A fascinating account of an almost forgotten colonial campaign that helped secure Canada’s western frontier against incursions from the United States. Overshadowed by the 1870 Franco-Prussian War that was taking place simultaneously the expedition was mounted by the British army at the request of the Canadian Government who shared its costs. The objective was to secure Rupert’s Land (now part of Manitoba) for Canadian settlement against a rebellion led by Louise Riel a man of French extraction supported by a mixed bag of Irish Fenians native Canadian Indians and ‘Metis’ - of mixed Franco-Indian race. Riel’s rebellion was fuelled by French-Irish-Indian fears of Anglophone dominance and possible suppression of the Roman Cathoiic religion and their land rights. Command of the expedition was given to a brilliant officer Colonel Sir Garnet Wolseley then midway through his glittering military career. The author was one of Wolseley’s officers and bases his account on his journal and the expedition’s official records. Wolseley’s force consisted of Riflemen Royal Engineers gunners and Canadian militiamen. Their route took them across the Great Lakes from the shores of Lake Superior west to Fort Garry in the summer of 1870. A feat of exploration as well as of military ingenuity they successfully overcame many natural obstacles before surprising and scattering Riel’s rebels in a bloodless encounter. Complete with maps and appendices detailing the expedition’s logistics.
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