Extract from proceedings of a Board of Officers on board S.S. "Monterey" to report upon the loss of horses dated April 7th. 1900:-
"Veterinary Surgeon, George T. Stevenson:- I am Lieutenant and Veterinary Surgeon in Strathcona"s Horse. The horses shown on the attached schedule marked "A" died on the dates and from the diseases shown against their respective numbers.
Ninety percent of the horses mentioned in the schedule were purchased by Dr. McEachran and myself in the North West Territories, and a few in Montreal. They were all sound and in a healthy condition when purchased.
While in Ottawa ten percent developed colds, but recovered from the colds after treatment.
On Monday, 12th March, they were shipped from Ottawa, arriving at Halifax 16th March and immediately shipped on board S.S. "Monterey".
A number of horses were sent to the Veterinary Hospital by order of Dr. McEachran to be steamed. After having done this they were taken and put on board, and practically isolated from other horses.
After careful examination by Dr, McEachran and myself we found hardly anything wrong with them.
During the 18th and 19th. March a considerable number were attacked by seasickness on account of the rolling of the vessel.
Several died, as per numbers in attached schedule.
On the 19th. March pneumonia developed in a transport horse purchased in Montreal, Reg. No. 566, and on 20th. March it died. No doubt death was hastened by the rolling of the vessel.
My opinion was, and is, that the sudden change from a very dry climate to a damp moist atmosphere was the cause of the disease.
The ventilation was as good as could be had on board ship, and every possible care and attention was bestowed on the animals during the trip.
I has associated with me in care of the horses Quartermaster Farrier Sergeant McMillan, a certified Veterinary Surgeon as my assistant, and with him several practical horsemen who thoroughly understood the care and handling of horses.
These troopers, with their officers, were in constant attendance in the stable, feeding and caring for the horses during the voyage.
In addition to above, ten men and one non-commissioned officer were detailed daily to assist me."
Quartermaster Farrier Sergeant McMullin in his evidence stated that:-
"There was sufficient draught to cause pneumonia on the ship, but it was impossible to close this draught and secure sufficient air for the horses. Another cause, no doubt, was the horses having undergone the sudden change from a cold and dry climate to a warmer and moist climate. We have had all the assistance necessary for the proper feeding and care of the horses since they were put on board. I do not think it was possible to do more for the horses than was done. The conditions on board ship render it very difficult to treat horses from pneumonia properly. About eighty-five or ninety per cent of the horses were in my opinion affected with pneumonia. The stables were properly cleaned and disinfected daily."
W. W. Gunn, a Trooper in the force in his evidence stated that:-
"The hay and oats supplied to those horses was of good quality and a sufficient number of men were on duty to see that they were properly fed and watered".
April 26th. 1900:
Telegram from Montreal, stating that draft would sail from Montreal by S.S. 'Vancouver" on the first of May.
Military Historical Society
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