Naval and Military Intelligence.The Illustrated London News, vol. 39, no. 1124, p. 661.
December 28, 1861
The Tower has lately been the scene of great bustle, owing to the preparations for sending military stores to Canada. Night and day, on Sundays as well as other days, men have been engaged packing arms, clothing, and other necessaries to a great amount, which are placed on sailing-barges moored alongside the quays; the stores are taken thence down the river, and shipped on board the transports now off Deptford and Woolwich.
On the morning of Thursday week a great number of persons assembled at an early hour at the Wellington Barracks, St. James's Park, on the occasion of the departure of the 1st battalion of the Grenadier Guards and of the 2nd battalion of the Fusilier Guards for Canada. The 1st battalion of the Grenadier Guards, 800 strong, under the command of Colonel the Hon. Hugh Manvers Percy, C.B. (Victoria Cross), assembled, shortly after six o'clock, on the parade at the Wellington Barracks, preparatory to their departure for Southampton. After a due inspection, and after partaking of breakfast, at half-past seven o'clock the battalion left for the Waterloo station of the South-Western Railway. Owing to the death of the Prince Consort the regimental baud did not accompany the battalion to the station. On their arrival at the terminus the men were told off in fours, and with the greatest facility—the system having been initiated by the late General Torrens—the train started at eight o'clock with its gallant burden; so that the entire battalion, each man carrying his rifle and a cooked ration, left quarters and started by railway to their destination within half an hour. The men were loudly cheered as they proceeded to the railway. The 2nd battalion of the Scots Fusiliers, of the same strength, commanded by Colonel William John Ridley, left the Wellington Barracks at eight o'clock, and pursued the same route—along Birdcage-walk, Great George-street, and across Westminster-bridge. The same excellent arrangements were observed, and without slightest confusion or delay the battalion departed at half-past eight o'clock for its destination. As the detatchments reached the docks on arriving at Southampton, they were received by the Southampton Volunteer Rifle Corps, and escorted to their respective ships by the band. The troops were cheered as they left the docks an by immense crowd of persons.
The steamer Adriatic, with the Grenadier Guards, and the Parana, with the Scots Fusilier Guards and the eighteenth company of the Royal Engineers, left the docks about two o'clock in the afternoon and anchored in the river. Both vessels sailed for their destination early on the following morning. The Parana had a berth in the docks close to the Nashville, the Confederate man-of-war. As she was leaving her berth, with the Guards on board, the band struck up the tune, "I'm off to Charleston so early in the morning," The officers of the Nashville were watching the departure of the Parana with apparently considerable interest.
Each soldier destined for Canada, on stepping on board of his transport, finds ready for him two pairs of woollen drawers, one jersey, two merino under-vests, two pair of worsted stockings, one comforter, one chamois leather waistcoat, one sealskin cap with ear-mufflers, one pair of sealskin mits, one pair of Canadian boots, and one sheepskin coat.
The Royal Mail Company's steamer Magdalena, Captain Woolward, with the 16th Foot (about 1000 strong) on board, took her departure from Southampton last Saturday afternoon. She is under orders to sail for Halifax direct.
The Cunard Company's Royal Mail steam-ship Asia, which sailed from Liverpool on Saturday for Halifax, carrying the mails for Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada, and other portions of North America, also took out about 470 military passengers, and nearly 200 tons of warm clothing, camp equipage, &c. The military arrived at Liverpool early on Saturday morning by special trains from Woolwich and Aldershott, and they were promptly conveyed in steam tenders to the Asia, lying at anchor in the Sloyne. The Asia sailed about 11:30 a.m., with an easterly wind, and every prospect of making a rapid passage to Queenstown. Amongst the military passengers there were the staff for the army in Canada.
The Flying Fish sailed yesterday week for Lisbon, with sealed orders and despatches.
Orders have been received at the camp at Colchester for volunteering for the 15th, 17th, 36th, 47th, 62nd, 63rd, and 96th Regiments, which are destined for Canadian service, and which are short of their full complement of men.
The Government having decided on forming a reserve of troops at Bermuda, for operations in North America, orders were on Sunday received at Chatham for the fifth company of Royal Engineers to hold itself in immediate readiness to embark for Bermuda at an hour's notice.
Admirality instructions were received on Saturday directing the whole of the screw gun-boats attached to the first division of the steam reserve at Chatham to be removed from the several ports on the Medway for immediate service.
The following further arrangements for the embarkation of troops for Canada have been completed:—the Hibernian will sail from Liverpool for New Brunswick, taking the fourth company of the Royal Engineers—5 officers and 120 men; the G (Captian Hoste's) battery of the fourth brigade Royal Artillery, from Aldershott—7 officers and 255 men; the sixth battery of the tenth brigade Royal Artillery (Captain Robinson's), from Woolwich—6 officers and 117 men; a detachment of the first battalion 15th Foot—4 officers and 147 men. The Canadian mail-steamer will take from Liverpool the seventh battery of the tenth brigade Royal Artillery (Captain Child's), from Woolwich—6 officers and 117 men; and the eighth battery of the same brigade (Captain M'Rea's)—6 officers and 117 men; the seventh battery for Halifax, the eighth for Newfoundland, the fifth company of the Royal Engineers for Bermuda—4 officers and 100 men; and 6 men of the Army Hospital Corps for New Brunswick. The detachment of Royal Engineers under orders to embark in the Victoria will sail in the Calcutta.