practically every militia unit in Canada was far over strength. By June 3rd, over 20,000 men were under arms, without counting scores of companies of Home Guards. Lieut.-General Sir John Michel was given supreme command of the forces, with Major-General James Lindsay and Major-General G. Napier commanding the troops in Canada East and Canada West respectively, or Quebec and Ontario as they would be called to-day.
The plan of campaign in the Niagara peninsula, where, as already mentioned, the Fenians were making their first demonstration, hinged largely on the protection of the Welland Canal, which O'Neil would probably attempt to destroy. It was also important to protect the Welland Railway, paralleling the canal. Troops were therefore concentrated at St. Catharines and Port Colborne, from which places they could be moved rapidly to any point that might be threatened, and at which supplies could be quickly mobilized. Under Colonel George Peacocke at St. Catharines were 200 men of the 16th, three companies of the 47th (regulars), and the Gray Battery, R.A. These were afterward reinforced at Chippawa by the Tenth Royals, two more companies of the 47th, the 19th Lincoln Battalion, and Stoker's Battery of Garrison Artillery, altogether about 1,700 men. Lieut.-Col. A. Booker had at Port Colborne the Queen's Own of Toronto, mustering 480 men, the 13th of Hamilton, and the York and Caledonia Rifle Companies, altogether 850 men.
Peacocke, receiving information that the Fenians had landed and were marching on Chippawa, decided to intercept them there. Very early on the morning of June 1st his force reached Chippawa. Neither tents nor blankets had been provided, and the men had to spend the remainder of the night in the open fields. Nothing, in fact, could have been much worse than the commissariat. The entire force on the Niagara frontier was sent out without stores or equipment. The men had to wear heavy winter uniforms in June, and, as military boots had not been provided, marched in their ordinary shoes.