When the Thames City finally reached Victoria, a large part of the Detachment immediately set out to get very drunk indeed, their senseless forms soon littering the roadsides.  Their officers meanwhile contrived to get lost in the wilderness between Victoria and Esquimalt.  Despite all this the Colonist newspaper was filled with praise for the new arrivals.

     The men were quickly put to work shifting cargo from the Thames City to smaller steamers for the trip across the Georgia Strait to the mainland.  Many were still under arrest following their night on the town, and some like Sapper Dodd languished in irons.  Lt. Lempriere had to post sentries on each steamer after noticing "a good many drunken men at the pier who threw bottles of grog to my men."  Arriving on the shores of the Fraser River, a string of four courts-martial was needed to restore discipline.

     The officers who commanded the Detachment had their own problems.  For instance, a nasty antagonism had grown up between the detachment's commander, Colonel Richard Moody, and Captain Gossett who was to be the colony's treasurer.  The feud extended to their families.  In a letter home Moody's wife Mary noted, with Victorian restraint: "We are not on intimate terms with the Gossetts, I am sorry to say.  We are not very thick with them.  He is very trying and she is rather uppish, a fine lady, not fitted for roughing it."

     Lt. Sam Anderson described the problem more bluntly:

 “(Gosset) calls Moody a driveling idiot.  He told me so the very first time I saw him, and that is rather a strong term for one officer to use towards another so much older.  I could not help taking a dislike to Gosset from that very fact.”

     More seriously, Colonel Moody found he could not get along with the colony’s governor, James Douglas.  They argued for weeks over where the capital of the mainland colony should be and what it should be called.  The name "New Westminster" was imposed by officials in England fed up with the bickering.  To the men of the Detachment, the heavily forested site was simply "Stump City."

     At first, the women and children were berthed aboard the HBC brigantine Recovery and the soldiers lived in tents while barracks were constructed.  The Detachment's quarters, east of  Queen's Park in New Westminster, is still know as Sapperton in memory of the barracks there.  During the summer of 1859 numerous buildings were completed, and work was begun on Colonel Moody's grand home.

But the season was not all pleasant camping by the river.  It also brought the great nemesis of the Royal Engineers - mosquitoes. Mary Moody wrote to her mother that after ten days of irritation, she and her children has "surrendered" to the mosquitoes and fled to Victoria.  Lt. Wilson,  surveying the 49th Parallel near Sumas, wrote:

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