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History of the County of Bruce, Ontario, Canada
The Militia and Volunteers of Bruce, 1857-1906


Canadians have a well-earned reputation for loyalty; its sincerity, as well as their courage, they have exhibited time and again by taking up arms in defence of their country and their homes. This admirable spirit has not been confined to a few localities, but is widespread. That it has existed in the county of Bruce in a marked degree is something to be proud of. On the several occasions during the last forty years when our land has been threatened with war, invasion or rebellion, its young men have hastened to fill up the ranks of the various volunteer companies which existed, or formed new ones, cheerfully leaving their homes when ordered away to the posts assigned them by the military authorities. Although it has not been the fortune of our volunteers to have endured "the baptism of fire," they have manifested those characteristics which would have enabled them to have given a good account of themselves if called upon to do so. They have realized that in time of peace we should be prepared for war, and since 1861, when for the first time in the history of this county the possibility of war was felt, one generation after another of our young men have voluntarily sought to acquire that knowledge of military drill and discipline which would enable them to effectively aid in the defence of their native land.

The passing of the "Militia Act of 1855" put the militia of Canada upon an improved basis. This Act divided the militia into two classes, sedentary and active. To the former only of these classes did this Act apply in the county of Bruce, as no companies of active militia were formed while it remained in force. The Act referred to says: "The sedentary militia shall (with some few exceptions) consist of all the male inhabitants of the age of eighteen and under sixty." These were divided into two classes, the service men, of all over eighteen years of age but under forty, and the reserve, who were of forty years and upwards. In time of peace no actual service or drill was required, "but they shall be carefully enrolled," and "the service men shall also assemble for muster annually, on the Queen's birthday." The writer's first recollection of the Bruce militia was the witnessing of one of these musters on the market square, Kincardine, about the year 1857 or 1858.

Shortly after the passing of the Act above referred to, the county of Bruce was divided, for militia purposes, into three battalion divisions. This division lasted but a short time, a further division being made, which is detailed in the following extract from a general order dated 26th February, 1857: "His Excellency the Governor-General is pleased to direct that certain changes shall be made in the limits of the three battalions of the militia of the county of Bruce; and that three additional battalions shall be formed, to be styled respectively the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Battalions of the militia of the county of Bruce."

The 1st Battalion was under the command of Lieut.-Col. Pryse Clark, whose commission bears date of February 26th, 1857. He had been an officer in the British army, and was present at the battle of Waterloo. The next to obtain command of this battalion was Lieut.-Col. George Jardine. His commission was dated May 6th, 1858. The following were the first to receive commissions as captains of companies in this battalion: A. Boy, W. Smith, R. Reid, commissioned 10th August, 1857; F. H. Lynch, N. Hammond, J. T. Conway, T. Godfrey, D. McKinnon, G. Buchart, commissioned 20th October, 1858; P. Smith and T. Lee, commissioned 16th December, 1858.

[Lieut.-Col. Belcher has possession of an historical document which is of special interest to the old-timers of Southampton. This article bears the heading, "Roll of No. 1 Company of the 1st Battalion of Bruce Militia, for the year 1855. Limits of Company: All that portion of the town plot of Southampton to the west of the centre of Victoria Street and the part of the village lying north of the Saugeen River. The names enrolled are as follows : N. Hammond, captain; John Eastwood, lieutenant; Robert Hall, ensign; John Belcher, James Hibbert, Joseph Gilbert, sergeants; Richard McInnis, Neil McLeod, Thomas Tallon, Alex. Sproat, John McNabb, Donald Campbell, William Wallace, James Hogg, George Hamilton, Alex. Angus, Peter Angus, James McCabe, Donald McPherson, Robert Fury, James Calder, T. E. Davis, James Kelly, Alex. Mcintosh, James Mcintosh, William Much, Samuel Baker, Edward Ferguson, Andrew Laurie, Thomas Smith, Edward Kennedy, William Chisholm, Alfred Ditton, James Peacock, James Jack, James George, Thomas Webster, Thomas Sharp, Thomas Montgomery, John Murray, Alex. Munro, Peter McGregor, James Fleming, J. D. Cathy, James Mason, Duncan Ross, Thomas Adair, James Orr, Alex. Robertson, John Spence, Barth Higgins, John Lee, Wm. Rounding, W. S. Scott, M.D., Joseph Gilbert, Neil Campbell, Barber Fury Chandler." Of this list of veterans it is known that twelve were alive in 1900, the remainder having gone to their reward.]

The 2nd Battalion was under the command of Lieut.-Col. John William Linton. His early military experience had been gained in Spain in the so-called Spanish Legion, fighting to uphold the claims of Queen Isabella against Don Carlos.

The 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Battalions were commanded respectively by Lieut.-Col. Francis M. Berford, of Tara; Lieut.-Col. John Valentine, of Paisley; Lieut.-Col. Robert Ross, an old navy officer, who had been a midshipman in Kelson's day, a resident of Kincardine, and Lieut.-Col. Joseph Walker, of Walkerton.

The first decade in the history of the county was one undisturbed by any thought of the possibility of war or invasion, and our militia existed simply in the lists of enrolled service men and in the commissions held by those above mentioned, with others whose names and rank have been largely forgotten. That the list of officers was kept filled is evident to the writer by the examination of a couple of old commissions he has met with, one, dated 18th May, 1860, signed by Sir Fenwick Williams, appointing George Gould ensign in the 3rd Battalion, the other, dated 5th December, 1862, signed by Lord Monck, appointing him lieutenant in the same battalion.

When the excitement over the Trent affair arose, the officers and non-commissioned officers of the militia in some places took advantage of the presence of the drill instructors in our midst, sent by the Imperial Government to drill our volunteers, and formed themselves into classes or companies for drill instruction. The writer, at that time a sergeant in the 5th Battalion, remembers such a class existing in Kincardine and being drilled by Sergt. McGee, of the 63rd Regiment.

In 1868 the Militia Act was again amended. This was followed by a general order which directed, "That the boundaries of regimental divisions be identical with the electoral divisions into which the Province of Ontario is divided." This general order was dated 19th January, 1869. The above had the result of placing the reserve militia into the regimental divisions of the north riding of Bruce and the south riding of Bruce. In the first of these the following commissions were granted on 19th February, 1869: Lieut.-Col. Andrew Lindsay, Major John Gillies and Major James Rowand. On 22nd March, 1869, the commissions to the captains of companies were issued. They were to Co. 1, Robt. Scott; Co. 2, if. McKinnon; Co. 3, J. H. Coulthard; Co. 4, John McIntyre; Co. 5, James Stark; Co. 6, Andrew Freeborn; Co. 7, James Allen. The officer now in command is Lieut.-Col. A. E. Belcher, who was gazetted as such September 10th, 1896. In the regimental division of South Bruce the following commissions were granted on 12th February, 1869: Lieut.-Col. Joseph Walker, Majors C. B. Barker and Alex. St. L. Mackintosh. In August, 1875, Major Barker was gazetted as lieut.-colonel, and until his death, in 1899, held that position. The commissions to the captains of companies were issued 9th April, 1869. They were to Co. 1, Malcolm McLean; Co. 2, Geo. Harvey; Co. 3, Paul Boss; Co. 4, John Phalen; Co. 5, James Johnston; Co. 6, Thos. Bradley; Co. 7, Robert Johnston. Having brought the history of the reserve militia down to the present time, we shall close what we have to say of it with this wish, that at no time in the future may the necessity arise for it to assume more arduous duties than have arisen in the past.

The outbreak of civil war in the United States in the year 1861 was followed by complications between that nation and Great Britain, which was generally known as the "Mason and Slidell difficulty," or "Trent affair." For a while it seemed as if the two nations were to be embroiled in war. The possibility of this was enough to kindle the fire of warlike enthusiasm in the breasts of the young men of Canada. From end to end of the country companies of volunteers were formed. The credit of taking the initiative in this matter within the county of Bruce belongs to the village of Southampton. A company was raised there under Captain Alex. Sproat [The two subaltern officers of the company were Lieut. J. W. Ridden and Ensign Alex. Sinclair.] which was authorized by general order dated December 13th, 1861. [The reason why the village of Southampton had a company of volunteers a year before any other place within the county arose in this wise : The annual muster of the militia on the Queen's Birthday was felt by many in the 1st Battalion Bruce Militia to be a useless proceeding and they refused to turn out. Lieut.-Col. Jardine had such as refused brought before a magistrate, who promptly fined them. To show that no base motives had moved them in refusing to appear at the annual muster, they and others forwarded a petition to the Minister of Militia, requesting that an independent company of Volunteers be organized at Southampton, and offering that if the Government would furnish arms they would provide their own uniforms. This the Government held in abeyance, but on the appearance of trouble at the time of the Trent affair the order authorizing the formation of the company was issued. Sergeant Allerdyce of the regular army, a man who had seen much active service, was sent to perform the duties of drill instructor. The company stood high in point of efficiency and carried off the fourth prize therefor in a competition of all independent companies within this military district.] Kincardine followed a year later and raised a company under Captain Alex. Shaw. This company was authorized December 19th, 1862. Paisley followed close after and raised a company under Captain W. C. Bruce, authorized January 2nd, 1863. Lucknow next fell into line and raised a company under Captain McDonald. Our rural population was not less enthusiastic, and we find that Kincardine Township raised a company under Captain William Daniel, which was authorized February 6th, 1863.

The writer, who was a corporal in the Kincardine company at the time of its formation, has preserved some memoranda, jotted down at the time, which shows that the roll was signed December 5th, 1862. The officers were elected at a meeting held December 13th. These were Captain Alex. Shaw, Lieutenant J. Brownlee and Ensign Paul D. McInnes. The first drill was on December 18th, held in the town hall; afterward the old furniture factory on Broadway was used to drill in. The first drill instructor was Sergeant McLean of the 17th regulars, who finished his term of ten drills on January 2nd, 1863. He was succeeded by Sergeant McGee, of the 63rd regulars, who remained drilling the company for four months, commencing March 12th, 1863. The first drill with rifles was on February 24th. The company was inspected by Brigade-Major Baretto on March 16th. The company paraded in full uniform for the first time on July 23rd, 1863. As there were a number of drill instructors provided by the Imperial Government, and a determination was manifested to get the various companies brought up to a thorough state of efficiency at as early a date as possible, there is no doubt that the other companies in the county at that date would have a somewhat similar record to that here given of the Kincardine company.
The date of the formation of the other companies of volunteers in the county may as well be given here, although formed at later dates than the above-mentioned companies. These later ones were, as a rule, organized under the excitement of anticipated Fenian raids. The company at Walkerton, under Captain John Chambers, was authorized July 13th, 1866. The company at Tara, under Captain G. W. Drinkwater, was formed and authorized at the same time as the Walkerton company. The company at Mildmay, under Captain John P. Kay,, was authorized May 10th, 1872. Teeswater at the same time raised a company, under Captain Archibald Gillies, which was authorized June 7th, 1872. In June, 1895, the headquarters of the Mildmay company was transferred to Wiarton, and a company was formed in that flourishing town, with Robert Lee Graham as its captain.

As the drill of our citizen soldiers, as a rule, had to be performed in the evenings, after the ordinary daily avocations of the members of the corps were over, it was necessary to secure for each company some large, well-lit hall. The difficulty of finding suitable accommodation was felt from the first, and applications for aid were made to the several local municipalities and to the County Council. In 1862 the village council of Southampton granted $120 for this purpose, and the County Council granted a like sum, followed by a further grant of $200 in 1867. Under similar conditions Paisley received $120 in 1864 and $200 in 1867 from the County Council. The drill shed at Paisley was erected in an unfortunately chosen situation, for it became undermined by the river and had to be deserted, what remained of it being sold in 1875 for $65. In 1868 Tara received $250 towards its drill shed from the County Council. Four years later Teeswater also received a grant of a similar amount from the County Council towards erecting a drill shed for its company of volunteers formed that year. It was not until 1885 that the Kincardine company obtained any money from the County Council to aid in providing accommodation for drilling. In that year the building formerly used as a place of worship by St. Andrews' congregation was for sale. The government gave a grant of $300; the County Council then made a grant of $125, and the purchase of the building was effected. The government subsequently granted $55 towards making alterations. Since that time the Kincardine volunteers have had ample accommodation.

At the time of the separation of the counties of Huron and Bruce, there was a balance of $1,438.22 paid over to Bruce, this amount being Bruce's share of an unexpended grant to volunteers voted by the United Counties Council in 1866. It was from this fund that the aid to the various drill sheds was granted. It had been decided in 1867 that $800 of this money should go towards a drill shed for the 32nd Battalion at Walkerton. In 1869 it was decided to increase this amount to $1,200. Subsequently an additional $120.80 for extras was paid, making a total payment by the county of $1,320.80 towards this building. The township of Brant also contributed to the extent of $300 towards its erection. The construction of the building was gone on with during the summer of 1869, George Harvey being the contractor and James Benson, architect. Owing to the granting of large sums by the government for repairs, the building was maintained in a good state of preservation until sold in December, 1899, to Henry Clark, who pulled it down five months afterward to re-erect it in another part of the town as a skating rink.

The companies of volunteers which were first formed in the county had two or three years to perfect themselves in drill before they were called upon to leave their homes for active service, the only change from the monotony of the weekly drill they experienced being target practice and Queen's birthday parades, which always wound up with the firing of a feu de joie. If the rolls of these old-time companies were examined, it would reveal the fact that in the ranks were many men who were prominent in the community, in fact, its leading citizens. There has been a falling off in this respect of late years, but only because that in "the piping times of peace" drilling seems to be too much like "playing soldier," but if necessity should again arise, the ranks of our volunteers would at once receive as recruits a large contingent of men who at present say that they have no time for such things.

Saturday, the 2nd of June, 1866, was a day of intense excitement throughout our land, for on the day previous a large body of Fenians had invaded Canada, landing at Fort Brie. As this news was telegraphed over the country, quickly followed by orders to the officers in command of the various corps to muster the men under their command and wait for marching orders, the seriousness of the occasion was brought home to all; but the fact of the existence of a large number of well-drilled volunteers to take part with the regulars in repelling the invasion of our land was a source of solid comfort to many.

There was a great uncertainty regarding the movements of these armed invaders and of those who purposed to follow their example as occasion offered. Rumors of the massing of men to invade Canada at many different points were being circulated, and our troops were forwarded to the most exposed places on our borders. Goderich was confidently designated as a point where a detachment of Fenians then in Chicago intended to effect a landing in order to obtain control of the railway terminus. Acting on the probability of this being done, the various volunteer companies in Huron and Bruce were speedily assembled there to repulse any attack. The companies there assembled were the Goderich artillery and rifle companies, and with them the companies from Seaforth, Southampton, Paisley, Kincardine Village and Kincardine Township. These remained in Goderich for about four weeks, until the alarm had subsided, when they returned to their homes, excepting the Goderich and Southampton rifle companies, which were sent on to Sarnia, or rather Point Edward, where they remained until some time in August, when any danger of further disturbance was past.

A bare relation of the above facts conveys no idea of the excitement existing in those days. The author is fortunate, therefore, in being able to here give some reminiscences of Lieut.-Col. A. E. Belcher, at that time drill instructor to the Southampton company. and who was present with his company at Goderich and Point Edward. He says: "Our company was called out and ordered to embark at daylight next morning on the little steamer Bruce. There were very few of us who slept any that night. Mothers, wives and friends were on the dock to say good-bye, and I can assure you the women were not the only ones who had wet eyes that morning, for we all expected to face the enemy and the fateful possibilities were felt by all. At Goderich we were billeted at the hotels, our stay there being marked by some stirring incidents. We had regular drill, fatigue, guard and picket duty. Quite expecting to have vessel loads of Fenians from Chicago attempt to land at, or near, the harbor, we made preparations accordingly. We had a chain stretched across its entrance, and earthworks for our cannon crowned the top of the hill near Sheriff McDonald's old residence. One day an alarm was sounded, owing to the sighting in the offing of a vessel carrying the long pennant of a man-of-war, and having the appearance of a gunboat.

The whole force assembled to prepare for what might develop. We felt assured that we had serious business on hand. Some field works were hurriedly thrown up, the cannon were brought into position, the men placed under whatever cover was available, and all made ready to give a hot reception to the Fenians. As the vessel drew nearer to the harbor she hoisted the Stars and Stripes, and proved to be a United States gunboat, with General Sherman and other officers of the United States Army on board, out on a cruise. Of course we were glad the scare terminated as it did, but it afforded talk for the boys for days. In case of a sudden alarm it had been arranged that the town bells were to be rung as well as to have the bugles sounded. One morning we were so awakened, and orders followed sharply to turn out and fall in on the private parade ground, as the Fenians were landing at Bayfield, some ten or twelve miles away. How well I remember the excitement and confusion, men tumbling out of bed and putting on garments belonging to others, belts put on wrong side up or wrong side out, the bugles sounding the assembly, and sergeants hurrying up the laggards. At last the company was got into shape and we started for the market square on the double, a pace several could not keep up and had to fall out. On our arriving there we found other companies ahead of us and more news of an alarming character from the point named. We formed up, and fifty rounds of ball cartridge were served out to each man. Assisting in this I had an opportunity of noticing how serious were the faces of some of the men. There was a man there named Gregg, who, having a son in our company, had followed us to Goderich, and was on hand at that early hour to cheer and encourage us. He went and bought a cheese and a large box of biscuits, which he distributed among our men. In the rear of our company a body of citizens had lined up, having armed themselves with guns, rifles, or any implement of war they could lay their hands on, so as to take part in the expected scrimmage. The Goderich company headed the march down the Bayfield road to the tune of 'What jolly dogs are we.' We had not gone far when we were halted and found that the alarm had been a false one. Our stay at Point Edward was uneventful, our duty being the guarding of the Grand Trunk Railway station at that important point. From there, the gallant colonel said, in concluding, "we returned home full of glory, honor and pleasant memories."

While the volunteers were at Goderich the United Counties Council there held its June session. This was a fortunate thing for the volunteers, as it forcibly brought home to the members of the Council that it was only at a pecuniary loss and with great self-sacrifice, that these brave fellows had left their various employments and places of business to take up arms when called upon to do so in defence of their country. Realizing this, the Council voted that $10,000 be included in the levy of that year to supplement the government allowance paid the men. This was distributed on the basis of fifty cents a day to the family of each married man and twenty-five cents per day to each single man. The amounts so paid to the different companies from Bruce were as follows: Southampton, $940.25; Paisley, $389.50; Kincardine Village, $288.75; Kincardine Township, $334.25. In addition to this substantial expression of its feelings, the County Council passed the following resolution: "That the thanks of this County Council are hereby tendered to the volunteers now in Goderich for so promptly responding to the call for the defence of our country against unprincipled and unprovoked aggression, showing themselves ready to maintain the honor of the British name. We would couple with this our thanks to all the volunteers throughout the province, especially to those who, under such trying circumstances for new troops, fought so nobly at Ridge-way, sympathizing with them in the loss they there sustained." [ See Appendix S for list of names of those to whom medals have been given.]

Prom the date of their organization until after their return from Goderich the four volunteer companies in the county which had been authorized existed as independent companies, but on the 14th of September, 1866, these, with the two companies formed that summer at Walkerton and Tara, were by general order formed into the "32nd Bruce Battalion of Infantry," under the command of Lieut.-Col. Alexander Sproat. [Lieut.-Col. Alex. Sproat was, on his father's side, of Scotch descent. while his mother was a daughter of a U. E. Loyalist. He was born in the township of Esquesing in 1835. He graduated from Queen's College at the age of nineteen, and entered the engineering staff of the Grand Trunk Railway, then being constructed. After the road was completed he commenced business as a provincial land surveyor, first at Elora, and afterward (1856) at Southampton. He filled the position of manager of the Commercial Bank, first at Southampton and then at Walkerton. On the failure of that institution he became manager of the Merchants Bank in the latter place. He was county treasurer from May, 1864, to December, 1873. Mr. Sproat had the honor to sit for the riding of North Bruce in the First Parliament of the Dominion of Canada. As the law then stood a member of the House of Commons might also sit in the Ontario House of Assembly, so in 1871 Mr. Sproat ran for the Ontario Legislature in South Bruce, but met with a defeat, his opponent being the Hon. Edward Blake. He was connected with the Volunteers of Bruce from 1861, and was Colonel of the 32nd Battalion for some years. In 1880 he received the appointment of Registrar at Prince Albert, in the North-West Territories. Being in the midst of the half-breed rising of 1885, he took an active part in suppressing the same. In religion he was a Presbyterian. He married a daughter of Alex. McNabb, Crown Land Agent, who survived him. His death occurred August 20th, 1890.] The battalion, as such, assembled for the first time in July, 1868, at Southampton and put in twelve days' drill. They were not under canvas on this occasion; a large temporary building had, however, been put up to accommodate the men. This first assembly was marked by an unfortunate event which occurred during a sham fight, in which three companies were under the command of Col. Sproat and the three others under the command of Major W. C. Bruce. The command to charge was given by one of the officers. As their opponents did not receive the order to retire in proper time, but kept on firing with blank cartridge, two of the men who were advancing at the charge were shot, receiving powder marks in their faces which they would carry through life. These men were under the care of the regimental surgeon all that summer.

The ladies of this county have always taken a keen interest in our volunteers. Shortly after the battalion was organized they took steps to present it with a handsome set of colors. About $600 was collected for this purpose, with which the two handsome flags, which are such a credit to the battalion, were purchased in London, England. The presentation of the colors was a red letter day in the history of the 32nd Battalion. The ceremony took place at Kincardine, and the presentation was made by Mrs. Sproat in the name of the ladies of the county of Bruce. The following is the address which was read on that occasion:

"To the Officers and Soldiers of the 82nd Regiment,—

"I feel much gratified by the circumstances which have led to this interesting and imposing ceremony now about to be performed, and it is with much pleasure but great diffidence on my part that I am here to-day on the part of the ladies of the County of Bruce.

"Soldiers of the 32nd, it has not been your lot to participate in other than such peaceful campaigns as the one you are now about to enter upon, but though you have never confronted the enemy, you have shown in times past that you were prepared, not only to acquire a knowledge of the military art, but to meet when required the enemies of your country. The spirit and enthusiasm which on those times actuated the soldiers sent forth from Bruce, I know, still are yours. But remember, soldiers, that it is not by valor alone a regi-ment is distinguished. The allegiance sworn by you all to your sovereign Lady the Queen, the pride which you have in the glorious Empire of which we now form no inconsiderable and important a portion, and the love which you bear to the land of your birth or adoption will, I am sure, be ever present in your minds as in your hearts, leading you to maintain the strictest discipline, and ever to be prepared when called upon to guard the honor and dignity of the Crown and to support the Laws and Constitution of our country, to be true to the colors of your Sovereign, and by your sobrietv and good order, obedience and soldierly behavior to uphold under all circumstances, the character of the Regiment. In these respects I am confident you will never be found wanting.

"Officers and soldiers of the 32nd, I am now about to place in your hands these colors which are presented to you by the ladies of Bruce. In committing them to your charge, I may well rest assured that should unfortunately occasion arise for the display of your valor in the field, the men of Bruce will maintain their own and their country's honor, and will then be able to place on their colors the records of gallant services well and faithfully performed.

"With the colors I now present you, permit me also to offer the best wishes of the ladies of Bruce for your long-continued happiness and prosperity, and may our God protect you and yours in all times hence.

"Dated this 19th June, 1872.
"E. W. Sproat,
''On behalf of the Ladies of the County of Bruce."

The "Riel Rebellion" and the Red River expedition of 1870 could not but have an effect upon the volunteers of Bruce. On the decision being arrived at to send a body of troops under the command of Col. Wolseley, a certain number of volunteers were asked for. In the case of the 32nd Battalion the number was three from each company. How readily this was responded to is shown by the fact that ten of the Walkerton company answered to Captain Hunter's call for volunteers. The three of these selected were A. McVicar, Joseph Guinn and Samuel Dandy. A similar spirit was elsewhere manifested, but names cannot be given. All the representatives of the 32nd Battalion assembled at Paisley, from whence they were sent to London to be placed in the battalion of volunteers who formed part of the expedition. The various corps assembled at Collingwood in May, and early in June were taken by steamer to Thunder Bay. The exigencies of the expedition demanded the formation of a "transportation company," which was placed under the command of Thomas Adair, a 32nd Battalion man. He had under him eighty teamsters. [Among these were the following men of Bruce : From the township of Carrick—Jas. Clendening, Wm. McVicar, Duncan Kerr, Philip Miller, Alfred Hardy; from the township of Arran—D. Love; from Culross— James Gilmour, J. Gilroy; from Walkerton—F. Bumham; from Southampton—Hutchison Jackson, Donald Robertson, George Smith, J. H. Slocombe; from the township of Amabel—Robert McFarlane; from Kincardine—John Kerr.] The object of this history does not require the following of the expedition any further. It was a bloodless one, and the only fame was that of good conduct and of trying hardships endured, of which the men from Bruce obtained a good record.

For a number of years after this but little that is worthy of record occurred to mark the history of our volunteers.

The following changes have occurred in the headquarters of different companies in the 32nd Bruce Battalion: In 1872, No. 3 Company had its headquarters changed from Kincardine Township to Lucknow; in 1881, No. 1 Company had its headquarters changed from Southampton to Port Elgin; in 1883, No. 7 Company had its headquarters changed from Belmore to Mildmay, and again in 1895 to Wiarton.

The battalion went into camp for annual drill in different years at Southampton, Goderich, Windsor, Walkerton and London. On nearly every one of these occasions the County Council supplemented the government allowance of pay by a grant, [The liberality of the County Council in bestowing grants to help the Volunteer movement has been very commendable. Besides repeatedly supplementing the pay of the men during attendance at annual drill, the County Council also gave, in 1895, $500 for the purchase of helmets for the battalion, improving its appearance greatly. In 1901 $300 was given to purchase a battalion mess tent, and in 1903 a valuable silver cup was presented, to be competed for annually by the several companies at the rifle ranges.] an act which has done much to keep the ranks of the various companies filled with intelligent young men, so that the battalion with its fine band (also encouraged and aided by County Council grants) and its handsome stand of colors has, when in camp, carried off the palm as the best of the rural battalions in the brigade, and has been a credit to the county of Bruce.

The following very complimentary notice of the Bruce battalion appears in the report on the state of the militia by Major-General Luard, for 1881: "This fine battalion marched into camp, eight companies strong, with every commissioned officer and man present. As stores had been issued to supply deficiencies, and as each man had been provided with a linen haversack, they presented a creditable appearance. About 80 per cent. were recruits, but owing to the systematic manner in which the instruction was carried out, progress was noticeable from the commencement. The headquarters staff were encamped in such a position as to enable them to see much of this corps, and I can testify to the strict and honest manner in which the several duties and drills were performed. The only rural battalion with full officers and men in place. In battalion and brigade drill the men moved very steadily; at the field day they acquitted themselves with great credit, not only by marching and general military bearing, but also in the steady and correct manner in which they advanced to attack. Lieut.-Colonel Cooper is zealous and efficient, and ably supported by Major Biggar and his other officers. The corps is a credit to the county of Bruce. The municipal authorities, like those of Oxford, have been very liberal towards their volunteers, this year supplementing the government pay by twenty-five cents per day to each, or a total of three dollars per man; with such substantial assistance the officers were enabled to bring out full companies. Discipline and interior economy good; officers well uniformed. Armories and condition of arms, etc.: No. 1 Co., fair and much improved; 2, not clean; 3, very good; 4, 6, 7 and 8, fair; 5, indifferent." In a note the commander adds, "I noticed Lieut.-Col. Cooper's efficiency."

In March, 1885, the rebellion in the North-West broke out. [In the first action, that at Duck Lake, which took place in this unfortunate rebellion, the first man slain was an erstwhile Bruce Volunteer, John Morton, at one time major in the 32nd Battalion. He was shot while leading a party of Prince Albert Volunteers. Another 32nd Battalion man, Alex. McNabb, was severely wounded in the same action. Morton's body lay for two days on the field where he fell, when his old friend, Lieut.-Col. Sproat (32nd Batt.), found the body and took it to his own home to be prepared for burial.] The city battalions were the first called upon to furnish a contingent to suppress it, but as weeks went on it seemed that a larger force was required, and to the credit of the 32nd Bruce Battalion it [The 32nd was the second rural battalion ordered to the front. In Chapter VIII. are to be found some other incidents illustrating public feeling over this affair.] was ordered (May 11th, 1885) to the scene of conflict. Lieut.-Col. J. G. Cooper was at that time in command. To No. 6 Company of Tara, under Captain John Douglass, belongs, on this occasion, the honor of being the first to report themselves ready, awaiting orders. The battalion, consisting of 32 officers and 336 non-commissioned officers and men, divided into, eight companies, assembled at Southampton on May 18th, and remained there expecting to be forwarded thence by boat to Port Arthur. But the need for a larger force at the front had passed and so, after a stay of a fortnight in Southampton, the companies were ordered to return to their homes. Uneventful as this incident was in some respects, it showed, however, once more that the volunteers in the county of Bruce were possessed of the right spirit and could be depended upon to respond to their country's call to duty. The following resolution was passed by the County Council at its June session, 1885, shortly after the above incident: "This Council desire to place on record an acknowledgment of the sacrifices made by the volunteers of the county of Bruce in responding so readily to the recent call on them for service in the North-West, many of the men being compelled to throw up their situations, having since their return been unable to find employment, and all anticipating that their services would be required for some length of time, were put to much expense."

In common with the rest of the Empire, at the commencement of the war in South Africa, a desire was felt among the young men of Bruce to aid in the hour of the Empire's need. About a score of our brave young fellows consequently were found in the ranks of various corps in South Africa, and gave a good account of themselves. Some of these were wounded, but only one laid down his life; Gordon Cummings was the name of this young hero, a title he nobly earned during the action in which he was slain. The people of Bruce have done well in erecting a monument at Port Elgin, his native place, to commemorate his name and deeds. Lord Aylmer, the Adjutant-General of Canada, presided at the unveiling of the monument, which took place August 28th, 1903. [The inscription on the monument is as follows : "In memory of Trooper Gordon Cummings, of Kitchener's Horse, killed at the battle of Nooitgedacht, South Africa, December 13th, 1900, while gallantly attempting to procure ammunition for his column. Son of Patrick and Barbara Cummings. Born in Saugeen, Dec, 1875."]

In looking over a list of those who have held commissions or have been privates among our volunteers, we find the names of those who have been most prominent in the county, as members of parliament, judges, reeves, county officials, leading professional men, merchants, farmers and manufacturers; no class but what has contributed a representative. Some of these can claim having seen long service. The one who possibly earned the claim to be the longest associated with our volunteers was the late De W. H. Martyn, M.D., surgeon of the battalion, who was a private in the Kincardine company when it was formed in 1862, and remained connected with the battalion until 1898. Captain John Douglass also had a long connection with the battalion, extending over 29 years; he retired in June, 1895. The "Long Service Medal" has been bestowed upon a number who have been connected with the 32nd Battalion; the names of those so honored are to be found in Appendix S.

In closing this chapter of interest to the county, it will be fitting to do so by mentioning the names of those who have had command of the battalion. They are as follows:

Lieut-Col. Alex. Sproat. Commission dated 30th June, 1871.
[Capt. A. Sproat, No. 1 Company, received the appointment of Acting Lieutenant-Colonel, September 14th, 1866, and held that position until commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel as above.]
Lieut.-Col. Jas. G. Cooper. Commission dated 11th February, 1881.
Lieut.-Col. John W. S. Biggar. Commission dated 7th April, 1887.
Lieut.-Col. B. B. Boyd. Commission dated 11th July, 1890.
Lieut.-Col. James H. Scott. Commission dated 24th December, 1891.
[Lieut.-Col. Scott was born at Simcoe, Ont., August 6th, 1858. He was educated at Simcoe High School, and called to the Bar in May, 1880. He resided from March, 1881, until the fall of 1902, at Kincardine, when he removed to Walkerton, to practise his profession in partnership with Alex. Shaw, K.C., the County Solicitor. He entered the active militia on June 11th, 1883, as Lieutenant in the 32nd Bruce Battalion; became Adjutant loth May, 1885 (the regiment then being concentrated for active service in the North-West); was promoted Major, 13th January, 1888, and attained the command of the corps 24th December, 1891, being at that time the youngest commanding officer in the Canadian force. On the expiration of time limit he retired, 24th December, 1899. He holds a first-class E. S. I. Certificate. Politically he is a Conservative. He was one of the vice-presidents of the Young Men's Liberal-Conservative Convention of Ontario, held at Toronto, 1887, and was for a number of years president of the Liberal-Conservative Association of Centre Bruce In 1882 and 1887 he unsuccessfully contested West Bruce for the House of Commons. He was reeve of Kincardine for six years, and from 1888 to 1902, inclusive, was almost continuously a member of the Bruce County Council; ever efficient as a worker, his merits were recognized and he was made warden of the county in 1894. He is actively and prominently identified with many local organizations and fraternal societies. In the Orange and Royal Black Institutions he has been an active worker; is a Past County Master West Bruce, Junior Deputy Grand Master Provincial Grand Orange Lodge Ontario West, and recently was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Black Chapter of British America. Col. Scott is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He was married, 1883, to Lizzie M., daughter of late Ald. Wm. Stanley, of Toronto. They have a family of two sons and a daughter.]
Lieut.-Col. Adam Weir. Commission dated 24th December, 1899.
Lieut.-Col. Hugh Clark. Commission dated 15th March, 1906.

The present regimental staff consists of Lieut.-Col. Hugh Clark, Major W. J. Douglass; paymaster, Major J. Henderson; quartermaster, G. W. Spence; surgeon, H. H. Sinclair; chaplain, Rev. S. F. Robinson. The above named, and also the captains of companies with the subaltern officers of the regiment, possess the full confidence of their men; while officers and men are alike in their desire to live up to the motto of the regiment, "Amor Patriae."


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