New Westminster, B.C. 27 May 1885 Marcus Smith letter to wife, tear
Lot 69 in our auction Saturday 19th November 2022

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                           New Westminster B.C

                                            May 27th 1885

My dear wife

                     When you read the enclosed clippings respecting the reported battle at Eagle hills you will understand how anxious I was and how glad to receive your telegram –

which I did down here having come for my trunk with summer clothing &.c.

Of course as the report came from the New York correspondent of a San Francisco newspaper and as it stated there were 19 Englishmen and 21 Canadians killed – a distinction not likely to be made and as there were probably not 19 Englishmen in the whole of Otter’s forces. there was an air of improbability about it – but at the same time as the capture of a number of waggons and teamsters was confirmed which would take place near the E(a)gle hills I thought Otter would have made a dash to recover them as the troops at the time would be short of provisions. Besides as you will gather from my letter of three weeks ago respecting Otter’s battle of May 2nd – I was afraid he was ambitious to distinguish himself even at the expense of heavy losses of men as he never had any experience in active warfare which requires judgement and caution of a different kind from mere drill – and it is said General Middleton disapproves his attack on Poundmaker’s band on May 2nd for various reasons as uncalled for and exceeding his instructions which I said we’re simply to relieve Battleford and Poundmaker’s people were quiet and doing no harm. but after Otter’s attack he immediately started off to help Riel and if the fight at Batouche had been delayed three days longer Middleton would have had 300 or 400 more Indians to contend with. However I hope the rebellion is so far crushed that there will be little more fighting. though it may take months to settle everything as all the Indians should be disarmed at least of their rifles as there will be no more buffalo to shoot. they must work on their farms but as they are lazy. if they are allowed to keep their rifles they will always be inclined to rob and threaten white settlers –

Tom has left Govt. service as Onderdonk’s contract will be closed – in a sort of way, by the contract time – July 1st and Tom had a chance of 3 or 4 months employment with a contractor at Eagle Pass – I saw him at Kamloops and he said he had gone over all the work with Mr. Brophy before he left. so that Brophy was willing for him to leave – Tom says he has left money here to pay the last installment of his land speculation $1500 odd in all – and as there is a fair prospect of the syndicate getting assistance from the Govt and extending their line to Coal Harbour. he will make something out of the spec. otherwise it would be nearly a dead loss – Love to all

                          Yours ever

                                  M. Smith

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