C.P.R. Engineer’s Office Kamloops 2 Jun 1885 Marcus Smith letter
Lot 91 in our auction Saturday 26th November 2022
Engineer’s Office Kamloops B.C.,
June 2nd 1885
My dear wife
I returned from New Westminster yesterday where I had been for my trunks with summer clothing &.c
Have just received yours of 15th May – you are right in getting the Monsserat lime juice it is delicious to drink and wholesome. The only real lime juice I could ever get – most of the others are sour cider and other compounds.
I also get the “semi weekly citizen” of 15th May – in which a detailed account is given of the battle with Poundmaker’s Indians on the 2nd may. It was a rash enterprise and it is a miracle the troops were not all cut to pieces.
It is questionable whether it did any good more than accustoming the volunteers to actual warfare though it may possible have prevented Poundmaker and Big Bear’s forces getting up in time to assist Riel against General Middleton – for it appears that subsequently Poundmaker was on his way to help Riel when he captured the supply trains-
Perhaps why this was allowed to take place so near Battleford (only 11 miles it is said) but it appears Col. Otter is sadly in want of scouts but I think the mounted police he has with him should have been on the look out for the supply trains – Everybody is praising General Middleton for his coolness, bravery –
and kindness to the men. His success at Batoche is wonderful under the difficult circumstances – as the Rebels were so well sheltered and with the loss of comparatively so few men. Everyone is wild with delight at the bravery of the volunteers who charged the rebels at the point of the bayonet.
we have learned all about the capture of Riel
Poundmaker and several other chiefs. The next is Big Bear who is a large force – 800 Indians it is said – encamped somewhere near Fort Pitt
It is questionable whether he will show fight after he hears of the fall of the others – but they may split up into small bands – go north into the woods and may be a terror to small settlements in their vicinity for some months.
Infantry will be of no use except to garrison the difficult forts and settlements – so that our boys may be returning home soon – The country will be scoured with calvary or mounted infantry till the remnant of the Indians is starved out – Love to all