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CHAPTER X

THE SASKATCHEWAN REBELLION, 1885

I'E'Y after the suppression of the Red River insurrection the regular forces, excepting the garrison at Halifax, were withdrawn from Canada. The country had recently been threatened by foreign invasion and had had a rebellion encouraged by a part of the people and an influential section of the Press of a neighbouring nation, but the Government made little effort to strengthen its defensive forces. Between 1868, when the Militia Act was adopted, and 1885, the time of the outbreak of the Saskatchewan Rebellion, the only material development that took place in connection with the military forces of the country was the authorization in 1871 of small permanent corps, consisting of two troops of cavalry, two batteries of artillery, and a regiment of infantry, to be used mainly as centres of military instruction. The batteries were raised the same year, but the cavalry and infantry corps were not established until twelve years later. It may also be noted that in 1873 the North-West Mounted Police Force was organized, with an initial strength of three hundred men, and that in 1876 the Royal Military College of Canada was established at Kingston, Ontario.'

In 1884 the Dominion was to play a part in one of Britain's little wars, which, while not properly a part of Canada's military history, is of too much importance to be passed over without record. In the War of 1812, effective use had been made of a corps of voyageurs, French-Canadian boatmen who were employed in connection with the transportation of troops and supplies on the St. Lawrence between Montreal and Kingston. These

I A full account of this institution will be given in a later volume of this series.

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