Previous Index Next

 

228   MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

class service men, and reserves. The first two classes were to have six days' drill each year, and to be paid fifty cents a day. Provision was also made for military schools for the training of officers, and the organization of drill associations and cadet corps.

At the same time a separate Act was passed relating to the volunteer militia, providing for a force of 35,000 men, exclusive of commissioned officers. The design seemed to be to develop a volunteer service distinct from the militia, following English precedent. Volunteer officers had to qualify for their commissions before a special board of examiners, and enjoyed seniority over corresponding ranks in the militia. Arms and uniforms were to be provided by the Government.

In 1864, the action of a number of irresponsible Con-federates, who took advantage of their asylum in Canada to organize a raid on St. Albans, in Vermont, again produced strained relations between Canada and the United States, notwithstanding the fact that the Canadian authorities had taken prompt measures to arrest the culprits, and to prevent a recurrence of the raid. Canada was in a somewhat difficult position during the Civil War, as many of her people strongly sympathized with the South, while others fought with the North. It can be said to the credit of both the Government and people of Canada, however, that they never forgot their obligations as a neutral nation. The provisional battalions sent to patrol the border after the St. Albans raid were told by the Commander-in-Chief that their sole duty was to aid "the civil power in its efforts to prevent aggression on the territories of a friendly state, on the part of persons enjoying the right of asylum in Her Majesty's dominions, and to maintain as regards Canada complete neutrality with respect to the war existing in the United States, which Her Majesty has enjoined on all subjects."

Two years later Canadian territory was subjected to similar raids from the United States side; but before de-scribing these attempts of the Fenian Brotherhood to


Previous Index Next