
Half-breed or so, just to keep him from coming within 



AFTER THE BATTLE. 259 

range of the infernal machine that is rattling out death 
sentences in so remorseless a style. Now a shout of 
laughter rises as you take a header into the brush, and 

then you hear a yell of *' Don't shoot that man, your 

eyes, don't shoot that man, he's one of our side," as some 
dozen rifles cover a scout whose ardour has carried him 
on in advance of the rest, while the rebel bullets whistle 
around us, and dropping branches cut by them make us 
wonder that so few of us are hit. But who is hit no one 
knows, for in this wild race a man could not find his own 
brother, and so we press on flushed with success past pit 
after pit, and the shots of opposing rifles grow thicker 
and then gradually slacken and die away, and we lie on 
the slopes gasping for breath, knowing that our share of 
the work is over, and watch the uniformed men sweeping 
the rebels before them across the flat at our feet, aiding 
them as we best can by a fire on the rifle pits that line its 
further edge some eight hundred yards away. A great 
deal has been said of the unadvisability of charging with 
raw recruits, but anyone who saw the advance of our 
men across the open could not doubt their vim and 
anxiety to get at the enemy. Of course we were too 
busy and too well hidden doing our own work to see the 
beginning of the attack, but we saw enough to convince 
us that Midlands, Grenadiers, and 90th all struggled for 
first place in the rush upon the rebels at Batoche's, the 
rush that drove them from their position, and has struck 
a blow at the insurrection from which Kiel, with all his 
influence, will never be able to recover. 

And then the retire is sounded, and we stroll back to 
camp, knowing that we can sleep without hearing the 
now familiar crack of rifle or whizz of a ball, for the rebels 
are beaten from their stronghold, and Batoche is won. 

In endeavouring to settle the much disputed point as 
to who led the charge, George Ham furnishes the following: 

I have received no less than seven telegrams asking 
me to say which battalion led the famous charge at 



260 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



Batoche's. My answer ? * tTie Midland, Colonel Williams 
leading them. That gaL,ut officer, with Captain Howard 
of the Gatling, is the hero of this brigade. The " orders " 
of the Midland issued the day after the capture of 
Batoche's read as follows : 

"The deeds yesterday performed by the Midland 
during the battle of Batoche have been such as to call 




iV 



LIEUT. -OOL. A. T. H. WILLIAMS, M.P., MIDLAND BATTALION. 

from all encomiums of the highest order. That flank 

* Lieut. -Col. A. T. H. Williams, of Penryn Park, Port Hope, was born 
in 1837, educated at Upper Canada College and Edinburgh University. He 
was first returned to Parliament at the general election of 1867, when he 
was sent to the Ontario Legislature. He was re-elected by acclamation at 
the general election in 1871, and was first elected to the Commons in the 
1878 general election, and he was re-elec ed at the last general election. 
He is a son of John Tucker Williams, Elsq., a commander in the Royal 
Navy, who sat for Durham in the Canadian Assembly from 1840 to 1848. 
Colonel Williams distinguished himself 'at Batoche in such a manner as 
will cause him to be remembered long after his own and many succeeding 
generations shall have passed away. He died near B&ttleford, July 4, 1885. 



AFTER THE BATTLE. 261 

movement entrusted to us was so rapidly and determin- 
edly made that it is admitted that by it the tide of victory 
was turned. Amid a shower of lead from the front and 
left flank, the red line of the Midland pressed steadily on 
with British cheer and pluck, through the entangled brush 
on the river slope, until the proper time arrived for the 
rush across the open prairie front to the houses, the capital 
of the rebels, a distance of about five hundred yards. 
The response to this'Vas a noble one, and would have 
done .credit to the most experienced soldiers, as amid a 
shower of bullets the charge was made and the cheers 
went up. The Midland had the honour of having been 
in front of the advance, and the gratitude of the prisoners 
who were held by the rebels, as they emerged from the 
cellars of these houses, seemed to be a reward for the 
noble effort of the day, which was ours. 

"The Lieutenant-Colonel commanding has issued 
commendatory orders to the battalion before this, for 
pluck shown in enduring hardships, for good order and 
discipline, and for efforts put forth on the line of march, 
and now words would fail to convey the deep sense of 
what is due to the Midland for their steadiness under the 
fire of a determined and well-entrenched enemy. Nobly 
have the officers done their duty, and the response of the 
rank and file to their command under the most trying 
circumstances has always been a ready and reliable one, 
as day after day and night after night the thud of the 
enemy's rifle bullets sounded about our advanced rifle 
pits. The Lieutenant-Colonel commanding desires to 
place on record the pride he feels in having had the honour 
of commanding such soldiers, and to express his thanks 
to the officers and men for the ready response given under 
such circumstances to his orders. 

" The action yesterday, which has virtually broken 
the rebellion, will call forth the thanks and gratitude of 
the country, and none will be more deserving of this than 
the Midland. While we rejoice over the victory, we 
cannot forget our wounded comrades whom we leave 



262 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



behind us as we push further on. Let us express our 
deepest sense of gratitude that none have been danger- 
ously wounded. 

" (Signed) ARTHUR T. H. WILLIAMS, 

" Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding 
" Midland Battalion." 

The Grenadiers and the 90th followed the Midlanders 
hot-foot at the first dash, and before the first row of the 




COLONEL GKASKTT, ROYAL GRENADIERS. 



rebels had been reached the men of the three corps were 
pretty evenly mixed up along the line, so it is impossible 
to say which regiment was actually first into the village. 
The General divides the honours equally among the three. 
The following is an extract from a letter from Colonel 
Grasett, of the Grenadiers, to a friend : 



AFTER THE BATTLE. 263 

In considering the question of this charge it is well to 
note the numbers and positions of the regiments engaged 
as well as their names. The Midlands were on the left 
among the underbrush on the river bank, the Grenadiers 
occupied the centre opposite the lines of rifle pits in the 
open; the 90th, when "they came up, together with 
Boulton's scouts, completed the line out towards the right. 
At the opening of the attack the whole regiment of the 
Grenadiers, two hundred and fifty men, and fifty men of 
the Midlands, under Colonel Williams, were the only 
troops in line, all the remainder of the force being in the 
zareba. When the charge began, the left of the line, with 
the two Midland companies at its extremity, swung for- 
ward more rapidly than the centre, the charge of the 
latter being against the pits and key of the position. 
These carried by a rush, the enemy was thrown into com- 
plete disorder, and the whole line, with the reinforce- 
ments from the zareba who came up about half-an-hour 
after the ball had opened, swept forward together into 
the village, so that representatives of all regiments were 
side by side. 

Apart from their position the Grenadiers were five to 
one of the Midlands, and upon the greater number fell the 
greater weight of the charge. 

A correspondent furnishes the following admirable 
story of the fight and the scenes which followed it, and 
although some of the same sentences occur in this which 
are given in preceding accounts, for the sake of complete- 
ness and continuity, the letter is given as nearly as 
possible intact: 

On Saturday the steamer opened the ball, and called 
away the attention of the rebels until we were almost 
upon them. The Grenadiers bore the brunt of the fight, 
with the 90th in support and the Midlands in reserve, 
the two batteries of course doing their share. On Sun- 
day we did nothing but lie there, the Midlands on the 
right, and the Grenadiers on the centre and left. The 
opposing forces never approached within six hundred 



264 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

yards of each other, unless at sundown, when, retiring to 
camp with the sun's rays in our eyes, the rebels would 
crawl up and pick men off. This was of nightly occur- 
rence. Monday was a repetition of the previous day, 
except that the 90th went out while the Grenadiers 
stayed in camp. On the last day came the gallant charge 
and the victory. Ours was the most dismal of all camps. 
The ploughed earth had turned to dust, to which the 
earthworks added their clouds. Hundreds of horses and 
cattle superimposed filthiness ; water was scarce and not 
fit to drink ; and the area was so limited that it was next 
to impossible for the troops, unless in the trenches, to lose 
sight of the dead around the hospital, or to get out of ear- 
shot of the groans of the wounded. This camp had been 
under fire for sixty hours. Bullets were not constant 
visitors, of course, as our lines were extended during the 
day, but we were within range all the time, and no one 
knew the billet of the next stray bullet. Poor Dick 
Hardisty was dead, and the 90th were mad. So were 
the Grenadiers, the Midlands and the Artillery. I don't 
mean to say they were mutinous, but they had nearly 
reached the limit of suffering. The officers were even 
more angered than the men since they knew the mettle of 
the troops. It was tacitly agreed among the field officers 
(at least each reached the same conclusion) that at the 
next opportunity the rebels should be charged and driven 
back no matter what the orders to the contrary from the 
General commanding might be. Howard (the Connecti- 
cut State Guard officer) had begged to take his Gatling 
forward, to take it apart and put it in the church, to do 
anything or everything, in short, to secure a victory. 

On Tuesday morning all the mounted force except 
French's scouts, led by General Middleton and supported 
by Howard and his Gatling, and Drury, with one of the 
Quebec guns, moved out to the plateau on the east front 
of Batoche's for a reconnaissance similar to that made the 
day before. They struck the secluded and protected 
enemy as usual, and while Drury was throwing shrapnel 



AFTER THE BATTLE. 265 

Into the brush ahead of him, poor Kippen, of Dennis's 
scouts, was killed only a few feet from the gun. Pres- 
ently, and while the skirmishing was going on, a white 
flag was waved from a house on the flank and John 
Astley, one of Kiel's prisoners, followed hy T. W. Jackson, 
another, came to General Middleton with a note which 
has appeared in an earlier portion of this volume. 

Soon after dinner the Midlands, under Colonel Wil- 
liams, who had been holding the left on our skirmish line, 
were reinforced, the Grenadiers, under Grasett, being 
pushed out on the centre towards the church, and part of 
the 90th under McKeand sent out on the right, one com- 
pany being held to assist the larger portion of A Battery 
and the teamsters in holding the camp, and the rest in 
readiness to support their comrades if needed. General 
Middleton, who had ridden forward to the church (our 
skirmish line having driven the enemy from that vicinity 
and into the ravine where the trouble commenced on Sat- 
urday), then gave the order for a reconnoissance in force, 
and the men were pushed forward. Soon it was evident 
that the men and their officers were determined to have 
more than a reconnoissance. They did not stop nor 
cease firing though General Middleton cried, " Why in 
the name of God don't you cease firing?" but kept right 
on,and in ten minutes the whole line, advancing to the tune 
of a ringing cheer led by Van Straubenzie and the other 
colonels, was on the keen run into the ravine. The men 
had taken the bit in their teeth. Before they got into 
the bottom of this ravine Astley appeared with another 
white flag and a message from Kiel, in which he said he 
did not like war, was glad that his former note had 
received such prompt attention, and asking that the 
troops cease firing in order that the women and children 
might be collected. This was altogether " too thin," and 
General Middleton replied to Kiel that he would cease 
firing when the enemy did, and not before. The roar of 
the artilleiy, which had come up at a gallop, leaving one 
9-pounder in camp as a protection, was now added to the 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

rattle of the Sniders, Winchesters, and Martinis the 
Winnipeg Field Battery opening on the house in which 
the rebels had hidden, riddling it with shells. A Battery's 
nine-pounder was also doing good work, while on the 
right centre the rackety-crash of the Gatling showed that 
the 90th had Howard's machine-propelled bullets working 
for them. 

In half-an-hour or so the troops had won the key of 
the position and could take short rests in one or other of 
the numerous gullies which traverse the place. Then 
came that saddest of all hails, " Stretcher here !" " Ambu- 
lance, quick !" and the hospital badges showed in various 
portions of the field. There was room for running since 
our front covered more than a mile and a-quarter, and the 
advance, on the run, through brush and brake, had winded 
many a brave fellow, the hot sun adding to the toils of 
war. 

The din now became furious and on went the advance. 
Panic had seized the enemy now, and it was a case of 
aauve qui pent. One of the Grenadiers bayoneted an 
Indian who was trying his hardest to get out of a rifle 
pit. Many of the dead rebels were in their stocking feet, 
having left their posts so hurriedly that they had not 
time to don moccasin or shoe, neither of which they wear 
when on duty in the pits for any length of time. The 
Village of Batoche's proper, consisting of five houses, and 
its suburbs of two, were now in plain view and distant 
but a few hundred yards. Those of the enemy who had 
not run away were firing from the row of outhouses on 
the east trail, from a gully in rear of Batoche's handsome 
two-storey building, and from the hills and brush on the 
right. One of the Winnipeg guns under Captain Coutlee 
rushed to the right and shelled the bush in advance, and 
later Champaigne's house in the rear. It took but a few 
moments to make the rush to Batoche's new store, and 
then to Batoche's old store and house ; and then the day 
was won ! Not a man was killed while in the open, 
although several were wounded. 



AFTEB THE BATTLE. 267 

But one of the saddest losses was at Batoche's house. 
Captain Jack French, tall of form, and his Celtic blood at 
boiling heat, rushed to its front door facing the south- 
west, and with a " Come on, boys," ran in and up to the 
upper storey. He had hardly reached the door when a 
bullet from the gully toward the ferry pierced his breast 
below the heart, and he lived long enough only to say, 
" Don't forget, boys, that I led you here." On Saturday 
he saved Cook by his personal bravery, snatching him 
from the very jaws of death. It was a brave act worthy 
of the Victoria Cross. On Tuesday he led his gallant 
little band on to his own death. 

Colonel Williams, of the Midlands, was close behind 
French and, with one of the 90th or Grenadiers, kicked 
in the door of Batoche's, beneath which, in a gloomy hole 
called a cellar, were the white prisoners. They had 
broken the fastenings of the trap door which penned 
them in, but could not lift the stones piled on it, and the 
troops did this, letting the imprisoned ones free. By this 
time the fight was practically over, though to our front 
and across the river came scattering shots. The Indian 
and Half-breed camp had been carried by a few of the 
Grenadiers without loss and the inmates had gone in such 
a hurry that they left their lares and penates and all their 
paraphernalia of semi-civilized and semi-nomadic life. 
The 90th was now having about all the fighting there 
was, and they kept up their well-earned reputation. 
Major McKeand sprained a tendon while charging, but 
stayed with his men and supported the Gatling in its 
deadly work. 

As the shadows deepened the steamer Northcote, 
towing and being towed by the Marquis, came up stream, 
and its arrival was received by three rousing cheers, 
which, re-echoed by the naval brigade, startled the beaten 
and demoralized Metis who lined the crest of the western 
bank. The dead were gathered, the wounded cared for, 
while the helpless women and children flecked in under 
a white flag and bivouacked in rear of the blacksmith's 



268 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

shop. Entrenchments were thrown up around the houses 
and the Gatling placed in position fronting down the 
river, while the rest of the artillery were sent to the 
camp to protect- it against a possible, but not probable, 
night attack. Quite a number of prisoners were taken, 
and the rest began to surrender, in batches.- The victory 
was all but complete Kiel and Dumont were not among 
the slain or captured. 

In the morning looting began, and as the General's 
orders previously issued against it could not be enforced, 
no interference was made. Some of the men needed 
articles of underwear, blacking, combs, etc., and these 
were hurriedly snatched. Guards were of course put on 
the stores, but the ill-assorted stores somehow or other 
disappeared. Trunks were ransacked and trophies of the 
war secured. The rebel state papers were found in the 
rebel council room, George Fisher's house, an unpreten- 
tious log shack, no attempt having been made to secrete 
them in the hurly-burly of the excitement. An account 
book was opened showing the transactions of the " Gov- 
ernment," and that Dumont was in charge of one wing, 
and Monkman of the other. The minutes were all in 
French, of course, and many were moved by Kiel himself. 
One resolution was to the effect that the movement on 
Duck Lake should be made, showing that the affair was 
a premeditated one. Other resolutions were in regard to 
the movement of the rebel forces, which was influenced 
by the movements of Middleton's force, whose strength, 
daily advance, supplies and forage, etc., were accurately 
known. Numerous excerpts from Eastern Canada news- 
papers, clippings of paragraphs about Kiel, the rebels, the 
Government's course, the strength of the Canadian forces, 
etc., were also found. French Canadian papers, up to as 
late a date as May 4, were also found, as were copies of 
Canadian papers, with articles pointing out the weak- 
nesses of Middleton's forces. One resolution passed on 
Saturday night, and carried unanimously, was that they 
should go down stream and complete the destruction of 



AFTER THE BATTLE. 269 

the steamer Northcote. A letter of welcome from Monk- 
man to Kiel, written to that individual when in Montana, 
was also discovered. 

Batoche's, both on the east and west banks (Batoche 
proper, on the east, being the most enterprising place 
north of Fort Qu'Appelle), is a veritable village of rifle 
pits, -strategically located, commanding every available 
position, and showing that great energy and labour, as 
well as skill, must have been expended upon them. As a 
prominent military man remarked, an engineer could pro- 
fitably take lessons from these untaught Metis of the 
West The rebel position (it could not be called lines, 
for the pits run in all places and in all directions), demon- 
strated that the plans of defence were admirably con- 
ceived and excellently executed. It seemed as if they 
expected the troops to come along the river bank, and 
had prepared a ravine, a short distance up stream, to give 
us a warm reception. Weeks must have been spent in 
fortifying the place, since every conceivable point of 
vantage for a radius of a couple of miles was utilized. 
All their pits were deep, with narrow entrances, which 
widened at the bottom, thus giving perfect protection. 
Notched logs, the notches turned downwards, formed a 
parapet, earth being piled on top, and the notches cleared 
for loop holes. Lines of sight for the rebel marksmen 
were cleared in the brush. There were trenches of com- 
munication between the pits, arranged en echelon on the 
main road from Humboldt, but fortunately we did not 
come that way. Not alone in the field had the enemy 
prepared for a determined stand, but the houses in the 
village were also ready for an emergency. Even the tents 
in which some of the rebel warriors lived were not with- 
out protection. Almost every one had a rifle pit, and 
under the cart or waggon for some of these people have 
discarded the old-fashioned Red River cart a parapeted 
ho^e was dug for defence. If they had prepared for us at 
Fish Creek, they had a thousand times more so at 
Batoche'a. It was their last ditch. No trail* no path- 



270 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

way, however insignificant, was left unguarded ; no ravine, 
no gully that was not made a point of attack or defence. 

Pointing out to me on the map the rebel lines guard- 
ing the main Humboldt trail, Gen. Middleton remarked 
last night, " They are a veritable Sebastopol." Middle- 
ton's detour to the east had evidently led them to believe 
that he was coming that way but, the steamer coming 
first, their attention was attracted to the river, as I have 
described previously, and the force slipped in by another 
detour to the south, and we had almost reached the 
church before they heard us, so intent were they on 
destroying the boat. 

But, as it was, they managed to keep our superior 
force superior in numbers, in arms, in artillery, in every- 
thing at bay for nearly four days, and then it was only 
that rousing, ringing cheer and charge that drove them 
out. It might not have been that alone. Superstition 
may have had something to do with it. I was told by 
half-a-dozen Half-breed women that on Tuesday morning 
Kiel had gone over to the west bank, where, after shaking 
hands with all the people, he told them that the battle 
would be decided that day. Posing as a prophet (he had 
previously foretold the darkening of the sun just before 
the last eclipse, being almanacally informed), he said to 
them that if the sky darkened they would be beaten. Then 
the sun was shining bright and clear. In the afternoon 
dark clouds rolled up, a few drops of rain fell, and the 
evil omen, influencing the mind of the savage and the 
semi-savage braves, doubtless helped us materially. This 
ends my officer friend's account of the battle. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 

I HAD the honour, if it be an honour, of being the first 
person to place foot on the west bank of the crossing. 
Early in the morning Alex. Fisher, ferryman, Receiver- 
General and Acting-Quartermaster of the rebel army 
and now a prisoner, came over in the ferry scow, under a 
flag of truce, and surrendered. On the flag was a 
picture of our Saviour (for a travesty of religion seems 
to have permeated everything on Riel's side) painted on 
paper which was sewed on the cloth. He was accom- 
panied by two men. None of them, of course, had 
voluntarily gone into the fight ; but they had been forced 
into it. Fisher was allowed to go on his parole until 
6.30 p.m., when he was put under guard. Accompanied 
by Geo. Kerr, whose name you have heard before, and 
Captain Andrews, I crossed the river. Reaching the 
other side a Half-breed was seen crouching behind a higli 
shelved bank on the side of the ferry trail. We hailed 
him, but he refused to come out. One of us then spoke 
in French to him, and a half-scared man walked out. He 
was Francois Boucher, and after a cordial shake of the 
hand he said he came from the Mackenzie River. He 
had been dragged into the trouble. 

" Where was Riel ? " 

" Don't know." 

" Which way did he go ? " 

" Don't know. He was on the other side of the 
river." 

" When did you see him last ? " 

" Yesterday (Tuesday). Then he went away." 

Leaving the old man, we climbed the steep, winding 
ascent, viewing the admirably-constructed rifle pits 



272 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

which command the river, pits in the brush, pits on the 
stony lower bank of the river, where the water almost 
laves them. ; stones piled up in semicircular form, behind 
which they could crouch and deal out death and destruc- 
tion. To the right is a hill, filled with the inevitable 
pits, and on the top is a white flag, emblem of the sur- 
render. Over the ferryman's house and store to the left 
flies another white flag, but in the bushes there still 
float two red flags of the redskins. 

In the back-ground was the log building formerly 
occupied by Walters &; Baker as a store, but latterly 
used as headquarters of the "northern division" of the 
rebel army. It is an utter wreck, testifying to the 
destructiveness of the heavy guas which played on it 
during the fight. 

To the left are seen several women and children, 
tidying up their tents in the woods, and sorrowfully 
gathering together their scattered goods, and packing 
them in carts. Caves had been dug ten, fifteen, twenty 
feet long five or six wide, and four or five deep and 
these were carefully covered with trees and brush and 
earth. In these, during the four days' struggle, the 
families lived, and ate, and slept if they could. After 
the customary hand-shaking, and being assured of our 
friendliness, they readily answered questions. Two of 
them were looking in vain for their husbands who were 
across the river, they did not know whether dead or 
alive, but hoped for the best ; and laughed with joy at 
the prospect of peace, and an early return home. Some 
could only speak Indian, others only French, others 
again Indian, French, and English. None of them 
had a good word for Riel. By-and-bye Half-breed men 
whose suspicions were allayed came riding in unarmed 
and extended their hands towards us, and cordially 
grasped ours. All of them were sick of the " troubles " ; 
all of them denounced Riel and Dumont ; all of them 
wanted peace and home. It was curious, though, how 
unanimous they were in declaring they had been pressed 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 273 

into service. Of over twenty with whom I conversed, 
not one had joined Kiel willingly. To one he had 
threatened arrest ; to another death ; to a third the 
massacre of his wife and children, if he failed to join the 
insurgents. I asked, " Well, if you were all made to 
serve, why on earth didn't you rebel against the rebels ? " 
But I did not get any satisfactory answer. If what they 
said was true, and la^rf inclined to believe many of them, 
it only shows thafr^Kiel's organized few terrorized, the 
unorganized many/ But doubtless some of them lie.j 

In the afternoon many others came in on ponies, but 
all unarmed. There were forty or fifty of them, .with 
their families, camped a mile out in the bn<*h. One of 
them told me his story several of them did for that 
matter, but this was a particularly hard one. He said, in 
answer to my quer}^, that he had no grievance whatever; 
he lived on an Indian reserve. Kiel had taken his cattle, 
and by threats forced him to join. He stayed two days 
in the woods during the fight with nothing to eat, and 
only water to drink. " An< i now," he said, as he cursed 
Kiel with a good round oath, " here I am, without my 
cattle, without my horse, not even my gun. No land 
ready ; no seed : nothing but starvation ahejvl of me. I 
have no tobacco, no tea, and my family is starving." I 
suggested that he could be made rich by catching Kiel 
and delivering him up to the authorities, and he told me 
that they had already been discussing that question on 
the west bank. 

Another's was quite as sad a case. He was a young 
man, with a crippled w* l 'e, who lay sick, terror-stricken, 
and alone in her gloomy cave while the bullets' ping and 
the shrapnels' whizz almost deafened her. A bright lad 
of eighteen, Francois Boucher, the younger, gave me the 
best description of the fight. He said in English : 

"I was hiding in the bush, and I was pretty scared. 

I don't like this fighting. When the ship came down the 

river one man shot hard at it. When it stuck on the 

ferry rope our n^eij thought everything was smasher^ 

17 



274 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



and the police all killed (they call the troops police). One 
man said that he had seen twenty police fall over board 
dead, and Kiel was certain the boat would be his when 
he wanted it. He thought it was stuck on a sand bar 
down the river and you were all dead on it. On Sunday 
night he sent some men down to loot it, but when they 
got there the boat was gone. They came back and the 




MAJOR D. H. ALLAN, Q.O.R. 

Indians said that the devil had lifted the big iron (the 
anchor) up and the boat had gone away." 

Then he told me the story of Kiel's visit to the west 
bank the previous evening, his hand-shaking with the 
people, and his warning about the blackening sky ; and 
about Kiel being a second Messiah, and how he imposed 
upon the people and himself. 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 275 

I A number laid the whole blame of the troubles upon 
Charley Nolin, who, they allege, was the prime instigator 
of the uprising, and the one responsible for Kiel's advent 
amongst them ; but, they added, he cut connection with 
them when loud-mouthed agitation gave way to the 
rifle and the shotgun. He, however, had handed around 
the little paper badges which they wore on the lappels 
of their coats, badges with religious devices. 

The men were penitent even for their enforced partici- 
pation in defying the Queen, and only wanted to 
surrender. A priest came over, and they sent in their 
guns, nearly one hundred in number. Some of these 
were fine Winchesters, a Snider or two, a Queen's Own 
rifle, a Springfield carbine, supposed to have been taken 
from the Ouster battlefield, and shot guns of every 
description, single and double barrelled, and old flint locks, 
some almost entirely useless. It seemed almost incredible 
that, poorly armed as these men were, they managed to 
pour in such a hot fire on us as they did. But the Metis 
know how to use a gun, and they always make the best 
of the weapon they have. 

Passing a grove on the way back to the boat, some- 
thing white suspended to a tree attracted attention. It 
was a picture of the " Sacred Heart of Jesus," neatly 
draped with pure white muslin, attached to the card 
board by those common little tin tags which tobacco 
smokers know so well. The place was a little sylvan 
shrine where the terror-stricken women knelt and prayed 
to God in the very midst of the swirl o/ life and death. 

I asked several who the man was that they had hanged 
on the Saturday previous. They all denied any knowledge 
of it. Some said the Indians had put up some feathers 
in the trees as a decoy for the shots of the police, but I 
told them feathers did not wear coat and pants. Still 
they vehemently averred that no one was hanged there. 
A dozen men in the steamer are prepared to swear 
that they saw a man dangling in the air. It is strange 
if so many could have been mistaken. 



276 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

At Batoche's proper, the village had changed from a 
battle field to a busy camp. On the right of what would 
be the main street were the women and children, safely 
and comfortably living in tents. From these I learned 
that they at least were glad the war was over. It was 
the old story : Kiel had made their men come. Mrs. 
Tourand, who lives at Fish Creek, told me that of 
her husband's six brothers two had been killed, two 
wounded and one made prisoner. A married sister-in- 
law sat beside her, venting her grief in tears and lamen- 
tations. They had been all hungry, and for over twenty- 
four hours during the fight had had nothing to eat. None 
of them were hurt, although a spent ball cut off a piece 
of one woman's hair, and two innocent little babies were 
so closely grazed by bullets that a scratch was left on 
their dusky skins. I asked the women where Kiel was. 
They didn't know. When was he last seen ? One con- 
temptuously sneers at the fallen leader : " Bah ! " she 
says, "he is a woman. He stayed all day yesterday 
with the women and children, and he told the others to 
go and fight. He cafts us women because we can't fight ; 
but he is a woman himself." 

As the prisoners were brought up in a waggon, pre- 
paratory to being transferred to the steamer, a heart- 
rending scene ensued. Imagining that they were to be 
hanged or sent away for ever, wives rushed up and fondly 
embraced their husbands, and then held up the prattling 
babes for the father to take a farewell kiss. The little 
ones laughed anjl crowed as babies will, but their childish 
glee was in strange contrast to the tear-stained faces of 
the women, whose anguish could not be concealed. One 
touch of nature makes the whole world kin ; and those 
signs of grief from helpless women caused many a battle- 
stained soldier to turn aside and wipe away a tear. The 
women were comforted as well as words could comfort, 
and assurances were given that their husbands would not 
be harmed unless they were leaders. With grief partly 
Assuaged, the women turned to their teats, their faces 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 277 

hid in their handkerchiefs. Let us leave them with 
their sorrow. The fortunes of war are to them a dread- 
ful burden. 

Let me tell the. plan disclosed in the state papers of 
the rebels. When we were encamped at Macintosh's, the 
night before the Fish Creek fight, Gabriel Dumont's 
designs were to make an attack upon Middleton. In the 
dead of night, while the camp in fancied security was 
seeking well-earned repose, the rebel force, five hundred 
strong, was to steal up, as only these plainsmen can creep 
upon a foe, overpower the pickets and sentries, and before 
the men could be aroused, to sweep through the camp 
like a whirl-wind. In the darkness and confusion suc- 
cess might have followed the d-iring deed. Our command 
was divided, as Dumont well knew, by the wide Sas- 
katchewan ; communication was cut off between the two 
columns, the scow being in an inaccessible place ; and if 
the orders given had not been misinterpreted by some 
stupid brave, the rebels might have boasted of a victory. 
Fortunately for us, there was a misunderstanding amongst 
the different divisions of the rebels, some of their strength 
did not reach the rendezvous in time, some did not come 
at all, and the surprise was postponed. Little did we 
know how near to death's door many of us lay that night. 

The prisoners released from Batoche's house all bear 
the deep imprint of the hardships they have undergone 
during their long imprisonment, their pale, pinched faces 
and emaciated forms furnislfing indisputable proof of 
sufferings, both bodily and mental. They are easily 
picked out from among the many civilians about the 
camp, and it is moving to see the eagerness with which 
they grasp the hands of some acquaintance one or another 
may chance to meet. One of them is so overjoyed at 
being released that he shakes hands with everybody he 
approaches. Short rations, the close confinement, and 
the terrible suspense under which they lay, not knowing 
what moment might be their last, have done their work ; 
and it will take weeks of care before their systems again 



278 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

recover their wonted vigour. One and all agree that but 
a short time longer and reason must have given way 
beneath the terrible strain. The prisoners rescued were 
as follow : 

J. B. Lash, Indian Agent for Carleton district ; Wm. 
Tomkins, agency interpreter ; Peter Tomkins, a cousin of 
the former, and John W. McKeen, telegraph repairers ; 
Harold Ross, deputy sheriff of Prince Albert, and Wm. 
Asbley, D.L.S., who were arrested on a scouting expedi- 
tion ; Edward Woodcock, who had charge of Leesin & 
Scott's mail station at Hoodoo ; A. W. McConnell, one of 
General Middleton's scouts, and T. E. Jackson, druggist, 
of Prince Albert, brother of " Crank " Jackson. "Crank" 
Jackson himself, and Albert Monkman, whose name has 
obtained unpleasant prominence during the rising, were 
also found in confinement. 

From the prisoners I have gleaned the following par- 
ticulars of their capture and confinement : Mr. Lash, the 
agent, accompanied by Mr. Tomkins, his interpreter, were 
on their way from Carleton to One Arrow's reserve, about 
five miles from Batoche's, on agency business, on the 
afternoon of the 18th March. When they were near 
Batoche's church they were surrounded by a mob of 
between fifty and sixty armed men, under the leadership 
of Kiel and Gabriel Dumont. Some of the crowd at once 
unhitched the horses, and Kiel informed Mr. Lash that 
the rebellion had begun, and that he was obliged to 
detain him and Tomkins at prisoners. They were taken 
to Batoche's church and kept there until evening when 
they were taken to Walters &; Baker's store on the north 
side of the river and brought back again the next day. 
At midnight on the 18th the telegraph wires were cut, 
the line going " wide open " in the very middle of a tele- 
gram of the greatest importance. Peter Tomkins, a 
cousin of the telegraph operator, undertook to go out and 
repair the break on the condition that he should be 
accompanied by a companion. Several men having been 
asked to go and having declined, J. W. McKeen, the 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 279 

miller in charge of Beaupre"'s mill at Stobart, or Duck 
Lake, volunteered. They set out shortly after 1 a.m. on 
snowshoes, drawing their tools on a flat sleigh, following 
the line through the bush until near the crossing, where 
they found the line cut and several poles chopped down. 
Without a moment's delay they set about repairing the 
damage, and had just completed their labours, having 
made three splices, and were gathering up their tools 
preparatory to the homeward journey, when they were 
surrounded by between twenty and thirty men who 
demanded their surrender. One man tapped McKeen on 
the shoulder and informed him that he was a prisoner. 
Having no arms they made no resistance, but accom- 
panied their captors to Walters & Baker's store where 
they were kept over night. Kiel was one of the party 
and was what the Half-breeds called the talking chief, 
while the redoubtable Dumont was the chief fighting man. 
Another couple of the prisoners, Harold E. Ross and 
W. Astley, were captured on a scouting expedition on the 
morning of the 26th of March, the day of the battle at 
Duck Lake. They left Fort Carleton between 11 and 12 
o'clock on the night of the 25th, with the view of gaining 
the high ground in the vicinity of the St. Laurent mis- 
sion by daylight, in order that they might ascertain if 
any steps had been taken by the rebels to intercept Com- 
missioner Irvine, who was momentarily expected to arrive 
at Carleton. A short distance out from the last-named 
place they met Jerry McKay, who had been scouting on 
Beardy's reserve, and he told them to be very careful, as 
that chief did not like people travelling across his reserve. 
McKay, however, assured them that the journey to Duck 
Lake was quite safe, Beardy being the only ugly feature 
of it. This they did not consider of a sufficiently alarming 
nature to cause them to turn back, and they resumed 
their journey, travelling leisurely in order that they might 
arrive at St. Laurent at. the appointed time. When they 
came over the last hill near Duck Lake they were, as 
they subsequently learned, perceived by the picket from 



280 CANADA'S NOKTH-WEST REBELLION. 

the Indians* houses near the trail. Shortly before this, 
Astley called Ross's attention to what he thought was a 
man lighting his pipe, but as the latter had not noticed 
it they paid no further attention to the matter. As they 
proceeded down the hill the Half-breeds rode out and 
down in their rear, the soft snow, which had been falling 
all evening, completely muffling the footsteps of their 
pursuers' horses until they were quite upon them. 

Hearing a noise behind him, Ross looked back and 
saw Durnont at the head of about twenty men, with a 
rifle in his hand. Gabriel at once cried out, " Surrender, 
you're scouts." Astley did not hear the call, whereupon 
Boss tapped him on the shoulder and said, "They're 
on top of us," and wheeled his horse around. Duinont 
immediately seized him by the foot and ordered him to 
dismount, which Ross refused to do. The rebel Adjutant- 
General, as he styled himself in his official documents, 
then attempted to pull Ross off, upon which the latter 
endeavoured to draw his revolver. Two Indians got on 
each side of him, and those on the right pulled his foot 
from the stirrup, and Duinont succeeded in unhorsing 
him, and in doing so discovered the revolver, which he 
demanded. Ross drew it at once, not to give it up, how- 
ever, but for the purpose of administering a leaden pill 
to an Indian who bad covered him with a gun, at the 
same time seizing Duinont by the throat with his 
disengaged hand, to prevent his interference. Feeling 
something touch his head behind, Ross looked around, 
and found himself covered by two more guns, seeing 
which he surrendered. Astley, in the meantime, had 
endeavoured to escape, but perceiving his comrade was 
not following, turned back to his assistance, when he also 
was surrounded and taken. The two unfortunate scouts 
were conducted to Duck Lake, where they were joined 
the next morning by their companions in misery. 

A number of others were also in confinement, but the 
majority were only imprisoned for a short time. Those 
who were placed in Walters & Baker's store for safe-keep- 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 281 

ing were only kept there during the night of the 18th, 
and were removed to Batoche's church the next morning, 
and the next day were removed to the residence of 
Philippe Garnot, Secretary of the Provisional Govern- 
ment. Among the other prisoners were George Ness, 
Louis Marion, and Chailes Nolin, Half-breeds, who had 
refused to take up arms ; Walters, of Walters & Baker, 
and J. D. Hanafin, a clerk in their employment; Edward 
Woodcock, already referred to as captured at Hoodoo, and 
Thomas Sanderson, of Carrot Kiver, who happened to 
have camped at that place the night it was plundered. 
The evening they were removed to Garnet's house a 
council was held, after which Kiel informed the prisoners 
that Charles Nolin was sentenced to death, and would be 
shot that night if he did not submit. Riel also told them 
that the rebellion was gaining strength, and would carry 
everything before it, and that it was the intention of the 
Council of Saskatchewan to march on to Carleton in such 
force that the police would surrender without a shot 
being fired, and Carleton once disposed of Prince Albert 
could easily be captured, as there was but a mere handful 
who did not sympathize with the movement. Marion 
was also told that he would be "attended to" if he did 
not submit. Both Nolin and Marion gave in their 
adherence, but the latter deserted the next day, and Nolin 
on the day of the Duck Lake engagement. Ness stood 
out to the last, but was released for some reason unknown 
to his fellow-prisoners, while Hanah'u and \\Ialters were 
also permitted to go a few days later, as the council 
decided they would only detain men who were servants 
of the Domiir'on Government. On the evening of the 
25th March Duck Lake was taken by the rebel aimy,and 
the next morning the prisoners w r ere moved over, the 
upper storey of Mr. Mitchell's house being put into service 
as a prison. Up to this time they had been reasonably 
well fed, as their captors had plenty of plunder, and were 
also freely supplied with tobacco; but they were kept 
under close surveillance and allowed to talk to no one. 



282 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

After the fight at Duck Lake, Gabriel Duiuont entered 
the prison and ordered the prisoners to be taken out and 
shot, but the men in charge refused to obey the order. 
The Indians were particularly anxious to have revenge, 
but were restrained mainly through the instrumentality 
of Monkman. The Provisional Government held a council 
meeting which lasted through the afternoon of the 26th 
and the early morning of the 27th, during which they 
considered the advisability of sending one or two prison- 
ers over to Carleton to see if some terms of settlement 
could not be agreed upon, and also to invite the police to 
come over for the dead. It was, however, decided to 
liberate Sanderson and send him with the message to 
Major Crozier concerning the removal of the bodies, and 
this was dome, the messenger being furnished with a 
horse and jumper, and an escort through the lines. After 
Sanderson left Kiel came, when Ross asked for permission 
for one or two of the prisoners to visit the field of battle 
and put the bodies in a safe place to protect them from 
dogs and wolves, to which request consent was given. 
Wm. Tomkins and Ross went out that evening under a 
strong escort of Half-breeds and Indians, and placed the 
dead in a vacant house near by. While this was being 
done, the Indians said : " Well shoot the white dogs." 
" This is a lesson for you," and similar comforting expres- 
sions. On Sunday afternoon, March 28, T. E. Jackson, 
Thos. Sanderson, and Wm. Drain arrived with teams for 
the dead and left the same night, although Drain was 
made prisoner for a time and his case was brought before 
the council ; but he was released on explaining that he 
was present at the fight against his will. Riel learned 
from them that Carleton had been evacuated, but refused 
to believe it until he had sent over scouts to reconnoitre 
Having satisfied himself on this score the prisoners were 
moved over on the 31st March to Carleton, under a 
detachment in charge of Monkman? The accidental fire 
on the night of the evacuation had only destroyed the 
hospital and guard room, warehouse, and orderly room. 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 283 

The Hudson's Bay Company's clerk's quarters were fitted 
up for a guardroom and the prisoners placed in the upper 
storey, with a strong guard, Monkman assigning them a 
man and woman to cook and wait upon them. The after- 
noon they arrived at Carleton two teams in charge of 
Charles L'Heureux, of Battleford, were captured on their 
way from Prinee Albert to the latter place. At midnight 
of the 2nd of April the guards wakened them and ordered 
them to roll their blankets and prepare to leave. This 
was done, and all the buildings were set on fire, the 
evacuating party arriving at Duck Lake at 10 a.m. on the 
3rd. The prisoners were at first compelled to walk, but 
a " kick " was instituted after five miles of the road had 
been traversed, and they were permitted to ride on 
sleighs for the remainder of the road. At Duck Lake 
the buildings were gutted and fired and the march 
resumed to Batoche's, where they found the ice breaking 
up and the water running on the side. 

The open water was crossed in boats, and the prison- 
ers placed in Baptiste Boyer's house, being guarded by 
numerous sentries, who were ordered to fire on anyone 
attempting to escape without calling on him to halt. 
They were fed on bannocks, boiled beef and tea. The 
lower storey was occupied by Sioux Indians, who kept up 
a continuous drumming, thus preventing sleep at night. 
On 19th April they were put in a cellar and kept all day, 
the hatch being closed and braced down with an upright 
post wedged in tightly against the ceiling. In the after- 
noon the Sioux had a big dance, and made a demand for 
A. W. McConnell, of Qu'Appelle, who had been captured 
while carrying despatches to Prince Albert for General 
Middleton, averring that a man who carried news had no 
right to live. When the guards refused to give him up, 
they wanted to go into the room below the one occupied 
by the victim of their dislike and fire through the ceiling, 
and it required twenty men to prevent it. Several shots 
were fired outside, which the poor fellows in the cellar 
imagined were directed against McConnell, and the effect 



284 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

on their feelings can better be imagined than described. 
Again when word came that the troops were on the way, 
the men were confined in the cellar for two days, being 
fed twice a day on boiled beef and cold water, their gaol- 
ers asserting that there was neither flour nor tea. Again 
on the 23rd April, at 10 a.m., they were ordered down 
cellar, and the two Tomkinses were tiechhand and foot, 
the remainder having their hands tied behind their backs 
by order of Delormo, who threatened to shoot any who 
should get loose. They were not allowed out under any 
pretext whatever, and did not receive anything to eat 
until 4 p.m. on the 24th (the day of the Battle of Fish 
Creek.) On Saturday, the 25th, Monkman brought them 
out and placed them in their old quarters, where they 
Were allowed to remain until the 4th of May, when they 
were again put down cellar and kept there until released 
by the troops on the 12th, with the exception of a few 
hours on the 7th. 

During the four days' fighting stones were piled on 
the hatchway in lieu of extra guards, as men were re- 
quired in the rifle pits. They could hear the firing every 
day, and one day a shell passed through the building. 
)n the 12th Kiel opened the hatch and called out, " Astley, 
Astley, come quick and stop the firing : for if they kill 
any of our women and children we will massacre all the 
prisoners." Astley was sent out three times with a flag 
of truce, the last time getting three bullets through the 
flag, and another cutting the stick in two on which it was 
borne. The hole in which the prisoners were confined 
was only about sixteen feet square and nine feet deep, 
with neither floors nor walls, and utterly devoid of any 
means of lighting or ventilation, and in these cramped 
and unhealthy quarters they were obliged to eat and 
sleep and take such exercise as its narrow limits would 
permit. So strict were the restrictions imposed upon 
them that they were not allowed outside to answer tLe 
calls of nature. 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 285 

When they heard the trampling of feet overhead the 
most conflicting hopes and fears filled their minds, and 
the few seconds which elapsed while the stones were 
being cleared away from the prison doors, were moments 
of the severest suspense hopes that the time of rescue 
had come, fears that Kiel or some of his followers had re- 
turned to carry out the threat of the morning, and wreak 
summary vengeance upon them. Imagine if you can the 
delight and relief which filled their minds when they 
found that realization had met their hopes instead of their 
fears. Some of them could scarcely contain themselves 
for joy, and eagerly shook hands with their rescuers, and 
then shook hands all around again. But the military had 
other work to do, and an escort was told off by General 
Middleton to conduct them to the catnp, where they were 
made as comfortable as could be, and after the fight were 
congratulated by nearly every man in the force, many of 
whom felt that an important portion of their duty had 
been discharged. 

Dumont occupied the grand dwelling house of M. 
L'Etendre dit Batoche, who is away from home. The 
building is pretty bacUy demoralized, and doubtless the 
thrifty and discreet ."Ratoche will push a heavy claim 
against the Government for damages. Kiel occupied less 
pretentious quarters, sometimes in one building, at other 
times in another, and frequently remaining in camp. Both 
are married, Dumont being childless, and Kiel having two 
little ones, whom he took with him in his flight. Dumont 
is said to have lost every dollar and Kiel has not a cent 
at stake in the country, owns not a foot of land, has not 
even a horse, and possesses only what little money his 
dupes gave him. The people of Batoche's, however, were 
not mere men of straw. In one place was found a fat 
pocket-book with $40 in cash in it, and in another there 
was $15 of equally good and lawful money. 

As has been previously stated, Kiel has been posing as 
the founder of a new religion, the principal feature of 
which rs that he claims to be the Klias referred to by 



286 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Jesus Christ as he who must first come to change all 
things. He calls himself David, and signs his name thus : 
Louis " David " Kiel. The first change he introduced was 
rebellion against the priests, which he formally did shortly 
before the Battle of Duck Lake ; and as it was a part of 
his religious teachings that each change should be fol- 
lowed by a victory for the rebel arms, it was with a 
double gratification that he pointed to the advantage 
gained at Duck Lake, as the first instalment of the fulfil- 
ment of his prophecy. About a fortnight ago he changed 
the Sunday to Saturday, and contemplated changing the 
names of all the days of the week, had not the complete 
extinction of the rebellion interfered with his playing the 
role of Elias any longer. He was very fond of prophesy- 
ing, but was clever enough to couch his prognostications 
in the vaguest possible terms. For example, he told his 
followers that the steamboat should drink water, an ex- 
pression which may be taken to mean many things. He 
also told them that troops were coming from the United 
States to assist them, but when they failed to appear he 
explained that the Almighty had changed His mind and 
had ordered him not to seek outside aid as it would re- 
dound more to His glory to gain a victory with a small 
force. But it is needless to go further, as a book could be 
filled with similar prophecies and explanations for their 
non-fulfilment or ingenious interpretations to fit passing 
events. The rebel leader was fond of religious devotion, 
and spent hours in prayer. 

Besides endeavouring to delude his credulous followers 
into the belief that he was a heaven -born saint sent for 
their particular benefit, Kiel deceived them by keeping 
information from them. They never knew that General 
Middleton had issued a proclamation telling them that if 
they laid down their arms and returned to their homes 
they would be protected, but their leaders would have to 
suffer. He carefully kept that back. He also told them 
that the Americans, fifteen thousand strong, were coming 
to his assistance ; but when some of the Indian prisoners 



THE PKISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 



287 



found out last night from our scouts that it was an Ameri- 
can who worked the maneton, as they called the Gatling, 
they lost faith in their leader entiiely. Speaking of this 
gun they said it rained bullets so fast that they could not 
pop their heads ou of the rifle pits to see where to shoot ; 
that is, if they were going to shoot, which most of them 
contended they were not. 




OAPT. J. M. DELAMEBE, Q.p.B. 

As near as can be ascertained, the rebel strength 
aggregated four hundred and fifty men, of whom two 
hundred and fifty are Half-breeds. Mr. Lash, one of 
Kiel's prisoners, calculates the number as about four hun- 
dred, his impression of the division of the races being two 
hundred and fifty Metis and one hundred and fifty 
Indians. There were, women and children included, over 
one thousand in camp. The Indians were three bands of 



288 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Crees, those of One Arrow, Beardy, and Okamesis ; and 
the band of White Cap, a Sioux, renegades of the Minne- 
sota and Ouster massacres, living around Prince Albert. 
Their provisions were not exhausted, and a large quantity 
of stores was captured at Batoche's. Beef was plentiful 
and considerable ammunition was discovered, the powder 
being of Curtis' English manufacture. Where the Gat- 
ling gun had been playing, the trees had been cut by the 
rebels and Howard's bullets extracted at night and util- 
ized in the next day's fight. The men kept to their pits 
during the four days' siege of Batoche, night and day, 
scarcely going in for provisions, and the extremity to 
which some of them were reduced was evidenced by the 
mutilated remains of horses and of the dog " Colonel," of the 
90th, from which steaks had been cut and eaten. Rein- 
forcements were expected, and an Indian band, some fifty 
strong, were coming in the day after the fiijht to help 
Kiel, but were intercepted by the sub lued Half-breeds 
ten miles away and told to go home for the war was over. 

The following is a translation of the rules and regula- 
tions of the rebel army, posted on a house, evidently 
used as a guard room, on the western side. Common 
foolscap paper is used. The "army "had not indulged 
in the expensive luxury of printing, but ojie of the 
A. D. C.'s had written out the regulations with a blue 
pencil : 

Regulations which the soldiers should observe to the 
letter: 

1. The soldiers will rise at 6 a.m. 

2. The roll-call will be made at 7.30. 

3. They should be respectful to their captains and 
those other persons who are charged with their supervi- 
sion and control. 

4. They should be obedient and submissive to those 
who have the authority to command them. 

5. They should be active, watchful and careful. 

6. They should keep their houses clean and tidy, as 
also their arms. 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 289 

7. Every morning their arms should be inspected at 9 
o'clock. 

8. No soldier will be allowed to leave his company 
without the permission of his captain. 

9. Each captain should look after his company, see to 
its needs and treat the men impartially. 

10. Each soldier should keep the guard which he is 
called upon to do conscientiously, on account of the very 
great responsibility which rests upon him. 

By order, 

GABRIEL DUMONT, Adjutant-General 
St. Antoine, May 2, 1885. 

When Walters was released Kiel addressed him at 
some length, telling, him that he had been very useful to 
the movement in supplying goods, which had, of course, 
been taken without Mr. Walters' consent. " We have 
taken your goods," said Kiel, " but you will not lose by it. 
We shall fill your store full of goods from the Company," 
meaning that when the Hudson's Bay Company's stores 
were robbed they would repay Walters. 

Dumont became enraged at one of the priests the other 
day because the priest refused to carry out some of his 
commands, and, springing at him, attempted to kill him. 
A Sioux interfered and saved the priest's life. 

The following is a copy of a letter addressed to Mr. 
Thomas Scott, one of the white agitators at Prince Albert, 
by the rebel council. It is not dated : 

"To TH. SCOTT, ESQ. 

" SIR, We do not want you to take up arms, if you 
do not wish to do so. But you could at all events send 
us delegates to meet ours, in order to consider the condi- 
tions upon which it would suit the people to enter the 
new confederation as a province. Leave the police to 
fight its own battles ; with the help of God we will make 
them surrender. We will keep them as hostages until 
18 



290 CANADA'S NOKTH-WEST REBELLION. 

we have a fair treaty with the Dominion. In joining us, 
on the ground that the police has made it a matter of 
necessity for you, and in leaving the police to its struggles, 
you will determine the Canadian Government to come 
and treat with us ; and by following that course, we will 
celebrate in peace and in happiness the 24th of May, 
otherwise the struggle will continue. The Government 
will send us reinforcements of police and we will have to 
call out all the neighbouring Indians and early this spring 
men will cross the international line, and the final result 
will perhaps lead us to celebrate the 4th of July instead 
of the 1st of the same July." 

As I write scouts are going out in pursuit of Kiel and 
Dumont, but the latter is not likely to be caught. Gen- 
eral Middleton sent and received messages of congratula- 
tion to and from Mr. Caron, the Minister of Militia, to-day. 
In the general orders this morning, after quoting Mr. 
Caron's message, the General says : 

" With regard to the above message the Major-General 
has already by word of mouth informed the troops of his 
appreciation and thanks for their conduct on the 12th 
instant ; but he wishes to put them on record in general 
orders, and to add that he feels very little, if any, thanks 
are due to him, as he considers that he owes all the suc- 
cess of that day to the pluck and dash of the officers and 
the men." 

Private Cook was only a few feet from Lieutenant 
Fitch when that officer fell in the decisive charge of Tues- 
day, 12th of May, at Batoche's. Cook was himself imme- 
diately afterwards struck in the right arm and disabled. 
The ball entered the muscle above the elbow, and passed 
upwards, lodging under the skin, where it was easily 
extracted. His account of the Batoche's skirmishes and 
final victory and his statements fully bear out the pre- 
vious accounts of the fixed determination of the Tenth 
to dislodge the rebels by a charge. In an interview 
Cook said : 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 291 

r 

"On Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday we 
encamped near Batoche's. On Saturday and Sunday the 
90th Battalion were in front, and on Monday and Tues- 
day we were in the front line. In the morning we would 
advance and extend in skirmishing line and lie down and 
watch for a chance at the rebels, and return to our 
original position at night. We had a kraal formed of 
about two hundred waggons around which we rested, the 
front rank keeping watch while the rear lines slept. An 
embankment was thrown up by the teamsters." 

" Did the rebels fire on you at night ? " 

" Yes, they fired on us every night, and many of our 
men were hit." 

" Did you have blankets ? * 

" Yes, they allowed us two blankets each. We had 
no tents. In the morning we would advance and watch 
for a chance at the enemy, and retire in the evening. 
During the day we would get a couple of hard tack 
biscuits, and sometimes we had a cup of hot tea. We 
had no hot food in the evenings, because they did not 
want to light fires. Each day was like the other, advance 
in the morning and retire in the evening, until the men 
were maddened. The rebels were in their rifle pits, and 
could fire at us without being exposed. All we could see 
was the puff of smoke. Whenever it would get too hot 
for them they could retire to a gully." 

" Would they be exposed in retiring ?" 

" No, they could crawl around like cats." 

" Had you your great coats on ? '* 

" No, only our tunics. 

" You were a good mark to fire at ? " 

" Yes, we were good targets." 

" That was not a comfortable thought ? " 

" Well, we thought no more of it than sitting here. 
We had no shelter on the level ground, while the enemy 
were sheltered. They were so placed, too, that our big 
guns could not get at them. The shells could not be 
dropped among them. On Tuesday morning we went out 



292 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



t 



again. The General told us to take our old positions. 
Instead of that we took the enemy's position before the 
day was out. During the morning Colonel Van Strau- 
benzie said he would like to go forward. An irregular 
fire was kept up until afternoon. The Tenth and the 
Midlands were in the front, and the 90th Battalion behind 
us. In front was open ground, and further on the bush, 
in which the rebels had their rifle pits. We did not want 
to stay lying there any longer seeing our comrades struck 
down one at a time while we could not strike back. The 
whole line started forward with a cheer." 

" Were you ordered by the General to charge ? " 
** No ; the General did not know we were going to 
charge. The enemy poured in a hot fire when we started, 
but I don't think any of our men were hit until we got 
into the bush. Here many of the men were struck." 
" Were you near Lieutenant Fitch when he fell ? " 
" Yes, I was not three paces from him. We were 
pushing our way through the bush, which was pretty 
close, and jumping over the rifle pits, when he was struck 
in the breast and in the corner of the eye. He fell with 
a groan, and died immediately without speaking a word. 
I think he had his revolver in his hand, but not his 
sword. My heart jumped into my mouth when I saw 
him fall. I was then struck in the right arm, but did 
not fall. I was disabled and dropped down, because the 
bullets were flying thick, and remained there until the 
men had gone on ahead, when I walked to the rear and 
had my wound dressed. There were others hit in the 
bush about the same time. The Ambulance Corps carried 
Lieutenant Fitch off immediately, and followed the bat- 
talion up closely. They picked up and carried away 
every man as soon as he fell. They wanted to take me 
off, but I told them to attend to others more severely 
wounded first. Sergeant Hazleton was in charge of the 
Ambulance Corps, and they went everywhere and acted 
splendidly. The big guns did not begin firing until we 
got into the bush. When our men came to the rifle pits 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 293 

they found rebels who had not had time to get away in 
some of them." 

" Did they offer to surrender ? " 

" Surrender would not be a bit of use in that crowd. 
They were bayoneted." 

" When did the men halt ? " 

" They did not stop until the village was captured. 
Colonel Van Straubenzie and Colonel Grasett were with 
us, and went everywhere." 

" What did the General say of the movement ? " 

" Oh, he addressed the men in the evening, and told 
them that they had made him the happiest man in Canada 
that night. He is a fine man and a gentleman, and could 
not use us better." 

Private Cook spoke in terms of deep regret of the 
death of Lieutenant Fitch, summing up his expression of 
gratitude for the kind treatment they had received from 
the deceased officer in the words, " He could not do enough 
for us." He shows with much pride the bullet taken 
from his arm. It is a heavy missile, one and a quarter 
ounces in weight, and as round as a marble. He intends 
keeping it. 

On the morning of Tuesday, the 12th, some wounded 
were sent to Saskatoon, and on the next evening he and 
many others were sent on. After staying there eight or 
nine days they went to Moose Jaw, one hundred miles 
by boat, and eighty-five by waggon. The latter part of 
the journey was pretty hard on the wounded. They 
then went to Winnipeg, where they remained a day and a 
night. Of their treatment at this place he does not speak 
with praise. He speaks very warmly, however, of the 
conduct of the officers of the steamer on their trip from 
Port Arthur down. Nothing was too good for them. At 
Sault Ste. Marie, where they stopped an hour, the Ameri- 
can soldiers were very kind to them. 

Private William Hughes, No. 3 Company, 90th Bat- 
talion, writes the following from Lepine's Crossing under 
date of 17th May: 



294 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

About Batoche's. We camped about six miles out on 
Friday night, and at 4 on Saturday morning arose, ate a 
hasty breakfast, and at 6 o'clock resumed our march on 
Batoche's. The steamer Northcote had been fitted up with 
bullet proof bulwarks, and it was so planned that we were 
to reach Batoche's at the same time, but she was there about 
half-an hour ahead of time, and had to run for it, as the 
fire was too heavy for her to stand long. At last we 
entered into a very hot fight, lasting all day ; but very 
little advantage was gained on either side. We retired 
about four hundred yards and threw up fortifications, 
behind which all lay unmolested until morning. Shortly 
after daybreak we again went out, or rather I should say 
the 10th Royals did, and it was they who were in advance 
on Saturday, too. The General is said to have remarked 
that the 90th Battalion had done all the fighting at Fish 
Creek and hence had done our share, so he put the 10th 
ahead on Saturday and Sunday. That day passed off as 
the others had done, and again we retired behind our 
fortifications for the night, lying on a blanket with 
nothing save the canopy of heaven over us. 

On Monday morning we (the 90th) were sent out with 
the two Midland companies, and drove the rebels back 
farther than ever and gained possession of their first row 
of pits and trenches. Colonel Williams asked for per- 
mission to let us charge the whole of them, but the Gen- 
eral refused, as he thought we could not succeed ; so 
another night and Tuesday forenoon were spent in the 
trenches ; but the boys were almost out of patience and 
all were terribly angry at losing our nearest and best 
friends, so we were just in the humour to eat alive any- 
thing in the shape of an Indian or Half-breed. Well, 
about 1 o'clock on Tuesday, the 10th Royals and the 
Midlands were sent forward as usual to skirmish and had 
no orders to charge or to do anything else in particular, 
while the 90th were supporting them. Soon we heard 
the Midland companies cheering tremendously, and were 
ftt once extended into skirmishing line and sent forward 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 295 

on the double to support the 10th. They were then just 
a little ahead of us, lying down, firing at the red-devils, 
and with a cheer that was enough to strike terror to a 
braver man than a Half-breed or an Indian, we all rushed 
forward on the line of entrenchments and in the face of 
a fire that no one not there can imagine how severe it 
was. Cheer after cheer went up and fairly rent the air. 
Every one was wild to get at the devils, but when we 
got within ten or fifteen paces of the pits the breeds and 
Indians jumped out and ran for their lives, many being 
shot down, for five lay dead where our company crossed. 
The fighting line was more than a mile long, and though 
I could not see any other part but ours it is true that the 
others did their work well too. I tried to watch Jack's 
company but could not see for sure, although they are said 
to have had the hardest of the fight at first, but we were 
still several hundred yards off the village, so on rushed 
the whole line, the Midland, the 10th, and the 90th, red 
and black coats mixed, all firing and cheering tremen- 
dously. At last when about three hundred or four hun- 
dred yards from the village we were ordered to halt and 
cease" firing because Kiel was sending a man with a flag 
of truce ! He came to say something about Kiel's want- 
ing to hold a parley; but the General said if M. Kiel 
wanted to talk he must come himself. So again the 
whole line rushed cheering and firing as before. One part 
of the line soon came out into the open ground and the 
firing encountered here was terrible. The bullets flew 
everywhere, for we were not more than fifty yards in 
front of some houses, while as the rest of our main line 
on our immediate right and left had not yet come through 
the brushwood the rebels blazed at us from three sides. 
Being fully two hundred yards ahead of our fellows on 
our right we lay for a lew moments puffing and gasping 
for breath, at the same time picking out as well as we 
dared the definite location of the enemy in front. While 
lying here we counted our numbers, and lying side by 
side were twelve 90th men and one redcoat. He said he 



296 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

was a Midlander, but was several rods away, so I could 
uot recognize him. 

As soon as the rest of our line began to come out of 
the scrub our gang made a dash for a log stable in front 
and secured it, then for a large building used as a store. 
One of our boys was at the door before me, but I was 
second into the house, although all the rest of our crowd 
were in right afterwards, and Colonel Williams of the 
Midland Battalion was among them. This was the first 
house entered in Batoche's. Here beneath the store we 
found six prisoners in a dungeon, which was reached by 
means of a trap door. On that trap door was a pole 
standing upright and cut so as to fit tight from ceiling to 
floor, besides about fifteen or twenty large stones. We 
were not long in knocking them down and in lifting that 
trap, and I tell you it was the happiest moment of my 
life when we pulled those poor fellows out and were 
thanked and embraced by them for their liberation. Some 
of them had not seen daylight for nearly two months, 
and really the poor fellows looked more like ghosts than 
living beings. Colonel Williams was the first officer to 
come up to our part of the village. He then led us from 
one house to another, but we were not surprised to find 
them empty. 

In the last house we found the body of a nice little 
girl, about fourteen years old. She had been killed by a 
shell, and was dressed for burial. So I lifted the poor 
little thing into the coffin and covered it up and put it 
away to one side to keep it from being knocked around. 
As I was doing so Colonel Williams rushed over to me, 
shouting, " Here is one ! Here is one ! Give me your 
rifle !" Mine was leaning against the wall where I put 
it before lifting the little girl. So he grabbed it up and 
aimed at a Half-breed's head. The breed was aiming at 
our fellows about fifty yards off, but my rifle was sighted 
for four hundred, so the Colonel missed him. The rifle 
was again loaded up and the sights let down. The breed 
rolled down the bank. The ball struck him under the 



THE PRISONERS AND THE VANQUISHED. 297 

left arm and passed clean through him, coming out under 
the right arm. I got his gun and powder horn. We are 
not allowed to keep the guns, but I have the powder horn 
all covered with his blood. Colonel Williams then left 
me in charge of a small party in one of the houses, and I 
at once began loop-holing it on the sides facing the river 
and the rebels. But the breeds did not stand any longer. 
They ran in all directions. However, we went to work 
at once, and by dark had the place strongly fortified ; but 
no attack was expected, as the victory was so complete 
that it will be a miracle if the breeds ever attempt to 
rebel again. 

We spent the next day in taking supplies, etc., from 
the rebels' houses ; and in removing our dead and wounded 
to the boat which had returned up the river about three 
hours after the fight was over. Two other companies of 
^the Midland the Campbelltord and the Lifford and Mill- 
brook ones arrived the day after the fight was over, so 
were too late for glory. 




CHAPTER XXII. 

THE GATLING GUN. 

AS the Gatling gun, as well as Lieutenant Howard, 
the gallant officer who commanded it, played a very 
important part in this campaign, no apology is necessary 
for furnishing a full description of this wonderful feature 
of modern warfare. 

It requires no gift of prophecy to predict that machine 
guns are destined to play an important part infuture wars. 

They hold the same relation to other arms that 
the railway bears to the stage-coach ; the reaper to the 
sickle ; the sewing machine to the needle, etc. 

Of this class of arms, there is none that excels the 
Gatling gun in originality of design, rapidity of fire, and 
capabilities as a weapon of warfare. 

The main features of the gun may be summed up as 
follows : 

It has, usually, ten barrels, and ten corresponding 
locks. In working the gun the barrels and locks revolve 
together ; but, irrespective of this motion, the locks have 
a forward and backward motion of their own. The 
forward motion places the cartridges in the chambers of 
the barrels, and closes the breech at the time of each 
discharge, while the backward motion extracts the empty 
cartridge cases after firing. 

The gun is loaded and fired only when the barrels 
are in motion from left to right ; that is, while the handle, 
or crank, is worked forward. When the gun is in action 
there are always five cartridges going through the process 
of loading, and five cartridge cases in different stages of 
being extracted, and these several operations are continuous 
while the gun is being worked. Thus, as long as the 
gun is fed with cartridges, the several operations of load- 
ing, firing, and extracting are carried on automatically, 
uniformly, and continuously. 



300 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

The earlier model Gatling guns had cartridges fed to 
them by means of feed cases, or by a drum, but recently 
a new method for supplying the cartridges to the gun has 
been devised, which is positive and certain in its action. 
In the old methods of supplying ammunition to the gun 
it was possible for the cartridges to jam in feeding down 
from the feed cases into the carrier or receiver, but in 
this newly improved feed, the mechanism never loses 
control of the cartridges from the time they leave the 
feed magazine, until they enter the chambers, are loaded, 
fired, and the empty cases extracted. With this new feed, 
it is impossible for the gun to fail in its operation, even 
when it is worked by men unacquainted with its use. 
This new improvement not only greatJy increases the 
rapidity and certainty of fire, but enables the gun to be 
fired at the rate of over one thousand two hundred shots 
per minute, and at all degrees of elevation or depression, 
which is something no other machine gun can do. By 
firing the gun at proper elevations, ascertained by means 
of a quadrant, the bullets discharged from it can be made 
to fall upon men behind breastworks, or entrenchments, 
at all distances, from two hundred to three thousand five 
hundred yards from the gun. This " high angle," or 
" mortar " fire, adds greatly to the effectiveness of the 
gun, and will no doubt, prove of inestimable value in 
future warfare. 

Experiments have proved that musket-size balls, fired 
from a Gatling gun at high angles, strike the ground with 
sufficient force to penetrate from two to three inches of 
timber. About one thousand two hundred shots per 
minute can be fired from the gun, raining down a hail- 
storm of bullets on the heads of men behind entrench- 
ments, thus making such positions, in a short space of 
time, untenable. Open 'breast-works or uncovered 
entrenchments, would furnish little or no protection to 
troops, against the fire of this formidable weapon. Trials 
were made with a Gatling gun, having this improved feed, 
at Sandy Eook,N.J.,by the United States Ordnance Board. 



THE GATLING GUN. 



301 



The following extracts are taken from their report 
of the trials : 

" The objects of the experiments were twofold. First 
to test the new feed magazine ; secondly, to ascertain the 
effect on targets placed horizontally on the ground, at 




distances from two hundred to three thousand yards 
as regards penetration and accuracy." 

In speaking of this new feed, the Board say in their 
report: "The action is, as claimed in the inventor's 



302 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

description, positive and continuous as long as the gun is 
worked. The substitution of a positive action for one 
depending upon the carnage of the projectiles to the 
grooves of the carrier block by means of gravitation 
modified by friction, is a great improvement. The gun 
works as well when the feed ' magazine ' is horizontal as 
it does in an inclined or a vertical position. No jamming 
or interference of any kind occurred during the trials, 
and the rate of discharge varied uniformly with the revo- 
lution of the crank necessarily." 

" The penetration from 3,000 to 1,000 yards was through 
two inches of spruce plank, and from three to five inches 
into the sand, the projectiles striking point foremost." 

The gun used in the trials was 45-inch caliber, with 
barrels 24 inches in length, and the ammunition used 
contained a charge of 85 grains of powder, and a bullet 
weighing 480 grains. 

In firing at high elevations, to have the bullets strike 
the ground at various distances, the following elevations 
were given the gun : At 200 yards range, the gun was 
fired at an elevation of 88 J, the bullets so fired re- 
mained up in the air 57 seconds from the time they 
were discharged, until they struck the ground. 

At 500 yards range, the gun was given an elevation 
of 75. 

At 1,000 yards range, the gun was given an elevation 
of 77. 

At 2,000 yards range, the gun was given an elevation 
of 66. 

At 2,500 yards range, the gun was given an elevation 
of 56. 

At 3,000 yards range, the gun was given an elevation 
of 24 40'. 

At all ranges, when the gun was fired at and below 
85 of elevation, the bullets struck point foremost, and 
retained their rotary motion, as was proven by spiral 
scratches on them, caused by friction in their passing 
through the boards. 



THE GATLING GUN. 303 

It is evident that an accurate vertical fire from Gat- 
ling guns, delivering a storm of bullets descending under 
a slight angle of arrival, would by grazing the superior 
crest of parallels erected by besiegers approaching a forti- 
fication, or those of ordinary rifle pits or entrenchments, 
destroy their occupants much more certainly and rapidly 
ohan can be done by the shells or case shot fired from 
mortars or field guns. This " high angle " or mortar fire 
from a machine gun, opens up a new field in the science 
of gunnery, and is well jvorthy of the highest considera- 
tion of military and naval men of all nations. 

A table of distances and elevations being estab- 
lished for the service of the Gatling gun, all that would 
be required of the men using it would be to first ascertain 
the distance at which the enemy was entrenched, and 
then give the gun the required elevation (by the use of the 
quadrant) to have the bullets fall within the line of 
entrenchments of the enemy. The Gatlings could be 
protected from the direct fire of the enemy by entrench- 
ments or by digging a pit for each gun, so that not even 
its muzzle would be exposed. 

Among the prominent advantages claimed for the 
Gatling gun, may be enumerated the following: Its 
adaptation to the purposes of flank defence at both long 
and short ranges ; its peculiar power for the defence of 
field entrenchments and villages ; for protecting roads, 
defiles, and bridges ; for covering the crossing of streams ; 
for silencing field-batteries, or batteries of position ; for 
increasing the infantry fire at the critical moment of a 
battle ; for supporting field batteries, and protecting them 
against cavalry or infantry charges ; for covering the 
retreat of a repulsed column ; and generally the accuracy, 
continuity, and intensity of its fire, and its economy in 
men for serving, and animals for transporting it. 

It is conceded that small calibre Gatling guns, which 
use the service musket ammunition, will prove invaluable 
in naval service when used from top-gallant, forecastle, 
poop-deck, and tops of ships of war for firing on an 



304) CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

enemy's deck at officers and men exposed to view ; for 
firing down from tops upon the roof of turrets ; firing 
into an enemy's ports ; and in boat operations against an 
enemy, either in passing open land-works, or clearing 
breaches and other exposed places for landing from 
boats, etc. 




The above represents a smaT! -sized Grafting Gtm, mounted on a tripod ; 
it can also be mounted 011 the gunwale of a ship or in the bow of a small 
launch, etc. It is a very light and effective arm and is recommended for the 
suppression of riots, etc. 

Exhaustive official trials of the gun have been made in 
many countries, under the supervision of officers of higb 



THE GATLING GUN. 

standing, who have strongly recommended their use, 
both for land and naval service. The reports of such 
trials are too extended for a paper of this kind. 

Gatling guns have been sold, in greater or less num 
bers, to most of the governments of the world. 

No arms in the world are equal to Gatling guns fox 
night service. They can be placed in a position in the 
daytime so as to cover any point desired, and as they 
have no recoil to destroy the accuracy of their aim, a 
incessant fire can be kept up during the night with the 
same precision as in daytime. 

Lord Charles Beresford, one of the pluckiest officers in 
the British Army, as he proved himself before Alexandria, 
wrote as follows of machine guns in the London Army 
and Navy Gazette : 

In my opinion, machine-guns, if properly worked, 
would decide the fate of a campaign, and would be equally 
useful ashore, or afloat. When the Gatling guns were 
landed at Alexandria, after the bombardment, the effect 
of their fire upon the wild mob of fanatic incendiaries 
and looters was quite extraordinary. These guns were 
not fired at the people, but a little over their heads, as a 
massacre would have been the result, had the guns been 
steadily trained on the mob. The rain of bullets, which 
they heard screaming over their heads, produced a moral 
effect not easily described. I asked an Egyptian officer, 
some weeks afterwards, how on earth it was that Arabi, 
and his nine thousand regular troops, who were within 
five miles, did not march down upon the town in the first 
four days after the bombardment, when Arabi knew that 
Captain Fisher's Naval Brigade, which held the lines, 
numbered less than four hundred men. The Egyptian 
officer replied, " That he knew no army which could face 
machines which 'pumped lead/ and that as all the gates 
were defended by such machines, as well as having tor- 
pedoes under the bridges, such defences could not be 
faced." This certainly was the case. I believe the Egyp- 
tian officer npoke tUe truth, and that the moral effect pro* 
19 



306 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

duced by the Gatlings on the people in the first landing 
prevented the army from attacking the diminutive force 
which held the lines afterwards. 

There are several valuable features of the Gatling 
gun which should not be overlooked ; for instance, a ten- 
barrel Gatling gun fires ten times in one revolution of 
the group of the barrels. The action of each part is 
therefore quite deliberate, while collectively the dis- 
charges are frequent. Another valuable feature in the 
Gatling is, that the cartridges are fed into the carrier at 
the top, and are carried around to the under side of the 
gun before they are loaded and fired. Thus, it will be 
seen, the point where the cartridges are fired is far removed 
from the supply of cartridges used in feeding the gun, 
so there is no liability of the escape of gas, which may 
occur by the bursting of the head of a cartridge, and 
which might communicate with the magazine, causing a 
dangerous explosion. Most other machine-guns have 
their magazine, used for feeding cartridges to them, 
placed in close contact with the firing point, hence the 
liability of premature and dangerous explosions. Several 
accidents of this kind have occurred, resulting in death 
to the operators of such guns. 

The Gatling gun is only dangerous to those in its 
front. 

Lord Wolseley, in discussing the subject of machine- 
guns, has expressed his conviction that the General who, 
in the next big war, utilizes machine-guns to the best 
advantage, will have an immense opportunity to gain 
great fame. 

Intelligent men, who have carefully watched and 
noticed the march of improvement, and the steady 
development of new ideas, will perceive and acknowledge 
that the day is not far distant when machine-guns will 
be extensively employed in warfare; and the nation 
which is best supplied with them, and which best under- 
stands their tactical use, will best preserve the lives of its 
soldiers and be in the best condition to make favourable 
treaties, and to preserve the integrity of its own dominions. 



CHAPTER 

POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM KIEL CAPTURED. 

T)ATOCHE was won and the rebellion was practically 
JL) over, for it only remained for General Strange tc 
catch Big Bear and for General Middleton to relieve 
Colonel Otter's besieged force at Battleford, This would 
not take long, but in the meantime Poundmaker, having 
been forced by the hasty and ill-judged aggressiveness oi 
Colonel Otter to go upon the war path, appeared deter- 
mined to make his intention known. To this end he 
left his reserve with a considerable retinue of men, women 
and children, together with a large herd of live stock 
and marched east into Eagle Hills. On the very day 
that Batoche was captured Poundmaker's followers 
seized upon a large train of supplies, which were being 
forwarded to Colonel Otter, making prisoners of twenty- 
one out of some thirty teamsters. 

J. Killough, who was employed carrying despatches 
came into Battleford about noon with information that a 
waggon train, numbering twenty-one ox teams and about 
eight horse teams, had been captured by Indians 
ten miles from here, close by the edge of the woods. 
Killough met several teamsters galloping towards 
Swift Current. They told him that early in the morning 
just as the train was starting from camp, they were 
attacked by Indians. The teamsters cut the horses loose 
and escaped. Those who remained were all captured, the 
onslaught was so sudden. They wanted Killough to 
return, but he said that the information must be carried 
to Battleford. Exchanging his poiiy for a good horse and 
avoiding the trail, he started. At the place where the 
attack took place he found two waggons and over a hill 
two miles distant, he saw the last of the Indiana 



308 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

disappearing with the other waggons. He saw no dead 
bodies. He believes the remainder of the teamsters, ten 
in number, are prisoners. With the teamsters there 
were eleven Snider and five other rifles, with ammunition. 
This train also carried the mail for Battleford which had 
been waiting two months at Swift Current. 

Shortly after Killough's arrival six Mounted Police 
scouts, including a Half-breed guide named McAllister, 
under Sergeant Gordon, late of the Queen's Own, came in. 
They had been scouting, and on rounding a hill were 
fired into at twenty yards by a large party of mounted 
Indians and breeds. Constable Elliot, late of the 
American army, fell at the first fire and staggered into the 
bushes. Constable Spencer was slightly wounded. The 
force retreated, the wounded man riding into the ferry 
where an ambulance came for him. a few minutes later. 
Elliot's horse came in. The Indians pursued the police 
two miles. 

One of the teamsters, after being released by Pound- 
maker, told the following story: It was Indians who 
attacked the train. They saw the breeds while driving 
along the trail, and corralled themselves so as to be in a 
better position to fight. Shortly afterwards Indians 
appeared all round, but whenever the teamsters pointed 
their rifles at them they sought cover. At last Nolin, a 
Half-breed, rode up and began to parley with them. He 
said that there were lots of Indians there, and that they 
were going to have the train. They did not want to kill 
the teamsters, but if the latter fired a shot they would 
butcher every one of them. On the other hand, if they 
gave up their arms and the train they would be allowed 
to go on to Battleford without further molestation. To 
this the teamsters consented. But no sooner had they 
started to walk along the trail towards Battleford than 
they were pursued by the Indians, who brought them 
back. On two or three occasions the Indians came 
fowling around their tents, and they expected every 
minute to be murdered. But as the days wore on and 



POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 309 

their lives were spared they took heart again. One of 
the party was a passably good violinist, and while in camp 
in the evening he would play the fiddle while the others 
danced to the music. This afforded great amusement to 
the Indians, who crowded round to see the sport. Then, 
again, the Half-breed prisoners used to invite them into 
their tents of an evening. They had an organ with them, 
and it was no unusual thing for them to spend two or 
three hours singing together. 

A Half-breed who came in with the released teamsters 
said: 

" It was done by the Indians. I tell you those team- 
sters have the priest and Poundmaker to thank for their 
lives being spared. If they hadn't been there the 
Stoneys would have killed the whole outfit." 

" Do you know anything regarding Elliot's death ?" 

"I think he must have fallen from his horse. He got 
into the woods. Three Crees tried to make him prisoner, 
and told him if he came out they would not hurt him. 
But he seemed dazed, and only replied by firing at the 
man who spoke to him. He kept retreating from bluff 
to bluff, firing as he went. As he came close to the 
waggon train, which had been captured a short time before, 
he was fired on from behind by some Stoneys and killed. 
I was sorry, and so were we all, for had he given himself 
up he would have been here now along with the teamsters. 
Delorme and Poundmaker buried him. That night we 
camped close by the Stoney reserve. There was a council 
that night. Poundmaker still wanted to go to the Black- 
feet or even to the Rocky Mountains. The Stoneys would 
not hear of this, and took the council tent. Then Pound- 
maker went to one side and would have nothing more to 
say to them. There was nearly a fight that night between 
the Stoneys and the Crees. But at last Poundmaker 
consented to go right on to Duck Lake. He said his 
children were dying for want of food, and if they could 
get it from Kiel it would be well, as they had given up 
all hope of getting anything from the Indian Agent. I 



310 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

don't believe Poundmaker would have come out had it 
not been for the Stoneys. He thought he might as well 
help himself to whatever was going, as well as the Stoneys." 

On Friday (May 15) following the taking of Batoche 
(Monday, May 11), Louis Kiel wascaptured by three 
scouts, named Armstrong, Diehl, and Howrie, four miles 
Liorth of Batoche's. Scouts had been out in the morning 
to scour the country, but these three spread out from the 
main body, and just as they were coming out of some 
brush on an unfrequented trail leading to Batoche's, they 
spied Kiel with three companions. He was unarmed, but 
they carried shot-guns. They at once recognized Kiel, 
and, advancing towards him, nailed him by name. They 
were then standing near a fence. No effort was made on 
his part to escape, and after a brief conversation in which 
they expressed surprise at finding him there, Kiel declared 
that he intended to giye_himsej.f-JLip His only fear was 
that he would be shot by the troops, but he was promised 
safe escort to the General's quarters. His wife and 
children were not with him, and he said they were on the 
west side of the river. 

To avoid the main body of the scouts Kiel was taken 
to a coulee near by and hidden, while Diehl went oif to 
corral a horse for him, the other scouts being left with 
the prisoner. When Diehl returned Kiel and Diehl's com- 
panions had disappeared, evidently to avoid other scouts. 
Diehl says Kiel was not in the least agitated when 
arrested, and was willingly made captive. He was 
t r * ft 1 , which was ail he seemed to want. 



When he saw the Gatling go down with the scouts at 
Batoche's, Kiel was much alarmed on account of his family. 

A correspondent adds the following : 

Kiel appears careworn and haggard. He has let his 
hair and beard grow long. He is dressed in a poorer 
fashion than most of the breeds captured. While talking 
to General Middleton, as could be seen from the outside 
of the tent, his eyes rolled from side to side with the look 
of a hunted man. He is evidently the most thoroughly 






POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 311 

frightened man in camp, and in constant fear of violence 
at the hands of the soldiers. There is no danger of such 
violence. Kiel spent nearly all day on Monday in the 
woods. At the close of the fight he and Dumont, with 
their wives and Kiel's two children, skipped out on foot, 
going in a north-westerly direction. Some of the rebels 
were very bitter against both for leading them into the 
trouble and then leaving them in the lurch after the 
fight. The fugitives had no food, and no clothes except 
what they stood in. Dumont did not want to go, but 
Kiel persuaded him. Dumont fought like a tiger all day 
Monday. The Half-breed prisoners say he had not slept 
for a week, working night and day. 

Dumont had arranged for Big Bear to strike us in the 
rear a week ago, but some of the messengers deserted ; 
and the scheme miscarried. Two of the prisoners say 
Dumont was wounded once on Saturday and twice 
(slightly) on Monday. 

A scout told me last night that he had seen a Half- 
breed looking for his wife. The breed started to run, 
when the scouts threatened to shoot. He stopped, and 
the scout asked him to go to Dumont and tell him to 
come out unarmed and the scout would meet him, also 
unarmed, on which the rebel replied : " Dumont says he 
will never be taken alive." The scout promised protec- 
tion to Kiel until he was handed over to the General, and 
finally the man consented to this. He said both Kiel 
and Dumont were in a bluff not very far from where they 
were talking and warned the scout to lie down or he 
might be shot. The breed left for the bluff and the scout 
heard them discussing matters. After waiting two and 
a-half hours and no one coming, the scout returned to the 
camp. General Middleton took no stock in his story, and 
said Kiel and Dumont were miles away, but it is now 
evident the story was correct, at least so far as Riel was 
concerned. 

The Half-breeds on the west bank delivered seventy- 
five stand of arms to-day. Amongst them were several 



312 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Winchesters, Sniders, Queen's Own rifles from Battleford, 
and one Springfield, U.S., carbine, 1873. 

The papers belonging to the rebel Government were 
searched to-day. The minutes show that the Duck Lake 
fight was a premeditated affair, and that the rebels were 
thoroughly cognizant of General MMdleton's movements 
from the time we left Qu'Appelle station. 

Kiel expressed himself to this effect : " I do not think 
this trouble will be without result, as the complaints of 
farmers will be regarded with some degree of attention," 
When told that his books and papers had been captured 
he said : " I am glad of this, the papers will show that I 
am not the actual leader of the rebellion. I had been 
encouraged by people of good standing at and around 
Prince Albert, who invited me over from Montana." He 
expresses great anxiety as to whether he will be tried by 
civil law or court-martial. He seems to have turned out 
a craven coward, as he spends his time* alternately pray- 
ing and embracing a crucifix. 

The truculent Gree chiefs Beardy and Gkamesis were 
also interviewed by General Middleton after the Batoche 
victory. The following is an interesting account of the 
interview by Mr. Geo. H. Ham. 

The name of Beardy, the troublesome Indian chief, 
whose reserve is near Duck Lake, has become familiar to 
Eastern people, not only from the prominent part he has 
taken in the present trouble, but for his chronic cussedness 
and continual " kicking " for years past, and general 
desire to emulate the mule. Beardy, consequently, has 
gained a reputation for ferocity and boldness, that is, 
amongst those who don't know him. Those who are 
acquainted with him, however, say that he is a craven 
fraud. Be that as it may, he was submissive and cowed 
enough when he appeared before General Middleton this 
morning in response to a peremptory demand to come in 
at once. Beardy is an insignificant looking fellow, with 
a scattered grayish beard, from which he takes his name, 
and his chief men are not the typical braves of whom 



POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 313 

Fenimore Cooper writes. They all squatted on their 
haunches, and looked as abject specimens of humanity as 
one would see in a month's journey. Beardy opened the 
confab by saying he first meant to speak the truth. He 
was glad to see so many around him. If his children, 
who came with him, had done anything amiss he hoped 
it would be overlooked. He was sorry for what had 
been^donein joining the rebels. As true as he stood 
there at the present time, he wished to live in peace. He 
would like to go home and tell his people there was peace. 
Then he held out his hand and took the General's, shak- 
ing it heartily, and said he did so with all his heart, and 
he asked the General to speak his mind. Continuing, 
Beardy said he had held out for some time, but his people 
forced him into the trouble. He had only about forty 
men in his band. 

General Middleton asked, through the interpreter, why 
his braves joined in the fight against the whites. 

Beardy All children are cowards, and my children 
were frightened into it. 

The General Did you join yourself ? 

Beardy No ; I sat still, and told my men to sit still. 
All my talk was to keep quiet. They mastered me. 

The General Were your intentions good towards the 
whites ? 

Beardy (emphatically) Yes. 

The General When the police marched to Duck Lake, 
and you knew the Indians and Half-breeds were lying in 
ambush, why did you not tell them, if you were friendly ? 

Beardy I thought I was stopping them enough when 
I prayed my people to keep still, and telling my head 
men not to take any white man's life. 

The General Why did you go over to Batoche's ? 

Beardy Of course, as I said before, when children are 
young they are cowards. I was afraid and had to go. 

The General It's very lucky you came here, for if 
you hadn't I should have sent troops to your reserve and 
burned everything that's there. 



314 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Beardy bowed his head upon hearing this, and hypo- 
critically sniffled : I suppose it was God who put it in 
my heart to obey. 

The General If you are not able to command your 
young braves you are not fit to be chief, and I shall 
recommend that you be no longer acknowledged as one. 
It is a matter for consideration if your re^ve is not 
taken away ; it all depends upon how you behave your- 
self. Where is the telegraph wire broken ? 

Beardy I cannot say. 

The General Well, I am going to send down a party 
to repair it, and if one man is fired at I will send a force 
and destroy everything not shot merely, but if a man is 
even fired at. 

Beardy bowed assent. 

The General then asked if Little Chief, who was one 
of the first to join the rebels, wanted to say anything. 

Beardy whined that they were forced into the trouble; 
but Okamesis was here and could speak for himself, which 
he did at some length, first uncovering his head. He said 
that when staying at his own house word of trouble 
came, and he hitched his horse and went towards Duck 
Lake, but his horse became played out. His brother was 
with him. He saw the priest and the farm instructor 
(T^mpkins), who asked him if he was going to go. He 
replied that he was, but that his horse was played out 
and he was unable to go. The instructor said it was 
better for him tq go, and lent him a horse, asking him to 
find out whether his (Toinpkins') son had been taken 
prisoner or not. He consented to go with the horse, 
and on arriving saw that the Half-breeds had taken the 
Duck Lake stores. He saw three Half-breeds and they 
told him he couldn't go home without seeing their leaders. 
He said, " Never mind " ; but to let his brother go home 
with the horse, and he would see the rebel leaders. They 
ccnsented, and he went down where the head men were, 
and saw that Tompkins was a prisoner. The rebels told 
him that no one was allowed to go back, and that they 



POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 315 

would shoot anyone leaving without their knowledge. 
" I was a coward," he said, as if it were an extenuating 
fact. " The whole crowd left and went to Duck Lake. 
I was with them, and we had on a fire and were cooking, 
when I heard the police were coming. While I was eat- 
ing I heard shots fired, but I ate on. The shots went on, 
and I ran to see what was going on. When I got up the 
ridge the bullets were coming pretty close, so I withdrew 
and went round by another way. The trail crossed the 
ridge, and I went there, and heard a shout : ' They are 
running back I ' At the place on the ridge I went to I 
saw the body of a man ; it was my own brother lying 
dead. I was afraid. From there I saw people lying dead 
all around. The Half-breeds told me to fetch my family 
in. I then took horses and went. I brought some fami- 
lies in, and was told to live in the farm instructor's house, 
which we did. While living at Duck Lake a party went 
to Carleton. I was not with the first party, but was sent 
out with the second. We got word from Kiel to come 
back to Duck Lake. Then all broke camp, and went to 
Batoche's, camping on the river about two miles up on the 
west side. Word was sent to come, and camp closer. We 
came a mile nearer. They (the rebels) were not then 
satisfied, and told us to come nearer still, when we again 
moved camp, but still they were not satisfied, and ordered 
us to come right at Crossing (Batoche's). While living 
here, I heard that a party had gone up the country, and 
all at once heard big guns, after which the party came 
back. The next we heard was that there were soldiers 
coming. When fighting commenced (at Batoche's) I 
went up to the top of the hill. My sons were with me, 
watching everything while they were fighting. Every 
day I did that while the shooting was going on. I had a 
gun too, but not to kill anyone with, because I am too 
big a coward to kill anyone. I carried it just for fear. 
Not for any evil did I do what I did. My intentions 
were to make a living for my wife and children. 



316 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

The General That's enough. It is evident you are 
not fit for a chief either, armed as you are. You can all 
go now, but you must give up your medals ; they are 
meant for good men only. There are no presents for you, 
no tobacco, no tea or meat, no flour for those who are 
fighting against us. 

Beardy sullenly gave up his medals, but it was evident 
that the severest punishment was the withholding of 
food. Several clergymen who were present spoke to the 
General of the hungry condition of the band, but the 
General was obdurate. The impression was that General 
Middleton was even too lenient as it was, and that if he 
had strung Mr. Beardy up by the thumbs he would have 
been only meting out justice to this wretched old humbug. 

A correspondent furnishes the following particulars 
of Kiel's capture and the scenes immediately follow- 
ing it: 

Boul ton's men were sent out to scour the country, as 
reports from different sources came in that the fugitive 
rebel chieftain was lurking in a bush only a few miles 
away. Following the scouts were the couriers, viz: 
Thomas Hourie, Robert Armstrong, and William Diehl, 
who started out on a similar errand. They soon over- 
took and passed Boulton's men, and diverging from the 
trail when nearing Batoche's, came upon four men stand- 
ing near a fence. One they recognised as Kiel coatless, 
hat less, and unarmed. His companions were young men 
and they carried shot guns. The two rode up, and one 
called Kiel by name, and he answered the salutation. 
They expressed surprise at his being there, and in reply 
he handed Armstrong a slip of paper the note which 
General Middleton had sent him, that if he would give 
himself up he would be protected and given a fair trial. 
At the same time he said : " I want to give myself up ; 
but I fear the troops may hurt me." Assurances were 
given that he would not be harmed, and as Kiel had no 
horse, and the scouts at any moment might come upon 
them, it was deemed advisable to secrete him in a gully 



POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 317 

a short distance away, while Diehl corralled an animal 
for him. While waiting for Diehl to return, the scouts 
passed near by, and Armstrong and Hourie, fearing they 
might offer violence to their prisoner, hustled him 
through the brush, up into a poplar bluff, and on towards 
camp. In the meantime Deale came back to the spot, 
but found his companions and their prize had gone. He 
followed their trail for a while, but surmising that their 
purpose in making a detour was to avoid the scouts, 
started for camp, where he reported the gratifying news 
to the General. It was to be kept a profound secret until 
Kiel had been smuggled in, bufc somehow or other it 
leaked out, and in less than five minutes the news went 
the rounds of the whole camp. Orders were issued to 
keep the men as busily engaged as possible, so that the 
arrival of the distinguished personage might not be 
noticed and any demonstration made. Although keen 
glances were constantly cast towards the trail it was 
expected he would reach camp by, at half-past three, 
before the men were aware of the fact, Hourie and 
Armstrong had slowly ridden in with a very shabbily 
dressed Half-breed, who at once dismounted and entered 
the General's tent. 

Kiel was safe from harm, if ever harm was intended 
by the troops. General Middleton held a prolonged con- 
versation with him, and then the seven correspondents 
sought the opportunity of interviewing the fallen chief. 
General ^ Middleton shook his head at first and refused, 
very properly, to allow his prisoner to be catechised by a 
newspaper man unless Kiel was willing. As Kiel flatly 
declined the correspondents missed a sensation. 

In the meantime Maxime Lepine, whom I knew well 
in other times, had come into camp and surrendered, and 
I visited him. I had known him in other and happier 
days, and we had a handshake. He asked me if I had 
seen his brother Ambrose at St. Boniface lately, and I 
told him I had. Maxime, however, was evidently averse 
to being interviewed, and asked me to ask the other 



318 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

correspondents not to torture him with questions. He 
was quite broken down. We had a brief chat, but it was 
on his family affairs, and of no interest or concern to 
the public. 

Lepine was subsequently taken down to the boat, but 
on appearing in public one of the released prisoners 
attempted " to put a head on him," but was frustrated, 
however, by the guard. Kiel in the meantime was kept 
carefully guarded in the tent adjoining the General's. 

Of late on all documents of the rebel council or rebel 
chieftain has been the word " exovide." When asked 
what its meaning was he wrote the following : 

" Exovide From Latin words ex ovide : from two 
Latin words, ex, which means from, and ovide, ablative 
of flock. That word I made use of to convey that I was 
assuming no authority at all, and the advisers of the 
movement also took that title instead of councillors or 
representatives, and their purpose in doing so was 
exactly the same as mine, viz., no assumption of authority. 
We consider ourselves a part of society, and near us 
another part of the same society attempted to rule over 
us improperly, and by false representations and through 
bad management of public affairs even injuring us greatly. 
At the same time they were obtaining the ear of the 
Government ; they were turning all the press against us. 
The situation was leading us simply to annihilation. 
Without assuming any other authority than that which 
exists by itself in the condition of our nature, they recurred 
to the right of self preservation, and those who agreed to 
act together in the protection of their existence, threat- 
ened in many different ways, took the name of exovides, 
so that having "their distinctive titles for the time being, 
and being known as the men of the movement, when 
the crisis would be over the reaction would be as slight as 
possible, for the reason that what would have been under- 
taken and accomplished under the sound authority of 
good sense could have no other results than good ones, 
aiid consequently the movement prove to be less a distur* 



POCJNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 319 

bance than a remedy to some things which were previously 
going too far in the wrong. 

" Several times, it is true, we made use of the words 
' representatives,' ' members of the council/ etc., but we 
had to do it, until the word exovides was understood, 
and until it would begin to become usual amongst even 
the men of the movement. So the council itself, not a 
council but being composed of exovides, we have called 
the exovidate. 

" I have a mission. So has everybody. For me, I 
understand my mission in this way: To bring out 
practical results." 

In Kiel's tent last night an officer slept. To him and 
to others with whom he talked (but he did not talk 
freely) he expressed high appreciation of the personal 
qualities of his adjutant-general, Dumont. Kiel, how- 
ever, lays claim to the credit of not only directing the 
movements of his rabble, but of having conceived the 
plan of the campaign, and of having designed the rifle 
pits. He was, according to his own story, the actual as 
well as the nominal leader of the movement. He said he 
invariably kept his outer line of pits fully manned and 
the inner ones sufficiently guarded ; but he was always 
prepared to reinforce the outer pits, if deemed necessary, 
and to protect and defend any particular point assailed. 
In Saturday's fight, he admitted, the steamer Northcoie 
attracted their attention, and the few remaining in the 
pits did not wish to commence the attack until the 
conflict on the river was finished. He denied remaining 
with the women during the fight on Tuesday as charged 
by them, and asseverated that when Donald Ross, who 
killed poor Jack French, was shot, he was behind him, 
and heard his dying request to have his children brought 
to him before he passed away to the unknown world. 
After that he went to the centre, and saw another of his 
councillors, Ouimet, an old warrior of seventy-five years, 
lying dead. Thence going to the right centre he saw a 
number of bis followers either dead or wounded, and 



320 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

then, he says, he saw the day was lost. Taking his wire 
and two daughters he fled to a bluff not three miles from 
Batoche's, and close to the place where he was captured 
or, as he insists, where he surrendered. 

Of Gabriel Dumont's whereabouts he claims to know 
nothing. When asked as to the number of his force, at 
one time he said seven hundred, and at another five 
hundred, of whom three hundred and forty were Half- 
breeds. Both statements are obviously incorrect. He 
probably had five hundred men, but he understates the 
strength of his Indian allies. At Fish Creek he says he 
had but one hundred and fifty-four men, and his losses 
were seven killed, of whom three were Indians. Kiel 
also says that while most of the Indians have gone to 
their reservations, there are still some unsubdued Half- 
breeds, rendered desperate by the loss of home, or wife, 
or family, who may waylay travellers ; and he warns 
people not to go too far from camp unprotected. Indians, 
too, whose brief career on the war-path has not satiated 
their taste for blood, will likely make the country a 
dangerous one to travel through for some time. 

After seeing Riel, and conversing with those who 
have talked with him, I cannot believe that he is 
altogether sane ; he is certainly a " crank," and a cunning 
crank withal ; and it appears to me that, knowing well 
the impressionable and superstitious nature of the Metis, 
he has taken advantage of their weakness, and by 
blasphemously feigning sanctity, has worked upon them 
in a manner which has made the more ignorant of them 
his abject slaves. 

A courier coming in to-day reports that the Half- 
breeds are flocking into Batoche's, where their names are 
taken down by the parish priest, upon which they 
deliver up their arms and return to their homes. A large 
number were still there when he passed. In conversa- 
tion with them they all denounced Riel for leading them 
into the trouble. They said that they thought they cou id 
whip the "police" until that fatal Tuesday after XK>W 



POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 321 

when the charge was made. The charge demoralized 
them, and they hurriedly left for the protecting banks of 
the Saskatchewan, down which they fled helter-skelter, 
and found temporary safety in bluffs a few miles away. 
They said that Garnot, the secretary of the Kiel govern- 
ment, had amongst others delivered himself up, and was 
strutting about the town. A large number of arms were 
piled up weapons of all descriptions, amongst them 
some Spencer rifles and a bagful of ammunition, old and 
'useless weapons, of course, predominating. They all 
admitted that they had been thoroughly beaten, and all 
they were anxious for was peace. They had heard of the 
capture of Kiel, and only regretted that Dumont was not 
a captive with him. Of Middleton's leniency they spoke 
in high terms, it being the very reverse of what Kiel had 
led them to believe. 

Kiel was allowed out of his tent this afternoon for a 
few minutes, of course escorted by a guard. He had 
scarcely left the tent when the ubiquitous Captain Peters, 
of A Battery, who is an amateur photographer of no 
mean order, had him " taken." Kiel looked askance at 
the " instantaneous " camera, perhaps fearing that .it was 
an infernal machine, but as it didn't go off, he walked 
back into his tented prison apparently well pleased. 
Captain Peters, it may be mentioned, is an enthusiast in 
the photographic art, and has the negatives of both the 
battles of Fish Creek and Batoche's; the first, it is 
claimed, ever taken of an action. 

The rebel adj utant-general is doubtless safe away in 
the fastnesses of the Birch hills. He was seen yesterday 
about thirteen miles from camp, and Boulton's men got 
within half-a-mile of him, but their horses were pumped 
out, while he rode Parenteau's fast horse, the fleetest in 
the North- West, and easily outfooted his pursuers. He 
carried his trusty rifle, but had no blankets. One person 
who conversed with him, a Half-breed, who came in to 
deliver himself up, reports that Dumont told him he 
merely wanted to see Kiel and then he would go away 
20 



322 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

for ever. While scouting for Dumont the scouts 
discovered that Kiel yesterday had breakfasted at 
Girard's place, and that he secured a chicken to take to 
his family for dinner, and would probably have returned 
for supper had not the couriers interfered with his plans. 
It appears from what can be learned, that the recal- 
citrants were not afraid of defeat until Tuesday's gallant 
charge was made. They imagined tkey could keep the 
police at bay, but when the rousing cheer rang out 
and echoed through the ravines and plains of the bullet- 
swept battle ground, they became demoralized and fled 
precipitously, waiting neither for coat nor shoes, and in 
some instances not even for arms and ammunition. Kiel, 
however, was long before convinced that the day was lost, 
and early in the morning opened negotiations with Gen- 
eral Middleton, through Astley, one of his prisoners, who 
had frequently warned Kiel that he would be beaten 
when the soldiers came, and had offered his services two 
.weeks previously as a mediator, if one were needed. Kiel 
came to the cellar-prison, and called out to Astley at 8 
a.m. His first message to the General regarding the 
safety of the women and children, and the threat against 
the prisoners, was merely a pretext to open negotiations. 
He was then conscious of certain defeat, and paralyzed 
with fear, and wanted to make the best terms he could. 
Of these preliminary negotiations his fighting braves were 
in total ignorance, and they, not knowing what was going 
on, opened fire while the flag of truce was being borne by 
Astley. When the answer came back, Dumont was sent 
for, and he came where Kiel was, and what was regarded 
as a sign of submission was his grasping Astley cordially 
by the hand and shaking it, the first time he had ever 
made demonstrations of friendship to any prisoner. Then 
a hurried consultation was secretly held, and the negotia- 
tions were continued to gain time ; in the meanwhile a 
steady fire was being maintained by both forces. The 
rebel council was convened for the last time, and shortly 
after that gallant, resistless charge, and that wild cheer I 



POUNDMAKER AOA1N HEARD PROM. 823 

have spoken of, rendered further communication by letter 
between rebel and loyalist unnecessary. As the boys 
came bravely on, dismay filled Half-breed and Red-skin, 
and they fled to the sheltering banks of the Saskatchewan, 
and then in small bands dispersed to the north-east. At 
dusk Kiel, who had remained all day in fear and trem- 
bling with the women, slipped away and was lost in the 
blackness of the night. Dumont, too, defeated and 
despondent, hastened away, and in the seclusion of a bluff 
a few miles away passed the long night with some still 
faithful adherents. 

A CHANGE OF POSITIONS. 

It was on the 19th of February, 1869, that Colonel 
Boulton (who the other day was out scouring the country 
for Kiel) was a prisoner in that person's power, chained 
and manacled, confined in a cold comfortless cell with 
nothing to eat but pemmican and water, and under sen- 
tence of death- Time has brought around its revenges 
and the gallant Colonel finds himself now hunting Kiel 
instead of being hunted by him. But he can see, if he 
looks at the miserable fellow, that he is treated with far 
more consideration than he accorded his prisoner. No 
irons manacle his legs, no handcuffs prevent the free use 
of his arms. Kiel is saved that disgrace which many a poor 
culprit suffers. The Colonel has not yet seen Kiel, nor 
has he any desire to. 

As an instance of how serious the rebel losses have 
been, a little settlement up the river tells a terrible tale. 
Of six houses, where six families resided, there is now 
only one man left. Five widows mourn the loss of the 
breadwinners, and thirty little ones are left fatherless. 

I learn that the houses at Fish Creek belonging to 
the Touronds have been destroyed by fire. Gabriel's has 
been destroyed, and at Batoche's five houses went up in 
flames. Those latter belonged to Solomon Yeurres, 
Joseph Caron, S. Gareau, P. Parenteau, and Moise Paren- 
teau. None of the finer buildings were fired, although 
some were wrecked by shells. 



CANADA'S NORTH -WEST REBELLIOUS 

Two merchants have arrived in camp, and opened up 

" stores." The stores are merely the waggons in which 
the goods were freighted, with the sky for a roof and the 
earth for a basement. Prices are not very unreasonable. 
T. & B. tobacco sells at 35c. a plug; canned oysters, 50c.; 
syrup, $2 per gallon; canned peaches, 75c.; jam, $1.75 per 
can ; stockings, poor quality, 50c. per pair ; and other 
articles in proportion. A fair trade is done, but not so 
large as anticipated, many of the boys having supplied 
themselves free of cost at Batoche's, after the rebels left. 

" What are your grievances ? " I asked an Indian named 
Big Star, through an interpreter. 

" Don't know." 

"Have you any ?' v 

"No." 

w Why did you fight t 

* Because." 

* Because what ?" 

"Well, they told us we had to. They said the police 
with big guns were coming up to kill our wives and 
children, and to take away our lands from us ; that Man- 
itou would protect us ; that the Americans would help 
us, and then we would have everything good." 

" And what will you do now ?" 

" Go home if they let me." 

"What about Kiel?" 

" He is a bad man very bad." 

It seemes that at the Fish Creek fight the whole rebel 
force was engaged, although many left for home early in 
the day. When they returned at night Dumont boasted 
that they had defeated the " police," but said they had 
lost nearly all their ponies. But he added that while he 
had been victorious in every war he was engaged in he 
was not so certain about this one. The loss of the ponies 
was severely felt. They did not expect to fight us at 
Fish Creek, but were surprised at our sudden arrival. 
Kiel had always maintained that the first encounter 
would be at Batoche's, and he pointed out the exact trail 



POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 325 

that the troops would come. " But," he added, " our first 
shot will kill fifty men." 

That Kiel possessed a wonderful influence, an influ- 
ence almost incomprehensible, over the Metis cannot be 
denied. He is a fluent speaker, almost a born orator, 
suave, always polite, and very plausible. He is also & 
born agitator the son of his father, and when the dis- 
contented here sent to Montana for him he came as if 
conferring a great favour upon them. 'At this time, how- 
ever, the Indian blood in the half-castes had not been 
worked up. There were some wild, turbulent spirits, but 
the masses had not been aroused. How to raise their 
enthusiasm, and secure their earnest sympathy and co- 
operation, was a problem which Kiel's fertile brain soon 
solved. He announced that " a man " was to be baptized 
in the church a convert, of course but that the Orange- 
men of Prince Albert were determined to prevent the rite 
being performed. The man was no other than Jackson, 
a young Ontario fellow who had been prominent amongst 
the leaders, and who afterwards blossomed out as Kiel's 
private secretary. This presumed interference naturally 
gave offence to many, and at the appointed day there was 
a large gathering at the church of St. Antoine de Padua, 
where Jackson joined Kiel's new religion, the authority of 
the Catholic Church having even at this early period 
been repudiated by the rebel leader. After the ceremony 
of Jackson's so-called conversion, Kiel addressed the mob, 
denouncing the priests for " pJaying into the hands of the 
Government," and setting himself up as the temporal and 
spiritual leader of the Metis. Of course, no Orangeman 
interfered. They had no idea of interfering, nor did they 
care whether Jackson was baptized or confirmed or 
buried. 

After this there was no lethargy amongst the naturally 
easy-going Half-breeds. Their red blood was up. They 
were eager to attend meetings, and Kiel was easily enabled 
to hold them in his power, lead them at his will, and 
make them do his bidding. Kiel gradually claimed 



326 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

divine authority and miraculous gifts, until by some of 
the Indians he was fairly worshipped as a god. The 
movement was thus conceived in duplicity, falsehood, and 
blasphemy ; and it is no wonder it came to such a sudden 
and disastrous termination. 

A correspondent writing from Middleton's camp below 
Batoche on May 18, says : 

I went up to Batoche's yesterday with Major Bedson, 
chief of the transport service, who took supplies along for 
the starving families of the homeless recalcitrants. On 
the way up, he saw the ruins of several houses, buildings 
belonging to prominent rebels, which had been burned 
by the passing troops a few days previously. As Batoche's 
was neared, the bodies of dead cattle and dead ponies 
were seen strewing the plains, while from every house 
and every cart floated the white emblem of peace and 
submission. Past the ingenious rifle pits, past points of 
vantage prepared for defence, showing weeks of labour in 
preparations, we rode and reached Batoche's in the early 
afternoon. Here white flags fly in every direction. Men 
carry them, they are tied to carts, even little children 
flaunt little ones in their tiny hands. Asking one of them 
what is meant, the lad replied : 

" It's a sign of peace." 

" What peace ? " " Oh, there's been war, and my 
father was shot. But it's all over now. This flag means 
peace. No more shooting." 

" Are you glad ? " " Oh, I don't know, but my 
mother is." 

Even Batoche's fine residence, where the rebel com- 
mander-in-chief had his quarters, flies its white flag. We 
visited the school, adjoining the bullet-riddled church of 
St. Antoine de Padua, where the women and children 
are congregated. Of the large numbers who were camped 
here during the battle (for Kiel had ordered that every- 
body, men, women and children, dogs and ponies and 
cattle, should rendezvous at Batoche's), some had gone 
home, but there were a score or so remaining. They had 



POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 327 

tidied the place up, and their little papooses, snugly 
ensconced in the comfortable moss bags, were decked out 
in clean linen, and chuckled and crowed in their mothers 1 
arms. It was a far different scene from the Sunday 
before. Then the bullets whizzed, the Gatling rattled, 
and the artillery roared, while the mothers and children 
crouched in caves and tepees, fearing death at every 
moment. To-day, peace reigns, and freed from the 
tyranny of the apostate Kiel, in whom, true Catholics as 
they are, they never believed and never trusted, they 
bore their sufferings unmurmuringly, only asking safety 
for their duped dear ones, a little to stop the cramp of 
hunger, and a safe return home. Assurance was given 
that none but the guilty leaders would be punished, and 
that they could go home. The waggon loads of flour and 
bacon and tea told them that the much-abhorred troops 
which were to massacre them were, after all, kind and 
generous and humane. The little church was used for a 
storehouse. It had been utilized for far baser and more 
sacrilegious purposes during the last month or so. The 
relief was gratefully received by the poor women. Some 
of them must have suffered terribly. One woman told 
me her family had had nothing to eat for four days. Her 
husband was still in the woods hiding. Another woman 
was homeless, husbandless and hungry. 

The priest, Rev. Father Vegre\ille, was busily engaged 
receiving the arms of the submissive rebels, and taking 
down the names of those surrendering. He had in all 
eighty names and forty-four weapons. He explained to 
me that the rebel loss was not so large as at first esti- 
mated. It was only sixteen killed, with between twenty 
and thirty wounded. Previously several persons had 
reported fifty-one killed and one hundred and seventy- 
three wounded. When asked to explain the great dis- 
crepancy in the figures, the priest said the larger figures 
had been based upon information obtained by volunteers 
and others who were not adepts at speaking or under- 
standing the French language, He showed me his official 



328 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

list, and sure enough it totalled up sixteen killed. These 
have been buried in the little cemetery overlooking the 
river just opposite the church. 

I asked Father Leveque how Kiel came to wield such 
an influence over his flock. He could not tell, but the 
people were carried away by his oratory. He himself 
was made prisoner, and when he had defied Kiel and 
loudly protested against his desecrating the church, he 
found some to openly support him. There were some 
who were still true to the Church, but they dared not, at 
least they did not, resist Kiel's commands. Kiel was 
clever enough to see that before he could hope to lead 
the people into rebellion, he would have to depose the 
priests who were vehemently denouncing the use of force ; 
and he accomplished this by setting himself up as an 
agent of Heaven. Father Leveque says nobody attended 
Mass except the women and children, and after a time 
many of these were compelled to become Rielites. This 
priest, who is from Old France, went boldly to many of 
the rebel meetings and denounced Kiel at the peril of his 
life. He warned them that the rising could have only 
one termination, that the soldiers would overwhelm and 
disperse them, and that their leader was ruining them ; 
but his words fell on heedless ears, and, sore at heart, he 
was compelled to leave them to pursue the course they 
had determined to tak*. I gathered this from the Half- 
breed women. Father Leveque himself does not care to 
talk ; he is broken-hearted. He told me, however, that 
Kiel was a coward, and that he had placed him and the 
other priests and the five sisters from the St. Laurent 
convent, and some children in that exposed little school- 
house, midway between the fires of the two opposing 
forces. It was a diabolical act. 

In conversation with Mr. Ness, J.P., who was a pri- 
soner, I learned that Kiel told the men not to kill when 
they could capture people. He was particularly anxious 
that General Middleton should not be harmed, claiming 
that he was an old friend and school-mate of his. Mr 



POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 329 

Ness further reports that at Fish Creek the rebels said 
they had six killed four Half-breeds and two Indians 
and twelve wounded. Kiel always held that they should 
defend Batoche's to the bitter end, and warned them if it 
were captured their cause was lost. Hence it was that 
such a determined stand was made here, and such elabor- 
ate plans of defence conceived and executed. When the 
troops did not follow (the rebels had been waiting for 
them in suspense) Kiel inspired new spirit into them by 
telling them that the police were too frightened to come, 
and that one whole battalion had been killed, so many 
that it occupied two days to bury the dead. Thus 
encouraged, day after day passing and no " police " appear- 
ing, they felt certain of victory on their own battle- 
ground. That implicit confidence remained until the 
charge was made. Then they sought safety in flight. 

Mr. Ness could not learn whether Riel directed the 
movements of the men at Batoche's or not. He says Riel 
was not at Fish Creek, although he started for that place 
with one or two men, but some of the scouts coming in 
and reporting that thirty or forty " police " were approach- 
ing in another direction, a messenger was sent after him 
and he returned. Mr. Ness says that Riel was invariably 
the pink of politeness to him and to everyone, and wielded 
an influence over the people that set the power of the 
priests at naught. 

Mr. Ness is a Catholic, and has always remained true 
to his Church and to Canada. He was made a prisoner, 
but after forty-eight hours' confinement was released, 
after being tried before the council for having given infor- 
mation to the police. He was found guilty, and as a 
punishment his horse and cutter were confiscated. The 
Half-breeds were not unfriendly to him, and a sort of 
communistic rule prevailing amongst them, frequently 
came into his house and made themselves at home. He 
says that at first Riel had about five hundred men, but 
that nearly one hundred or so must have deserted him, 
which number was probably made up by recruits from 



330 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

the Indian reserves. Mr. Ness was on parole. He 
could go as far as the church but not to the village. Many 
opportunities offered for an escape, but hampered with a 
wife and family, he would not undertake the long trip 
to the south, preferring to trust his family's lives in 
rebel hands to facing the bitter winds and terrible storms 
they mightencounterina winter's journey across the plains. 
On the way home we saw two men bearing a white 

coming from a bush. They were unarmed and gave 
themselves up. One of them was Pierre Vandal, one of 
the most active men in the rebel ranks; the other 
Adolphus Nolin, son of Charles Nolin, who is held a 
prisoner at Prince Albert. They were taken to camp. 
From what I could glean from them, Vandal had been 
sent to the Battleford Indians to secure their co-opera- 
tion in the fight expected to take place at Batoche's. 
Nolin, who lives at Frog Lake, and claims to have been 
a prisoner among the Indians, says the object of Kiel was 
to have the Half -breed " prisoners " there released and 
brought to headquarters. Nolin claims to have escaped. 
Nolin left the Indians a few miles this side of their 
reserve in the Eagle Hills, and says he thought they 
would come to Batoche's. To tight ? Well, he admitted 
that he was coming to help his people. Nolin was 
engaged in getting out logs at Frog Lake, and was 
present at the massacre, the details of which have long 
ago been made public. 

Mrs. Delaney and Mrs. Gowanlock, he said, were safe 
and sound at Johnny Pritchard's, at Frog Lake, he having 
secured Mrs. Gowanlock's release by giving an Indian 
two ponies, while Pritchard effected the other lady's by 
giving one pony.* Nolin says the women were unharmed, 
although they were naturally very frightened, and 
remained all one day in the tepee sobbing and crying, 
not knowing what horrible fate awaited them. At night 
several Indians came to their place of confinement and 

* This report afterwards proved to be correct. 



POUNDMAKER AGAIN HEARD FROM. 331 

demanded an entrance, intending to steal the women's 
clothes ; but they did not accomplish their purpose. 
Their freedom once purchased, Nolin says, they were not 
molested, and when he offered them the choice of going 
to Battleford or remaining with Pritchard at Frog Lake, 
they decided upon remaining. 

Nolin was present at the battle between the Queen's 
Own and Poundmaker. He says the troops were whipped 
and compelled to retreat to Battleford, and that they 
would have been annihilated but for Major Short and 
Colonel Herchmer,who kept cool throughout. The Indians 
surprised Colonel Otter at daybreak, and the battle lasted 
till between one and two o'clock. The Indian loss was 
four killed and six wounded. The Indians claimed a big 
victory, and celebrated the event as such. The Indians 
were about three hundred strong, and had in the ranks 
some striplings, who were armed with bows and arrows. 

Nolin gives an amusing description of the capture of 
the Battleford supply train, at which he was also 
present. About two hundred Indians suddenly came 
upon the train of twenty-nine waggons, when eight of 
the teamsters " skedaddled," leaving their arms and 
waggons behind. The other twenty-one surrendered 
without a shot being fired. The Indians indulged in a 
regular blow-out, the canned corned beef being a luxury 
to the half-starved braves. The captured teamsters were 
not harmed, the Indians with full stomachs becoming 
good natured. When Nolin last saw them, they were 
enjoying a dance, one of the teamsters supplying the 
music with an old fiddle he had with him. Mirth and 
merriment prevailed, and the dance went on with joy 
unconfined. As long as the provisions hold out, doubtless 
the festivities will continue, and after that the teamsters 
will likely be allowed their freedom. From Nolin's 
account, it appears that the ramifications of the rebels 
were more far-reaching than we anticipated, and had 
they been successful at Batoche's an Indian war, envelop- 
ing the whole North- West, would have followed. Defeat, 



332 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

however, has averted such a calamity, and as Nolin 
tersely put it : " Kiel big dam fool." 

I dropped into one of the rooms in which Kiel had his 
prisoners confined. It was in the upper storey of Batoche's 
old store, and comfortable quarters enough. The im- 
prisonment does not seem to have weighed down the 
prisoners, or interfered with their love of fun. The clean 
planed wooden partitions bear witness to this. They are 
covered with caricatures in pencil, and poetry and bills of 
fare of which is facetiously called " Kiel's hotel." One 
menu embraces "bannocks, cowhide, bull's feet, and 
slough water discoloured with tea ; " others are nore 
elaborate if not more tempting. A caricature of Kiel's 
last recruit embellishes the door an extremely small 
boy, with an enormous hat and a gun almost as large as 
himself. Then there were dates, and the signatures of 
the prisoners, and plain intimations to Monsieur Kiel, 
which indicated that his captives were not in mortal fear 
of him. In the other prison house, the cellar, the quarters 
were not so extensive, nor were there any facilities for 
expressing opinions by pen or pencil. 



OUR VOLUNTEERS. 



We have cause indeed to glory o'er the fight our boys have won, 
O'er the work they have accomplished, o'er deeds that have 
been done. 

Though in peace they have been nurtured, yet, when heard 

rebellion's cry, 
How they rushed to arms determined to conquer or to die. 

Canada ! such men shall make thee, what we fondly hoped for 

thee 
A nation great and glorious stretching far from sea to sea ! 



CUB VOLUNTEERS. 333 

Lo ! methinks the future opens and my words are more than 

true, 
Clustering cities in their splendour rise where once but forests 

grew; 

Vessels heavy with their freightage o'er our boundless waters 

glide ; 
Railroads netted o'er the country join each mighty ocean's tide; 

Prairies long unclaimed, unknown, now are tilled by willing 

hands ; 
And our sons are sought and honoured by the great of foreign 

lands. 

And are those who battled bravely for their country when 

'twas young, 
Then to be forgotten by her ? No ! such names are ever sung 1 

Names that still are loved and cherished by the loyal and the 

brave; 
O'er our fallen shall flowers blossom and dark maples shade 

each grave. 

Heroes in the Far West sleeping, brave as those who followed 

Brock, 
Gallant as the brave that perished at Quebec's embattled rock ; 

In a magic maple garland we shall weave each honoured name, 
And the future years shall brighten never dim your death- 
less fame. 

And may He who orders wisely, soothe the bitter grief of 

those 
Whose brave boys in death have fallen where they charged the 

hidden foes. 

When the rest come marching homeward, who have fought our 

land to save, 
We shall have a fitting welcome to the gallant and the brave. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 

PROM Batoche General Middleton made his way to 
Prince Albert. A correspondent writes from that 
village as follows on the 19th of May : 

At last we reach civilization, and see people who don't 
fire at us from behind trees or out of rifle pits. The 
arrival of the troops was a great event in the history of 
Prince Albert, and the 19th of May will, for many years, 
be marked as a red letter day. Our reception was an 
enthusiastic one, the local volunteers, with the citizens 
and their wives and daughters turning out en masse to 
welcome the boys. The military and local bands played 
appropriate music, and amidst cheer upon cheer the troops 
marched in. Colonel Sproat presented the inevitable 
address of welcome, congratulating the General on his 
victorious progress through the country, and thanking 
him for coming to their relief. General Middleton replied 
briefly, acknowledging the compliment, but modestly 
accorded all the credit to his officers and men, who, he 
said, were equal to regulars on the march and on the 
battlefield. This is a thriving town, the only place of 
any pretensions we have yet passed through since leaving 
Fort Qu'Appelle, and, unaccustomed as we were to seeing 
anything more than a small group of houses in the other 
"cities" in one's eyes it was magnified till it looked almost 
as big as Toronto. Of course it isn't, but it contains, with 
a population of over one thousand, some very fine build- 
ings. There are numerous stores, and the private resi- 
dences of several of the wealthier residents show signs of 
culture, taste, and wealth. The town is very prettily 
situated on the east bank of the North Branch of the Sas- 
katchewan straggling a length of about five miles. As 



TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 335 

one genius puts it, "it's seven miles long and fifteen 
inches wide." Some of the buildings are brick, but the 
majority are constructed of wood. Another sight brings 
back remembrances of home handsomely attired young 
ladies. Their style of dress may not be according to the 
latest Paris fashions (you must remember they have been 
cut off from communication with the outer world for two 
months), but in neatness and taste the costumes are fit 
for the sunny side of King Street in Toronto. 

The town possesses all the conveniences of Eastern 
cities, and were it not for the barricaded church and 
manse, whose cordwood defences make it resemble a 
gigantic wood-yard, the few rifle pits which had evidently 
been made by gophers, the numerous red-coated police 
strolling about, arid the port-holes in different buildings 
one would imagine that he was in a peaceful Ontario 
town. The place was well garrisoned, and with the 
means of defence and favourable location, could have 
withstood any attack that might have been made upon 
it. There was no lack of provisions, so one naturally 
wonders what on earth all the scare here was about. I 
tried to find out, but failed. The several persons I ques- 
tioned would give me not even the shadow of a reason. 
One man, who claimed to have been on guard sixteen 
nights, said that he had not seen the ghost of a rebellious 
Half-breed or hostile Indian during his term of service, 
and he had been all through the " siege." Further he did 
not believe there was an unfriendly person within twenty 
miles. Time and a rigid investigation, however, will 
probably bring out facts which cannot now be ascertained. 
Instead of showing hostility, two chiefs, Iron Bull and 
Star Blanket (no relation to a namesake in the File Hills), 
interviewed the General to-day, and professed not only 
the greatest friendship, but asseverated that they had 
withstood the blandishments of Kiel and the tobacco of 
other tribes, and remained truly loyal to the Great White 
Mother, and friendly to the whites. They were glad to 
see the General, and to be allowed the opportunity of 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

expressing their pleasure at meeting him, and they trusted 
their friendship would never be broken. Iron Bull, 
whose Indian name isMis-ta-was-sis, is the second "biggest 
Injun " of the Crees in the whole North-West, and wields 
considerable influence with the Red men. His companion, 
Ah-tah-kah-koop (Star Blanket), is also a chief of some 
power. They both came from near Carleton. 

The General's exact plan is not yet completed, but 
from what can be learned the four steamers North- West, 
Alberta, Marquis, and Baroness will probably take the 
troops up, and await their visit to the reserve, and then 
return with them to the mouth of the Saskatchewan, 
where, after crossing Lake Winnipeg in other steamers, 
they will take the Canadian Pacific Railway to Port 
Arthur, and go down the lakes. Should no serious trouble 
occur at Battleford, in three weeks or a month Toronto 
should get ready to welcome its gallant volunteers if not 
all, at least a large proportion of them. When it does, 
your citizens will not see band-box soldiers, spick and 
span, but travel-stained and bronzed veterans, with 
toggery the worse of wear. As a matter of fact, the 
Grenadiers are beginning to feel the necessity of a new 
outfit at once. Many of their unmentionables have seen 
their best days, and their tunics are soiled and torn. 
Their headgear also needs replenishing. Fur caps, with 
which alone many of them are provided, are unseason- 
able at this time of the year ; and their stock of under- 
clothing is also worn out. You will see a pretty ragged 
regiment walking down King Street some fine day. The 
health of the whole force is remarkably good. The hard- 
ships of a long and tedious march and the bivouac in the 
battle field, in this clear North-Western air, have not 
affected them. Were it not for the few wounded we have 
with us the medical staff would have but little to occupy 
their time with. Dr. Ryerson tells me he has no sick 
list now-a-days at all. He speaks in the highest terms 
of the ambulance corps of the battalion, formed of the 
buglers and others, which rendered signal service at 



TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 337 

Batoche's, bringing in many of the wounded at the peril 
of their own lives. Of course the ambulance corps of the 
90th and the Midlands were equally as efficient, and are 
deserving of all praise. There was one case of heroism 
which deserves mention. One of the Grenadiers was 
seriously wounded at Batoche's and would have bled to 
death had he been left for any length of time. Colour- 
Sergeant Curzon, under a fehower of rebel bullets, at 
once knelt down and stopped the haemorrhage, and carried 
his wounded comrade to a place of safety, marching coolly 
away to the music provided by the guns of the enemy. 

Now that the march through the fertile country 
extending from below Fish Creek on the south to seven 
miles beyond Lepine's on the north, a distance of about 
fifty miles is happily completed, we learn of the narrow 
escapes and we begin to think of the " what might have 
been." The rebels have " given away " their plans, and it 
is learned that the intention of Gabriel Dumont at Fish 
Creek was to allow the column to pass that terrible 
ravine, and when descending the slope on the further side 
to suddenly attack it. Another of the narrow escapes 
was the intended night attack on the camp at Macintosh's 
the night before the Fish Creek Battle, when a sudden 
scoop was to have been made in the early hours of 
the morning. The rebels, mounted on their fleet little 
ponies, were to sneak up, and passing the picket, to rush 
upon the sleeping force, not firing a shot till the tents 
were reached ; and then in the confusion to pour volley 
after volley into the half -aroused and unprepared soldiery. 
A third surprise also missed fire. It was to have been 
made the night before the battle of Batoche's. The 
steamer Nortkcote, then lying at Gabriel's, was to have 
bean set on fire at night, and those on board shot down 
as they attempted to escape from the flames. This would 
have been no difficult job, as there were only forty 
soldiers on board, and the camp sixteen miles away. 
Fortunately the merest chance prevented all these dis- 
asters. In the first one, there was a misdirection of 
21 



338 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

orders, and all the rebel force to take part in it did not 
turn up till too late in the night : then our scouts sur- 
prised them at Fish Creek, and the Indians, disobeying 
orders, fired upon them; and the steamer was saved 
through the stupidity of a scout, who reported that its 
destruction could be more thoroughly accomplished on the 
following night. It was a good thing for us that we had 
the luck on our side. The rebels were no fools. If they 
had been as well armed as we, and in equal strength, our 
victory would not have been so complete. I doubt very 
much if we should have had a victory at all. They are 
devils incarnate to fight, even with common old shot- 
guns, some of them flint-locks. 

There will be many mouths to feed on the South 
Saskatchewan for the next year or so. From Saskatoon 
to Pritchard's, some ninety or one hundred miles, there is 
little if any grain sown this year, and it is too late to put 
in anything, except perhaps a little barley and potatoes. 
There is no seed grain. A large proportion of the cattle 
have been driven off, and the settlers have lost their most 
invaluable assistants, their ponies. Here and there a 
household has lost the provider or one of the main-stays ; 
many houses are entirely destroyed ; and there is little 
food or provender in the country. Something must also 
be done for those loyalists who, owing to the troubles, 
have been compelled to leave home and neglect their 
farms ; for the merchants and traders whose goods were 
seized, and who have been brought thus to the verge of 
ruin. Take the Kerr Brothers, for instance. They were 
doing well at Duck Lake, when the rebels seized their 
store and helped themselves to their stock. Since then 
the firm have been unable to do anything to recover their 
losses. One of them, George, accompanied the troops and 
nob only furnished important information, but shouldered 
a rifle and helped to smash Kiel. For many a day the 
terrible effects of this short-lived uprising will be severely 
felt. The case of those people living in the disaffected 
district near Prince Albert is a particularly hard one. 



TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 339 

They are only now permitted to return to their homes, 
and as we passed through to-day we saw many houses 
still deserted and farms untouched, although they peti- 
tioned to be allowed to go out from the Prince Albert 
city of refuge and do their spring work. 

On the 21st of May the same correspondent writes as 
follows : 

It is evident that General Middleton will not waste 
any time in this place, but will push on to Battleford as 
soon as the means of transportation will permit. The 
river will be utilized, and, thank goodness, the navigation 
of the North Branch of the Saskatchewan is not so 
uncertain as that of the South Branch. The trip should 
be made in a little less than three days, so that if we 
leave here to-morrow, as " orders " now state, we should 
be able to join Otter by Monday at latest. The steamer 
North-West, it is now arranged, will lead the van, and the 
Marquis and other boats will follow immediately after 
their arrival here. The supply waggons will follow the 
trail, bejng escorted by Dennis's Intelligence Corps, and 
being light will be able to move rapidly. The Norih- 
West, as I write, is being barricaded, and Captain Sheets 
is attending to the work himself, not having that confi- 
dence in military engineers which one would naturally 
expect. He had enough of that on the Northcote, and 
proposes to make the North- West as nigh bullet-proof as 
it is possible to make her with the material at hand. All 
the troops will go up the river, except the Winnipeg 
Field Battery, which will garrison Prince Albert, and 
with the Mounted Police and volunteers protect the 
place against any raid of the Indians, should the Red-skins 
take it into their head to make one. It is said that the 
insurgents hereabouts are still saucy. The General's 
desire is to smash Poundmaker and give his followers a 
well-deserved drubbing. With the force at hand he 
should have no difficulty in accomplishing his purpose, 
provided the turbulent chief can be found or does not 
surrender. IJ is said that he has three hundred and thirty 



840 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

braves, and the last we heard of him he was en route to 
Batoche's to help Kiel, but as he has had no word of that 
individual's overthrow, doubtless he will change his 
tactics and point in some other direction. Kiel's runners, 
who took him the news of the defeat, were to tell him 
he could not fight the white men with their Gatling 
maneton and red-coats and " black devils," as the 90th are 
called by the Indians. It is safe, therefore, to predict an 
early closing of the campaign, although possibly bodies 
of troops may be stationed at different points for some 
time to come. 

The necessity for troops is unquestioned, for I fear 
the prestige of the Mounted Police is lost. Every Half- 
breed and Indian speaks in contemptuous terms of the 
force, and has no more dread of it than they have of 
gophers. I am not saying that the force is not composed 
of brave and gallant young men, and I know it is at all 
times prepared to do its duty ; but the reverse at Duck 
Lake, the retreat to Prince Albert, and the two months' 
masterly inactivity there, the evacuation of Fort Pitt, 
all have combined to lower the force in the eyes of the 
savages, with whom prestige is everything. Some of the 
members of the force unwillingly admit this, while others 
bewail the unfortunate position in which events have 
placed them. Whether their prestige and influence can 
be regained, I will not pretend to say ; if it cannot the 
usefulness of the force is gone. This is said with the full 
knowledge of the beneficial results which have followed 
the organization of the police, and the invaluable service 
it has rendered, and is still rendering, to the country. 

I interviewed Colonel Irvine this morning as to his 
reasons for not venturing out to fight the Indians. When 
I told him of the reports of his " funking," he expressed 
the greatest surprise. He had no idea that his conduct 
would be so misconstrued. He had, he said, given expla- 
nations to General Middleton, and he believed they were 
perfectly satisfactory. The Colonel did not care about 
being interviewed, in fact he preferred nyt to be ; but 



TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 341 

finally he gave me a few minutes of his time. He said 
that he and his confreres were thoroughly posted as to 
the country, and the strength, location, and plans of the 
insurgents, and he knew that their great aim was to 
induce him to come out towards Batoche's, where, am- 
bushed in the firs a long stretch of thick timbers they 
could, with their far superior force, have annihilated him 
and secured arms and ammunition, just what they most 
needed, and immediately have moved down on Prince 
Albert, which would have been almost defenceless, as all 
the arms he could have left there were thirty- five Win- 
chesters and forty shot-guns. At the time he heard that 
General Middleton was coming with only three hundred 
and fifty men, he had determined to go to his assistance, 
although it might result in his force being cut to pieces. 
However, when a larger force came (over one thousand 
strong, and he had heard it was one thousand five hun- 
dred), he knew it would be folly for him to go out, leaving 
the only important settlement in the North almost totally 
undefended ; besides, he had no orders to go. 

"Why," said the colonel, "whenever it was hinted 
that the police were going out, women and children raised 
a terrible cry at the prospects of being left helpless. 
Although no Indians were seen around, I had no doubt 
that they were always within striking distance, and that 
as soon as the police had gone they would have raided 
the town. You must remember you can see for your- 
self that this long straggling place would require a 
strong force to defend it, and it required all our strength 
to patrol the place and scout the country. We had to 
send forty-two men to guard the stores at Hudson's Bay 
Crossing on the South Branch, and we kept scouts always 
out in the direction of the enemy's country. I feel that 
I have done all that could have been done in the best 
interests of the country, and I feel certain that General 
Middleton approved of my course." 

From others it was learned that some of the people 
of Prince Albert were not so truly loyal as they are 



342 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

feo-day. Many of them were loud-mouthed sympathizers 
with Kiel at the inception of the troubles, and took 
a prominent part in his meetings, only cutting the con- 
nection when the Metis resorted to arms. One Prince 
Albert man, whose name for obvious reasons it is better 
not to make known, told me that he had no doubt that 
if the troops had suffered a reverse at Batoche's, the 
number of rebels in the North- West, and particularly in 
this place, would have wonderfully increased, while the 
strength of the loyalists would have correspondingly 
decreased. Immediately across the river, too, is the camp- 
ing ground of the renegade Sioux, those miscreants who 
participated in the Minnesota massacre of 1862; and 
these had suddenly disappeared, leaving only their 
squaws and old men behind, Some of them had returned 
two days after the fight at Batoche's. This tribe con- 
tributed forty warriors to Kiel's strength, and being kept 
thoroughly informed on the movements of the police 
would have taken advantage of their absence and 
returned not with the most friendly intentions. So, 
after all, perhaps Colonel Irvine has been misjudged and 
his motives misunderstood or misrepresented; But all 
the same; mortal injury has been inflicted upon the 
reputation and usefulness of the police force. 

In my last I endeavoured to describe Beardy, the 
Duck Lake Chief. I have since learned that he emulates 
Kiel in assuming a sanctified personality, and indulges in 
wonderful dreams which he interprets to his ignorant 
followers as circumstances may require. He also talks in 
parables, and up to the other day, aped Louis " David " 
Kiel in every conceivable way. That Beardy is a bad 'un 
is universally admitted, a cowardly, treacherous, bluster- 
ing bully, unfriendly to the whites, by whom he had 
been fed, and ready at all times to keep the country in a 
disturbed state while he discreetly looks after his own 
safety. There are, of course, some loyal Indians in the 
North-West. Several bands of Crees, sucn as Iron 
Bull's, and Star Blanket's, who firmly declined all 



TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 343 

advances from Kiel ; but from what can be learned had 
the rebels gained a decided victory, only these and 
possibly a few more would have remained staunch. 
Mis-ta-was-sis (Big Child), as has been already stated, is a 
chief of great influence, and in the old days of inter- 
tribal warfare was a renowned warrior, by some called 
the terror of the plains. He is getting old now, but he 
keeps his age well. Of small stature, he has fine clear 
cut features, speaks fluently, and has demonstrated that, 
having left the war-path years ago, he has become a good 
Indian. 

In the foregoing letter the correspondent has fallen 
into an error very common to those who visit the North- 
West for the first time in their lives. People who have 
suffered for breaking the law (especially whiskey 
traders) do all they can to prejudice strangers against the 
Mounted Police. Deserters and "scallawags" of eveiy 
sort tell'heart-rending stories to credulous Eastern editors, 
but those who have spent any length of time in the 
North-West, and who have carefully and intelligently 
studied its institutions will know better than to make 
any reflections on this admirable force or its officers. 
Colonel Irvine does not need any certificate of character 
from newspaper correspondents to induce those who 
know him best to believe that he is a brave and intrepid 
soldier, as he has again and again proved himself such 
since he assumed command of the North-West Mounted 
Police. As to the reflections upon the force they are too 
absurd to be worthy of notice. Surely the men could 
not go to Batoche's without orders, but that they could 
and would fight when it was their cue to do so Fort Pitt, 
Cut Knife and Two Lakes amply prove. 

A well-informed correspondent writing from Fort 
McLeod thus referred to the Mounted Police: 

In Montana every man travels armed as a measure of 
personal protection ; liquor is sold freely to the Indians, 
and carried over Indian reservations with impunity. 
Gambling goes on openly, and the law is everywhere set 



344 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

at naught. Here, though there is only a handful of about 
three hundred Mounted Police to preserve order in a ter- 
ritory over nine hundred miles long by more than five 
hundred miles wide, containing a wild, warlike, and semi- 
starving population of twenty-five thousand Indians and 
about six thousand scattered settlers and ranchers, of 
whom a large proportion in the southern district are 
ex-whiskey traders and refugees from the American laws, 
the best order prevails. I have travelled over twelve 
hundred miles through the North-West Territory with 
horses and waggon ; I have camped sometimes alone, and 
sometimes close to the police camp ; I have had no means 
of locking up anything, and my whole outfit has always 
been exposed to the depredations of any persons who 
might be disposed to meddle with it, and yet, with the 
exception of one blanket, nothing has been stolen from 
me in the whole journey. Though I have travelled hun- 
dred of miles with only my Half-breed guide for com- 
pany, I have never carried a revolver, and have never 
kept my shot-gun loaded in my tent. To suppose that 
such a state of affairs could exist here without the 
presence of an admirably organized and thoroughly effi- 
cient police force would be the wildest nonsense. What- 
ever may have been the state of the force in the past I do 
not know from any personal knowledge, but as to its 
present state under the commissionership of Colonel 
Irvine, I am certainly in a position to know something, 
and so far as I am able to judge, I cheerfully testify, not 
only to the excellent character and soldierly conduct of 
the officers and men, but to the thorough efficiency of the 
force, and the invaluable service it is now rendering the 
Dominion in this territory. I have heard complaints 
against the force here and elsewhere throughout the ter- 
ritory, but all these complaints have reached me through 
the medium of deserters, men who have been turned out 
of the force for bad conduct, and ex-whiskey traders who 
have suffered in pocket through the suppression of th.3 
whiskey traffic by the force. I have talked a good deal, 



TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 345 

and very freely, with the constables and non-commis- 
sioned officers of the force, and without exception I have 
found them intelligent, thoroughly well-disposed young 
gentlemen, proud of the standing and character of the 
force, strongly attached to the Commissioner and the 
officers in command of their respective posts, and pleased 
with the country and the mode of life they are called 
upon to lead. The only semblance of fault-finding that I 
heard was of the low rate of remuneration (40c. per diem 
for recruits) and the character of some of the uniforms 
served out to them, and in these respects I must say that 
I think there is room for improvement. As to the work 
the Mounted Police force is performing in the North- 
West, no one not intimately acquainted with the country 
can be in a position to judge. The officers and men have, 
to a very great extent, secured the confidence and good 
will of the Indians. The Red men are not only afraid to 
come into forcible contact with the red-coats, but they 
feel that their best interest lies in assisting the police in 
the discharge of their duties. They have confidence in 
the justice of the administration of the police and feel 
that the Indian rights will be protected as well as those 
of the white men. Instead of seeking redress for wrongs 
in the usual Indian way by force or strategy, they com- 
plain to the constituted authorities and in all respects 
recognize the fact that the white man's way of adminis- 
tering justice is better than their own. 

Colonel DeWinton speaks of them as a " really won- 
derful body of men. They always appear to know just 
what to do in any emergency and proceed at once to do 
it." Captain Chater, after speaking very highly of the 
creditable appearance the men were able to make on the 
shortest notice and the admirable marching and campaign- 
ing qualities they had shown, alluded particularly to the 
feat they had performed in crossing the South Saskatch- 
ewan (at Batoche's, with Lord Lome and escort) in five 
hours, remarking that he had not known of a regiment 
in the British army capable of turning out a detachment 



846 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

able to perform a similar feat in the same length of time. 
He also alluded in the most complimentary terms to the 
good conduct of the men. Bad language was not heard 
in the ranks, and when anything was to be done it was 
done promptly and quietly without any noise or shouting. 
He thought that the conduct and management of the 
men reflected the highest credit upon Colonel Herchmer 
and the non-commissioned officers in charge. Captain 
Percival, who, like Captain Chater, has seen a good deal 
of active service within the past few years, also spoke in 
the highest terms of the officers and men of the Mounted 
Police, summing up with the remark ; " a most wonderful 
force ; they combine all the handiness of sailors with the 
smartness of soldiers." 

The following stanzas, written some years ago by a 
member of the North- West Mounted Police, truthfully 
and graphically describes the mounted policeman and his 
mission : 

THE RIDERS OF THE PLAINS. 



So wake the prairie echoes with 

The ever welcome sound ; 
Ring out the " boot and saddle " till 

Its stirring notes resound. 
Our chargers toss their bridled heads, 

And chafe against the reins. 
Ring out ! ring out the marching call 

For the Riders of the Plains. 

O'er many a league of prairie wild 

Our trackless path must be, 
And round it rove the fiercest tribes 

Of Blackfeet and of Cree. 
But danger from their savage bands 

A dauntless heart disdains 
Tis the heart that bears the helmet np t 

Of the Riders of the Plains. 



THE RIDERS OF THE PLAINS. 347 

Tho prairie storms sweep o'er our way, 

But onward still we go, 
To scale the weary mountain range, 

Descend the valley low. 
We face the broad Saskatchewan, 

Made fierce with heavy rains, 
With all his might he cannot check 

The Riders of the Plains. 

We tread the dreaded cactus land, 

Where, lost to white man's ken, 
We startle there the creatures wild 

With the sight of armed men. 
For whereso'er our leader bids 

The bugle sounds its strains ; 
Forward in sections marching go 

The Riders of the Plains. 

The fire king stalks the prairie, 

And fearful 'tis to see 
The rushing wall of flame and smoke 

Girdling round us rapidly. 
Tis then we shout defiance 

And mock his fiery chains ; 
For safe the cleared circle guards 

The Riders of the Plains. 

For us no cheerful hostelries 

Their welcome gates unfold ; 
No generous board, no downy couch 

Await our troopers bold. 
Beneath the star-lit canopy 

At eve, when daylight wanes, 
There lie these hardy wanderers 

The Riders of the Plains. 

In want of rest, in want of food, 

Our courage does not fail, 
As day and night we follow hard, 

The desperado's trail. 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

His threatened rifle stays us not, 

He finds no hope remains, 
And yields at last a captive to 

The Eiders of the Plains. 

We've ta'en the haughty feathered Chief, 

Whose hands were red with blood, 
E'en in the very Council Lodge 

We seized him as he stood. 
Three fearless hearts faced forty braves, 

And bore the Chief in chains, 
Full sixty miles to where were camped 

The Eiders of the Plains. 

But that which tries the courage sore, 

Of horseman and of steed, 
Is want of blessed water, 

Blessed water in our need. 
We'll face like men whate'er befalls, 

Of perils, hardships, pains ; 
Oh God ! deny not water to 

The Eiders of the Plains. 

And death who comes alike to all 

Has visited us here, 
Filling our hearts with bitter grief, 

Our eyes with many a tear. 
Five times he drew his fatal bow, 

His hand no prayer restrains ; 
Five times his arrows sped among 

The Eiders of the Plains. 

Hard by the Old Man Eiver, 

Where freshest breezes blow, 
Five grr gsy mounds lie side by side, 

Five ri lers sleep below. 
Neat palings closed the sacred ground, 

No stranger's step profanes 
Their deep repose, and they sleep well 

These Eiders of the Plains. 



THE RIDERS OF THE PLAINS. 349 

There is no marble column, 

There is no graven stone 
To blazon to a curious world 

The deeds they might have done. 
But the prairie flower blows lightly there, 

And creeping wild rose trains 
Its wreath of summer beauty o'er 

The Riders of the Plains. 

Sleep on, sleep on, proud slumberers 

Who died in this Far West, 
No prancing steed will feel your hand, 

No trumpet break your rest. 
Sleep on, till the great Archangel 

Shall burst death's mortal chains, 
And you hear the great " Reveill6 " 

Ye Riders of the Plains. 

We bear no lifted banners, 

The soldier's care and pride, 
No fluttering flag waves onward 

Our horsemen as they ride. 
Our only guide is " duty's " call, 

And well its strength sustains 
The dauntless spirits of our men, 

Bold Riders of the Plains. 

In England's mighty Empire 

Each man must take his stand ; 
Some guard the honoured flag at sea, 

Some bear it well by land ; 
Tis not our part to fight its foes 

Then what to us remains ? 
What duty does our Sovereign give 

Her Riders of the Plains ? 

Our mission is to plant the reign 

Of British freedom here, 
Restrain the lawless savage, 

And protect the pioneer 



350 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION 

And 'tis a proud and daring trust 

To hold these vast domains 
With but three hundred mounted men- 

The Eiders of the Plains. 

And though we win no praise or fame 

In the struggle here alone 
To carry out good British law 

And plant old England's throne ; 
Yet when our task has been performed, 

And law with order reigns, 
The peaceful settler long will bless 

The Riders of the Plains. 

RIEL AND THE FENIANS. 

Kiel asserts that all the talk about Fenian help was 
merely a blind, but if a letter addressed to him from New 
York, and intercepted the other day by the police, is not 
a fictitious one he is open to the charge of mendacity. In 
the delayed Prince Albert mail were several letters 
addressed to Eiel at Carleton. This particular one was 
addressed to " General Louis Kiel, Carleton," and bore the 
New York postmark, and was dated 28th March last, 
shortly after the Duck Lake fight. It was evidently in 
response to one written by Kiel, who had made an offer 
of some kind or other. The writer was thoroughly posted 
on North- West affairs and the location of places, and spoke 
of Humboldt, Clark's Crossing, Carleton, Saskatoon, and 
other points, and advised Kiel to defend Batoche's. Refer- 
ence was made to sending five hundred men, with guns, 
ammunition, and hand grenades, which were being manu- 
factured. Allusion was made to different persons, ficti- 
tious names, such as " Rock" " Leary," " Sec." being used. 
The signature was this : 

O __. 

The identity of the writer has, of course, not been 
established, but he evidently was a confidante of Riel's, 
and his addressing tLe letter to Carleton indicates a 
thorough acquaintance with the rebel plans, as it was 



TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 351 

their intention to capture that place in their first flush 
of victory. 

" Are the people of Prince Albert responsible in any 
way for this rebellion ? " was the question I asked of a 
leading resident of that town, just before the steamer 
started for the west. 

" They are this far," was the reply. " When Kiel first 
came to the North- West, and was holding meetings 
throughout the country, they asked him to hold one here. 
A largely-signed requisition to that effect was presented 
him, and when he came a large crowd attended and 
listened to his speech. He was very moderate, of course, 
and I believe his remarks were applauded, but I don't 
know, as, being entirely opposed to the movement, I did 
not attend. However, many white settlers here led Kiel 
to believe that they were heart and soul with him, and 
he in turn led his people to believe the same thing. I 
don't suppose these anticipated for one moment that the 
agitation they then fanned would result in a resort to 
arms and bloodshed, as it did ; but their countenancing it 
without doubt led Kiel to greater lengths than he other- 
wise would have gone. He counted upon their support." 

" And did no one oppose him at the meeting?" I asked. 

" Yes, a Mr. Deacon, one of the Wolseley expedition 
men, rose in the meeting and called Biel a murderer. This 
somewhat frightened the rebel leader, and he did not 
hold another meeting here. It also partly deterred some 
of the white sympathizers with Kiel from further follow- 
ing him. It was Kiel's boast that the Government owed 
him money, and that he would make it cost them hundreds 
of thousands of dollars." 

" So you say that Prince Albert is not altogether 
blameless in the matter ?" 

"Not blameless in the way I have mentioned. Had 

the white agitators among us not encouraged Kiel by their 

. petitions to him and attendance at his meetings and by 

supplying him with money, thus misleading him into the 

belief that the whole white population was at his back, 



352 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

his subsequent action might have been confined to consti- 
tutional methods. The agitators here encouraged his 
campaign among the Half-breeds by every means in 
their power." 

This is the view of a leading Conservative resident 
of Prince Albert, and a leading Reformer endorses it as 
correct. 

The journey to Battleford from Prince Albert is thus 
described. The departure was made on May 23 : 

Amid loud cheers from the assembled soldiery and 
townspeople, who lined the banks, the good ship North- 
West, the fleetest in North- Western waters, which is not 
saying much, steamed out from Prince Albert yesterday 
morning for Battleford. On board are General Middleton 
and his staff, the Midland Battalion, under the gallant 
Colonel Williams, with twenty-three officers and two 
hundred and thirty-three men ; one gun of A Battery, 
under Captain Drury, with five officers and fifty men ; 
and Colonel Boulton's Mounted Infantry, five officers and 
sixty men a total force of three hundred and eighty- 
two men and eighty-six horses. 

The morning was pleasant and full of summer, but in 
the afternoon the breeze from the west had grown into 
a strong head- wind, which with the numerous sandbars 
forming the river's bottom, materially impeded our pro- 
gress ; so much so that Carleton, which it was expected 
would have been reached before dark, was eight miles 
ahead of us when the boat went to the bank for the night. 
The channel in the Saskatchewan changes yearly, and as 
there is only one pilot on board, who is also captain, and 
only one engineer, we cannot run at night. However, as 
it is, only six or seven hours are lost daily. An early 
start is made at dawn, and (we have long days in these 
high latitudes) we keep speeding along till darkness pre- 
vents further progress, say about nine o'clock at night. 
This imposes a serious task on Captain Sheets and Louis, 
the engineer seventeen or eighteen hours a day but the 
captain says that having experienced it almost evar since 



T<X PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 353 

leaving Swift Current, on the 8th ult., he has become 
accustomed to the long hours and the hard work of dodg- 
ing through the intricate channels and avoiding the shift- 
ing shoals of the treacherous stream. At Sturgeon River, 
the wreck of the steamer Manitoba is seen, with cabin 
gone, and hull sunk over her boiler deck. Here it was 
that she had laid up in winter quarters, but there not 
being sufficient water she froze to the bottom, and when 
the ice broke up in the spring it smashed her all to pieces. 
The Manitoba, which formerl^ plied on the Red River, 
was built ten years ago, and on her second return trip 
between Moorheud and Winnipeg was sunk by tl.e 
opposition steamer International. She was raised and 
afterwards passed into the hands of the Winnipeg and 
Western line, which, as the railway superseded the river 
as a means of communication with the East, sent her to 
the Saskatchewan, where she has since been plying till 
now, in a lonely and unfrequented spot, she lies a derelict. 
This morning Carleton was reached bright and early, 
and beyond the ruins of the burned fort the forms of 
men and horses were seen. A couple of longbooted red- 
coats show us that the place is occupied by Mounted 
Police, and not hostiles, and a few minutes later a young 
Indian, a nephew of Poundmaker, and son of one of the 
biggest scoundrels on the plains, came on board followed 
by a well-dressed, middle-aged Half-breed named Alex- 
andre Cadian, a gentleman who some years ago was the 
chief of the Indian tribe at Muskeg Lake, but who of late 
has been a resident of Duck Lake. With them was Mr. 
Jefferson, a former farm instructor at Poundmaker's 
reserve, whose time expired on the 1st April, and who 
claims he has since been a prisoner of that doughty chief, 
although it is not clear that he was an involuntary one. 
Poundmaker's nephew, whose Indian name signifies Blue 
Horn, was an envoy to General Middleton, and the bearer 
of the following crafty- worded letter, in Jefferson's hand- 
writing : 
22 



~354f CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

EAGLE HILLS, May 49, 1885. 

SIR, I am camped with my people at the east end of 
the Eagle Hills, where I am met by the news of "the sur- 
render of Kiel. No letter came with the news, so that I 
cannot tell how far it may be true. I send some of my 
men to you to learn the truth and the terms of peace, and 
hope you will deal kindly with them. I and my people 
wish you to send us the terms of peace in writing so that 
there may be no misunderstanding, from which so much 
trouble arises. We have*twehty-one prisoners, whom we 
have tried to treat well in every respect. With greeting, 

his 

POUNDMAKER, + 

mark. 
To General Middleton, Duck Lake. 

To this the General sent the following reply by the 
bearers, with whom Jefferson also returned : 

STEAMER " NORTH-WEST," May 23, 1885. 

POUNDMAKER, I have utterly defeated the Half- 
breeds and Indians at Batoche's, and have made prisoners 
of Riel and most of his council. I have made no terms 
with him, neither will I make terms with you. I have 
men enough to destroy you and your people, or at least 
to drive you away to starve, and will do so unless you 
bring in the teams you took, and yourself and your coun- 
cillors to meet me with your arms at Battleford on 
Tuesday, 26th. I am glad to hear that you treated the 
prisoners well, and have released them. 

FRED. MIDDLETON, Major-General. 

The story, as learned from the interpreter, was as 
follows : Riel had sent his emissary, Alexandra Cadian, 
with others, to Poundmaker to ask his assistance at 
Batoche's, should the Government forces meet him there-. 
The day after his arrival, news of the disaster to Kiel's 
men reached Poundmaker, through a friendly Half-breed, 



TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 355 

with the advice that he should lay down his arms if he 
wished to avoid having his people killed. Poundmaker 
did not believe the messenger, and Cadian and others 
started for Batoche's to ascertain the truth ; but after 
their departure the news was confirmed by couriers sent 
by Beardy. Pound maker's nephew had in the meantime 
been despatched with the letter given above to Prince 
Albert, where it was thought General Middleton was 
camped, but finding that he had gone to Carleton followed 
and overtook him, as stated. Cadian was captured by the 
Mounted Police, near Duck Lake, and brought to Carle- 
ton also. As wired you", he was one of the most prominent 
in the rebel ranks. His former chieftainship stood him 
in good stead, and he easily influenced his old braves at 
Muskeg Lake to go on the warpath. In other ways, 
especially with the savages, was he an invaluable aid to 
Kiel and the rebel cause. He was sent to Prince Albert, 
where he will be incarcerated with the other prisoners. 

At Carleton we also learned that Gabriel Dumont, 
with three trusty lieutenants, had been lurking in the 
Birch Hills, and that but very few of the leaders of the 
rebellion are now uncaptured. Carleton itself is very 
prettily located on the bottom land, and immediately in 
rear rises the tree-covered bench land which almost 
overlooks it. In front runs the muddy Saskatchewan. 
There are no buildings except one or two sheds ; a neatly 
painted picket fence, which surrounds the ruins of Law- 
rence Clarke's house, and the blackened debris of the 
fort itself being all that remains of this former flourish- 
ing post. It is so located that it could scarcely be defended 
against any large number of hos tiles, and its destruction 
was a prudent step. Now that we know that Pound- 
maker is anxious to submit, further precautions in the 
way of barricading the boat are abandoned ; extra 
ammunition is put out of sight, and everyone feels that 
the campaign is nearing its end. 

Only Big Bea,r now remains unsubdued, and, as Colonel 
Strange is after him, it is thought by persons who are 



356 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

competent to form an opinion that upon the receipt of 
the news of Kiel's overthrow and capture lie will follow 
the example of his more artful fellow-marauder, Pound- 
maker, and sue for peace. Big Bear has not the 
influence nor the cunning of roundmaker, who is 
credited with having- {deceived every white man with 
whom he has come in contact, and that in the most 
approved fashion. There are, besides Little Poplar, 
who boasted last fall that the land would be running with 
blood before long, and who but recently returned from a 
visit to tribes across the line, and Breaking-through-the- 
Ice, Lucky Man, lately deposed chief ; Curly Head, the 
Twin Wolverine (Big Bear's eldest son), and the well- 
named Miserable Being, who threatened Quinn and killed 
seven of the Frog Lake victims. v ^11 of them belong to 
Big Bear's party. They, with Poundmaker himself, his 
brother, Yellow Mud, Peachoo, Lean Man, and Grizzly 
Bear's Head (the two latter Stoneys), will probably be 
sent as prisoners to Regina when they come in and 
surrender. They are all bad Indians, and any leniency 
shown to them would be worse than mistaken kindness, 
it would be a blunder. With them out of the way the 
remaining Indians would not be likely to create another 
disturbance for many a year to come. But if they are 
not punished, and punished severely, there is every reason 
to believe that the country will be continually disturbed. 

ON THE STEAMER " NORTH-WEST," May 24. 

After Carleton is left not a solitary house on either 
bank is seen, not even an Indian tepee, not a vestige of 
life is seen, except a few wild fowl, not a sign of civiliza- 
tion. We realize at last, to the full extent, that this is 
the Great Lone Land. All is eternal silence, broken only 
by the puffing and wheezing of the steamer. The steep, 
heavily-timbered banks, on which the dark emerald of 
the fir contrasts prettily with the lighter green tint of 
the poplar, become the barriers of a bare, open, rolling 
prairie, boundless as space itself, whose extent to the 



TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 857 

vision is only limited by the horizon. Again the timber 
appears on the banks, poplar only, small-sized, with bud- 
ding leaves. The river is still tortuous, the islands more 
numerous, the sandbars more annoying. And so we creep 
on. Church parade is held in the morning, the General 
reading the service. Appropriate hymns are rendered, 
and after the Doxology is sung, " God Save the Queen " 
rings through the air from a hundred voices. It is the 
Queen's Birthday. Ours is not a very grand celebration 
of the event, for it is the Sabbath, but the General tells 
us we shall right royally celebrate the day to-morrow at 
Battleford. But in honour of Her Majesty the men tidy 
up a bit ; officers, whose uniforms are travel-stained and 
begrimed with powder, don their other clothes, the 
General setting the example. Captain Howard appears 
in all the pomp and lustre that the regulation blue and 
gold of the Connecticut State Guard, with red-plumed 
helmet, can shed. It is a quiet, unostentatious way of 
observing the day, not what Canadians, at all events, are 
accustomed to ; but however undemonstrative it may be 
it is none the less loyally observed. A blinding rain- 
storm sets in early in the morning, the skies only clearing 
long enough to permit divine service to be held in the 
sunshine ; then the clouds gather again, and it seems as 
if Jupiter Pluvius had turned on the water and forgotten 
the combination. Later a strong head-wind, retarding 
our progress about two miles an hour, drives away the 
clouds, the sun shines brightly again, and we go on 
cautiously picking our way past sandbar and shoal. 

A canoe bearing a white flag comes down the river, 
and hails the steamer. It is quickly drawn up alongside, 
and its occupants climb on board. They are Samuel 
Ballendine and two other messengers, from Colonel 
Otter, at Battleford, bearing the message which Pound- 
maker had sent him, a similar one to that sent the General 
himself. The couriers report having seen a couple of 
L.aians, evidently watching for the boat, a short way up 
stream, and that they had disappeared as soon as they 



358 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

saw the canoe coming. Poundmaker was camped ten 
miles back from the Saskatchewan, on the east side, about 
forty miles from Battleford, and these men say that he 
has about eight hundred ponies and a number of head of 
cattle ; that he has only about a month's provisions, and, 
with Indian prodigality, is slaughtering twenty-five, 
thirty, and forty head a day, while the untouched carcases 
of fat beeves lie scattered on the plain, killed in sheer 
wantonness. They also tell us that Poundmaker expects 
to be able to make another treaty, with all the past 
forgiven, and that he will be allowed to return to his 
reserve with even more liberal terms and privileges than 
he previously enjoyed. He and his men have pillaged the 
country, driven off the cattle, recklessly destroyed what 
they could not steal, burned hundreds of houses, massacred 
unoffending settlers, hopelessly ruined hundreds of people, 
and now that he sees retribution about to overtake him, 
this child-like and bland Indian would really like bo 
know, you know, on what terms the little unpleasantness 
he has created can be condoned. The Stoneys with him, 
one hundred and sixty strong, and every brave a fierce 
fighter, will not surrender, but are determined to remain 
on the war-path. 

Ballendine also tells of an Indian named William 
Lightfoot, who lives near Battleford. He has fifty acres 
broken, owns numerous ponies and cattle, has a well- 
furnished house, and is in comfortable circumstances. 
Noticing his industry and thrifty habits the Indian agents 
have endeavoured to encourage him in every possible 
way, and been more than kind to him. Notwithstanding 
this, he was one of the first to go on the war-path, and 
one of the most fierce amongst the cruel savages. 

This is only one of many instances where the policy 
of kindness and paternal care which the Canadian Gov- 
ernment has exercised in dealing with the Indians has 
proved to be a failure. It is evident that some new and 
more riro-- us system must be adopted by which the 
Indians can be more easily and cheaply controlled. Not- 
withstanding the tens of thousands of dollars annually 



TO PRINCE ALBERT AND BATTLEFORD. 359 

spent in feeding these wards of the nation, notwithstand- 
ing the efforts unceasingly put forth to give them homes 
aiid to clothe them, over a thousand of them, without 
reason, except the insatiable desire for blood and plunder 
which seems to possess most of them, have gone on the 
war-path. In fact, one in four of the available Indians 
north of the track went out fighting against us. So soon as 
their Half-breed leader is beaten they cringingly suppli- 
cate for peace. If it is granted without severe punish- 
ment being inflicted, that mistaken leniency will only 
embolden them to continue their good-for-nothing maraud- 
ing habits. " What should be done with them ?" I asked 
a gentleman who has spent many years among them, and 
who, having had considerable experience with them, is 
fully acquainted with their traits. His prompt reply was : 
"First, I should punish the leading Half-breed and Indian 
rebels, commencing with Kiel. Then I should reorganize 
the whole tribal system, abolishing all chiefs and coun- 
cillors, which has been found to work fairly well where 
it has been tested already. No more treaty money 
should be paid to any one found in arms or known to 
have participated in the recent troubles. All these 
Indians should be disarmed and their ponies taken away. 
Force every Indian, whether good or bad, to work ; but 
continue to act faithfully and honestly up to the terms 
of the treaty with all Indians who were loyal, and did 
not join Kiel. By following these suggestions, my exper- 
ience of many years teaches me that a better state of 
affairs will immediately result. The status of the Indian 
will be raised, and finding himself compelled to either 
work or starve, fond of grub as he is, he will choose the 
former. The expense of the service would grow much 
less annually, and so many being disarmed a feeling of 
safety from depredations would soon spring up among 
the settlers. This is a radical change, I know, but after 
their conduct during the past two months something very 
radical is needed. Had Kiel been victorious at Batoche's, a 
general Indian uprising would have folio wed, and although 
some tribes would perhaps have had no wish to go on the 



360 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

war-path they would have been forced into it. In that 
case you well know the terrible consequences that would 
have followed. I shudder to think of them." 

My own personal experience, with all the information 
that can be learned from those well informed on Indian 
nature and characteristics, leads me to adopt a similar 
view to that expressed above, and to hope that it will 
not be many days before it is inaugurated. The senti- 
ment of the people here is pretty well voiced in the 
following extract from the Saskatchewan Herald of 
May 25 : 

" Five years of pampering and petting have failed to 
make the Indians see that it was for their good the 
enormous expenditure was being made. The law of force 
must be applied to them until they acknowledge its 
power; for then, and only then, will they become manage- 
able. All treaties have been annulled by this uprising, 
and in making new conditions the tribal relationship 
between band and chief should be weakened if not alto- 
gether severed, and every Indian made to stand or fall on 
his individual merits. Whether put on large or small 
reserves they must be placed there simply as Indians and 
kept on their limits ; and in making them work for their 
living it will be criminal in the extreme to furnish them 
with expensive machinery as has hitherto been done, and 
with the destruction rather than the use of which they 
have become familiar. They must be made to labour 
with the plough and the hoe ; those were the only things 
with which thousands of their betters had to begin the 
world, and that, too, without the addition of rations and 
free clothing." 

Just as the sun begins to sink in the West the steamer 
draws up to the landing at Battleford. Groups of soldiers 
and civilians collected along the bank for a mile down 
stream to greet our coming with cheers, and at the land- 
ing there is a large crowd of enthusiastic people whose 
welcomes are given with a will and as enthusiastically 
responded to. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

AT BATTLEFOBD. 

AT Battleford General Middleton and his men were 
warmly welcomed. The Royal Grenadiers, though to a 
certain extent occupying a more humble position in public 
estimation than the Queen's Own when they left Toronto 
were now the heroes of the hour. Turn it over as they 
liked there was nothing bub utter defeat and " a retreat 
on sufferance " to be got out of recollections of the Cut 
Knife fight, while the Grenadiers were "the heroes of 
Batoche." More than one of the Queen's Own felt that 
the disastrous luck of the regiment was following it 
when they saw the evident pride with which General 
Middleton regarded " my little devils " as he termed the 
Grenadiers when they were landing. Of course any one 
who follows the events of the war knows that only forty 
of the Queen's Own were at Cut Knife, but the fact that 
that battle was the only one that brought any of their 
men under fire during the whole campaign, coupled with 
the other fact, that Colonel Otter who commanded at Cut 
Knife had formerly been the commandant of the Queen's 
Own served to thoroughly identify the regiment with the 
most disastrous failure of the whole campaign. The 
following letter from a Battleford correspondent though 
evidently intended to excuse Colonel Otter, unmis- 
takably shows that the writer was of opinion that he 
was " rather too light for the place." He begins by giving 
the following account of the capture of the teamsters : 
About the time we had the engagement at Cut Knife 
Creek, arms and ammunition were supplied to the teams- 
ters. Colonel Otter also sent an escort to meet the trains 
on the outskirts of the wood south of here. In the case 
J am now referring to, however, the police escort had not 



302 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

reached the train. The Indian camp was on the move 
eastwards, its front and flanks covered with a swarm of 
mounted braves who scoured every coulee along the line 
of march. Poundmaker must have thoroughly under- 
stood our position and our lack of scouts, for he actually 
camped with all his women and children within twelve 
miles of here, and captured the waggon train within about 
eight. Unfortunately for the teamsters they camped in 
the woods the previous night ; as they were starting next 
morning they were discovered by the Indians. The latter 
were not tang in arranging their plan of attack. A long 
slough through which the train had to pass was selected 
for the surprise. It was heavily wooded on each side of 
the trail, and offered excellent cover. As the teamsters 
were urging their horses through the quagmire the Indians 
jumped on them with a yell. The horses became un- 
manageable, and before the unfortunate drivers could 
even grasp their rifles the Indians had captured the out- 
fit. The whole thing was over in a few seconds, and 
before a single shot could be fired by the whites : in fact 
they were taken in a trap, and the discharge of a rifle on 
their part would have meant the massacre of every one 
of them. As it was they threw up their hands, and we 
have every reason to believe their lives were spared, the 
object, of course, being to make better terms with us in 
case they are cornered at some future time. This is the 
opinion of Constable Ross and other scouts who have been 
at the scene of the encounter. 

Later on the police escort intended for this train was 
fired on by the Indians, one man (Elliot) being killed 
and another wounded. The encounter was a surprise to 
both parties. The police under Sergeant Gordon noticed 
a small hill a short distance off the trail which afforded a 
good position for viewing the surrounding country. The 
Indian scouts on the opposite side noticed it at the same 
time, and both rode up. The heads of each appeared 
above the hill top at the same instant, but the Indians 
seemed to grasp the situation quicker. They dropped 



AT BATTLEFORD. 363 

from their horses as if shot, and before the police could 
even turn round poured in a volley at less than twenty 
yards. How anyone escaped is a mystery. The police 
turned and fled. Elliot was thrown from his horse and 
sought cover in the bushes. A turn in the trail, together 
with a heavy clump of bushes, saved the police from the 
second volley that was sent after them, and they escaped. 
When the police went out a day or two later to look for 
Elliot's body they found the bushes riddled with bullets. 
The body was found by them some three or four miles 
from the place where the attack was made. It is sup- 
posed he struggled along and hid himself in the bushes. 
Then when the Indians left he started off, and seeing the 
waggon train made for it in the expectation of meeting 
friends. It was in the hands of the enemy, however, and 
they ruthlessly murdered him. He was shot through the 
spine and head, either of which would have proved 
instantly fatal. Perhaps it was the teamsters or the 
Catholic priest who is known to be with the Indians who 
buried him. Be this as it may, our men found the body 
wrapped in a waggon cover, the hands crossed upon the 
breast, and buried beneath an inch or two of land. 

There is no doubt that Colonel Otter is heavily 
handicapped for want of scouts. General Middleton has 
over sixty, General Strange about one hundred and fifty, 
and Colonel Otter seven. It has unfortunately been im- 
possible to send scouts to him,and there fore the reconnoiter- 
ing service by which the commander feels the pulse, so 
to speak, of his enemy, learns of his movements, and from 
this draws his conclusions and forms plans to checkmate 
them is with us sadly defective. As I said before, 
Poundmaker must know this, or he never would have 
ventured within twelve miles of our camp with all his 
women and children. There are those here who think we 
missed a golden opportunity to recapture our waggon 
train and at the same time punish the Indians while they 
were passing eastward. But here again the question 
arises, what would we do without a sufficient mounted 



364? CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

force to watch their movements and guard against our 
falling into a similar trap to that laid for us at Cut Knife 
Hills ? No one will deny that whatever advantage we may 
have gained from time to time during that engagement 
was in the end of no value to us, simply because we could 
not follow it up. . The same might have happened in 
fact was quite likely to happen had we followed Pound- 
maker and his braves a second time. It would have been 
better had we never gone out to Poundmaker's camp, for 
now the Indians think that we are as glad to withdraw 
from the encounter as they were. There is little doubt 
but that since then the Indians have been reinforced, and 
we would find a more stubborn resistance from them. 

To us, however the encounter has proved beneficial in 
two ways first, we have come to the conclusion that in 
bush -fighting an Indian is better than a white man ; and, 
secondly, that the best way to fight him is to adopt his 
own tactics. I think I may safely say that, taking every- 
thing into consideration, we will" not attempt to chastise 
Poundmaker until after the arrival of the General with 
reinforcements. 

Some wonderful stories are told of the skill displayed 
by the Indians in what for want of a better term I shall 
call war-craft. Born and reared on the prairie, their whole 
training through life is craft of one kind or another ; to steal 
unperceived upon the antelope or other animal, and shoot it 
down in its tracks, is an everyday occurrence with them, 
and when on the war path the same stealthy cat-like 
movement stands them in good stead. They are adepts in 
the art of finding cover and concealing themselves, and 
can pass almost noiselessly through underbrush that 
would baffle a white man. Let me here relate an instance 
that occurred a few days ago. 

A man named Dennison, who came into camp saying 
he had escaped from the Indians, but whose story was not 
at the time believed, related the following : He said that 
while in the Indian camp he heard them constantly 
talking of what wat> going on round the foxt here. A day 



AT BATTLEFORD. 365 

or two before he escaped from Poundinaker's an Indian 
whom he knows told how he had just returned from an 
examination of our stockades. He had crawled up, he 
said, to within thirty yards of the sentry at the north- 
eastern angle of the stockade and watched him for over 
an hour. He saw the sentry light his pipe, and walk up 
and down in a listless sort of way. By-and-bye the 
sentries starting with number one called out " All's well," 
but number five (the man he was watching) did not. He 
evidently did not hear the call. In a few minutes two 
men with a lantern came 'out of the stockade and visited 
number five to see what was wrong. " Had they not 
come out when they did," said the Indian, " I'd have sent 
an arrow through him." He was afraid, however, that 
they were going to examine the neighbouring bushes, and 
he very sensibly left. The truth of this story was con- 
firmed by looking up the guard report for the night in 
question, when it was discovered that Private Rose, of the 
Home Guards, who was number five, did not call out 
when his turn came. The report further showed that 
a non-commissioned officer and man took a lantern and 
went down to his post to see what was wrong. This, no 
doubt, saved his life. 

In this same connection a gentleman resident in Battle- 
ford writes under date May 11, as follows: 

Life in Battleford is, to say the least of it, becoming 
monotonous. Here we are to all intents and purposes 
prisoners. The farmer cannot venture out to his fields 
through fear of the lurking foe. No one cares to venture 
far from the barracks even in daytime, and as soon as the 
shades of night set in the only persons any distance from 
the fort are the pickets. These are stationed at various 
points, some of them being a mile or more from camp. It 
is not a pleasant duty. Two hours alone on the prairie, with 
every probability of being watched by an enemy who only 
requires a favourable opportunity to murder you, is not 
an inducement to the ordinary mortal to do picket duty. 
Still it has to be done, and the boys as they go out to 



366 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

their lonely posts think of the bright firesides they have 
left in far-off Ontario ; keep a sharp look out, and are 
well satisfied when their two hours are completed. The 
enemy has already begun his usual practice of trying to 
shoot sentries. A couple of nights ago a picket sentry 
was fired on near the ferry by someone on the opposite 
side of the river. Of course he returned the fire, but the 
chances of hitting a man with a rifle bullet at night are 
very slim, and the would-be assassin escaped. It was 
said by some that the man who fired the shot was a 
teamster, who mistook the sentry for an enemy. If so, 
perhaps it was the same man who was seen by another 
picket at what is called " the point " last night. Between 
midnight and one o'clock this morning a rifle shot was 
heard at the point, followed an instant later by two or three 
shots in the line west of the barracks. The guard turned 
out : the bugles sounded the assembly, and in a minute 
everyone was astir. For some reason or other, however, 
the men who should have manned the eastern side of the 
stockade and the bastion at the south-eastern angle were 
not in barracks, and it was several minutes before there 
was a soul in either place. What a determined enemy 
might have accomplished in that time I will not venture 
to say. Of course they would ultimately have been 
wiped out, but once in the fort they could have done 
an immense amount of damage before the troops outside 
would have known the first thing about it. This was 
not the case under our Colonel's (Colonel Morris) regime. 
Every man knew his place, and the minute the assembly 
sounded everyone was at his post. The troops have 
relieved us, that is, have relieved our minds to a certain 
extent, but so far as the fort itself is concerned, it is 
actually weaker. The sandbags have been taken down, 
and nothing has ever been done to replace them. But to 
return to the alarm last night. Everyone turned out, 
and after a time the bastions and the palisades were 
manned. For an hour we waited for orders to turn in. 
At last they came, and we were allowed to sleep in quiet 



AT BATTLEFORD. 367 

during the remainder of the night. This mornirg the 
prints of moccasined feet were discovered on the hillside 
where the picket said he saw two men the night before, 
and fired on them. All are anxious for the arrival of the 
General or reinforcements, and the wiping out of the 
Indians. Had we had a hundred more men, or had our guns 
not given out, we would never have had to retire from 
our position. We were certainly very fortunate to get 
out as we did. The Indians were too far off to discover 
what we were doing until it was too late for them to 
prevent it. Had they succeeded in getting into the brush 
at the creek in time we would have lost a great many 
men some say it would have been a second Ouster 
massacre. 

A correspondent, writing from Battleford on May 
13, the day upon which Poundmaker captured the waggon 
train, thus writes : 

Since the rebellion broke out Kiel has been very 
anxious to have the public believe tl^at he has had 
nothing to do with the Indian outbreak. Here are a few 
facts as related to me by Mr. McKay, who has charge of 
the Hudson Bay Company's business here. It appears 
that during March last I-em-e-cease, or The Awkward, 
Big Bear's son, called on Mr. McKay and told him that 
Kiel had made a private arrangement with his (Awk- 
ward's) father at Prince Albert last fall to join in a 
rising against the whites. They had talked the matter 
over while in Montana. Kiel then arranged with Big 
Bear that should the former begin a rebellion in Canada 
the latter was to come over and assist him. I-em-e-cease 
said that Wandering Spirit, one of Big Bear's councillors 
and the man who is said to have murdered Quinn at 
Frog Lake, knows all about the arrangement ; also that 
the Indians west of here had been seen and were ready 
to rise when Kiel gave the word. Kiel told his father in 
his presence that he had made up his mind to come to 
Canada, and if he did not get what he wanted he would 
spill Canadian blood a promise which he has kept to the 



368 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

letter. Kiel appears to have had some difficulty in 
getting Big Bear to join him, and it was not until after 
several interviews that the Indian promised to join him. 

Some time after his last interview with Big Bear, 
Riel sent a letter written in Cree to the Indians at Frog 
Lake. This letter stated that he would have a strong 
force about the time the grass would be long enough to 
afford good pasturage for their horses. I-em-e-cease 
offered to get a copy of the letter and show it to Mr. 
McKay, provided he would say nothing about it to the 
Indians, and a day or two later I-em-e-cease came to Mr. 
McKay, and said that the night previous a IJalf-breed 
visited their tent, and after asking if he was Big Bear's 
son, told him to go back to his father's camp and tell him 
that the trouble had commenced. The wire between 
Battleford and Edmonton had been cut, and that to 
Clark's Crossing would be down in a few days. All this, 
it is needless to say, was only too true. This Half-breed 
was very ansjous to start up country himself, saying 
that all the Half-breeds had joined Riel, and he was 
going to tell them that the first blood had been shed. 

So much, therefore, for Kiel's protestations of inno- 
cence regarding the depredations of the Indians. 

This is what a correspondent has to say about Battle- 
ford as it appeared on General Middleton's arrival : 

One can scarcely realize that we are in the midst of 
an Indian war, a war that can have but one result, but 
which will cost a wealth of blood and treasure. The 
Indian is not brave from a white man's point of view. 
His bravery consists in taking a maximum number of 
lives with a minimum of risk to himself. In fact they 
will not attack unless the chances are all in their favour. 
Poor Smart, as fine a fellow as ever drew breath, was 
shot in the back ; Fremont, the Belgian settler, was shot 
in the back ; Payne was shot in the back, and so on 
through the long death list. Wherever the victims were 
taken by surprise it was a bullet from behind that killed 
them. It would make the heart of a saint ache to visit 



AT BATTLEFORD. 36i 

some of the houses sacked by the Indians. Tn the house 
in Old Battleford which belonged to Indian Agent Rae, 
but now occupied by the officers of the Queen's Own, I 
saw enough to blot out for ever any friendly feelings I 
may have had for the " noble Red-man." The devilish 
ingenuity with which they destroyed everything they 
could not carry away or did not want, would put the 
blackest Nihilist to the blush. Explode a charge of 
dynamite in a gentleman's parlour and the chances are 
that something will escape. 

Turn loose a party of Crees or Stoneys in the same 
place and dynamite will be double discounted. In the 
house I spoke of they ripped the feather beds open and 
saturated their contents with coal oil. The safe contain- 
ing books and papers was literally hammered to pieces ; 
the shelving and drawers taken out and broken, the 
papers strewn amongst the feathers. Pictures on the 
wall were taken down, torn up, and the frames broken. 
Windows and window sashes were smashed ; crockery, 
vases, stoves, furniture, everything inside and out pulled 
to pieces. One man, in describing the ruin, said : " It 
was just like taking a lady's trunk, packed ready for 
Saratoga, and pulling both ends two miles apart, with all 
between them." Not satisfied with breaking the furni- 
ture they tore the upholstering to pieces. Carpets were 
taken from the stores, spread upon the streets, and up 
and down these the bucks and squaws paraded, in sight 
almost of the fort on the other side of the river. What 
flour they did not want was destroyed. In the Govern- 
ment stores they emptied it on the floor, rolled in it, and 
then, killing dogs, pigs, and chickens, mixed all up 
together. One man had over $1,000 in bills concealed in 
a niche between the logs of his house. Even this was 
discovered. It shows with what completeness every nook 
and corner was ransacked. 

In carting away what provisions they thought neces- 
sary every man, woman and child, together with horses, 
dogs, and even the captured cattle, had to clo their share 

5 23 



370 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

always, excepting the braves, who consider themselves 
too good to work Bags of flour were strapped on the 
backs of the cattle, the dogs carried smaller packages, 
while the squaws, after decking themselves out in what- 
ever finery they could lay their hands on, shouldered sides 
of bacon or bags of flour, and fell into line. Where they 
have carted the spoils has not yet been discovered. 

Old Battleford on the south side of Battle River, and 
New Battleford on the north side presented two very 
different pictures when the troops marched in. Save that 
the dead animals have been removed from the streets, 
the appearance is but little changed, even now. On 
the south side of the river every house is more or less 
broken up. Those occupied by the troops have been 
cleaned out and made habitable, but the remainder are 
about in the condition in which they were left by the last 
visitors. The Indians did not dare to cross the river. 
They have a wholesome dread of the Mounted Police, and 
a perfect horror of the little seven-pounder that has 
already sent some of their companions to the happy 
hunting grounds. New Battleford, therefore, was not 
molested, but the settlers moved into barracks along with 
those from across the river, taking as much of their stock 
and household goods with them as possible. Upwards of 
five hundred and thirty souls have been sheltered in the 
barracks during the past month, receiving rations. The 
scene to me was a strange one. Not a month away from 
the peace and quiet of Ontario, where the settler, no 
matter how far removed from his neighbour, lies down to 
rest without the slightest apprehension of danger, the 
change to the bustle of a military camp is, to say the 
least, a novel experience. Every man's waist encircled 
with a belt bristling with cartridges, a rifle in his hand, 
and a revolver by his side, tells the story. Battleford, 
that is, the old town, is situated on the south side of the 
Battle River (see map of Battleford, p. 106), and consisted 
before its partial destruction by the Indians of about 
three hundred houses. Government House, which 



AT BATTLEFORD. 



3TI 



recently been turned into an industrial school for Indian 
children, occupies a commanding position on the plateau 
above the river. It is a large and commodious three- 
storey wooden building, and was selected by Colonel 




WALKEB, Q.O.H. 



Otter as being best situated for his headquarters. This 
building has been placed in a state of defence both inside 
and out. An entrenchment with the necessary flanking 
defences has been thrown up round it, while inside the 
windows and doors have been effectively barricaded. It 



372 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

is really too bad that the Indians have no intention ol 
attacking it. If they would only drop down the river 
some bright moonlight night and rush upon the defences, 
what a fine thinning out old Poumdmaker's braves 
would get ! But there is no hope of their coming, and so 
the boys must needs go and look for them. The Indians 
will not attack at night unless they are certain none of 
their number will be killed. They have a superstition 
that the man who is killed at night is blind when he goes 
to the happy hunting grounds, and therefore make their 
attack either just before dark or at dawn of day. Judge 
Rouleau's house stood within a stone's throw of Govern- 
ment House, and was a comparatively handsome and well- 
furnished building. All that remains of it now is a ruined 
chimney and a few blackened poles and beams. North 
of a line drawn from Judge Rouleau's to Government 
House is the camp occupied by the troops, their white 
tents standing out in bold relief against the dark back- 
ground of the wood a mile or more in the rear. On the 
plateau at the north side of the camp is the artillery, 
their guns commanding the brush and opposite bank of 
the river. Directly opposite on the north side of Battle 
River is the fort, distant about fifteen hundred yards from 
the volunteer camp. A natural glacis slopes up from the 
river to the palisades, along which it would be almost 
impossible for a rat to find cover, much less an Indian. 
A trench has been excavated inside the palisades, which 
are loop-holed for purposes of defence. Then there is a 
bastion at the south-eastern angle for a gun which flanks 
the southern and eastern faces to a certain extent. This 
is defended, or rather strengthened, by a dry ditch. 
Inside the palisades the buildings have been placed with 
a view to flanking each other. They are all bullet-proof, 
and even if an enemy succeeded in getting inside the pali- 
sades he would find himself in a warmer corner than out- 
side. But the barracks are safe. The " untutored savage " 
of the missionary society is sufficiently tutored to keep at 
& respectful distance from our defences. He knows 



AT BATTLEFORD. 373 

enough not to risk his life in a vain attempt to storm 
them. Could he manage to capture the place by treachery 
or steal upon the garrison unaware, he would do so. But 
his chances of success in either way are so slim that he is 
Aot likely to attempt it. 

Outside the palisades are several houses within close 
ride range of the barracks. These would under certain 
conditions be a source of weakness, as an enemy once in 
them could find excellent cover. They are at present 
occupied, but in case of necessity would be deserted, when, 
if the Indians ventured in, a few rounds from one of the 
guns would bring the logs about their ears, and they 
would only be too glad to get out. Between eight hun- 
dred and a thousand yards west of the barracks is the town 
of New Battleford. It consists of about forty houses. 
There is the Roman Catholic Church, two hotels (western 
ones, however), a brilliant saloon, two stores, Government 
telegraph, stores, offices, and stables, post-office, and houses 
of settlers. All, or nearly all, are substantially built of 
logs, and could stand a siege from such enemies as Indians. 
The settlers began to move back into them yesterday, 
feeling confident that the troops stationed here will be 
amply sufficient for their protection. Already some of 
the settlers' tents have been struck, and their owners are 
once more in their old homes. There are at present about 
thirty tents of all sizes and shapes pitched within the 
palisades. Many are heated with camp stoves, and on 
the whole their occupants are as comfortable as present 
circumstances will admit. This morning as I strolled 
through the camp I made a mental memo, of all that came 
under my notice. At the door of our tent a Half-breed 
woman was busy washing, while outside the one directly 
opposite a couple of sun-burnt urchins were pummelling 
each other over some trifling difference. There are big 
tents, little tents, medium-sized tents, standing side by side. 
In some the occupants were preparing the morning meal, 
while in others they were still in the arms of Morpheus. 
The police were all active. Some were grooming horses 



374 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

others OD guard, while others seemed to have nothing to 
do but wait for the breakfast bugle to sound. 

One very important building is the Indian Depart- 
ment warehouse. This is now occupied by the Home 
Guard as a barrack and mess room. It is about sixty 
feet long by thirty broad and built of logs. A huge stove 
at each end is kept burning all day. This is to do the 
cooking for the Home Guard, who are quartered there. A 
long table extends nearly the whole length of the centre 
of the building, at which the men eat their meals. The 
walls are loop-holed for musketry fire, while on pegs and 
beams above hang rifles, saddles, blankets, buffalo skins, 
spades, axes, hoes, carpenters' tools, and a hundred and 
one articles that I cannot recollect. Captain Wild, late of 
Dundas, Ont., is in command. Mr. W. H. Smart, of Que- 
bec, brother of the murdered man, is first lieutenant ; J. 
M. McFarlane, of Quebec, and one of the principal stock 
raisers here, is second lieutenant ; Ronald Macdonald, 
from near Ottawa, is quarter-master sergeant. This com- 
pany numbers one hundred and forty men all told. The 
volunteer company or Battleford Rifles numbers fifty-one 
officers and men. Captain E. A. Nash, late of the Queen's 
Own, is in command; Fred. Merigold is first lieutenant, 
and one of the best known and most popular men in this 
country. He hails from Woodstock, where he was con- 
nected with the militia ; L. C. Baker is second lieutenant. 
He has had considerable experience, having served during/ 
the " late unpleasantness " between the North and South 
and also in western Indian warfare. The police number 
seventy-one, including the men who were stationed at 
Fort Pitt. They are under command of Inspector 
Dickens, a son of the great novelist. Dickens has the 
name of being one of the bravest men in the coun- 
try. At Fort Pitt he manned a loophole during the 
Indian attack and blazed away at them while coolly 
smoking his pipe. Inspector Norris was in command of 
the police before the arrival of Dickens, who assumed 
command, being the superior officer. The arrival of Mr. 



AT BATTLEFORD. 



375 



Dickens was hailed with delight by everyone within the 
palisades. 

Prior to General Middleton's arrival in Battleford, 
Poundmaker released his prisoners and sent them to 
Battleford with a message similar to that which he sent 
to the General! A correspondent at Battleford thus tells 
the story in a letter dated May 21st : 




LIEUT. -OOL. O'BRIEN, M.P. 
(In command of York and Simcoe Battalion. ) 

Scarcely anything within the range of the possible 
could have caused a more genuine sensation than the 
arrival in camp at dusk last evening of Father Cochin 
and the prisoners from Poundmaker's camp, bearing a 
flag of truce and a letter from the redoubtable chieftain, 
asking on what terms his surrender would be accepted. 
Such a surprise was it that many of the officers here 
believed it to be a ruse to throw us off our guard, and 



376 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

with this belief special instructions were laid on pickets, 
sentries, and others, on whose vigilance we have to depend 
to prevent the Indians stealing a march on us in the dark 
hours, to be particularly watchful that night. As 
it appears now, we had rightly surmised that Poundmaker 
was moving eastward to join Kiel. It was known that 
a buckboard and several horsemen had, a day or two 
previous to Poundmaker's start from the memorable Cut 
Knife Hill, driven into the Indian camp from the direction 
of Duck Lake. It was believed by the scouts who discov- 
ered this trail that they had come from Kiel's camp, and 
that their errand was to invite the Indians to go to the 
Half-breeds' aid. 

All this was readily enough put down as facts, and 
the surmises even as to details have been verified in a 
most singular manner. 

The party from Poundmaker's camp, besides Father 
Cochin, was composed of Charles and Alexander Bremner 
and daughter, Joseph and John Sayer and daughter, of 
Bressay lor settlement; Joe Fontaine, the Half-breed scout; 
L. Coplett, and the following teamsters who were captured 
in Eagle Hills last week: Thomas J. McNeice, George 
McNeice, William McKeown, George Broder, Neil Brodie, 
Henry Barnes, Joseph Hollands, John Shearer, James 
Pattee, W. H. Fish, George F. Motion, Charles Sheriff, G. 
Cooney, Frank Cox, Thomas Hind, Daniel McLean, Frank 
Westaway, William Parkin, A. W. Freeborn, D. Yigeant. 
The teamsters all hailed from Regina. 

It will be easy to understand the sensation in camp 
when these people, with the reverend father leading, 
appeared over the brow of the hill and, advancing to the 
sentry, asked to be shown to the office of the commandant. 
The news of their arrival spread with tremendous rapidity 
throughout the camp, fort, and town, and in a short space 
of time a large throng had gathered near the officers' 
quarters to learn what news the strangers brought. The 
priest and Half-breeds were taken in and their message 
received by Colonel Otter. The letter brought by Father 



AT BATTLEFOBD. 377 

Cochin was not permitted to be seen by your correspon- 
dent. One of the teamsters, however, claims to have 
read the letter, and gives the following as being as nearly 
as possible the words of the communication : 

" To THE COMMANDANT OF THE FORT AT BATTLEFOBD : 

" SIR, I and my men are at the foot of the Eagle 
Hills. Having heard of Kiel's surrender, I send you in 
twenty-one white prisoners, whom I have treated well, 
I await terms of peace. Please send in writing, so there 
may be no mistake. 

" (Signed) His 

* POUNDMAKEB, + 

mark." 

The letter was written by Jefferson, the schoolmaster 
on Poundmaker's reserve. He is a connection of the 
chief's, being married to the sister of one of his wives. 
Most people will admit the letter to be very business-like, 
and it is quite characteristic of Poundmaker, who has 
the reputation of being remarkably level-headed for an 
Indian of the savage kind. He is a born diplomat, I am 
told by those who know him well, capable of seeing as 
far into a millstone as most men, and the very embodi- 
ment of native dignity. Standing over six feet high, 
straight as 9, reed, with a somewhat slender figure and 
grave aquiline features, he is at once the handsomest and 
most powerful of the aborigines of the Canadian North- 
West, and a sample of the very highest type of the 
North American Indian. 

After receiving the letter, Colonel Otter engaged the 
priest and Half-breeds in conversation for several hours, 
in order to elicit as much information as possible regard- 
ing the Indians' condition, strength, and intentions. The 
press was not admitted to this informal investigation. The 
scribes sought out the teamsters who were let loose, and 
immediately pounced upon by the crowd eager to learn of 



378 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

their adventures. I " corralled " one of the most intelli- 
gent of them, and he gave me quite a vivid picture of his 
experience since the time of his capture. 

He said there were thirty-one teams in all, twenty- 
one of which were ox-teams, in the outfit. They were 
freighting up general provisions and oats. On Wednes- 
day, 13th instant, they camped at one of the temporary 
military stations, about thirty miles down the Swift Cur- 
rent. There had been an alarm early in the evening, 
caused by one of the teamsters declaring he had seen a 
number of mounted Indians ride over a neighbouring hill. 
No attack, however, was made during the night, and they 
started on the way to Battleford at gray dawn on Thurs- 
day, 14th. By 9 o'clock they had got into Eagle Hills. 
When passing through Red Pheasant's reserve (Stoney) 
the Indians were first seen. Only two or three put in an 
appearance, and the teamsters, who were armed with 
eighteen Snider rifles and carbines, felt safe enough if that 
were all the enemy they had to face. They proceeded 
unmolested till within ten miles of Battleford, when they 
suddenly found themselves being surrounded. The men 
who were driving horses at once cut their teams loose, 
and mounting started back on the trail as fast as the ani- 
mals would carry them. Nothing like pursuit of them, 
except in one case, seems to have been attempted, but the 
enemy quickly closed around the ox-teams, which had 
been drawn up into a corral for defensive purposes. Not 
a shot was fired, and one, a Half-breed, shortly emerged 
without arms from the wood, and told them if they gave 
up their loads and arms no harm would be done them, 
and they would be escorted safely into Battleford. The 
teamsters were only too glad of such an offer, and imme- 
diately threw up their thumbs. About thirty Half-breeds 
came out of the woods, and, after relieving the men of 
whatever money and other valuables they had, proceeded 
to carry out their promises of seeing the teamsters into 
Battleford. Before they had gone very far, however, 
about a hundred mounted Stoney Indians came up, 



AT BATTLEFORD. 379 

When they saw the prize they howled with delight, and 
were for shooting the poor teamsters there and then. 
The Half-breeds protested, saying the Stoneys would have 
to shoot them too. Then the savages clamoured against 
sending the prisoners to Battleford, and 'the captors were 
forced to let the Indians have their way. It looked bad 
for the teamsters. The Indians were continually raising 
their guns to their shoulders and pointing them at the 
captives as if to shoot, and the teamsters say it required 
the constant intercessions and threatenings of the Half- 
breeds to prevent their doing so. They would ride up to 
the prisoners, however, and prod them to the quick with 
any sharp instrument they had, spit in their faces, etc., 
while curvetting around and uttering the most hideous 
whoops and screeches. The men were put on their wag- 
gons and forced to drive their ox-teams to the Indian 
encampment, about four miles distant, on the edge of the 
open prairie. On their arrival there was a general out- 
burst of joy. The prisoners were led before the chief, 
who shortly retired with his council to a teepee a little 
apart from the general encampment. It was an anxious 
time for the trembling captives, for they knew that the 
result of that confabulation was either life or death to 
them. The Stoney element in the council clamoured 
strongly for instant death, but Poundmaker and his Crees, 
as the teamsters say they afterwards learned, were for 
holding the men as hostages, and this element finally pre- 
vailed. Poundmaker came to the men and said they had 
nothing to fear. If they remained quiet and went along 
with them all would go well. But if one of them 
attempted to escape, he said, the whole of them would be 
shot. " My young men," he said through an interpreter, 
"want to kill you. If you give them a chance they will 
do it. I have had great trouble in stopping them. I 
could scarcely stop them. Thank God for your life ; not 
me." For this message the men were thankful. They 
were ordered to drive the teams, for the Indians had 
broken up camp at once. They were afraid the "police," 



380 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

as they call all the soldiers, would come out at once and 
attack them. They thought the police were aware of the 
capture, because by this time news had come into their 
camp of the attack, and the shooting of Constable Elliot a 
short time previously, and the escape of his companions. 
The Indians could not move rapidly, however. They had 
a drove of three or four hundred head of cattle, which 
had to be driven along. By nightfall they had not made 
more than ten or twelve miles, and pitched their camp 
again a short distance east of the point where the Swift 
Current trail enters the hills. They fully expected an 
attack that night, and sought out the strongest position 
they could find, digging rifle pits in a coulee in front of 
their camp, and sending a large number of scouts to warn 
them of the approach of the " police." The teamsters 
were praying that the " police " would not come, for in 
case of the Indians being routed they believed they would 
be surely murdered. The night was spent in a teepee set 
apart for them. They were not, to all appearance, very 
closely watched, but could not think of attempting an 
escape on account of the threat made that all would be 
killed if such an attempt should be thwarted. In the 
morning a son of Poundmaker called Big Belly, on account 
of his remarkable obesity, came and asked the men if 
they were comfortable, or if they wanted anything. One 
of them intimated they had not enough blankets to keep 
them warm. The chief's son took off his own blanket 
(an article of wearing apparel which the Indian always 
carries with him) and threw it to the complaining team- 
ster, with the remark that he would get them some more. 
That day the Indians moved eastward about 15 miles, and 
camped again in a strong position. They regarded an 
attack from the " police" as a certainty, and threw out 
about one hundred pickets, some of them four or five 
miles from the camp. The men had received good treat- 
ment. They had plenty to eat. The Indians now had 
any amount of " grub," and threw it about in their cus- 
tomary improvident fashion. They killed about twenty 



AT BATTLEFORD. 381 

head of cattle each day, using only those parts moat prized 
by them, the tongue, flank, etc., and leaving the remainder 
of the carcases to rot on the prairie. Their whole track 
was littered with food which had been thrown away 
biscuits, flour, canned meat, dried apples, tea, and the like. 
To the best of their reckoning the whole party numbered 
about eight hundred souls. They had something over 
three hundred armed and mounted men. The Half-breeds 
numbered about forty-five, and they camped together, a 
little apart from the Indians. Their arms were princi- 
pally Winchesters of the old model, Sniders, and Snider 
Carbines. Poundmaker's interpreter had already told the 
teamsters that they were going up to reinforce Kiel. Kiel 
had sent down some runners who had told them that the 
rebels had killed four hundred soldiers and if they could 
get Poundmaker's help they could drive the white man 
out of the country altogether. This story was untrue of 
course, but the teamsters had no means of knowing that 
and their fears were consequently increased. The treat- 
ment they received continued good, and although they 
were forced to drive the teams, they were otherwise 
unmolested. Councils were being continually held, how- 
ever, and they knew at each of them a warm fight was 
going on regarding the matter of killing the prisoners. 
The young bucks of the Stoney tribe were determined to 
have their scalps, and the chief had almost more than he 
could do to prevent it. At night the turbulent Indians 
would come about their tent and keep up a very uncom- 
fortable yelling and whooping, meantime going through 
in mimic fashion, the process of shooting and scalping 
the unfortunate white men. On Sunday Father Cochin, 
himself a prisoner, celebrated mass for the benefit of the 
Half-breeds and those of the Indians in the faith. The 
teamsters were nearly all Pi otestants, and the good father, 
not to see them lacking for spiritual comforts, under such 
trying circumstances, produced a number of Episcopal 
Hymn Books, which were on the captured train, and 
while the teamsters joined in singing some of the more 



382 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 




GABRIEL DUMONT.* 



familiar of them, he played an excellent accompaniment 
for them on the harmonium. Amongst the captured goods 

* The military leader of the South Branch rising was born forty-five 
years ago at Edmonton* where his father was employed as a buffalo hunter 



AT BATTLEFORD. 383 

were a number of letters for Battleford people, and the 
files of Toronto papers, for which the troops had been 
waiting so long and so impatiently. With the papers the 
squaws amused themselves making head-decorations. 
Amongst the letters the teamsters say there were a couple 
from Ottawa to certain Indian Department officials. 
They were couched in terms denouncing the conduct of 
the Department here. The communications were made 
known by the interpreter to Poundmaker, and the wily 
old chief fell into such convulsions of laughter thereat as 
threatened quite to destroy his reputation for stoical 
dignity. 

Short marches were made on Monday and Tuesday. 
On the evening of Tuesday several Half-breeds came 
into camp, and told of Kiel's defeat and capture. At 
once a council was held, and it was finally decided to take 
the course of sending in the prisoners, and asking for 
terms of peace. 

by the Hudson Bay Company. He ia a French Half-breed, well-known for 
a resolute man and a leader in Indian fighting or buffalo hunting. In the 
fall of 1880 the family removed to the South Branch, where they took up 
claims near together the father and three sons the permanent settlement 
there having been started the same season by French Half-breed refugees 
from Red River. There Dumoni's father, now blind, still lives, as well as 
Gabriel's family. Gabriel put a ferry scow on the South Branch, at his 
place, which is known as " Gabriel's Crossing." This ferry brought him in 
a very comfortable revenue, and at the opening of the outbreak he was 
reported to be well-off. When the fighting commenced he was naturally 
chosen to be the leader of the rebels, a position for which he proved himself 
well fitted. In person he is stout ana muscular, of middle height and of 
great strength. His mouth is rather coarse, but the rest of his features are 
not displeasing. His whiskers are scanty, and his complexion dark. He was 
always esteemed among his friends as a respectable and honest, as well as 
brave, man. 




CHAPTER XXVI. 

POUNDMAKER AND MIDDLETON 

ON the 26th of May Poundmaker and several of the 
chiefs who were supposed to be governed by his 
council marched into Battleford and formally surrendered 
themselves. This scene and the interview between Pound- 
maker and General Middleton which followed constitute 
one of the most important chapters in the history of 
Canadian rule in the North- West. 

General Middleton sat on a chair with his officers in a 
little group around him and squatting before him in a 
long row were the chiefs, with Poundmaker in the centre, 
and behind gathered the band. Face to face they were, 
the bearded, firm-faced representatives of the conquering 
race, and the leaders of the vanishing dark-skinned abor- 
igines. Through his Interpreter the General asked, Is it 
usual for Indians to go about, pilfering like rats ? 

Poundmaker I felt that I had a rope about my neck, 
and something drawing me all the time. 

Middleton Who raided all the settlers ? 

Poundmaker I never collected a party or advised 
any of the young men to commit robbery. 

Middleton Has a great chief no power ? 

Poundmaker I am not sure that I am a chief. 

Middleton Who murdered Payne and Fremont ? 

Poundmaker I cannot name them, and I would not 
tell the great chief a lie. 

Middleton Who raided this place and burned the 
stores ? 

Poundmaker I suppose it might have been other 
than the Crees. (Poundmaker is Chief of the Crees.) 

Middleton Did you never fight the troops ? 

Poundmaker I never thought to fight the white man 
and all people around Battle River and the Indian Agent 
(pointing to Held) can't say different. I always wanted 



POUNDMAKER AND MIDDLETON. 385 

to try and raise from the ground enough to keep my 
people alive. I said I was no chief, because when I asked 
for food for my people in my charge it was not given to me. 

Middleton Why did you receive Kiel, and promise 
him two hundred men, as Kiel himself told me ? 

Poundmaker I never promised to help him. If I 
had promised I would have sent the men. 

Middleton Tell him (turning directly to the Inter- 
preter) that he's telling a lie. Kiel told me that Pound- 
maker was coming there. 

Poundmaker I can't d^ny what the General, a great 
man, says, but I never promised. 

Middleton When Kiel told Poundmaker that he had 
defeated me, Poundmaker consented to come. 

Poundmaker It is very bad that there are no people 
here to say what I said then. Samuel Trotter, Urbel 
Delorme, and four others were there, but they have gone 
home. What I said was : " I don't want to go, because 
Kiel has too little powder and cartridge." That's why I 
stopped at Cut Knife Creek. When I came this way I 
was going to Little Devil's Lake, not to Kiel. 

Middleton Why did you attack the police and 
waggons ? 

Poundmaker When sleeping quietly they came and 
fired a cannon on me into my camp ; I jumped up and had 
to defend myself. It frightened me and my children. 

Middleton Poundmaker would never have been 
attacked if he had not raided and murdered. If the 
Indians do that they will always be attacked. 

Poundmaker remained silent, returning no answer. 

Middleton Poundmaker's men fired first. 

Poundmaker I don't know anything at all about it. 
I only returned the fire when the camp was fired on by 
the cannons. 

Colonel OtterThe cannons were not up till ten 
minutes after the firing began. 

Poundmaker turned and asked the other Indians if 
that was so. 
24 



386 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

General Middleton Poundmaker fired first because 
he had a bad conscience. He knew he had done wrong, 
and did not want to be punished. He had been treated 
very well. He had been greatly honoured by the Queen's 
daughter (Princess Louise), yet the only reason he gives 
for not going to help Kiel fight the Queen was that he 
was afraid, because Kiel had not much powder. He told 
Riel he would join him ; then, like a squaw, was afraid. 

Poundmaker (who was smoking) I am sorry (puffing 
smoke), I feel in my heart that I am such a person as I am. 

Middleton Poundmaker opposed the treaty and did 
all he could to prevent it. 

Poundmaker If I had known then that I was such 
a great man I would have made them recognize me as 
such. It was Delorme went for the Half-breed prisoners, 
and when he went they also went. I'm sorry to have to 
say so much. I thought when the message came from 
you we were going to make peace, so I tried hard to come 
on time. I have given myself up entirely and brought 
all the guns I had. If I saw any wrong I had done I 
would not have come. 

Middleton You have been on the war-path since the 
troubles began, and you and your men have committed 
murders and kept the country in alarm. 

Poundmaker I have sent word to Big Bear to say 
that I am giving up my arms to the General. 

Middleton Why did you only come in when Riel 
was defeated ? If you had not done wrong, why did you 
not come in before ? 

To the Interpreter I've told him I did not intend to 
do any harm. Why mention that so often ? 

Middleton His ears are closed, but mine are open. 
Ask him if he knows about the murders of Payne and 
Fremont, or any one of the name of Lean Man. 

Poundmaker I know the man ; he is an Assiniboine. 

Middleton Did you know that he and his men killed 
Payne ? 

Poundmaker Will I ask him I 



POUNDMAKEB AND MIDDLETOtf. 387 

Poundmaker here turned to one of the men beside him, 
who had on a black felt hat with a broad green band 
around it, who was quietly smoking. 

Lean Man, who was thus made to speak for himself, 
said that he knew nothing about it himself. 

Do Indians never talk to one another ? asked the Gen- 
eral. 

Poundmaker I didn't hear the name of anyone who 
murdered. 

Middleton He hasn't answered my question. 

Lean Man then made a reply in Stoney, which Pound- 
maker translated into Cree as : I don't know the person 
who killed Payne. 

An Indian with cedar twigs around his head asked 
the General to allow him to have a bit of talk. (Unnoticed.) 

Middleton The man who killed Payne I consider a 
murderer. If attacked, men can fight, but I must have 
the men who committed these two murders. 

Poundmaker That's right, certainly. 

Middleton Now, I'll listen. 

An elderly Indian, naked to the waist, with a number 
of small blue tattoo marks on his body and a circle of 
yellow paint around his eyes, came forward and asked to 
shake hands with General Middleton. 

Middleton I do not want to shake hands with a bad 
man. 

Reid, the Interpreter, said that the man who wanted 
to shake hands was generally a good Indian. 

Elderly Indian God Almighty hears me ; this is my 
country. So when the General come to my country, I 
want to say a little to him. I don't know anything of 
anything bad. I vowed to God if anything was wrong 
I would try to make peace. I wronged nobody. 

The General then ordered the rifles to be taken out of 
the waggons and that they should be driven off. 

Elderly Indian (continuing) I know the great man 
is strong and can put everything right. I beg of him to 
put everything right here in our country. Once he has 



388 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

settled things I will go back. I was ashamed to go back 
to bare earth, where I was (meaning the reserves which 
had been stripped during the rising). I wanted to go 
north, but the agent would not let me. 

Middleton If you were so fond of peace why did you 
go on the war-path ? 

There was no answer, and here an old squaw tried to 
quietly intercede with the General for the prisoners. 

A thin Indian came forward to where Poundmaker, 
Old Mosquito, and a few others sat, and said : I'm the 
same as when the white man first came to this country, 
meaning that he had made no treaty yet. 

The Interpreter broke in on the orator, saying, Come 
right to the point, and the thin man went on : 

There is a God who made us all. We borrow this 
earth from God. When white man and Indian first met 
they shook hands ; no blood on them until now. I sup- 
pose the reason we were put here was to help each other. 
When I was at Buffalo Lake I heard that Kiel had made 
peace through the country, and the whole country was 
to be settled. A letter was sent up saying a general was 
coming up with soldiers to settle everything. This is the 
reason why I wanted to come and see what settlement 
they had come to. That was the time they fired at each 
other. Next night I camped where people were. When 
I came to the camp, Delorme, Trottier and others said 
that Kiel was making peace and the country was to be 
settled up all right. They wanted us to go to Duck 
Lake, and managed to get us along with them, though 
we didn't want to go. All went, and found young men 
had captured freighters. We said, " Don't do them any 
harm," and one man gave me a little tea and sugar belong- 
ing to the freighters. That was all. So will you let me 
shake hands as I have never done any wrong to you ? 

General Middleton (to Interpreter) If he has done 
wrong to any white man he has done it to me. Besides, 
he was very troublesome, and tried last year to prevent 
the Indians from taking treaty money. 



POUNDMAKER AND MIDDLETON. 389 

Thin Indian I beg that the great man will do what 
he can so we can live. He is the only white man 111 
have to depend on. I have put down arms and every- 
thing, and I want him (the General) to tell us how we 
are to get a living. You are a great man, and if we are 
to depend on you, let us know as we can tell our people. 

Middleton Is that all? 

Breaking-through-the-Ice I wish my mother to speak 
now. The Indian pointed out his mother, an old woman 
with a blue handkerchief on her head. 

Middleton We don't listen to women. 

Thin Indian What's the reason the Queen sends her 
word here ? 

Middleton She has councillors who are men. 

Thunder Child May I say a few words ? 

Middleton Yes, if you cut it short. 

Tli under Child I was away at the time the trouble 
began and didn't know anything was going on. I am so 
sorry for it all. The reason we were not here before was 
that last fight made women and children all afraid. Did 
not know that any of my people made trouble around 
here. I have never raised a gun against a white man yet 
only here, and I got so afraid that I didn't use it. I had 
made a vow not to, and I put the gun down as soon as I 
remembered it. We are at loss altogether at the question 
he (the General) puts to us. That's all I have to say, and 
if he's willing I will shake hands, 

Middleton If I believed you*! would, but I ,will not 
shake hands with any one who fired on our men. 

Thunder Cloud I didn't fire. 

Middleton Who did then ? 

Thunder Child If any one saw me fire let him say so. 

Another Indian Cut Lip then came forward and 
squealed out : I would like to say a few words. May I ? 

Middleton Yes, but let it be the last. 

Cut Lip Let him the General tell us how we are 
to make a living this summer. 

Middleton (standing up) Tell them they'd better 
listen to wha f I am going to sav now : After many years 



390 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

of peace between the white and the red men, when some 
bad men, Half-breeds and others, chose to rebel against 
the Government, the Indians forgot that peace existed so 
long, and a large body rose and joined these other men. 
The Indians, even Poundmaker, who had been so well 
treated, rose and robbed because they thought the whites 
were in difficulties. All around you attacked stores and 
killed men and women. You thought that you were 
going to have it all your own way, and, instead of saying 
" this is the time for showing ourselves grateful to the 
white people," you turned on them whenever you got a 
chance. This very band (pointing to Poundmaker's) 
deliberately went out to join the enemy, and, if they had 
beaten us, would have gone on plundering, and would 
have committed more murders ; and now, when they find 
the head rebel Kiel, and the Half-breeds, whom they 
thought great warriors, beaten, they come in because they 
are afraid, and tell all sorts of lies and beg for peace. 
They thought the Government hadn't more men, and 
thought that the rebels were better fighters, and could lie 
in ambush in the bluffs and shoot our men down. Now 
we have shown them that it is no use their lying in pits 
and behind bluffs, because we can drive them out and kill 
them, and they are afraid. 

Poundmaker True. 

Middleton (continuing) Up to this time you Indians 
had been in the habit of going to the settlers' houses, 
saying you were hungry, begging food, and frightening 
women into giving you food. And occasionally you have 
even killed men when you have got one alone. Let all 
Indians understand that if one white man is killed ten 
Indians will suffer for it, and if any disturbance takes 
place and the young men think they can go and plunder 
they will find themselves much mistaken, for the whole 
tribe will be made to suffer. I have more soldiers land- 
ing (Poundmaker groans), and more coming up, and if 
you (Poundmaker) had not come in I would have hunted 
the band down until I had killed everyone if possible, 



POUNDMAKER AND MIDDLETON. 



391 



and if we wish to live at peace, white men with red men, 
we can't have the red men rising every time trouble 
occurs and killing small parties, and the sooner you 
understand that the better. They asked me how they 
were going to live. Tell them (to the Interpreter) that I 
am only a soldier and do not knew the intention of the 




SIB. JOHN A. MAODONALD. 

(Leader of the Government.) 

Government ; but I believe that if they behave well and 
stay on the reservation they will receive food, will be 
taught to cultivate the ground, and will be shown how to 
earn a living. Tell them also that if Big Bear does not 
come ia and do as they have done I will take my troops 
and go off and attack him. I have received orders from 
the Government to detain Poundmaker, Yellow Mud, 



392 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Blanket, Breaking-through-the-Ice, and Lean Man as 
prisoners. The rest had better go to the reserves, and for 
your own sakes you had better give up the men who 
murdered Payne and Fremont. 

Poundmaker You will find out that. I know noth- 
ing about them myself. 

Lean Man came forward and said: God knows I never 
saw anything to tell. When one was killed I only heard 
about it while sitting in my tent. Of course when we 
hear a thing one cannot say it's a fact (meaning it would 
be mere hearsay evidence). In the morning I heard, 
" There's a white man killed." Payne (the murdered 
man) wanted to take the gun from this man. I heard it 
was Itka, or " One-who-turns-a-blanket-insi de-out," that 
did it. 

General Middleton Tell them they must give up all 
the flour and goods they have stolen, and they will have 
rations. They must go to a reserve till the Government 
decides further. 

Another Indian, with an old blanket and a bandaged 
head, then came forward. It was Itka himself. He 
said : I said to Payne, " I want to go hunt, and want 
grub." Payne said, " I can't give you any." I said : " I 
am asking quietly; can't you give me any?" "No," 
Payne said, " I don't want to give you any." " It's only 
a little for my family while I'm off hunting," I told him, 
" try and be quick and let me have some so I can go off. 
You don't seem to listen." Payne said : " I can't let you 
have any for ten days. I won't give you any." I was 
talking quietly. He laid hold of me, saying : " Don't you 
hear me ? " He took my gun from me and said he would 
shoot me. I said, " I don't want my grandchild to die." 
He said, " We'll both die here." At last by wrestling 
with him I got my gun back and shot. I have come to 
give myself up. If you want to cut me up in pieces do 
so. But I beg you to consider my children. 

General Middleton His statement shall be submitted 
to the judges at hip trial 



POUNDMAKEK AND MIDDLETON. 393 

Wa-Wanich, a young Indian dude, whose dress was all 
covered with coloured beads and Indian finery, and with 
a woman's black straw hat surmounted by a bright green 
plume for a head dress, stepped forward, and with his 
arms folded, threw himself on the ground before the 
General, saying : I told my people I would give myself 
up to save them. Five of us came away from the 
Stoneys* reserve, and we came to the man Fremont who 
was 'greasing his waggon. I had a bow and arrow, and 
the others said : " You shoot him." One Indian from 
Qu'Appelle said : " You must not do that ; why kill a man 
for nothing?" They said then any one that chooses 
to fire can. Well, of course, in the fall grass withers 
(The dude here degenerated into parables.) 

General Middleton (interrupting parable impatiently) 
Is this the man that killed Fremont ? 

Wa-Wanich Yes, -it was me. Of course earth 
remains the same forever, continued the dude, taking up 
the parable (which was again interrupted.) Yes, it was 
me ; I must have taken the gun from some other man. 

The old woman with a blue kerchief who had begged 
a hearing, came up and said Why not listen to me. 

We don't have women in our councils. Women's 
tongues are generally long. 

Wife of a Stoney Indian The Almighty sees ; our 
children and country have been taken. 

Poundmaker and the rest of the chiefs round General 
Middleton, with the two self-confessed murderers, were 
then led away to prison. 

General Middleton Tell Poundmaker I'll mention he 
treated the prisoners well. 





GBNBRAL STRANGB. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

GENERAL STRANGE'S COLUMN. 

riLE the events described in the preceding chapters 
were taking place in the eastern and central por- 
tion of the Territory, a third column was advancing 
against the rebellious Indians in the extreme western 
portion. General Strange, with the 65th Battalion 
(Montreal) under Col. Ouimet, the 92nd (Winnipeg) un- 
der Col. Osborne Smith, a detachment of Mounted Police 
and scouts under Major Steele, had advanced on Edmon- 
ton, and was now engaged in the pursuit of Big Bear, 
of whom we last heard in connection with the Frog Lake 
massacre and the fall of Fort Pitt. 

The advance to Edmonton was not eventful, as there 
were no enemies to oppose nor offenders to hunt down in 



GENERAL STRANGE's COLUMN. 395 

that region. At Edmonton, General Strange found that 
he had arrived none too soon to put down a very general 
rising among the Indians, who were becoming very restless. 

Before dealing with the doings of General Strange's 
column it may interest the reader to learn something of 
the prominent figures who will be remembered as con- 
nected, directly or indirectly, with this portion of the 
history of the troubles in the North- West. 

First, then, comes General Strange, whose portrait 
appears at the beginning of this chapter. The Army List 
says he served in India in 1857-58, and was present in 
thirteen engagements, was mentioned four times in des- 
patches, and wears a medal and clasp. He represents an 
old military family of Scotch origin, and in the maternal 
line of descent can be traced from Charles Martel and 
Charlemagne through a long line of warriors. 

On the evacuation of Quebec in 1871, Colonel Strange 
was commissioned to form and command the first garri- 
son of Canadian artillery. He established, upon enduring 
foundations, the schools of gunnery in which so many 
have been trained for service in different capacities, and 
the efficiency of the batteries at the front was largely 
owing to the fact that the Government has adopted the 
more important recommendations which he, as an inspec- 
tor of artillery, has seen fit to make. He is a man of 
marked will power, a disciplinarian, and yet one whose 
commands are not unkindly enforced. 

The Major-General went to Kingston at the time the 
batteries were transferred in June, 1880. In the spring 
of 1882 he got his promotion, and soon after left the ser- 
vice. He was chief factor in the organization of the 
Military Colonization Company, whose ranch is about 
thirty-five miles from Calgary. His wife and the younger 
members of the family did not leave for their new home, 
" Nomoka," until last year. His children numbered six, of 
whom four are living. Two sons accompanied him to the 
North- West, Harry Bland Strange and Alexander Wilmot 
Strange. 



396 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



Though he took no prominent part in the suppression 
of the rebellion in the North- West, Colonel James McLeod 
has long been a very prominent man in the Territory. A 
successful and popular Commissioner of the North- West 
Mounted Police, his retirement to his present position as 
stipendiary magistrate was severely regretted by nearly 




COLON RL JAMBS ll'LKOD. 

or quite every officer and member of the North- West 
Mounted Police. During his lengthy residence in the 
North- West he has become extremely popular with the 
Indians, who are always ready to rely implicitly on his 
word in all matters, whether important or trifling. When 
a third, or western, column was to be made up, many 
were of opinion that Colonel McLeod would have com- 
mand of it; but the Fates or the Government willed 



GENERAL SfRANGE's COLUMN. 



$97 



differently, and he was left out of their calculations. 
There is no doubt, however, that it was largely through 
his influence that the Blackfeet were kept from breaking 
out, and joining the rebels in the North, who were doubt- 
less counting on their hearty co-operation. 

There was another whose influence for good was largely 
felt by the Blackfeet and their relatives and allies, the 




FATHEB LKCOMBE, 



Bloods, the Piegans, and Sarcees. This was the faithful 
and earnest Oblat missionary, Father Lecornbe, who has 
laboured for many years patiently and faithfully among 
the Indians and Half-breeds between the west end of 
Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains. 

General Strange's column was made up as follows : 
Sixty-fifth Battalion, 232 ; Winnipeg Provisional Bat- 
talion (92nd), 307 ; Strange's Rangers, 50 ; Mounted 
Police, 67. 



898 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION 

On the 20th of May he left Edmonton with the 65th 
by boat, the remainder of the command going by trail 
eastward in search of Big Bear. On the 27th of .May, 
when near Fort Pitt, General Strange had his first 
engagement. He met the rebels in the immediate vicinity 
of a large strip of swamp or muskeg. They retreated 
across this into a strong position, where they were well 
protected by rocks and under-growth. After engaging 
them for some hours he was compelled to retreat to Fort 
Pitt. His loss, however, was not serious, consisting of 
three wounded. Two days later Major Steele with only 
seventy mounted police and scouts engaged Big Bear at 
Two Lakes. They came upon the Indians just as the 
latter were leaving camp, and a sharp fight ensued. Major 
Steele found that Big Bear, having some three hundred well 
armed men, was too strong to be defeated in the first attack 
which was made upon his front. He executed a clever 
flank movement however, and advancing upon the Indians 
with extraordinary impetuosity, drove them out of their 
position, causing them to retreat slowly up a thickly 
wooded hill or butte. After fighting from tree to tree 
and gradually driving the Indians to the top of the hill, 
Major Steele ordered a charge, and the seventy gallant 
fellows drove the three hundred redskins from the top of 
the hill, causing them to retreat in considerable disorder 
into an almost impassable and impenetrable ravine on the 
other side. Finding it impossible to pursue them further 
Major Steele retired, taking his three wounded men with 
him. The men wounded were Sergeant-Major Fury and 
the scouts Thomas Fisk and William West. Fury was 
shot through the lungs ; Fisk was hit in the forearm, and 
West in the knee. All three recovered. The loss of the 
Indians in this engagement is supposed to have been 
rather severe. Six dead bodies were found on the battle- 
field, and it is supposed that others, mortally wounded, 
were carried off as three more dead were found in Big 
Bear's camp. Harassed as he was by the resolute and hot 
pursuit of Major Steele, Big Bear was compelled to give 



GENERAL STRANGE'S 



p his prisoners though evidently very loth to do so. 
Cameron, a Hudson Bay agent, who brought the first 
particulars of the Frog Lake massacre, was in the first 
batch of prisoners retaken. Not long after this Mrs. 
Gowanlock and Mrs. Delaney and two or three Half-breed 




BIG BEAR. 



families fell into the hands of Major Steele and his men, 
and last of all, the MacLean family and the remainder of 
Big Bear's prisoners were brought in by the Wood Crees. 
It was decided to allow Big Bear to starve in the Far 
North or surrender to the Mounted Police and other 
regulars to be left in the country. On July 4, he, with 
his band, came into Carleton and surrendered to Sergeant 
Smart of the police. He and his son were taken to Prince 



400 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

Albert as prisoners of war, and afterwards removed to 
Regina for trial. His band were disarmed and sup- 
plied with provisions at Carleton. This brought the 
North- West Rebellion to a close. The volunteers started 
on their leturn home on the 5th of July, and reached 
Toronto, where they were received with great enthusiasm, 
on the 19th, 21st and 2 3rd of the month. The troops 
were under orders to return home the day Big Bear was 
taken, but the news of his capture was almost forgotten 
and unheeded by them, for they were saddened by the 
sudden and wholly unexpected loss of one of the bravest 
and best of their officers, the gallant Colonel A. T. H. 
Williams, of the Midland Battalion, who died of brain 
fever while passing down the river by steamer. 

The following stories, told by Mrs. Delaney and Mrs. 
Gowanlock, furnish a graphic history of the experiences 
of Big Bear's prisoners, which is interesting to the verge of 
the romantic : 

MRS. DELANEY'S STORY. 

Mrs. Delaney tells her pitiful story in the following 
words : 

" My name is Theresa Delaney. I was married to my 
husband, John Delaney, on the 27th July, 1882, at Ayl- 
mer, in the Province of Quebec, where my mother is now 
living, and others of my relations. My husband resided, 
before coming to this country, at Gloucester, in the County 
of Carleton, Ont., where his father and mother are now 
living. My husband and I left home on the 1st of August, 
1882, and went at once to Frog Lake, N.W.T., where my 
husband held the position of Indian Instructor. When 
he first came up here he had five bands of Indians to look 
after, until a year ago, when the Chippewans where taken 
from his supervision and given to John Fitzpatrick. A 
little later Mr. Fitzpatrick was transferred to another 
jurisdiction, and the Chippewans again came under my 
husband's care. He then had to look after the Chippe- 



GENERAL STRANGE'S COLUMN. 401 

wans, Oneepowhayaws, Misstoos, Kooceawsis, and Pus- 
keackeewins, and last year he had to ration Big Bear s 
tribe. He was so engaged when the outbreak took place. 
All these Indians were peaceably inclined, and most 
friendly to us all My husband was much respected, and 
really beloved by all under his care, and they seemed to 
be most attached to him. We were therefore greatly 
astonished at their action towards us ; but, after all, it 
was only Big Bear's following that showed their enmity 
to us. They, too, pretended to be most friendly, and 
have often told us that but for my husband they would 
have starved. The first we knew of the uprising was 
on the 2nd of April. At five o'clock in the morning, two 
of Big Bear's tribe came into our house, and told us our 
horses were stolen by the Half-breeds, and at the same 
time it was they themselves who had stolen the horses 
and hidden them. Soon after the arrival of these two 
Indians some thirty more all armed, and most of them 
mounted came to the house and forced their way in. 
They took all the arms and ammunition they could find] 
telling us they were short and wanted all. They required 
us to go with them, because, they said, they wished to save 
us from the Breeds. We were taken first to the Agent's 
(Mr. Quinn), and the Indians also demanded his arms and 
ammunition, and had a long talk about aU keeping 
together to keep back the Breeds, when they came to 
take the provisions. I am satisfied now they were not 
sincere in this, and it was all to deceive us, for there were 
no Breeds to come. From Quinn's we were taken to the 
priests' house. The priests were named Father Fafard 
and Father Marchaud, who were both subsequently 
killed. We were not at aU ill-treated so far, but there 
was every outward appearance of friendly feeling towards 
us. When we reached the priests' house mass was going 
on, the attendants being some Half-breeds who had pre- 
viously been taken prisoners by the Indians and detained 
with the priests, in the latters' residence. The Indians 
would not let the priests finish mass, and ordered them 
25 




MR. DILL, 

A Victim of tho Frog Lake Massacre. 



WAP SHOWING FORT PITT AND SCENE OF FROG LAKE MASSACRE. 



GENERAL STBANGE'S COLUMN. 403 

with the Breeds and ourselves, back again to our own house. 
We were all left for about an hour, the Indians surround- 
ing the house. The priests did not anticipate any danger, 
supposing that the Indians intended to have a feast of the 
cattle that had been given them by Mr. Quinn, the Agent. 
By this time it was about 9.30 in the morning. During 
our -last detention in our house Big Bear came in and told 
my husband that he was frightened some of his young 
braves intended shooting the whites, but that he, my hus- 
band, would be safe anyway. At this time the only 
place they had plundered was Mr. Dill's store, which they 
had gutted; but, while waiting, the Indians told Mr. 
Cameron, also a prisoner in our house, that they wanted 
him to atcompany them to open the Hudson's Bay store, 
and Mr. Cameron did so, thus, in my opinion, saving his 
life. After opening the store, the Indians sent him to 
their camp, about a mile and a-half away. After securing 
everything in the latter store, they came to our house, 
and ordered us all up to the Indian camp. We departed, 
my husband and I, as well as all others, only taking with 
us what we had on our backs, not supposing we would be 
long away. At this time nothing of consequence had 
been taken from our house. It was not very cold. Be- 
fore we had gone far from our house the Indians began 
to shoot down the whites. Mr. Quinn was shot first, 
though I did not see him shot. All who were killed were 
behind my husband and me, but I heard several shots 
fired, and, until otherwise informed, supposed the firing 
was into the air. At this time, however, Mr. Dill was 
killed, also Mr. Williscroft, Mr. Gouin, Mr. Gilchrist, and 
Mr. Gowanlock, the latter of whom I saw fall. Mrs. 
Gowanlock was beside her husband when he fell, and as 
he dropped she leaned down over him, putting her face 
to his, and as two shots had been fired at her husband 
some supposed she had fallen from the second shot. 
When I saw Mrs. Gowanlock fall, I saw also some hideous 
object, an Indian got up in frightful costume, take aim at 
my husband. Before I could speak, my husband staggered 



4>04 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

away, but came back and said to me, 'I am shot/ 
He fell then, and I called the priest and told the latter 
what had happened. While he was praying with my 
husband the same hideous Indian fired again, and I 
thought this shot was meant for me, and I laid my head 
down upon my husband and waited. It seemed an age ; 
but it was for my poor husband, and he never spoke 
afterwards. Almost immediately another Indian ran up, 
and ordered me away. I wanted to stay, but he dragged 
me off, pulling me along by the arms through the brush 
and briar and through the creek, where the water reached 
to my waist. I was put into an Indian tent, and left 
there until nightfall, without anything offered me to eat, 
though I could not have eaten anyway. I was not allowed 
outside of the tent, and so had no opportunity of returning 
to my dead husband, and have never seen him since. At 
night time, two Half-breeds, John Pritchard and Adol- 
phus Nolan, came and purchased our release by giving 
horses to the Indians, the only two horses they had. 
These Breeds were prisoners also, so that I was virtually 
still a prisoner with Big Bear ; but John Pritchard and 
all the Breeds were most kind, and I wish to state that I 
believe both Mrs. Gowanlock and I owe our escape from 
terrible treatment, and at last massacre, to John Pritchard 
and other friendly Breeds, prisoners like ourselves. From 
this time forward we were prisoners for two months all 
but a day. Every other day we were moved with the 
entire cainp from one place to another. Big Bear's treat- 
ment of us would have been cruel in the extreme, but 
Pritchard saved us from the agony and torture of forced 
marches through sloughs, brush, and rough land. At 
this time, accompanying us were Mrs. Gowanlock, 
and among the Indians were Mr. and Mrs. McLean 
and their family of five children, Mr. and Mrs. Mann 
and their family of three children, Mr. and Mrs. 
Quinney, John Fitzpatrick, and a Frenchman named 
Pierre. I cannot say how any of these were treated, 
as "I only saw them casually when on the march, but 



GENERAL STRANGE'S COLUMN. 405 

think they were not more ill-treated than I was myself, 
except that they had all to walk continually, except Mr. 
McLean and Mrs. Mann, and the very small children. 
Occasionally an Indian, more humane than the rest, would 
offer a ride to those who were required to walk ; and 
sometimes John Priichard would increase his already 
overladen load by taking some weary one up. Pritchard 
and all the Breeds walked always, though by making us 
walk they could have ridden. His two little boys, aged 
thirteen and fifteen, walked, though their feet became 
very sore at times, but they never complained, because 
they knew their walking enabled us to ride. They were 
noble little fellows. I was terribly stricken down. I 
seemed demented, and could hardly tell one day what had 
happened the day before. I went on and on as if in a 
fearful dream, but seemed conscious all the while of my 
home at Aylmer, and my longing for it seemed alone to 
keep me up. I was afraid to ask after my husband, but 
the Breeds told me later on that they had buried the only 
four bodies they had been permitted to, my husband's, 
the two priests', and Mr. Gowanlock's under the church, 
but as the church was burned the todies were exposed, 
and then I asked to have them buried and the Breeds did 
as I requested. I should have told you that as I was 
being dragged awaj r from my husband's body I saw the 
two priests drop. Father Fafard fell first and then 
Father Marchand. The former was administering to my 
husband when he fell, and the latter dropped immediately 
afterwards, as if shot by the same Indian from the second 
barrel of a gun During our journey we had plenty to 
eat, cooking it ourselves. Our direction was backwards 
and forwards to avoid the police catching us. We were 
taken from Frog Lake towards Pitt, then back again 
north for about sixty miles. On a Thursday a week 
before we escaped we had a battle, that is, the battle 
with General Strange. The women were all left in the 
woods, but the Indians were entrenched in a ravine, 
where they had dug rifle pits, as I was informed. This 



406 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

was the first intimation I had of our troops coming. We 
could plainly hear the firing. We could easily recognize 
the cannon. The fight began at seven in the morning, 
and lasted until ten. We could not see any of it, but 
could hear it. At ten, the police finding they were not 
strong enough, retreated, and the Indians then fell back 
into the bush where we were, and from thence back again 
farther into the bush, all of us having to accompany them. 
The Breeds at this time were trying to escape, but could 
not do so, as they were watched too closely. From 
Thursday Big Bear's men retreated in different bands, 
and the prisoners got more or less separated, some going 
with one band, some with another. Mrs. Gowanlock and 
I were fortunate in yet being left with Pritchard, although 
we were all still with Big Bear. Mr. and Mrs. McLean 
and Mr. and Mrs. Mann and their families were still 
with Big Bear. We kept on moving from Thursday 
until Monday, each day from early morning till late 
at night, but I had never to walk, nor had Mrs. 
Gowanlock. On Sunday night the Indians saw scouts, who 
they supposed belonged to the police, and they became 
greatly excited, and in the excitement and heavy fog of 
Monday morning we got away. Our party that escaped 
consisted of Mrs. Gowanlock, myself, and five Half-breed 
families, including John Pritchard and Andre Nowe, the 
latter of whom had taken the place of Adolphus Nolan, 
who, on the pretence of acting as scout for the Indians, man- 
aged to escape to Prince Albert in the hopes of getting 
help and assistance. We escaped in carts, and the first 
day did not go more than two or three miles. We went 
backwards and forwards through the bush, so as to avoid 
our trail being discovered, and the next day continued 
our escape, the men cutting roads through the bush, so as 
to get along with all our outfit. We travelled on until 
Wednesday night, tending towards Battleford, and on 
that night we were overtaken by the police scouts, who had 
got on to our trail and followed it. They thought our 
position was not a secure one, and they made us strike 



GENERAL STRANQE'S COLUMN 407 

camp and go on to a safer place, farther away, about two 
miles or thereabouts. Here we camped for the night, the 
scouts remaining with us all the time. On Thursday 
morning we moved on, reaching Pitt on Friday about ten 
in the morning, where we were met by Col. Straubenzie 
and Col. Williams. All came forward to meet us, and at 
once we were taken on board the NortJi- West, where we 
remained all Saturday and until Sunday morning, when 
we were transferred to the Baroness and reached Battle- 
ford Sunday night. We spent some time visiting friends 
at Regina and Winnipeg, where we were treated very 
kindly and assisted to make our journey home. Had a 
pleasant but uneventful trip home, reaching Toronto on 
July 13th. I desire to express my thanks to Almighty 
God that He sent with us throughout, such a kind and 
considerate protector as John Pritchard, and the other 
Breeds who were with him. There is no telling what 
abuse we might have been subjected to but for their 
presence. Frequent attempts were made to reach us by 
the Indians, but the Half-breeds watched night after 
night, armed and ready to keep off any attempt to ill- 
treat us. Four different nights Indians approached our 
tents, but the determination of our protectors saved us. 
Terrible as it all was, however, I am grateful that I came 
through unmolested, and am permitted to return to my 
home once again unharmed in body and mind" 
Mrs. Gowanlock's story is as follows : 
" My name is Mary Theresa Gowanlock. My father 
and mother are both living. They reside in Ontario, 
near St. Catharines, where they farm. My husband's 
name in full was John Alexander Gowanlock. He 
came from Parkdale. We were married on the 1st of 
October, 1884-, and arrived in Battleford on the 22nd of 
the same month, going on to Fort Pitt in the December 
following. From there we went to Frog Lake, where my 
husband began business as a miller. He had partly 
erected a grist and saw mill when the rebellion broke 
out. We knew nothing of the uprising until we got a 



408 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

letter from Mr. Quinn telling us to come to his place, and 
to go with the others to Fort Pitt, as it was feared Big 
Bear's Indians would break out, and commit massacres 
and outrages. We at once left our home, and reached 
Mrs. Delaney's house, when we were told there was 
nothing to be feared. We reached Mrs. Delaney's house 
on Tuesday, and on Thursday morning her house was 
surrounded. I have heard Mrs. Delaney's experience 
given to you, and I cannot think of anything differing 
from what she states." 



CHAPTER XXVIIL 

MARTIAL ARDOUR IN MARITIME PROVINCES RETURN OF 
THE TROOPS. 

THE support rendered the loyal cause in this lamentable 
struggle, though coming mainly from Ontario and 
Manitoba, as being nearest the seat of trouble, was more 
or less drawn from nearly every quarter of the Dominion. 
Quebec contributed the 65th of Montreal, besides " A " 
Rattery from the City of Quebec, while Nova Scotia sent 
the 66 bh, which, though not called upon to pass under fire, 
performed those duties which are infinitely more trying 
to the discipline of volunteers in a manner which left no 
room for a doubt as to their soldierly qualities. 

New Brunswick too, answered promptly to the call 
when it was made upon her ; but her gallant sons had not 
reached the field ere the causes which had rendered 
necessary the calling out of more troops had ceased to 
exist, and though they had shown a most commendable 
alacrity in responding to an appeal to their bravery and 
loyalty, they had not the satisfaction of sharing in the 
dangers and glories of the battle-field. On the llth of 
May they were receiving orders for the front, while on 



THE HALIFAX PKOVISIONAL BATTALION. 



409 



that very day Middleton was dealing a crushing blow to 
the rebel cause at Batoche. 

The Halifax Provisional Battalion, under command of 
Lieut.-Colonel James J. Bremner, consisting of 168 non- 
commissioned officers and men of the 66th Battalion 
"Princess Louise Fusiliers," 100 of the 63rd Battalion 
Rifles, and 84 of the Halifax Garrison Artillery, with 32 
officers, left Halifax under orders for the North- West on 
Saturday, llth April, 1885. 




MAJOR WELSH. 



LIEUT. -COL. 

( 'Halifax Battalion.) 



Irobably never before in the history of Halifax has 
such excitement been witnessed as on the morning of the 
battalion leaving, the streets on the line of march and 
the space in the neighbourhood of the station of the 
I. C. R. being closely packed with a dense mass of enthu- 
siastic but anxious citizens. 

On the previous afternoon four guns from the citadel 
had given notice that orders had been received for the 



410 



CANADA S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



battalion to proceed to the seat of disturbance. In an 
incredibly short space of time the battalion mustered at 
the drill shed with full ranks, when after being inspected 
the men were dismissed to their homes with orders to 
assemble early next morning ready to march. At the 
hour appointed not a man was absent, and many of the 
men who had not been selected to go were there ready 




CAPTAIN JAMES PETERS ( "A " Battery). 



in hope that some chance might make it possible for 
them to go with their comrades. 

The journey north of Lafee Superior was very trying. 
The men when in the cars were exposed to rain and cold 
day and night, with no shelter or means of drying their 
clothing ; and when marching on the ice the water was 
in many places up to their knees. 



THE HALIFAX PROVISIONAL BATTALION. 



411 



The battalion arrived at Winnipeg on 22nd April, 

at On^'he 26th April the battalion received orders to 
march for Swift Current on the following day, but just ; as 
it was forming up the order was countermanded. On t 
29th the battalion again received orders for the same 
destination, and marched same day at four p.m. Ihe 




INSPECTOB JOSEPH HOWB, N.-W.M.P. 

arrived at Swift Current at eight p.m. on the 
S day camped beside the 7th and a portion 
of the Midland Battalion. . 

On the 5th May a telegram was received to hold the 
63rd continent of the battalion in readiness to proceed 
?oMap^e Creek; but, later in the day, into hgence was 
recdved of an apprehended rising of the B ackfeet and 
Into, and that Medicine Hat was in danger of 



412 



CANADA S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



being attacked ; the order for the 63rd contingent was 
countermanded, and the headquarters of the battalion 
with the 66th contingent was ordered to Medicine Hat, 
where it arrived next morning early. Encamped on the 
South Saskatchewan River in company with Stuart's 
scouts, a body of mounted cow boys (which also had just 
arrived) ; and there both remained until the end of the 
trouble. 




CAPTAIN 0. W. DRUET, " A " BATTKKY. 



Shortly after the headquarters of the battalion left 
Swift Current for Medicine Hat two companies of the 
63rd contingent were ordered to Saskatchewan Landing, 
where they were employed loading scows, forwarding 
supplies, and assisting in transporting across the river. 

One company of the 63rd and the Halifax Garrison 
Artillery remained at Swift Current whilst it continued to 
be the base of supplies ; and when Moose Jaw afterwards 



THE HALIFAX PKOVISIONAL BATTALION. 413 

became the base this detachment also removed there, 
and the two companies from the Landing shortly after- 
wards joined them. On these two detachments fell the 
labour of handling and transferring all the supplies 
going to the front, and furnishing the necessary guards, 
so that they were kept fully employed, at times of 
necessity the non-commissioned officers voluntarily doing 
the fatigue duties of privates. The work was all the 
more cheerfully performed because the men expected that 
it was the prelude to being allowed to take part in the 
fighting at the front, as other corps preceding them had 
been relieved in due order, but in this they were dis- 
appointed. They had, however, the satisfaction to know 
that they had done their work well, and although it was 
very different from what they desired they did it without 
a murmur or complaint. 

The headquarters of the battalion left Medicine Hat 
on the night of the 30th June, and arrived at Moose Jaw 
early on the 2nd July, the battalion being now re-united 
entire. After remaining at Moose Jaw a week the 
battalion was ordered to Winnipeg, where it arrived on 
the 1 Oth July, and went into camp. 

Left Winnipeg on the 16th July for Halifax, and 
arrived there on the 24th, the entire route being a con- 
tinued ovation ; the kindness of the people of the towns 
of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec being beyond description, 
and which greatly impressed the men of the battalion. 
The reception at Halifax was most enthusiastic, the whole 
population apparently having turned out. The battalion 
was sumptuously entertained by the ladies at the exhi- 
bition building, after which it was disbanded by order 
of the Deputy- Adjutant-General, the men returning to 
their respective corps. 

A better drilled, better disciplined, or braver body of 
men than the Halifax Battalion was not in the North- 
West ; nor one which wouW have given a better account 
of itself if it had had the opportunity. 



414 CANADA'S NOKTH-WEST REBELLION. 

From the commencement of the rebellion- the active 
militia of the Province of New Brunswick and of St. John, 
in particular, had taken a deep interest in the stirring 
events transpiring in the North- West, and many regrets 
were expressed when it was known that Halifax had 
been ordered to furnish a battalion for active service, and 
the doings of that corps were as eagerly watched in St. 
John as they were in Halifax. On the 7th of April, how- 
ever, the 62nd St. John Fusiliers were ordered to begin 
their annual drill, and great care was taken by all officers 
to have their men perfected in all details in case their 
services were required ; and events were eagerly noted by 
all ranks from day to day with hopes that the call would 
soon come for active service. On the evening of the 
llth May Lieutenant-Colonel Maunsell, D.A.G., received 
a telegram from Ottawa ordering out "A" Company, 
Infantry School Corps, and eight companies of the active 
militia for immediate service in the North- West. Colonel 
Elaine, commanding the 62nd Fusiliers, received a 
despatch at 11 p.m., asking how soon he could have four 
companies of his battalion ready to march; he answered 
"in four days, at the very latest": and ready they were, 
proving that the motto of the corps, " Semper Paratus," 
was not borne on their colours as a vain boast. 

All was soon bustle and activity in St. John and 
JFredericton, and even in the country districts where the 
"olifferent companies were much scattered. At the first 
parade of the 62nd, at the drill shed, every man was at 
his post, with the exception of some few who were away 
on leave, and great cheering was the result when the 
orders were read by the Adjutant, though regret was 
shown by all that only four companies could go. The 
enthusiasm reached its height on Thursday evening, 
14th May, when the four commands of the senior cap- 
tains were inspected by the Deputy Adjutant-General. 
The drill shed was literally packed with people, while 
thousands were awaiting a chance outside for an entrance 
to view the soldiers. The men looked splendid in review 



NEW BKUNSWICK PROVISIONAL BATTALION. 



415 



order ; and a finer or more athletic set of fellows never 
shouldered a rifle. After being addressed by their 
Colonel, and ordered to hold themselves in readiness at a 
moment's notice, the battalion was dismissed. Mean- 
while, the officers and men in other parts of the Province 
were not idle ; in Fredericton, the men of the Infantry 
School Corps were most anxious to be off and were soon 




LIEUT. -COL. O. J. MAUNSELL, D.A.O. 

ready for the march; the 71st Battalion having been 
ordered to furnish one company, the men were taken 
from the City of Fredericton and adjoining parishes, so 
that each company in the corps would be represented ; in 
Woodstock the same plan was carried out with the 
67th Battalion, and many hardy yeomen left their ploughs 
and took the rifle; nor were the members of the 74th 



416 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



Battalion idle, their quota of one company being made 
up of men from Rothesay to Sackville sturdy farmers 
who could endure any hardship. A little difficulty was 
experienced in getting the men of the 73rd Battalion 
assembled, owing to the great distances the men were 
from each other; but, in a few days, they also had 
furnished their quota. 




V 



LIEUT. -COL. A. BLAINB. 



On the evening of the 16th May, a telegram, received 
by Colonel Maunsell, ordering him to assemble his men 
in camp at Sussex and there be joined by two companies 
of the Prince Edward Island force, the whole to await 
orders for the route, was quickly communicated to the 
different commanders. On Sunday, church parades wore 
held at Fredericton and St. John. 



MARTIAL ARDOUR IN NEW BRUNSWICK. 



417 



At daylight on Monday morning, 18th May, the 
soldiers of Fredericton were up and preparing for the 
march ; the citizens and friends of all ranks being on the 
streets to say their farewells. At 6.30 the line of march 
was taken up, the Infantry School Corps being headed 
by their own band, while the Fredericton Brass Band 




OOL. MORRIS, INSPECTOR M. P. AT BATTLEFORD, N.-W. T. 

(Formerly of Fredericton, N.B.JSee page 109. 

headed the representative company of the 71st Battalion. 
At 7 o'clock the train steamed out of the station to 
convey the soldiers to St. John to join their brethren of 
the 62nd. 

The 18th of May is a day always celebrated in St. 
John, on account of its being the anniversary of the 
landing of the Loyalists in 1783 ; but never before was 
the city so thoroughly aroused as on that day, 1885, 



418 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

which was to see a number of her citizen soldiers leave 
homes and friends, to join with brother Canadians in 
suppressing a vile rebellion in the far North-West. 

Business was almost suspended, while men, women 
and children took up vantage-points to see the brave 
boys of the 62nd march by. At the drill shed all was 
bustle, but no confusion was visible, every man knew 
his place; and, at the bugle's call, the four companies 
were quickly formed, ready to march; and when it 
became known, at the last moment, that a few men had 
been rejected by the surgeons, many were the applicants 
to fill their places, and the captains of companies would 
have had no difficulty in raising twice the number of 
men required. At 12 o'clock Colonel Elaine gave the 
order to march, and, headed by the brass and relief bands 
of the battalion and every private band in the city, the 
corps left for the railway station. The streets were lined 
with people, while cheer after cheer rent the air, and 
many were the good-byes given and received on the 
way. So great was the crowd at the railway station 
that the leading companies could hardly force their way 
through, and great difficulty was experienced in reaching 
the train. After many more good-byes, the train slowly 
steamed from the station, while a farewell cheer went up 
from 20,000 throats for the citizen soldiers. Sussex was 
reached in a few hours and tents pitched.* 

From the time when this force had been ordered out 
on the llth of May till the 18th, events had been succeed- 

* The following officers and companies being on the ground composing 
the " New Brunswick Provisional Battalion " : Total force, 408 non-com- 
missioned officers and men, 36 officers. Lieut. -Col. G. J. Maunsell, P. A.G., 
Commandant ; Majors, Lieut. -Col. A. Blaine, 62nd Fusiliers, and Lieut. - 
Col. E. B. Beer, 74th Battalion ; Chaplain, Rev. G. G. Roberts ; Adju- 
ta-nt, Capt. McLean, 62nd Fusiliers ; Quartermaster, Major Devlin, 62nd 
Fusiliers ; Paymaster, Major McCully, 73rd Battalion ; Surgeon, T. C. 
Brown, M.D., I.S.C. ; Asst. -Surgeon, M. L. Macfarland, M.D., 62nd 
Fusiliers. 

Infantry School Corps : A Company Captain, Major W. D. Gordon ; 
Lieuts., T. D. R. Hemming and E. V. Wedderburn (attached). B Com- 
pany Captain, Lieut. D. D. Young; Lieuts., W. E. Russell (attached) 
aad L. B. Donkin (attached) ; Sergeants, Colour-Sergt. Wa Iker, Serg. 
Fowlie, Sergt. Mayne, Sergt. Pulkin, Sergt. Sloan. 



MARTIAL ARDOUR IN NEW BRUNSWICK. 419 

ing each other in rapid succession in the North- West. 
The capture of Batoche on the 12th, followed a few days 
later by the capture of Kiel, and later on the surrender 
of Poundmaker, cleared the horizon sufficiently to stay 
further proceedings ; and when the close of the Rebellion 
was assured the New Brunswipk Provisional Battalion 
was not required, and much grumbling was heard when, 
on the 26th of May, the order to return home was issued, 
and even then there were further offers to volunteer for 
three months' service in quelling the Indians ; but a soldier 
must obey, and on that date camp was struck and the 
different corps returned to their homes, having, however, 
learned a considerable amount of drill and gained a vast 
amount of experience during their ten days in camp. 
The company of the 73rd Battalion, under command of 
Captain Cameron, and the two companies from Prince 
Edward Island, composed of the Artillery and 82nd Bat- 
talion, did not leave their headquarters and were disbanded 
at the same time. Each corps and every man was warmly 
welcomed home again, the general impression being that 
" every man had done his duty." 

Sixty-second St. John Fusiliers : Company Captain, E. T. Sturdee ; 
Lieuts., G. A. Fraser and F. H. J. Ruel; Colour-Sergt., Samuel Jones ; 



D. Conley ; Corporals, J. A. Stanton and M. B. H. Henderson. E Com- 
panyCaptain, John P. Hegan : Lieuts., Geo. F. Thompson and S. B. 
Lordly; Colour-Sergt, Robert Coleman; Sergts., E. O. Shaughnessy, C. 
Wilson ; Corporals, F. W. James, H. Harrison. F Company Captain, 
M. B. Edwards ; Lieuts., D. Churchill and J. F. McMillan ; Colour- 
Sergt., W. H. Smith ; Sergts., Henry Kerr, James Kennedy ; Corporals, 
H. B. Anderson, Jas. Currie, Edward Nicholls. 

O Company (67th Battalion J Captain, Jesse W. Baker, Lieuts., 0. R. 
Carman and F. W. Bourne. H Company (71st Battalion) Captain, W. T. 
Howe ; 1st Lieutenant, Capt. Loggie ; 2nd Lieutenant, Lieut. Johnson ; 
Colour-Sergt. Ryan. I Company (74th Battalion) Captain Harper; 
Lieuts., Capt. McFee, Lieut. F. V. Wedderburn (8th Cavalry) ; Sergt. - 
Major Grossman ; Sergeants Miller and MacFarland ; Corporal, Bliss 
Manship. 

Staff .Sergt. -Major Mackenzie, I.S.C. ; Quartermaster-Sergt., Sergt. 
Daniel, I.S.C. ; Aast. Sergt. -Major, Staff Instructor Sergt. Billman, I.S.C.; 
Instructors' Staff, Instructors Billman and Sloane, I.S.C. ; Orderly Room 
Clerk, Sergt., Mayne, I.S.C. ; Paymaster's Clerk, Sergt. Taylor, 62nd 
Batt. ; Asst Orderly Room Clerk, Sergt. Shea, I.S.C. 



420 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

There are few more popular officers in the Dominion 
than Lieutenant-Colonel Maunsell. He has been over 
thirty years a soldier. In May, 1855, he was gazetted an 
ensign in Her Majesty's 15th Regiment. Colonel Maunsell 
sailed for New Brunswick in January, 1M64. An oppor- 
tunity was offered him to see active service with the Army 
of the Potomac during the whole of the spring campaign 
of 1864, during which he was temporarily attached to 
General Grant's staff. He was gazetted Adjutant- General 
of Militia of New Brunswick on November 22, 3865. In 
1881 he was appointed Deputy Adjutant-General for 
Military District No. 4, with headquarters at Ottawa, and 
in 1883 was made Commandant of the Infantry School 
Corps at Fredericton. 

Both the New Brunswick and Halifax Battalions 
showed unmistakably how thoroughly they were inspired 
with that loyalty and martial ardour which it is hoped 
will always actuate Canadian volunteers whenever they 
may be called upon torface Canada's foes. 

Though the volunteers from the Maritime Provinces 
were not under fire during the struggle, some of the bravest 
officers and men in the regular arm of the service hailed 
from our Atlantic seaboard: Captain Peters, of "A" 
Battery, comes from St. John, N. B., while Captain Drury 
is also of St. John. Inspector Joseph Howe, of the 
N.-W, M. P., who was wounded at Duck Lake, is also a 
St. John man and a nephew of the late Hon. Joseph 
Howe. He was always known to be a brave and gallant 
soldier, never flinching from duty no matter how perilous 
it might be. He is a man of whom any province might 
feel proud. Inspector Howe received a painful though not 
fatal flesh wound in the leg while fighting gallantly at the 
Battle of Duck Lake ; Gunner Walter Woodman, who is 
mentioned on page 136 among the wounded at the Battle 
of Fish Creek, is from Digby, N. S. 

THE RETURN OF THE TROOPS. 

No description could convey an adequate idea of the 
enthusiasm with which the volunteers were received on 



RETUEN OF THE TROOPS. 



421 



their return from the campaign. They were different 
looking boys from the neatly-uniformed, clean-looking 
fellows who went away only a few months before. Thev 
were sun-browned and bearded, their uniforms were 
faded, ragged and dirty. They were veritable veterans, 
and Canada had good reason to feel proud of them a. 
she did. 




OUNNEB WALTEB WOODMAH. 



A grand review was held in, Winnipeg in honour of 
their return. In Toronto, London, Montreal and all the 
principal cities and towns of the dominion, the streets 
were fairly ablaze with bunting, while arches and fes- 
toons of evergreens made many of the streets look like 
forest paths through some of Canada's great pineries. 



422 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

RETURN OF THE VOLUNTEERS. 

TOBONTO, July 28rd, 1885. 

Ring out, O bells, ye cannot drown 

The echoing glad hurra, 
From thousands' swelling throats that tell 

Our boys come home to-day. 

They come from gory battle-fields, 

Brave lads and gallant they ; 
The city's heart is in the cry, 

Our boys come home to-day. 

Beneath the flag so bravely borne 

In many a bloody fray, 
Up through the old, familiar streets, 

Our boys come home to-day. 

And if through sudden tears our eyes 

See not the glad array, 
Each heart-beat tells the joyous tale, 

Our boys come home to-day. 

We thought to make a noble show, 

A lordly pageant gay ; 
But now we only think and feel, 

Our boys came home to-day. 

(Not all. Our honoured, gallant dead, 

Again have led the way, 
Where rebel bullets sped, their souls 

Went home to God that day.) 

Then ring ; ye cannot drown, O bella, 

The echoing wild hurra, 
From myriad swelling throats that tells. 

Our boys come home to-day. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

KIEL'S TRIAL THOSE ENGAGED IN IT. 

T GUIS KIEL was brought to trial at Regina, N.W.T., 
I 1 on July 20. At eleven o'clock the counsel and 
judge took their seats in the court-room, which was 
already filled to the doors. Before entering into the 
particulars of the trial it will be of interest to take a 
brief glance at the gentlemen who occupied prominent 
positions in this, the greatest of trials that Canada has 
ever witnessed. 

THE JUDGE. 

Lieut.-Colonel Hugh Richardson, Stipendiary Magis- 
trate and legal adviser to the Governor of the North- 
West Territories, was born in London, England, July, 
1826, came to Canada with his parents in 1831, and 
settled near Toronto, where his father became first Man- 
ager of the Bank of Upper Canada. Young Richardson 
was called to the Bar at Osgoode Hall, Toronto, in Nov- 
ember, 1847, went to Woodstock to practise, and was 
County Attorney of Gxford from 1857 to 1862. In 1876 
he was sent to the North-West in the capacity of a 
stipendiary magistrate, with headquarters at Battleford. 
After four years' service, on the occasion of the removal 
of the seat of Government and the retirement of Justice 
Ryan, Judge Richardson was transferred to Regina, where 
he has been stationed ever since. Lieut.-Col. Richardson, 
at Edmonton in 1879, heard the first case of capital 
punishment ever tried in the Territories, and has alto- 

? ether tried three capital cases. The first, was that of an 
ndian who had played the rdle of cannibal with regard 
to his family. The second case was that of the Steven- 
son brothers, the Regina Half-breeds, who were hanged 



424 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

for the murder of an unoffending man named McCarthy 
His third case was that of John Connors, who was 
handed Ihe^ther day at Regina. This was a convxcUon 
which had been confirmed on appeal 

COUNSEL FOB THE CROWN. 

Christopher Robinson, Q.C. (senior counsel for the 
Crown" b a brother of the present Lieut-Governor of 




CHKISTOPHBR BOBINSON, Q.O. 



Ontario and the third son of the late Sir John Beverley 
Robtnson Chief Justice of Upper Canada. He is about 
^tvvears of although he might, from his appearance 
be Ukea for a^onsiderably younger man. He is one of 
the leading members of the Bar in Ontario and has several 
reS ofters of an appointment on the Bench. 



KIEL 8 TRIAL THOSE ENGAGED IN It. 



425 






D. L. SCOTT, Q.O. 

Lieut.-Colonel David L. Scott was born in Brampton, 
Ont., in 1845. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 
1870, and practised his profession at Orange ville, Ont., 
until the year 1882, when he removed to the North- 
West Territories and commenced practice at Regina. 

Mr. G. W. Burbidge, Deputy-Minister of Justice, was 
born at Cornwallis, N.S., in 1847. He was educated at 




O. W. RUBBIDGE, DKPUTY-MINISTEB OF JUSTICE. 

Mount Allison Wesleyan College, and was called to the 
Bar of New Brunswick in 1872, afterwards practising his 
profession for some years in St. John as a member of the 
firm of Harrison and Burbidge. In 1882 Mr. Burbidge 
was appointed Deputy-Minister of Justice. His salary 
is $4,000 a year, besides which he receives $400 as soli- 
citor to the Indian Department. 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



B. B. OSLER, Q.C. 

Mr. Osier, son of the Rev. H. Bath Osier, was born 
near the village of Bond Head, York County, in 1840. 
He took his law and LL.B. courses simultaneously, and 
was called to the Bar in 1862. He has received the dis- 
tinction of Queen's Counsel. He is a man of marked 
personality, and, as many a juryman knows, is possessed 
of a fund of humour and shrewdness. 

COUNSEL FOR THE DEFENCE. 




F. X. LEMIEUX, Q.O. (SENIOB COUNSEL FOB KIEL.) 

Francis Xavier Lemieux was born at Levis, P.Q., in 
1851. He was educated at the Levis College and Quebec 
Seminary, and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in July, 
1872. He was married in 1874 to Miss Plamondon, 
daughter of Judge Plamondon, of the Superior Court for 



KIEL'S TRIAL THOSE ENGAGED IN It. 

the District of Arthabaska. He was a candidate for 
Boua venture at the Provincial General Elections after the 
Letellier coup d'etat, but was defeated by I. Tarte, editor 
of Le Canadien. He ran again for the Commons in 
Beauce against Bolduc (now Senator), at the General Elec- 
tions of 1881, and was again defeated. In 1883, when 
Hon. T. Paquet, Provincial Secretary, was appointed 
Sheriff of Quebec, Lemieux was selected as the Liberal 
candidate for Levis, and after one of the most desperate 
struggles in Provincial history, was elected to represent 
that county in the Quebec Assembly by a majority of 
thirty-eight votes over his Conservative opponent, Jos. 
Roy, editor of Le Quotidien. Mr. Lemieux is a first-class 
speaker, and 'has made a number of remarkable orations 
in the Legislature. His position at the Bar is a leading 
one, and as a criminal lawyer he has been exceedingly 
successful. 

CHARLES FITZPATRICK. 

Charles Fitzpatrick was born at Quebec in 1853. He 
was educated at Quebec Seminary and graduated at Laval 
University with the degree of B.A., carrying off also the 
Dufferin medal. He is now an M.A. He was admitted 
to the Quebec Bar in 1876. He married Miss Caron, 
daughter of the late Lieutenant-Go vernor Caron, and sister 
of the Militia Minister. He practised his profession for 
some years as a member of the leading firm of Andrews, 
Caron, Andrews & Fitzpatrick. He acted as Crown 
prosecutor at Three Rivers and Quebec under the Joly 
Government. He represented the Second National Bank 
of New York in the Eno extradition case. An ardent 
Liberal in politics. 

JAMES N. GREENSHIELDS. 

James N. Greenshields, of Montreal, counsel for Riel, 
was born in Danville, Richmond County, Quebec, and is 
now about thirty-two years of age. He was educated at 
St. Francis College in Richmond, where he graduated with 
the highest honors. He early showed a bent for the 
law, and after his graduation attended a law course at 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

McGill University, at which college he won the Elizabeth 
Torrance Gold Medal in March, 1876, given for the highest 
aggregate of marks. He was admitted to the Bar in 
Montreal in January, 1877. Mr. Greenshields is already 
reported one of the ablest lawyers in Montreal, and is 
believed to have a brilliant future before him. 

After some cross-firing among the counsel as to the 
jurisdiction of the Court (the objections urged on behalf 
of the defence being overruled) Kiel ple^dejJ^otguUty ." 
to the charge of treason. On b'eing askeoT if lie were 
ready for trial an adjournment till ten the next morning 
was asked in order that necessary affidavits might be 
prepared on which to base a claim for further adjourn- 
ment. This wasgranted, and on the morning of July 21st 
an adjournment of one month was asked in order to 
enable the defence to bring witnesses from Montana and 
from Ottawa. The request was not acceded to, but an 
adjournment of one week was granted. 

The trial was resumed on July 28th. Eight witnesses 
were examined for the Crown. On July 29th, Charles 
Nolin was examined and swore that Kiel's object in 
Praising the rebellion was to get an indemnity of $35,000 
| from the Government. Riel's counsel put in a plea of 
linsanity, but Riel repeatedly asserted his sanity and 
refused to allow the plea to be carried on. On July 31st, 
Riel addressed the jury at some length on the wrongs of 
the Half-breeds, again denied that he was insane and 
asserted his full confidence of an acquittal. On August 
1st, Judge Richardson finished his charge to the jury, 
who retired at 2.15 p.m. They returned with a verdict 
of guilty in about half-an-hour. They recommended the 
prisoner to mercy. Riel was praying fervently in the 
box while the jury were returning the verdict. When 
asked if he had anything to say before the sentence should 
1 e passed upon him he addressed the Court for over an 
hour, stating that he was the prophet of the New World 
and that he would yet live to fulfil his mission. He was 
then sentenced to be hanged on the 18th of September, 
1885. He heard the sentence with a smile on his lips. 



KIEL'S FRIENDS URGE AN APPEAL, 429 

friends in the Province of Quebec and else- 
where were loud in their expressions of dissatisfaction at 
the manner in which the trial was conducted. They " 
alleged that he was tried before an incompetent tribunal, 
and that a magistrate liable to removal at the will of the 
Government should not have been appointed to try a 
prisoner charged with treason -felony ; that a grand jury 
should have been specially empanelled for that purpose. / 
A meeting in Kiel's behalf was held in Montreal on 
August 9 Dr. Lachapelle in the chair when the Hon. 
R. Laflamme, ex-Minister of Justice, expressed the opinion 
th&Lthe fundamental principles of British justice had 
fceen ignorecTat the triaL. Kesolutions were passed unani- 
mously, to petition both the Dominion and the Imperial 
Parliaments on behalf of the prisoner. Mr. Benoit, M.P., 
and Dr. Martel, M.P., were requested to take charge of 
the petitions. Similar meetings were held at Longueuil 
and other places. After some preliminary litigation the 
appeal from the decision of the Court at Regina came 
before the Court of Queen's Bench at Winnipeg on Sep- 
tember 2. The prisoner was represented by Messrs. 
Fitzpatrick and Lemieux, of the Quebec bar, and J. S. 
Ewart, of the local bar. Messrs. C. Robinson, Q.C., and 
B. B. Osier, Q.C., of Toronto, appeared for the Crown. 
Counsel for prisoner contended that both Riel and the 
original record should be produced in Court. The Court 
decided that the point was well taken and adjournment 
was made till the 4th September. The further hearing 
of the case was resumed on that date ; but the prisoner 
was not produced, the Crown declining to bring him to 
Winnipeg. Mr. Fitzpatrick, for the prisoner, stated that 
as the papers asked for had arrived from Regina, they 
would proceed with the argument. Mr. Lemieux raised 
the old plea of the informality of the trial at Regina, 
and contended that the stipendiary magistrate was 
incompetent to try the case. He also urged the insanity 
plea. \Mr. Fitzpatrick^fdlowed I Hg^hftld ^hai the 
Treason-Felony Act was one of Imperial jurisdiction, and 



480 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



he questioned if it had delegated any power to Colonial 
authorities to legislate away any rights enjoyed by 
subjects of the British Empire. Mr. Ewart spoke on 
behalf of the prisoner and contended that the presiding 
justice should have taken notes. He strongly questioned 
the jurisdiction of the Court at Regina. Mr. C. Robin- 




OHABLES PITZPATBIOK. M.A. 



son, Q.C., on behalf of the Crown, in an able address 
combated the idea that the Court at Regina was not 
legally constituted. Messrs. Osier, Q.C., and Aikens 
supported the arguments of the senior counsel for the 
Crown. An adjournment was made till the following 
day, September 5, when the Court (after hearing the 
reply of Mr. Fitzpatrick on behalf of the prisoner) con- 



THE TRIAL AND SENTENCES OF OTHER REBELS. 431 

firmed the jurisdiction and finding of the Regina tribunal. 

A Cabinet Council was held at Ottawa on the 10th 

September, when the question of how to dispose of Riel 

was discussed by Sir John A. Macdonald and other 

members of the Government, and it was decided to respite 

the condemned man till an appeal could be argued before 

/ the Imperial Privy Council. In the meantime the trials 

^fif rebels of less note were being proceeded with. 

On the same day, September 10, the trial of Scott, of 
Prince Albert, charged with complicity in the rebeJiionTwaa 
concluded at Regina B. B. Osier, Q.C., for the Crown, 
and Henry J. Clark, Q.C., for the prisoner. The case l\ 
was a very exciting one, with several lively passages at 
arms between the counsel. The jury ifl t.wp.nt.y 



returned with a verd i fit nf not guilty. l#n.n Man (Indian), 
pleaded not guilty, and was released on his own recog- 
nizance to appear for sentence when asked. Other 
Half-breed prisoners were let off in the same way. 

The Cree Chief, Poundmaker, was arraigned before 
Judge Richardson and Dodds, J.P., at Regina, on August 
17, on the charge of treason-felony, in making war at 
Cut Knife Creek, on May 20, and capturing a provi- 
sion train at Eagle Hills. After hearing the evidence of 
Colonel Herchmer, N.-W.M.P., Robert Jefferson, theChief 's 
son-in-law, and others who swore that they saw Pound- 
inaker at Cut Knife during the fight, the jury retired for 
half an hour, and then returned with a verdict of guilty. 
Poundmaker when asked what he had to say why sen- 
tence should not be passed, replied: "I was good all 
summer; people told lies. I saved lot bloodshed. I 
can't understand how it is that after saving- so many 
lives I am brought here." Then, waving his hand majes- 
tically, he said with a smile, " I am a man, do as you 
like. I am in your power ; I gave myself up ; you did 
not catch me." 

Judge Richardson sentenced him to three years in the 
penitentiary. When he heard the sentence he asked that 
he be hanged right off as he preferred that to imprisonment, 



432 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



Big Bear, the Indian Chief who led the volunteers 
such a wild-goose chase, through the Beard Mission 
Country, was sentenced on September 27 to three years 
in the penitentiary. The old warrior stood calmly wait- 
ing his doom and only evinced his displeasure at the 
sentence by a prolonged grunt. Two and Two and others 




JUDGE RICHARDSON. 

of Big Bear's band got two years, and Red Eagle and four 
Sioux braves were sentenced to three years' imprisoment. 
On September 22 Wandering (or " Travelling ") Spirit 
(see picture, page 99) appeared before Judge Rouleau, 
at Battleford, and pleaded guilty to killing Thomas 
Quinn, Indian Agent, at the Frog Lake massacre. Two 
days later Judge Rouleau sentenced the prisoner to death, 



DECISION OF PBIVY COUNCIL. 433 

and in doing so addressed him as follows: "If a white 
man murders an Indian he must hang, and so must an 
Indian if he kills a white man. The sentence of the 
Court is that you, Wandering Spirit, be taken back to 
gaol till Friday, the 27th day of November, and then 
taken to the scaffold and there hanged by the neck until 
you are dead ; and may God have mercy on your soul." 

Little Runner, Lazy Man, The Gopher, Straight Man, 
Old Man, Little Wolf, Calling Bull and Fair Sky Thunder 
were sent to prison for terms varying from two to four- 
teen years. The undermentioned Half-breeds have been 
sentenced by the Court held at Eegina to the following 
terms of imprisonment : Maxime Lepine, Philip Guar- 
dupuy, Baptiste Vandale, seven years each ; Pierre Guar- 
dupuy, Alexander Fisher, Baptiste Rochlat, Patrick Fou- 
rand, Ignace Poitras, three years each. Adolphe Nolin 
turned Queen's evidence and was acquitted. 

On Wednesday, October 21, it was announced that 
the application of Louis Riel for leave to appeal from the 
Court at Regina was refused by the Judicial Committee 
of the Privy Council, and their Lordships did not consider 
it necessary to call upon the Attorney-General to show 
cause why leave to appeal was not granted. They 
affirmed that the Court at Regina had jurisdiction of 
treason ; that six jurymen were sufficient; that shorthand 
notes were lawful reports of proceedings ; and that sub- 
stantial justice had been done to Riel. 

At a Cabinet meeting held at Ottawa, on October 
22nd, it was decided to postpone the execution of Riel 
until November llth. 

On October 30th, the Peace Society of London, Eng., 
presented a memorial to the Queen, praying for the com- 
mutation of the death sentence passed on Riel. Her 
Majesty declined to interfere, stating that the pardoning 
power had been fully delegated to the Governor-General 
of Canada, and that the Home Government could not 
interfere in Riel's behalf. 



CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

EXTRACTS PROM A PETITION 

Drawn up by the friends of the Half-breed Prisoners confined in gaol. 

The humble petition of the prisoners condemned to death 
or imprisonment respectfully sheweth : That, having inherited 
the spirit of adventure and energy of the discoverers and first 
settlers of the country, they left the valleys of the St. Law- 
rence half a century ago to go and settle two thousand miles 
away on the banks of the Saskatchewan, where they have 
succeeded, after long and faithful work, to create on this 
hitherto unknown corner of the country prosperous establish- 
ments That the opening of the Canadian Pacific 

attracted around them a foreign population, and the wealth of 
the primitive establishments founded by the Metis soon excited 
the envy of an army of speculators from the older Provinces of 

Canada They, who had always lived peaceably 

and free on their vast prairies, were astonished to learn that 
the Government of Canada wanted to cut up their farms : more 
than this, they witnessed whole townships conceded to political 
^peculators. .... At the cost of tremendous sacrifices 
they sent, on numerous occasions, their missionaries to the 
capital to demand justice ; each appeal for justice was followed 
by a fresh reinforcement of troops to intimidate them. . . 
. . Yes, we fought, and we do not blush to avow it before 
the whole country. We would have died on the spot had it 
not been for the sake of our poor wives and our dear children, 
who had sought the sh<5iter of the forests from the cannons of 

the Government troops Our homes were sought 

out. Everything that hands could be laid on was carried away. 
What our women attempted to protect was torn away from 

them Our unfortunate spouses and our poor 

children I On the prairie they wandered for a long time, 
half-clad, dying of hunger and misery, weeping for their hus- 
bands, for their fathers, their brothers, who had died shot 
.through the heart, or who had been made prisoners and loaded 
with irons. After having killed and wounded the men ; insulted 
the helpless women and children ; after having plundered our 
fields, driven away our cattle, pillaged our modest habitations, 
fire was put to our homes and we lost all. Are we not suffici- 
ently punished t Humanity now demands its rights. Will its 
penetrating voice find an echo in your hearts t . . 



KIEL'S EXECUTION. 435 

On the 9th of November Riel received a further 
respite until the 16th, A. P. Sherwood, Chief of the 
Dominion Police, reached Regina on the evening of the 
15th bearing the order of the Governor- General for the 
execution to take place at eight o'clock on the following 
morning. Every preparation had been made for the 
execution. The scaffold was extended from the rear of 
the south end of the guard-room. The mounted patrol 
were kept on duty by day and sentries posted all round 
the barracks by night. When Sheriff Chapleau and 
Colonel Irvine waited on Riel to convey the intelligence 
of his doom, he said : " Well, you have come with the great 
announcement." The Sheriff replied that the death 
warrant had come. Riel said : " I am glad that at last I 
am to be relieved from my sufferings." He thanked the 
Sheriff for his personal considerations, and requested that 
his body be given to his friends to be buried in St. 
Boniface. 

After the Sheriff had read the warrant for his execu- 
tion, Pere Andre* entered the doomed man's cell, and up 
,to the hour of death was never absent from his side. 
Together they prayed the whole night long, Riel being 
most fervent. Toward 3 a.m. he dozed, and finally slept 
soundly. Pere Andre watched him as he slept. Shortly 
after six o'clock Riel awoke, and from that time until 
eight o'clock, when the fatal bell began to toll, he prayed 
without ceasing. 

At 8.15 Riel was escorted to the scaffold by the hang- 
man, Jack Henderson, who had been Riel's prisoner at 
Fort Garry, and Deputy-Sheriff Gibson, attended by Pere 
Andre and Rev. William Me Williams. He wore a loose 
woollen surtout, gray trousers, a woollen shirt, and mocca- 
sins. He walked firmly to the scaffold, repeating " In 
God do I put my trust." As he spoke this prayerful 
exclamation a smile lit up his face. Descending the few 
steps of the scaffold he stood on the drop with his face 
turned northward. 

P&re Andr6 and Father Me Williams continued to 



436 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

pray, and Kiel said : " I do ask the forgiveness of all men, 
and forgive all my enemies." At times his words were 
inaudible, but ever and again his deep and earnest prayer 
could be plainly distinguished above the subdued and 
gentle voices of the priests. At 8.18 the executioner 
pinioned his arms behind him ; the white cap was drawn 
over his head ; both priests holding lighted candles and 
repeating the prayers for the dying. As Kiel stood there 
uttering the words " Jesu, Marie, assistez moi," the bolt 
was drawn. The length of the drop was eight feet. At 
the first moment of the fall the body remained still ; then 
the knees drew up violently; three or four times the 
body swayed to and fro quivering, and then Louis 
"David" Kiel was no more. The suspense had been 
long, but the agony was short. The hangman did his 
work well. There could have been no pain whatever. 
The circulation ceased in four minutes, an unusually 
short time. No death could be more merciful. 

During his last moments Kiel's behaviour excited the 
pity and admiration of all. 

In a few minutes Dr. Dodd, the attending surgeon^ 
pronounced life extinct, and the body was cut down. 
The usual inquest was held in the gaol, and the follow- 
ing verdict rendered : 

"That the body is that of Louis Kiel, convicted of 
high treason, and sentenced to death; that the judg- 
ment of death was duly executed upon the body of the 
said Louis Kiel on this 16th day of November, 1885, 
and that death was caused by hanging at the police 
barracks, near Eegina, N. W. T., as directed by the 
CourF. (Signed) H. Dodds, M.D., Coroner ; Fred Champ- 
ness, Foreman; William P. McCormick, John Dawson, 
William D. Firstbrook, David H. Gillespie, W. B. Jones, 
jurymen." 

The coffin was then nailed up, to be temporarily 
placed in the burying-ground attached to the barracks, 
pending the relatives obtaining permission to carry it to 
St. Boniface. 



THE TROOPS IN THE FIELD. 

STAFF. 

Major-General F. D. Middleton, C.B., General Commanding; Lord 
Melgund, Hon. Maurice Gifford, Hon. C. Freer, Capt. Wise and Lieut. 
Doucet, A.D.C.; Major Buchan, Acting Field- Adjutant. 

REGIMENT OF CANADIAN ABTILLEBT. "A" BATTERY. 

Lieut. -Col. Montizambert in Command ; 115 men, 4 officers, 2 guns, 1 
gatling ; Major C. J. Short and Capt. C. W. Drury in Charge of the Bat- 
tery ; Capt. J. Peters in Command of the Battalion ; Lieutenants, J. A. G. 
Hudon and V. B. Rivers, with Lieut. O. C. Pelletier, of 9th Battalion, 
attached, Capt. A. A. Farley, with Lieut. Power attached, Lieut. Imlah, 
with Lieut. Cimon attached ; Lieut. W. H. Disbrowe, of the Winnipeg 
Cavalry, Supernumerary; Acting Surgeon, J. A. Grant. 

"B " Battery, stationed at Kingston, 8 officers, 104 men, 2 guns, 1 gat- 
ling ; Major Short ; Captains Farley, Rutherford ; Lieutenants Imlah, 
Chinic, Power, Pelletier, Attached ; Supply Officer Lieut. -Col. Forrest. 

TORONTO EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. 

Lieut. -Col. W. D. Otter, Commanding; Lieut. -Col. E. Lamontagne, 
Supply Officer, Dep. Adj. Gen. of the Ottawa Military District, No. 4. 

"<7" Company Toronto Infantry School. 85 Men and 4 Officers. 

Major, Henry Smith ; Lieuts., J. W. Sears and R. L. Wadmore ; Sur- 
geon, F. W. Strange. 

tnd Battalion, Queen's Own Rifles. 257 Men and 18 Officers. 

Lieut. -Col., A. A. Miller; Major, D. H. Allan; Adjutant, Capt. J. M. 
Delamere ; Quartermaster, James Heakes ; Surgeons, Jos. W. Leslie and 
W. Nattress : Capts., T. Brown, H. E. Kersteman, J. C. Magee, W. C. 
Maedonald; Lieuts., P. D. Hughes, W. G. Mutton, H. Brock, R. S. 
Casaels, E. F. Gunther; 2nd Lieuts., A. Y. Scott, A. B. Lee, J. George. 

10th Battalion, Royal Grenadier*. 250 Men and 17 Officers. 

Lieut.-Col., H. J. Grasett ; Major, G. D. Dawson ; Adjt., Capt. F. F. 
Manley ; Paymaster and Acting Quartermaster, Lieut. W. S. Lowe ; Sur- 




A. C. Gibson. 

Qovemor-GeneraVs Body Guard. 80 Officers and Men, and 74 Horses. 

Major Commanding, Lieut. -Col. G. T. Denison ; Major, Orlando Dunn ; 
Acting Adjt., W. H. Merritt ; Acting Quartermaster, Chas. Mair ; Lieuts., 
F A. Fleming and T. B. Browning; Capt., C. A. K. Denison; Surgeon, 
J.' B. Baldwin. 

GovKRNOR-GiwKKAL's FOOT GUARDS 48 men, 3 officers; Capt. Todd; 
Lieuta. Gray and Todd. 



4^o CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 

MIDLAND BATTALION. 342 MEN AND 34 OFFICERS, 

Lieut. -Col. A. T. H. Williams, Commanding; Majors, H. R. Smith 
and Lieut. -Col. James Deacon ; Adjt. E. G. Ponton ; Paymaster, Capt. J. 
Leystock Reid; Quartermaster, Lieut. J. P. Clemes ; Surgeons, Horsey 
and Jas. Might. 15th. Capt. and Adjt., T. C. Lazier; Lieuts., J. E. 
Helliwell and 0. G. E. Kenney. 40th. Capts., R. H. Bonnycastle and 
Lieut. J. E. Givan. 45th. Capts., John Hughes and J. C. Grace. 46th. 
Capts., R. Dingwall and C. H. Winslow; Lieuts., R. W. Smart and J. V. 
Preston. 47th. Capt., T. Kelly; Lieuts. Sharp and Hubbell. 49th. 
Capt., E. Harrison ; Lieuts., H. A. Yeomans and R. J. Bell. 57th. Capts., 
J. A. Howard and Thos. Burke; Lieuts., F. H. Brennan and J. L. Weller. 
R.M.C.-2nd Lieuts., R. J. Cartwright, C. E. Cartwright, G. E. Laidlaw, 
H. C. Ponton, A. T. Tomlinson and D. C. F. Blisa. 

YORK AND SIMOOE BATTALION. 342 MEN AND 34 OFFICERS. 
Lieut. -Col. W. E. O'Brien, M.P., Commanding ; Majors, Lieut. -Col. R. 
Tyrwhitt and Lieut.-Col. A. Wyndham ; Adjt., Major Jas. Ward ; Pay- 
master, Capt. Wm. Hunter; Quartermaster, Lieut. Lionel F. Smith j 
Supply Officer, Lieut. G. H. Bate, G. G. F. G.; Surgeon, John L. G. Mo- 
Carthy ; Capts., Major W. J. Graham, Peter Burnet, Allison Leadley, R. 
G. Campbell, John T. Thompson, Geo. H. C. Brooke and Jos. F. Smith ; 
Lieuts. Capt. Jno. Landrigan, Thos. H. Drinkwater, Chas. S. F. Spry, 
Geo. Vennell, Jno. T. Symonds, Thos. Booth, Jno. K. Leslie, S L. Shan- 
non; 2nd Lieuts., Thos. H. Banting, K. L. Burnet, I. T. Lennon, R. D. 
Ramsey, Wm. J. Fleury and Jno. A. W. Allan. 

7TH BATTALION "FUSILIERS," LONDON. 237 MEN, 20 OFFICERS. 

Lieut.-Col., W. D. Williams : Majors, A. M. Smith and W. M. Gart- 
shore ; Adjutant, Capt. Geo. M. Reid ; Quartermaster, Capt. J. B. Smyth ; 
Paymaster, Major D. McMillan ; Surgeons, J. M. Fraser and J. S. Niven ; 
Capts., Thos. Beattie, E. Mackenzie, F. H. Butler, T. H. Tracey, R. Dillon 
andS. F. Peters; Lieuts., H. Bapty, C. B. Bazea, A. G. Chisholm, W. 
Grieg, C. F. Cox, H. Payne, Jas. Hesketh, 0. S. Jones and J. H. Pope. 

65m MOUNT ROYAL RIFLES, MONTREAL. 317 MEN, 23 OFFICERS. 

Lieut. -Col., J. A. Ouimet ; Majors, G. A. Hughes and C. A. Dugas ; 
Paymaster, C. L. Boss^ ; Adjutant, J. C. Robert ; Quartermaster, A. La 
Rocque ; Surgeon, L. A. Pase" ; Asst. -Surgeon, F. Simard ; Capts. Ostell, 
Des Trois Maisons, Bauset, Roy, Villeneuve, Giroux, Prevost, Ethier ; 
Lieuts. Plinquet, Des Georges, Starnes, Villeneuve, Lafontaine, Robert, 
Doherty and Jf ormandin. 

MONTREAL GARRISON ARTILLERY. 250 MEN AND OFFICERS. 
Lieut. -Col., W. R. Oswald ; Majors, W. H. Laurie and E. A. Baynes ; 
Paymaster, W. Macrae ; Adjutant, T. W. Atkinson ; Quartermaster, J. 
A. Finlayson ; Surgeon, C. E. Cameron ; Assist. -Surgeon, J. M. Elder ; 
Chaplain, Rev. J. Barclay ; Capts., W. C. Trotter, F. Brush, C. Laurie, 
F.W. Cole, D. Stevenson, C. H. Levin; Lieuts., W. H. Lulham, J. D. Roche, 
G. C. Patton, F. W. Chalmers, H. T. Wilgres, J. K. Bruce and B. Billings 
(acting). 

CAVALRY SCHOOL CORPS, QUEBEC. 30 MEN, 3 OFFICERS, 33 HORSES. 

Commandant, Lieut.-Col. Jas. F. Turnbull ; Lieute., E. H. T. Howard 
and F. L, Lessard. 



THE TROOPS IN THE FIELD. 

9rH BATTALION RIFLES, " VOLTIGBUES," QUEBEC. 204 MEN, 28 OFFICERS. 

Lieut.-Col. Amyot ; Majors, Roy and Evanturel ; Paymaster, Major 
Dugal ; Quartermaster, A. Talbot ; Adjutant, Casgrain Pelletier ; Supply 
Officer, M. Wolseley ; Surgeon, A. Dublois ; Asst. -Surgeon, M. Waters ; 
Capts. Frenette, Chouinard, Drolet, Garneau, Pennee, Fages, Pinault, Fiset 
and Lavasseur ; Lieuts. Hamel, Baillairge', Labranche, Depuis, Casgrain, 
De St. Maurice, Dion, Shehy, Pelletier, Routhier, Lanie and Beique. 

THE HALIFAX PROVISIONAL BATTALION. 348 MEN, 30 OFFICERS. 

Lieut. -Col., J. J. Bremner ; Majors, C. J. Macdonald and T. J. Welsh ; 
Paymaster, W. H. Garrison ; Adjutant, B. G. Kenny ; Quartermaster, 
Capt. J. G. Gorbin ; Asst. -Surgeon, D. Harrington. No. 1 Co. Capt. J. 
E. Curren ; Lieut., J. P. Fairbanks ; 2nd Lieut., A. Anderson. No. 2 Co. 
Capt., J. McCrow; Lieut., W. L. Kane ; 2nd Lieut., R. H. Skimmings. 
No. 3 Co. Capt., B. A. Weston ; Lieut., A. Whitman ; 2nd Lieut., H. A. 
Hensley. No. 4 Co. Capt., R. H. Humphrey ; Lieut., B. Boggs ; 2nd 
Lieut., C. E. Cartwright. No. 5 Co. Capt., C. H. MacKinlay ; Lieut., 
J. A Bremner ; 2nd Lieut., J. McCarthy. No. 6 Co.- Capt, H. Hechler ; 
Lieut., H. St. C. Silver ; 2nd Lieut., T. C. James. No. 7 Co. Capt., A. 
G. Cunningham : Lieut., J. T. Twining ; 2nd Lieut., C. R. Fletcher. No. 
8 Co. Capt., J. Fortune ; Lieut., C. J. McKie ; 2nd Lieut, C. K. Fiske. 

90TH WINNIPEG BATTALION OF RIFLES. 334 MEN AND OFFICERS. 

Lieut -Gol M Alfred McKeand, Commanding ; Majors, Chas. M. Boswell 
and Lawrence Buchan ; Paymaster, A. H. Witcher ; Quartermaster, H. 
Swinford ; Surgeon, Geo. T. Orton ; Asst .-Surgeon, J. W. Whiteford ; 
Capts., C. F. Forrest, H. N. Ruttan, W. A. Wilkes, C. A. Worsnop, R. G. 
Whitla, Wm. Clark ; Lieuts., H. J. Macdonald, G. W. Stewart, H. Bolster, 
Zach. Woods, E. G. Piche, F. L. Campbell ; 2nd Lieuts., R. L. Sewell, 
J, G. Healy, C. Swinford, H. M. Arnold, A. B. McPhilUps and R. C. 
Laurie. 

018T BATTALION, WINNIPEG. 

Lieut. -CoL, Thos. Scott, M.P., Commanding; Majors, D. H. McMillan 
and Stuart Mulvey ; Adjutant, Capt.W.C. Copeland; Quartermaster, Capt' 
W. H. Bruce; Surgeon, Maurice M. Seymour; Asst. -Surgeon, Frank Keele; 
Inspector of Musketry, A. W. Lawe ; Capts. , J. A. McD. Rowe, Thos. 
Wastie, Wm. Sheppard, S. J. Jackson, J. H. Kennedy, J. C. Waugh, R. 
W. A. Rolph, Jno. Crawford ; Lieuts., F. I. Bamford, E. C. Smith, R. 
C. Brown, J. B. Rutherford, Major A. Cotes, Geo. A. Glinn, A. Monkman, 
A. P. Cameron ; 2nd Lieuts., W. H. Saunders, R, Hunter, G. R. Reid, T. 
Lusted, H. W. Chambre, H. McKay, F. R. Glover, T. B. Brondgeest, 
Ed. Ellis and F. V. Young. 

02ND WINNIPEG LIGHT INFANTRY. 

Lieut.-Col. W. Osborne Smith, C.M.G., in command ; Majors, John 
Lewis and W. B. Thibadeau ; Adjutant, Capt. Chas. Constantino ; Pay- 
master, E. P, Leacock ; Quartermaster, R. La Touche Tupper ; Surgeon, 
J. P. Pennefather; Asst -Surgeon, S. T. Macadam; Capts., W. R. Pils- 
worth, W. B. Canavan, F. J. Clarke, Dudley Smithe, T. A. Wade, T. P. 
Valiancy, D. F. Mclntosh ; Lieuts., D. G. Sutherland, G. B. Brooks, 
T. G. Alexander, J. W. N. Caruthers, Augustus Mills, N. Caswell, T. Gray ; 
2nd Lieuts., R. G. MacBeth, J. A. Thirkell, W. R. Currie, F. T. Currie, 
Thoa. Norquay, Thos. D. Deegan. 



440 CANADA'S NORTH-WEST REBELLION. 



WINNIPEG FIELD ABTILLERY. 

Major, E. W. Jarvis; Capt., L. W. Coutlee ; Lieut, G. H. Young; 
2nd Lieut., G. H. Ogilvie. 

WINNIPEG TROOP, CAVALRY. 
Capt. C. Knight ; 2nd Lieut. H. J. Shelton. 

THE NORTH-WEST MOUNTED POLICE. 

Commissioner A. G. Irvine in command ; " A " Division, officers and 
men, 47 ; "B " Division, officers and men, 132 ; " " Division, officers and 
men, 73 ; "D " Division, officers and men, 199 ; " E " Division, officers and 
men, 111. Total, 562. 

BOULTON'S SCOUTS 80 men, 5 officers. 

FRENCH'S SCOUTS 25 men. 

DENNIS' SURVEYORS' SCOUTS 50 men, 3 officers. 

MOOSE MOUNTAIN Scours 51 men, 3 officers. 

STUART'S RANGEBS 150 men, 4 officers. 

ALBERTA MOUNTED INFANTRY 50 men, 3 officers. 

BATTLEFORD INFANTRY 40 men, 3 officers. 

REGINA HOME GUABDS 40 men, 3 officers. 

BIRTLE HOME GUARDS 40 men, 3 officers. 

CALGARY HOME GUARDS 50 men, 1 officer. 

YORKTOWN HOME GUARDS 50 men, 3 officers. 

Qu'AppJtLLB HOME GUARDS 40 men, 3 officers. 











''ii 

1 



Ml 






i 

?A 



r- 

'it 



BINDING SECT. FEB 2 3 1968 



PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE 
CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET 

C' 
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY 



Mulvanv, Charles Pelham 
5625 The* history of the North- 

M84 west rebellion of 1885 

cop. 3