Topic: Canadian Militia
New Brunswick Defenceless (1858)
The Military Gazette, Quebec, P.Q., 26 June 1858
But what has New Brunswick done in the way of self-defence, or in preparing for war? Nothing! We have no organized militia, no drill, no paid Adjutant or Quartermaster-General; we have lots of fine arms in the armouries, but the saddles and the trappings are rotting, and the rifles, muskets, and swords are rusting, because there is no one employee to take care of them. We rely upon British arms to protect us, instead of contributing, as we ought to do towards the common army of the Empire; and we rely on men-of-war lying in Halifax harbour, to prevent a ship from a hostile country, or even a pirate, sailing, or steaming up the Bay of Fundy and levying a contribution on the city of St. John,—a thing so easily accomplished that we wonder no Russian commander thought of it during the late war. It is true, the defenceless state of St. John has not escaped the eyes of the British authorities, and fortifications are to be erected forthwith on Partridge Island; but no thanks to the Provincial Solons; they fold their arms, and look on with the gravity of Dutchmen. But who could expect anything from the character of the loyal men now in power? Since their late advent to power His Excellency the Lieut. Governor laid before them a Despatch received from the Colonial Secretary, hinting pretty plainly that war may be upon us when we least expect it, and that it is well to be prepared, and requesting that the Militia may be re-organized. Where is the response to this kind, parental advice? There is none. Government merely communicated the fact to the Legislature, and there allowed the matter to drop—they took no steps whatever to carry out the suggestion of the Imperial Government, and we still remain in a perfectly defenceless state.
Here for the present we conclude. Our purpose, when we commenced writing these papers, was to bring before the eyes of the people, in a manner as vivid and concise as possible, the condition of the people of Great Republic, and the probability of wat at not very distant period. If we have succeeded in this, and can arouse the public to a proper sense of danger, (we do not mean a cowardly fear) so that they insist upon the re-organization of the Militia, and giving proper encouragement to volunteer companies we shall have accomplished our object. —(Head Quarters)