Sapper

James Gillis

 

Sapper James Gillis traveled with the main body of the Columbia Detachment on board the Thames City, arriving in British Columbia in April of 1859.

As a Sapper Gillis' Regimental Pay per Diem would have been 1s. 2 1/2d. plus Working Pay per Diem of 1s. to 4s.

It appears that at some point, Gillis became friends with Sapper Mould and Mrs. Mould.

In February of 1860, Captain Grant took a detachment of RE with him to work on the Harrison River

REPORT OF A DESERTER from the Corps Regiment of Royal Engineers.
Dated at [camp?] Harrison River, BC this 14th day of April 18560

Number, Rank, and Name .......  4622, Sapper James Gillies
Age ............................................... 27 years and 6 months
Size............. {
 Feet.................. Five feet, nine inches
 Inches............... Nine inches
Colour of... {
 Complexion... Fresh
 Hair.................. Black
 Eyes................. Hazel
Date of Desertion........................ 14th day of April 1860
Place of Desertion...................... ???p , Harrision River, British Columbia
Date of Enlistment .................... 2nd of December 1856
At what Place Enlisted................ Glasgow
Parish and County in which Born .........................  }
[Muckaiou?], Town, [Bancou?], County "Argyle"
Marks ........................................ None small pox (particularly about the cheeks)
Trade  ......................................... Sawyer
Coat or Jacket  ............................ Black coat
Waistcoat  ................................... Black velvet waistcoat
Breeches or Trowsers   .............. Trowsers
REMARKS ................................... A quiet demeanor with sxxx voice and drawling accent

Signature of the Commanding Officer    RC Moody           
                                                                                [commanding?]

Upon receiving word of Gillis' desertion, Colonel Moody wrote to Governor Douglas the following letter.

 

 

 

 

Sapper C. Mould
-- + - J. Gillies.

 

 

The governor of Washington Territory has no authority to act in cases of simple desertion or even where [xxxxx] with theft. He can only order the [rendition[?] of criminals -- coming within the meaning of the extradition Treaty.  The application recommended by Col. Moody would therefore be fruitless. -[jd?]

New Westminster
21 April 1860

Sir,

I have the honor to report the desertion of the two men (named in the margin) belonging to the Detachment of Royal Engineers under my command from Captain Grant's party at the mouth of the Harrison River.--

There is every reason to believe that the latter, Sapper James Gillies, took with him the sum of Thirty-six Pounds, belonging to a comrade.

I would therefore request that immediate steps may be taken with a view to his being apprehended to which [s???l], as there is but little doubt that he has gone over into American Territory. I would suggest the advisability of an application being made to the Governor of Washington Territory, who might be moved to give orders for his detention.

He absented on the morning of the 14th and I should have communicated with Your Excellency before, had I not been waiting for a Descriptive Return to forward at the same time. it is herewith enclosed in duplicate.--

I have the honor to be,
      Sir,
Your most obedient,
  humble Servant,

RCMoody
Col. Commanding