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militia mustering

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  • jbwhittaker
    Greeting List, I am looking for sources for information on Canadian militia mustering. What I need is information on how often local militia units got
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 27, 2010
      Greeting List,
      I am looking for sources for information on Canadian militia mustering.
      What I need is information on how often local militia units got together. I have read and heard locals got togehter on or about the Kings birthdate. This information is for a period later than 1812. Further along in the 19th century, 1870's and 80's. Any help on finding sources will be greatly appreciated.
      Best regards,
      Bruce Whittaker
      Georgina, Ontario
    • ronaldjdale@netscape.net
      There is a good synopsis of the 1808 and 1812 militia acts on the National Archives website that should answer your questions: The first Militia Act for Upper
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 28, 2010
        There is a good synopsis of the 1808 and 1812 militia acts on the National Archives website that should answer your questions:


        "The first Militia Act for Upper Canada, passed in 1793 (33 Geo. III ch. 1), called for the appointment of County Lieutenants, who, in turn, had the authority to appoint officers in their county, subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor. All males between the ages of 16 and 50 were enrolled as militiamen and were called out once a year. In addition, captains of the militia were authorized to call out their companies not less than twice a year to "inspect their arms and instruct them in their duties". The militia in each county was formed into a regiment of five to ten companies. In counties with smaller populations, the militia was formed into battalions, each consisting of five to eight companies, and in the counties too small to support these formations, the militia formed into independent companies.

        Although the Militia Act of 1808 (48 Geo. III, ch. 1) extended the maximum age to 60, it declared that "no person above the age of fifty years shall be called upon to bear arms, except on the day of annual meeting, or in time of war or emergency." For the first time, there was provision for the formation of troops of cavalry. An 1812 amendment extended the provisions of the 1808 Act. It called for the formation by each battalion of militia of two flank companies, each composed of one hundred men who could be ordered by the lieutenant governor "to march to any part of this province, upon any such duty as he shall think necessary". The flank companies could be called out for exercise and training for six days in each month and the Act repealed the section of the 1808 Act which limited the period of actual service to six months. Upon these flank companies, in which some two thousand men were registered, fell the brunt of active service during the War of 1812."



        So it is one day per year for the sedentary militia (June 4) and a couple of other times per year if desired by a company captain. Flank companies could be trained several days per month.

        Ron Dale.







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Soo
        Bruce I consulted the oracle and here s what he said: Arr, Bruce! I suggest confining your search to the period prior to 1850 as, shortly after that date,
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 28, 2010
          Bruce I consulted the "oracle" and here's what he said:
          Arr, Bruce!

          I suggest confining your search to the period prior to 1850 as, shortly after that date, the old militia and militia musters changed dramatically and permanently.

          Then original concept of the citizen in arms dates from the earliest period of French and English settlement, when every able bodied male was expected to fight in the defence of the colony. Tradriitionally, the age of most militia acts specifies an age range of between 16 and 60, though there are variations.

          The individuL WAS EXPECTED TO PROVIDE HIS OWN SMALL ARMS AND CAMPAIGN GEAR, WHICH SELDOM INCLUDED A UNIFORM. mILITIA ACTS ALSO SPECIEID HOW OFTEN HE WAS TO PARADE AND EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE IN THE WAY OF KIT AND CONSUMABLES (E.., x ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION; FOOD FOR y DAYS, ETC.).

          (Apologies, man caps lock key)

          Units were typically organized into small companies with well defined territorial boundaries and higher ranks were uncommon.

          Militiamen were not expected to fight very far outside their home territories and certainly not outside their colonies, though some did, as in the case of the Massachusetts Bay men who attacked Louisbourg in the first of its two captures..

          By the 1840s, the UK made the decision to begin to withdraw from Canada and, in the 1850s, the reorganization of the Militia into uniformed units following a modern model of organization, training, uniforms and equipment, began to take place and replaced the old units VERY rapidly..

          Militia units might still be raised by a patriotic citizen or group (this continued up to the Great War) but, once organized, they began to look more and more like part-time copies of regular units and were controlled from a central headquarters within the colony.

          The first regular units were batteries of artillery at Montreal and Quebec, and these were echoed by militia batteries in both locations (I served as a gunner in one of them in the late 1950s and as a lieutenant in the other a few years later). By ther 1870s, tyere was a structure of milki9tia regiments of artillery, cavalry and, especially, infantry, the members of which wore standard uniforms, carried idenical weapons and equipment, and followed a weekly program of training presecribed by a central headquarters. They DID concentrate for a week or two at an annual camp - and that was the final remnant of the old militia muster. These continue to this day!!!

          So what you are looking for are the the militia musters of the period BEFORE 1850.

          I suggest you start in the archives, by examining the various M8litia Acts, which presecrive who were to included and their terms of service, what each man was to provide, when they were to meet and what, if anything, they were to be paid or reimbursed. Such acts also define terminology; in the case of Upper Canada, the differences between "sedentary militia", "embodied militia" and "incorporated militia".

          The smaller military museums and archives can be goldmines, as many uniforms and items of kit survive, as well as accounts. Some histories do exist, such as that of the former 3rd (Montreal) Field Battery, formed in 1855.

          Beware of placing complete confidence in items such as the CW Jeffries drawing of an Upper Canadian militia muster. Jeffries tried to depict what he THOUGHT was accurate, but wasn't always. How could be be? He wasn't there at the time.

          Pay particular attention to anything you find of René Chratrand's; he knows more about this sort of thing than anyone else, at least in Canada.


          Good hunting,

          Harry

          Don't know if that answers the question.:~

          Sue Too

          --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "jbwhittaker" <ortheris@...> wrote:
          >
          > Greeting List,
          > I am looking for sources for information on Canadian militia mustering.
          > What I need is information on how often local militia units got together. I have read and heard locals got togehter on or about the Kings birthdate. This information is for a period later than 1812. Further along in the 19th century, 1870's and 80's. Any help on finding sources will be greatly appreciated.
          > Best regards,
          > Bruce Whittaker
          > Georgina, Ontario
          >
        • Ray Hobbs
          Bruce: There is a decent little article by Frank L. Jones, The Militia of Upper Canada: The Formative Years, 1793-1864 in the journal Wentworth Bygones from
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 28, 2010
            Bruce:
            There is a decent little article by Frank L. Jones, "The Militia of Upper Canada: The Formative Years, 1793-1864" in the journal Wentworth Bygones from the Head of the Lake Historical Society, No. 6 (1965), pp. 1-13.
            A copy can be obtained from the society, through their web page.
            The article will not answer all your questions, but does give a survey of the "formative years" of the system.
            In Britain, the system changed in the late 1850s, and was completely revised in the 1881 reforms. Then many of the old militia units were incorporated into existing army units as the 3rd (Militia) Battalions.
            One excellent history of a British militia unit, which I have, records the effect of the 1858 Royal Commission which recommended training be increased to 28 days per year, new recruits to have preliminary training.
            After 1881 the 3rd (militia) battalions were called out for over 60 days per year.
            Now whether this was copied in the Colonies is the subject of research - and, as others have said, begin with the Archives in Ottawa.
            Happy hunting
            Ray Hobbs

            To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
            From: ortheris@...
            Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 23:43:25 +0000
            Subject: 1812 militia mustering




























            Greeting List,

            I am looking for sources for information on Canadian militia mustering.

            What I need is information on how often local militia units got together. I have read and heard locals got togehter on or about the Kings birthdate. This information is for a period later than 1812. Further along in the 19th century, 1870's and 80's. Any help on finding sources will be greatly appreciated.

            Best regards,

            Bruce Whittaker

            Georgina, Ontario



















            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • jbwhittaker
            Thank you to everyone who replied to me on and off list. Best regards, Bruce Whittaker
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 28, 2010
              Thank you to everyone who replied to me on and off list.
              Best regards,
              Bruce Whittaker
            • MasterAtArms
              ... ... An 1812 amendment extended the provisions of the 1808 Act. It called for the formation by each battalion of militia of two flank companies, each
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 2, 2010
                --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, ronaldjdale@... wrote:
                "... An 1812 amendment extended the provisions of the 1808 Act. It called for the formation by each battalion of militia of two flank companies, each composed of one hundred men who could be ordered by the lieutenant governor "to march to any part of this province, upon any such duty as he shall think necessary". The flank companies could be called out for exercise and training for six days in each month and the Act repealed the section of the 1808 Act which limited the period of actual service to six months. "

                Ron:

                Correct me if I am mistaken, but was this amendment not one of the measures instituted by Gen. Sir Isaac Brock himself, in preparation for hostilities with the U.S. he was sure were coming?

                ~Dale
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