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Lt. Col. Sam Steele - Report to Lord Strathcona - May 2nd 1900 Pt.1 10 years 5 months ago #2964

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May 2nd. 1900

Dear Lord Strathcona,

The horses have been tested by the Veterinary Officers, and 47 have been destroyed. The balance are in splendid condition with the exception of 30, which will be turned into the Remounting Department and others taken in their place for the present.

"C" Squadron was sent out yesterday to Maitland and will select out of a large number of remounts necessary for the regiment. The Remounting Officer at Green Point wished to hand over 150 of the remounts, but upon examination it was found that they were small and in poor condition. I reported it to the Base Commandant with the result that we are to select from a large number of good horses which have been sent to Maitland.

With regards to the loss at sea. Two ships have come in within the last week, one which started with 500 horses lost 171 on the voyage. The other with something less than 500 lost 150 from pneumonia. It seems that the danger of catching it is very great.

"A" and "B" Squadrons are ready to start at a moments notice, but the column which we are to join is not ready to start. I am looking carefully after that, and will not permit of any delay if I can help it.

I see on reading some extracts from the Canadian and other papers, that we are spoken of as Mounted Infantry. We are not in any sense that. Very few of the men ever had any infantry drill, but were selected by your order for the purpose of scouting and doing any important work that experienced horsemen and good shots can do. I am well satisfied with them and believe that if they get an opportunity will give a good account of themselves. They are hard worked even here; from Reveille in the morning to dark, between drills, guards, picquets, attention to their horses and other duties they have not a moment to themselves. With a very few exceptions the conduct of the men has been most exemplary, and their appearance has excited the admiration of many experienced soldiers.

A steady improvement has been shown in the health of the men during the week. The number of cases of sickness have decreased by half. However, it has been found necessary to invalid two of the men, and they will be sent back to Canada probably on Friday next. Five cases more are now under consideration, and it is not at all unlikely that they will be pronounced unfit for active duty.

I regret to inform you that one of the men whom I mentioned in a previous report as suffering from an abscess on the neck, died at Woodstock Hospital on Wednesday last. The man showed symptoms of the trouble on the ship and on arrival here was placed in Hospital and operated upon, but it was of no avail and I received notification of his death as above stated. The immediate cause of his death was Pyaemia. The deceased was buried at Fort Knocknee Cemetery with full military honours on Thursday last.

I am,
Yours respectfully,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE, Lt. Col.
Life Member
Past-President Calgary
Military Historical Society
O.M.R.S. 1591

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