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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 77-1018

Biography / History

Lieutenant Colonel J. Deacon was a militaryofficer with the Midland Regiment during the Riel Rebellion in 1885. He was born in 1824 in Ireland and settled in Victoria County in 1866. He was on County Council and was Mayor of Lindsay, 1878-80 and 1886.

Custodial History

The notebook previously belonged to the HonourableLeslie M. Frost.

Scope and Content

This item is a notebook containing orders andcorrespondence of Lieutenant Colonel J. Deacon, commanding officer of theMidland Regiment, during the Riel Rebellion of 1885. Also included in thenotebook are telegrams and copies of Deacon's own correspondence to GeneralMiddleton.

The Northwest Rebellion was provoked by the militant push across westernCanada by agents of the Canadian Pacific Railway supported by the Government ofCanada and white settlers disturbing Metis homesteads and their way of life inManitoba and the Northwest territories on the Saskatchewan River . Louis Rielwas persuaded to return to Canada, though he had been in virtual exhile inMontana since the Red River Uprising of 1869-1870, to assist the Metis andtheir native allies in the struggle against encroachment on lands and bureaucraticinterference with Metis organization and self-determination. On 19 March 1885 ,Riel declared the establishment of the provisional government of Saskatchewan .

Command of the Canadian government troops was given to Frederick D.Middleton (1825-1898 ) The first skirmish is at Duck Lake, 26 March 1885 . Thecombatants were mostly North West Mounted Police and volunteers from PrinceAlbert . Soon afetr the battle, a Canadian Militia Force is raised as aNorthwest Field Force. The Cree were at this time in a state of famine andPoundmaker decided to take advantage of the situation to try (unsuccessfully)to negotiate supplies and moved on to the deserted post of Battleford andthence to Cutknife Creek. Riel moved his Metis forces to Batoche and set up a defendedposition there.

By April 1, the Midland Battalion has been raised in Kingston, Ontario .Soldiers from Lindsay, Bowmanville, Peterborough, Millbrook, Port Hope,Hastings and Cobourg are among the volunteers under the command of Lt. Col.Arthur T.H. Williams(18---1885). The situation with the Metis is clear, but thenative bands were now in some disarray and Indian Agent Thomas Quinn was killedby a member of Big Bear's band setting off the Frog Lake massacre. The Midlandsoldiers arrived in the west on April 10 and set up tents at Swift Current.Meanwhile, Middleton was heading for Batoche and Big bear had surrounded FortPitt which was immediately abandoned by Francis Dickens and the N.W.M.P. Twocolumns from the Midland ( E Coy. and F Coy)headed north from Swift Currenttowards Battleford under the command of William Otter.

On April 23, as Deacon's correspondence notes, the steamer “Northcote” leftSaskatchewan Ferry north os Swift Current. She was carrying good, oats, haypart of a field hospital, Gatling gun etc. They were headed for Clarke'sCrossing. Middleto and Dumont clashed the next day at Fish Creek. The force ledby Otter met Poundmaker on May 2 and was beaten badly at Cutknife Hill and hadto retreat to Battleford. Poundmaker's band then moved forward to join Riel atBatoche in spite of Poundmaker's decision to set up camp elsewhere. On May 5,part of the Midland met Boulton's Horse at Clarke's Crossing and moved up toFish Creek Camp. Middleton was now ready to move on Batoche.


Title based on the creator of the item.

The binding on the notebook is weak. Pages are very fragile as the letters and reports have been pasted into a printed journal with the pages trimmed.

This item was bequeathed to Trent UniversityArchives by the Honourable Leslie M. Frost.

Restrictions: N

For related records see: 77-024.

A transcription of the items has been supplied by Archives staff. Any words, letters or dashes in square brackets have been supplied by staff. Many of the letters are faded and parts of letters are often obscured through the process of having been glued into a binding.



Cover: "Orders and correspondence of the Midland Regiment,North West Rebellion, 1885"

Inside front cover: "With this was allied the 45th Battalion(at that time the designation of Regiment had not developed), of which Col.Deacon was Commanding Officer. He commanded the Midland Regiment in the NorthWest."


Maple Creek 6 May 1885
To the Station Staff Adjutant, [---] Canatt

Sir: I have the honor to report for the information of the Major GeneralCommanding chief on my arrival here. I made particular enquiries as to thestate of the public feeling on the part of the people residing in the Villageand its immediate neighbourhood and particularly among certain gentlemen whom Ihave known in Ontario for several years and the invariable report everyone of afeeling of perfect security.

The Village is situated on the south side of and about 150 yards from therails and platform of the CPR track station and freight shed - there is a longrow of cattle shipping slides on the west side of the platform. The Village iscommanded on the north side by rather rising ground. The Barrack of the NWMP[North West Mounted Police] is situated on a [wall] running south and about 2miles from the Village. A creek runs its very irregular course thro the settlementand is bridged at about 650 yards from the east side of the barracksquadrangle. I was induced to pitch my tents on the north side of the creek, theold camp ground of the Police Force during the period of constructing theBarrack[s]. I very reluctantly selected the ground as the creek in its expectedcourse is thickly wooded with scrub, soft maple, and shrubs affording cover toan approaching force. My reluctance is to some extent overcome by the fact theyhave an ample of excellent water from a pump put in while the place wasoccupied by the Police - and the fact that the water at the Barracks isreported to be unfit for use - the Police force having to bring water suppliesin barrels for their own use.

I have ascertained that a volunteer company has been organized here, Mr.W.R. Abbott late Sgt. Major in the Mounted Police holding a first degreecertificate of the school of gunnery elected Captain. I shall feel obliged ifyou [---] [---] me orders as Captain of the Home Guard Company [---]confirmation - Mr. Abbott's sources will be invaluable as he knows the [---]one of the people and exercises due influence among the farming settlers.

[With] a view of affecting a proper measure of protection, the vast pile of building, stabling etc. for use of the Barracks the services of two companies will as fully result. I propose with your permission which if approved please notify me by telegram to keep the Barracks in a full state of defence by digging curved water trenches at the several angles of the quadrangle thereby commanding the approach in all directions from 600 to 1000 yards. As they duly will involve the necessity of my removal to the inside square of the Barracks and the conveyance of water from the pump at the present camp, I am now trying to separate the force at my disposal for the purpose of protecting the Village from any Indians or others that may be on trail to or from points north or south of the post. I therefore venture to suggest that you will detach a Company from one of the Battalions at Swift Current to this place. [last line of page illegible]

I shall have such arrangments made and [--] selected as will render theVillage, the stations, and surroundings comparatively safe. I have doublesentries to patrol the wooded creek from 10 pm til Revillee next morning anddue watchfulness exercised.

The health of the men has been excellent. I have encouraged every kin dofrecreation not interfering with a fair amount of drills, parades, etc.

I beg to say that we have experienced every attention and kindness fromCapt. [McIllica] and all under his command.

I have just seen Mr. Abbott who recommends they should be authorized toemploy 3 men as scouts who should have orders to report directly to me here.


Headquarters Brigade Office
Swift Current
7 May 1885

I have been directed by the Major Genl.: Commg.: the Base, to acknowledge thereceipt of your letter of the 6th inst. and to thank you for the valuableinformation contained therein which he will have much pleasure in forwardingfor the information of the Major Genl. commanding the forces at headquarters.

I have the honour to be,
Sir, Your obt. Servant, Wm. Hudson, Capt. Staff Adjut.

Addressed to Lt. Col. Deacon, Commg: Detach: Midland Battalion


Headquarters Detachment Midland Batt.
Unit West Field Force
Swift Current
April 22/85

Received this day from Lt. Col. Deacon on a/c of pay sheet of H. Co. MidlandBatt. the sum of two hundred dollars ($200) to be accounted for in detail uponreadjustment of payroll.

Edw. Hamison, Capt.
Command. H. Co.



5th May 1885

Telegraph from: Swift Current
To: Lt. Col. Deacon

Engagement on
3rd, Otter and Poundmaker
former returned to Battleford
thirty five miles with loss of
Killed Police Corpl. Laurie
Sleight - Brigade Burke - Guards
Rogers - Osgoode - C Co. Foulkes
Battleford Rifles Dobbs - Teamster
Winder - Eight = Wounded
Police Sergt Ward - B. Battery



Camp at Swift Current
April 22 1885

Received from Lt. Col. Deacon the sum of Two Hundred Dollars on account ofpay and allowance of "G" Coy. Miland Regt.


Thomas Burke
Capt. "G" Co.



[continues item #4]


Sergt Gaffney
Cpl. Morton

Gunner Reynolds
Co. Sergt Major Jackson
Guards Sergt Winter -
McQuilken - G.O.R. Sergt
[--] seriously Charles
Perry - Watts = Battleford Rifles
Gilbert twelve - Pariculars

J.W. Laurie


Swift Current 2/5/85

At the request of the Leut. Col. Commanding I am sending to you Private McKeeof your regiment who was left behind [---] at McKays Harbor and who has beenattached to us for rations and drill purposes since 19th April.

I have the honor to be
Your ob't Servant
E.G. Kenry
Capt. & Adjt.
[---] Battery

To Lt. Col. Commanding
Midland Battn.


Ft. Pitt
via Shauber

Col. Deacon

Have supplies for Grenadiers and others been forward here (Baroness). Incharge of Sgt. Mowat. There is another Grenadier with you. Could you not sendhim up first opportunity.

B. van Straubenzie


D.H. Battleford
Lt. Col. Deacon Comdg. Midland Detach.,
Fort Pitt

Arrived here with my detachment yesterday afternoon. Go forward today byboat and take bag of mail for Middleton with me.

[name obscured by binding]


May 24/85

Col. Deacon,
Commanding at Clark's Crossing

Dear Sir,

I have today discharged for duty from the hospital 3 men belonging to theMounted Infantry Corp. (Boulton's Horse) and in order that they may be in theway of getting to the front immediately I send them to Clarke's Crossing.

During their stay there will you kindly have them attached for rations toone of the regiments and on the first opportunity have them forwarded to thefront. If necessary please furnish them with a transport order.

Yours resptty

G. Roddich
Dep. Supy. Gen.


C. King
2 Thompson
Bolton Horse

attached to 7 May



Brigade Office
Moose Jaw
24 May 1885

Return of N.C. Officers and men ordered to join their respective Regimentsat the Front.

Rank and Names
Col. Sergt. Wm. Watts - Midland Regt. - paid to 15 April 1885
Sergt. Geo. Wilson - Midland Regt. - paid to 21 April 1885
Sergt. Wm. Mowat - Grenadiers - no pay rec'd
Corpl. Wm. Ross - Midland Regt. - paid to 30 April 1885
Pt. James Austin - Midland Regt. - paid to 16 April 1885
Pt. Fred Payne - Midland Regt. - wife draws pay
Pt. Frank Gooch - Midland Regt. - no pay
Pt. Fred Mitchell - 7th Fusiliers - no pay
Pt. J. Walker - 7th Fusiliers - paid to 30 April 1885

[All men were rationed to 3 June 1885. The remarks column states "Theclothing and kits of these men nearly worn out - the dates as to pay is takenfrom the men's own statement, no number one report having been handed over withthem by officer coming here."]

Report signed by:
Wm. Hudson, Capt.
Staff Adjutant

Addressed to:
The Officer Commanding
at Clarke's Crossing


Maple Creek
May 7/85

Col. Deacon, Swift Current

Dear Sir,
Since you left here this morning we hear that two of our settlers have been[---] by hostile Indians who have run off 16 horses. Most of the few policestationed here as you know are away from our settlement doing scout duty sothat our town and settlers are at the mercy of the rebels who are liable toswoop down on us at any time. I trust you will place our proper position beforethe officer in command and that we will be sent immediate relief.

Yours in haste,
Jno. Dixon


Qu appelle
Geo. Hanwell

I want you here now. We will go [---] and put up house. If not all is goneother party taking hold think can bluff him till you get here. Answer quick.


Thought perhaps better forward this direct.


The Fort Victoria Road
29 May /85

My dear Deacon
Thanks very heartily for your kind letter. I hoped George did his workcreditably and that he will soon be able to rejoin his Company. You were abrave old man with your experience to join in such a march to rout those rebelsout of almost impregnable rifle pits and coolees. I hope you will not find thespirit too willing and the flesh too weak and that at your age you will notrisk too much in the way of exposure and fatigue. I suppose the work ispractically over and the pen will be substituted for the sword. I am muchpleased with Gen. Middleton's conduct of the campaign and trust he will comehome safe and well to enjoy the appreciation of the country in store for him.

If you see anything that you may desire in connection with the service youare engaged in, and if you think I could be of any use to you in the premiseslet me know and I will try. That is all I can do.

I will be glad to hear from you again with your impressions of the conductof the "Midland" at Batoche. The deadlock at Ottawa is about over. Ithink the franchise bill will pass and the country won't care sixpence. Springwas late. I am busy sowing and will be for a week yet. We had a local famine infeed for cattle. Don't get a cold and if you do treat it heroicallyfirst. With my best wishes for your self and command, I am yoursfaithfully.

G. Laidlaw


Telegraph Coolee 18 June 85

Col. Deacon

Left Telegraph Coulee at 4 pm today by team for Battleford.

Lieut. Brennan

[Addressed to]
Col. Deacon
Fort Pitt


[---] 4 June 85


Will send one hundred dollars to Ontario Bank Lindsay Ontario for yourcredit today as an advance against Midland Batt.

W.H. Forrest
Lt. Col.


Moose Jaw
May 26 85

Dear Col. Deacon
Thanks for your excellent and interesting report on the voyage down the river.I meant the boats to keep together as much as possible under Mr. Boyd's andJ.W. Kerr's directions and am sorry they separated as mutual help would havesaved a deal of struggling and hard work. I am hoping to get the Northcote upto take away the rest of the stuff from the Landing - the water is reported asrising fast.

Yours sincerely,
L.W. Laurie


One reason for keeping the rations in bulk on one boat was to keep theflotilla together.


6 May 1885
Fish Creek via Clark's Crossing via Qu'Appelle and Swift Current

To: Col. Deacon

We arrived here yesterday dropping two companies at Clarke's Crossing. Whenare you coming on? Our trip down river most laborious. All well.

Arthur F.H. Williams


May 11 1885
[left side of letter obscured in binding- have marked missing words with"X"]

My dear Deacon,
I was indeed glad to get a X from and know that you have gone through verygreat hardship after you left Kingston and the whole country is watching everymove and anxious for the least information but X sorry to say that thenewspapers are X extras which may contain a grain of truth but often mereinvention x make sale.

I at once went to see Donohue relative to your box and he tells us that hesent it away about four days after you left. Mrs. Deacon may have received itsince you wrote but if he has not done so, let me know and I will go for him.When you wrote you were at Swift Current and your other cos. had gone North butere this reaches you you may all be in the North. I hope sincerely the wholebusiness will soon be over as it must be darned nasty work and by rights oughtnever to have occurred. The Force seems by all accounts to be behavingsplendidly and doing some big marches. I hope the people of Canada willhenceforth appreciate their Volunteer Force - if it has not been efficient itis on account of the small encouragement it has received and their equipmenthas been vile - all this will tend toward doing good to the Force hereafter. Inthe meantime my dear friend you have a rough time of it but please God you willall return home soon. All the cities, towns, villages are collecting suppliesto be sent forward for the Midland Batt. I am going up to Bowmanville nextWednesday to see Cubitt about his rifle range as also about the deserter Keelywho jumped off your train - Cubitt says he is a bad fellow and a few monthswould do him good. No orders have as yet been issued for Annual Drill and I donot suppose there will be any. We have had very cold raw wet weather and allthink of the troops when it rains. Remember me to all my dear old friends ofthe Midland from the Col. down and if I can do anything for anyone only let meknow as it will be a pleasure.

How have the putties turned out?

Goodbye and wishing you all safely back again to Mid. District No.3.

Believe me
Dear Deacon
Yours sincerely,
H.C. Villiers


[date obscured by binding]

J. Flock

Train with coaches to take troops from Maple Creek to Swift Current leavesMed. Hat about 6 a.m. and should reach Maple Creek 9 a.m. Notify officer incharge.



[left edge of letter obscured by binding, missing words indicated by "X"]

Sask. Crossing
2nd May 1885

Dear Col.
Under recommendation of medical officer I am sending herewith Bugler ChristianX to hosptial at Swift Current - ill with swelling of knee. I fear he will notbe fit for duty for some weeks and that you will have to leave him behind. Iunderstand that we are to undergo to Clark's Crossing by steamer Northcote butI do not expect to see you before the 9th or 10th inst. The water is risingrapidly here and we have had some trouble to save the stores - will endeavourto secure the best possible accommodation for our men during the run down theriver and hope water will continue favourable for trip.

Yours very truly
Henry R. [---]


Fort Henry
April 2nd 1885

Colonel. Deacon
What do you mean by sending new uniforms to [wins---] and only 9 suits to me and noovercoats. Now, we must have some if not all new overcoats, as we have severalmen without coats.

I require
Haversacks 43
Overcoasts 45
Ball Bags 45 as we have none
and also 36 tunics and trousers.

Send them up at once.

John Hughes
Major 45th [Batt.]


Port Hope

Colonel J. Deacon

Received your telegram as I thought you were not well enough to go. MajorSmith of the 47th has been appointed Senior Major. If you will accept positionof Battalion Junior Major I shall be proud to have you with me. Please join meat Pt. Hope at once.

Arthur T.H. Williams



March 30th 1885

From: Colonel Cubitt
To: Colonel Deacon

1 Sergeant & 24 men - Col. Cubitt says hold in readiness to go tomorrow morning - make R.R. arrangements of Wallace with rifles uniforms, and everything they have and make arrangements with train.


[March] 31, 1885

Col. Deacon

[B---] says Logan sold his horse to a man in Midland last January.

R.J. Matchett


[written from the Bradburn House, Omemee]

March 30th, 1885

Col. Deacon

Dear Sir,
The courier (by Quartermaster Hughes) with orders and in response to same, full coy.and officers in readiness. The same I reported to you personally throughtelephonic communication. A great disappointment to me and my men through yoursuggestion only requiring ten men (10) and no officer. In reply to this, ameeting of the officers, we called a meeting of the Non Commissioned officersand resulted in a decision that the men would not leave here without an officerwith them. I dismissed the Coy. with a full understanding to be in readiness ata moments warning. Receiving no order from Col. Cubitt. If I have done anythingwrong according [---] [---] I hold you personally responsible for expenses andwill not call the men together again unless receiving word from Col. Cubitt theproper authority.

Captain J. [Eracis]


Canadian Pacific Railway Co., Construction Department, Nipissing Division
Train times commencing March 23, 1885


D.H. [Department Headquarters], Ottawa Ont.
[May] 21 [1885]

The Officer in Command of Troops
Clark's Crossing

Send Riel & other prisoners to Regina instead of Winnipeg; if escort andprisoners have left Crossing report this order without delay.

A.P. Caron
Minister of Militia & Defence

Ac's at 3.20 PM
[---] Major Young - Moose Jaw
[---] Gen. Laurie - Swift Current
[---] answer Hon. A.P. Caron


Officer Commanding
Escort of Prisoners
Moose Jaw
21st May 1885

The murder of Meleka has ordered that Riel and other prisoners be sent toRegina instead of Winnipeg - escort him to Regina direct and [---] to Ottawa forfurther orders.

J. Deacon Liet. Col.
Comg. at Clarke's Crossing


General Middleton left Prince Albert yesterday morning by steamer Northwestwith Midland Batallion, Bolton's Scouts, gatling 1 9 pounder and half of ABattery. Balance of troops follows on "Marquis" "Baroness"and "Alberta". Soon as they arrive from [round] G. Forks. Col.Straubenzie is in command. I forgot to say that Winnipeg Field Battery remainshere to garrison along with Mounted Police.

Prince Albert
23 pm


[bottom of letter obscured by binding; missing words indicated by "X"]

Prince Albert 23
Col. Deacon

General Middleton left yesterday on steamer for Battleford. Remainder offorce will probably leave tomorrow. General left no orders respecting yourcommand. Mail matter for Midland had better xxxx via Humboldt xxxxxx.


Prince Albert 23
Col. Deacon

Retain saddles. I am leaving for your post.

John A. Barron


Clark's Crossing
23 May 1885

Office Commanding
Prince Albert

My telegram to headquarters today sent to General at Battleford have here7th Batt. and 2 Companies Midland, in all 29 officers 319 men. Can use bargesas ferries. Please send me any information you can as to our future movements.Large supplies of forage here now. Also mail matter for Midland. Men wounded atSaskatoon all doing well.

J. Deacon
Lt. Col.


Clarke's Crossing
23rd May 1885

The Adjutant General
General Middleton's Headquarters
via Prince Albert

The 7th Battalion and 2 Companies of the Midland arrived here with 12 bargesand 250 tons supplies under my command on the 20th - in all officers 29, N.C.O.and men 319 - supplies landed. No means of forwarding letters yet. Please sendme orders as to future movements.

J. Deacon
Lt. Col.


Clark's Crossing
24 May 1885

I have 12 barges here tonight from Upper ferry which I can use to ferrysupplies or men over to opposite bank if required.

J. Deacon
Lt. Col.


Clark's Crossing
24 May 1885

General Middleton

I have twelve (12) barges here which I brought with supplies - can use themas ferry boats if necessary.

J. Deacon
Lt. Col.



Under instructions from Headquarters, transport having been provided,Principle Veterinary Surgeon Duncan will proceed to the Front forthwith viaClark's Crossing.

By order
J.S. [Miller]
Lt. Col.
Staff Adjt.

Moose Jaw
May 25th 1885.


Battleford 25

Lt. Col. Deacon

Am glad to hear that you are at Clark's Crossing. Hope you will soon be withus.

Arth. H. Williams
Lt. Col.


Battleford 25

Lt. Col. Deacon

Trail to this place will be clear in a couple of days. Poundmaker coming into me tomorrow. Will send orders to you then. Can use barges as ferry boats ifnecessary.

Fred Middleton
Maj. Genl.


Battleford 25
Officer Commanding
Clark's Crossing

On arrival of steamer Northcote at Clark's Crossing direct Captain toproceed at once to Hudson Bay ferry 18 miles from Prince Albert and unloadthere, not in Clark's Crossing.

[signature obscured]


Battleford 26
Lt. Col. Deacon

Yes, have Northcote loaded as you propose and send her to Hudson Bay ferrywith orders to proceed as directed in my telegram this morning.

Fred Middleton
[rank obscured]


Battleford 27
Lt. Col. Deacon

Is Hooper my servant and pony with you. Please answer.

Henry R. Smith


Battleford 27
Lt. Col. Deacon

Is Hooper with you with my pony.

Henry R. Smith


Battleford 27
Lt. Col. Deacon

With reference to my other telegram direct Captain of Northcote as soon ashe has discharged cargo at the Hudson's Bay crossing to proceed to Grand Rapidsand await orders from Mr. Wrigley as I have no further use for the steamer.

Fred Middleton
Maj. Genl.


Battleford 27
Lt. Col. Deacon

Poundmaker and his band have come in to me today. He and three of hisprincipal chiefs together with the two murderers of Payne and Tremont areprisoners. The rest are going back to their reserve so that the trail betweenthis and Clark's Crossing is open and safe. If Northcote has not left Crossover 150 tons of provisions and ammunition together with the two Companies ofthe Midland and I will

[bottom of letter obscured by binding]

[back of letter]:

Hudson Bay Crossing and she can then go on to Grand Rapids as ordered in mylast.

Fred Middleton
Maj. Genl.


27 May 1885

General Middleton

I am rigging sweeps to barges and hope to make an efficient ferry earlytomorrow morning. Exclusive of cargo of Northcote this a.m. we have 3780 bagsof oats, 317 bales hay (bad), 785 boxes of cornned beef, 310 packages of biscuits,40 boxes of sugar, 20 chests tea, 9 pgs of beans, 32 sacks flour, 11 casesammunition with more ordered here from Humboldt - will advise you as to ferry which I hope to make underway early.

J. Deacon
Lt. Col.


Clark's Crossing
27th May 1885

General Middleton

Orders relative to "Northcote" carried out - left loaded at 7:30this a.m. Instructed to pick up supplies left down river by other steamers -river rising rapidly. Troops here healthy.

J. Deacon
Lt. Col.
Clark's Crossing


Clark's Crossing

27th May 85

General Middleton

As already reported the "Northcote" left this morning with ordersto discharge at the Hudson Bay Ferry. Can't now catch her. Will try crossingthe stores in barges tomorrow early and report the practicability after thefirst trip.

J. Deacon
Lt. Col.


Battleford 27

Lt. Col. Deacon

As the Northcote has gone away what means have you of crossing the river. Isuppose you have barges that would do for that. Let me know about this as Iwant to get supplies over this side so as to team them to Telegraph Creek wherethey will be met by the steamer and brought up here. Also let me know theamount of stores and description.

[notation on back of letter]:

oats 3780 bags
317 bales of hay (bad)
785 boxes of corned beef
163 brls. of biscuit
40 boxes sugar
20 chests tea
2 [barley] 7 sacks beans
32 sacks of flour
5 sacks bacon
11 boxes ammunition

Exclusive of cargo of Northcote


Clark's Crossing
27th May 1885


In compliance with orders received from General Commanding the N.W. FieldForce the Officer in command of the steamer Northcote will on the completion ofher loading to the satisfaction of the supply department proceed to theHudson's Bay ferry 18 miles from Prince [Albert].

[signature obscured by binding]


Humboldt 28

Col. Deacon
Clark's Crossing
or Supply Officer -

Supplies for Midland here going on in morning. How can I get them on to yourmen at Battleford. Retain my saddle.

Jno. A. Barron


Clark's Crossing
28th May 1885

General Middleton

My barge ferry a practical success - shall have large quantity of supply over by evening - rigging four barges as permanent ferry boats - hard work but we are equal to it - I venture to suggest that all supplies be placed on your side of river. Midland men now working - shall employ the entire force under my command as work party. Please send your orders relative to Northcote to Prince Albert so as a messenger can meet her at Hudson Bay Ferry.

J. Deacon
Lt. Col.


Battleford 28

Lt. Col. Deacon

It being the intention of the Govt to organize a force to remain on duty inthe Northwest for a short time after the suppression of the present troubles.Officers, NCO and men desirous of volunteering for such service will at oncesend in their names through their commanding officers to the assistant AdjutantGeneral of the field force.

By order of the Major General Commanding

H. Smith
Asst. Adjt Genl.


Clark's Crossing
28 May 1885

General Middleton

Sixty tons over today and shall have one hundred and fifty tons across bytomorrow evening.

J. Deacon
Lt. Col.

I have one hundred fifty rounds per man for the two companies of theMidland.


30 May [1885]

Col. Deacon

Bolton's 25 men can come with you when you [---] for this place.

Fred Middleton
Maj. Gen.


Battleford 29

Lt. Col. Deacon

If Private William Cook of G. Company wishes to go home you can let him doso as his father is dead and his mother wishes him to go home. I am very gladto hear you are doing so well in getting over the stores. I hope to start the teamstomorrow or next day. Have noted your offer to remain in this country. Bank andgovernment clerks are not to be allowed to volunteer to remain.

Fred Middleton
Maj. General


79 D.H. [District Headquarters]
Moosejaw 28

Lt. Col. O'Brien or Senior Officer

Please call for report from senior officer on board each barge coming downriver with seventh fusiliers and Midland battalion as to whether any stores andif so what quantity & description where removed from barge & if so bywhose instructions they were removed, where they were placed & what wasdone for the protection from bad weather or rise of water, and how they can berecoverd and furnish me as early as possible.

J.M. Laurie


29 May 1885
Lieut. Col. Williams
Comg. Midland Batt.

Volunteers to remain in the Northwest.

Lieut. Col. Deacon
Captain Bucke
4 sergeants
4 corporals
2 buglers
12 privates

[remainder of memo consists of ranks and numbers unexplained]


Battleford 29

Lt. Col. Deacon

The Vet Surgeon must remain at Clark's Crossing till your companies come on.

H. Smith


Clark's Xg
30 May 1885

General Middleton

25 men and 20 Horses, Bolton's Horse, reported to me this morning. I have ordered issue of supplies - [---] receipt of your orders - I have about 200 boxes over now and shall continue the work.

J. Deacon
Lt. Col.


Battleford 30

Lt. Col. Deacon

Many thanks for your telegram. The Colonel wishes you to send mail withHooper if possible, kindly send my saddle and bridle if Hooper comes. When areyou likely to join us.

Henry Smith


6th 85

Col. Deacon
Telegraph Creek

All steamers at Fort Pitt. Nothing known as to their return - better come bythe trail.

W.D. Otter
7 o'clock p.m.



Col. Deacon

Telegraph Coulee.

No answer can be got from general in less than five days. All the steamers except Northcote up at Pitt. Know nothing of the arrangements. You had better remain where you are.

W.D. Otter


Fort Pitt

Col. Deacon

All steamers fully employed here. Genl after Big Bear some 70 miles fromhere. There is not much chance of your being ordered up at present. Your Battl.gone to the Front to join Strangers.

B. Strawbenzie


Camp at Battleford

I am at nearest point to Genl's Camp which is 70 miles and the Genl ismoving north all the time.




Col. Deacon

Telegram received. River rising rapidly. Have had some stores spoiled. Nonews of [Poney].


Clark's Crossing

Lieut. Col.

All right - when the boat comes in sight please wire me. I want to sendAdjutant Grovley on to his regiment. I may be up tomorrow evening. I am seeingabout [Poney].

M.[W.] [Kiswan]


Fort Pitt

Lieut. Col. Deacon

Give me result of enquiry in connection with the destruction of hospitalstores consigned to troops at the Front as I am informed they have beeninterfered with enroute.

E.A. Grovley


Fort Pitt

J.H.E. [Secreton]

Put horse of [Chambers of star on]. He is with A. Battery. Bring some tools,brushes.

S.L. Bedson


J.M. 13/6/85

Col. Deacon

Baroness is to be here tomorrow morning and I understand is to go through toFort Pitt. Please take charge of message to S.L. Bedson & oblige etc.

J.J. Hall



Lieut. Col. Deacon

Leave here tonight in Baroness for your camp. Will reach there tomorrowmorning to load supplies for the front. Would like strong fatigue party toassist.



3 p.m. 13th

Lieut. Col. Deacon
Tel. Coulee

Bring your two companies here in the Baroness. If she has left come in thenext steamer.

Fred Middleton
Genl. Commanding


Clark's Crossing

Col. Deacon

Please leave my coat which I left in front of your tent with the tel. clerk, am still on hunt for [Poney].

M.W. Kirwan.


Military Hospital
May 19th, 1885

Col. Deacon
Clark's Crossing

Dear Sir,

The two tents for which I gave receipts today and which you had placed onthe river bank, were taken on board another scow after you left, and are nowprobably at Clark's Crossing. Will you kindly place them in charge of theSupply Officer there to be returned by first team coming this way.

Yours truly,
J.H. Cwilloughby
Asst. Purveyor


[chart indicating military situation at Clark's Crossing, 20th May 1885]

Midland detachment "G" Company: 7 field officers, 6 captains, 9 subalterns, 23 sergeants, 13 buglers, 199 privates (4 sick from hosptial attached)

Midland detachment "H" Company: 2 field officers, 2 captains, 3 subalterns, 7 sergeants, 2 buglers, 75 privates (1 sick from hospital attached); 3 men of "H." in hospital, 2 absent on command

7 a.m. Monday 11th May Saskatchewan ferry, arrived at Clark's Crossing 8 pmTuesday 19th May via barges


[left margin of letter has been destroyed]

[written on back of previous chart]

Clark's Crossing
21 May 1885

To the officer in charge the Adjutant Generals Department with Major GeneralMiddleton's Field Force

In compliance with orders from Major General Laurie a copy of which is heretoattached I have the honor to report for the information of the Major GeneralCommanding that the troops marginally noted and shown in detail in [---] [---] were embarked under the [---] and orders of Major General Laurie atthe Saskatchewan Ferry at 8 am on Monday the 11th inst. arriving here onTuesday the 19th Wednesday the 20th. During the run down [---] of the officerin charge of barges deemed it expedient for the safety of these men to place onthe beach half of the stores [---] [---] with which these barges are ladenwhile some threw it overboard. In reference to this material I beg to say thatthe barge which made the trip was subjected to the same [--] influences as theother heavily laden with the pumps going day and night and yet we did not losea pound of the rations [---] or ammunition placed in our charge. A barge incharge of

[next section of letter illegible]

this could have been done to the other barges which discharged their storesthe previous day but I found it impossible to get the barges to the side of theriver, the officer in charge stating that they had misunderstood the buglesound.

I have obtained from each officer in charge a detailed statement and report of each days progress which reports I shall subsequently forward to the Major General as they may be of some use for future reference. Having heard that some Indian [---] had been [---] on the way down, I gave orders peremptorally forbidding this practice. Arriving at Saskatoon on the 19th I made a temporary halt to get the barges together. During this halt I visited the hospital and found everything very well arranged. The wards were models of neatness, the men wonderfully cheerful, proud of their General and officers under his command. On arrival here I sent to the P.M.O. at Saskatoon every article of spare camp equipment I could spare including material for a large marquee a course which has met with the thank of Dr. Roddick and which I trust will meet with the Major Generals approval as it must add materially to the comfort and convenience of the sick. The rain since coming in to camp has been almost incessant and heavy. Feeling that the oats would take more damage in the barges I have had them taken out and piled on the beach protecting them in the best possible manner. I have handed all the mens rations entrusted to my charge over to the supply officer here and continue now to add a daily ration for the men. I have also kept 12 head of cattle for slaughter in order to have an issue of fresh meat.

The wire being down I have not been enabled to communicate with GeneralLaurie and send this by special messenger hoping to receive orders as to thefuture movements of the troops now here.

Having had many years experience of soldier in the Field Camp [---] Quarters in all parts of the world I speak from experience and am happy to say that I never saw more cheerfulness and obedience as shown by the men under very arduous and trying circumstances - 14 hours daily either as the [scouts] or naked in the water pulling and hauling the heavily laden barges off shouls and sandbars. In some cases the men were [---] for hours naked in the water. All this was done well from a willingness and cheerfulness as it was represented to us by General Laurie. Half the stores entrusted to our charge were [---] required by the Major Force Commanding.

May I request you will kindly send me the orders of the Major General atyour earliest convenience. I have the honor etc.


Brigade Office
Swift Current
9 May 1885

Extract from Brigade morning orders of the above date

Referring to No. 3 Brigade orders of yesterday's date the 7 Fusiliers onarrival at Saskatchewan Crossing the Headquarters and 3 Companies will embarkin Mr. Boyd's barges for conveyance to Clark's Crossing. Two Companies andMajor Smith will remain on duty at the landing until further orders. Thedetachment Midland Batt. under Lieut. Col. Deacon will also embark on board thebarges for Clark's Crossing, the senior officer assuming charge of the wholeforce embarked, and the men will be distributed under arrangment with Mr. Boyd,but will proceed with the utmost expedition to their destination and on arrivalthe Commanding Office will report to the Major General Commanding.

By order
William Hudson
Staff Adjutant

The Office Commanding at Saskatchewan Landing


[Loose in back of book]

Brigade Office
Moose Jaw
24 May 1885

I have been directed by the Major Genl. Commanding the base and hence ofcommunication to hand you the enclosed No.1 report of N.C. officers and men whohave been sent forward in charge of supplies to join their respectiveregiments.

I have the honor to be, Sir, Your Obt. Servant,
William Hudson
Staff Adjutant

The Officer Commanding at Clark's Crossing