No. 69, Military
13 November 1863
My Lord Duke,
Referring to your despatch of the 10th July last No 34 containing Instructions for the withdrawal at the end of the year of the Detachment of Royal Engineers serving in British Columbia, I have now the honor to report to your Grace that the details in connection therewith havebeenManuscript image been completed and that the residue of the Detachment are awaiting the arrival of the Steamer, now hourly expected, to convey them to San Francisco, and thence to England viâ Panama and the West Indies in accordance with arrangments made for the purpose by the Admiral commanding on the Station.
2. The following are the numbers returning under the command of Colonel Moody:3.Manuscript image 3 Captains
1 Subaltern
1 Staff Assist Surgeon
6 Officers
1 Serjeant Major
1 2nd M Serjeant
3 Serjeants
2 Corporals
8 Sappers
15 N.C. Officers and men All matters of pay &c so far as the Colony is concerned have been settled up to and have ceased on and from the 14th instant.
3. The remainder of theDetachmentManuscript image Detachment have accepted their discharge and will for the most part become settlers in the Colony.
4. I cannot permit the connection which for nearly 5 years has existed between the Detachment of Royal Engineers and this Colony to be severed without bearing my testimony to the remarkable good conduct, intelligence, and trustworthiness, of the non-commissioned OfficersandManuscript image and men comprising it. So far as the experiment is concerned of uniting Civil with Military duties I cannot conceal that in my opinion it has not been attended with that degree of success anticipated, but I believe that had such a valuable body of men been employed in Civil duties alone results the most advantageous to the Colony would have been followed.
The mild, conciliatory andgentlemanlyManuscript image gentlemanly bearing of Colonel Moody has always been conspicuous and I believe he quits the Colony leaving many friends behind him. At the same time I cannot refrain from expressing my sense of the value of the Officers who have been serving under him.
5. Of Captain Grant the officer next in seniority I can speak with much confidence. He has generally been detached inchargeManuscript image charge of the Road parties and on numerous occasions I have personally witnessed his exertions and have observed with much pleasure, the ability, zeal and hearty co-operation he has always brought to bear upon whatever he was engaged in. This past summer he was specially employed in superintending the work of improving the trails in Carriboo, and the energy, skill,andManuscript image and untiring assiduity with which he discharged the trust won the admiration of all who visited the District and have afforded me infinite comfort and satisfaction.
6. Captain Parsons' duties have been chiefly confined to surveying operations, in which he has always exhibited great skill and accuracy and I believe him to be a gentleman of high scientific attainments and one who in the higherbranchesManuscript image branches of science has rendered good service to the Colony.
7. Captain Luards intelligence, method, order and gentlemanly character I have also had personal experience of, and I think the Colony will be fortunate if your Grace should see fit to adopt the recommendation I have already had the honor to make of placing Captain Luard in the position of Chief Commissioner of Lands andWorksManuscript image Works.
8. Lieutenant Palmer has been the Subaltern of the Detachment, but upon one or two occasions he has conducted exploring trips through the Colony with great credit to himself, and has done good service in fixing points and distances in the Upper Country.
9. In short so admirable has been the conduct and bearing of all the officers serving under ColonelColonelManuscript image Moody that I trust I may not be considered out of order in asking your Grace to bring it specially to the notice of the Department to which they more immediately belong.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Sir F. Rogers
This Despatch records the Governor's opinion of the services & conduct of the Officers, Non-Commissioned & Men of the Royal Engineers who have just arrived in this Country. A copy shd I presume be sent to the War Office.
VJ 31 D
This is a flourishing account of the Royal Engineers—more flourishing than any which Governor Douglas used to give when he was likely to keep the Engineers in the Colony. I suppose that a copy should be sent to the War Office for information, and that in acknowledging the Governor's despatch, he should be so informed.
TFE 5 Jany
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 64, 11 January 1864.
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Elliot to Under-Secretary of State, War Office, 12 January 1864, forwarding copy of the despatch for information.