8th January 1862

From Colonel Moody to Governor Douglas:

Royal Engineers Camp, New Westminster,
8th January 1862


As Colonel in Command, I take the liberty of laying before Your Excellency the importance of providing as early as possible for the Detachment of Royal Engineers, Three hundred Camp Sheets (water-proof) size 6’ 3” x 3’ 3”, Those brought with the men from England have all been worn out and expended in the service of the Colony while “camped out” on work in the interior.

We cannot procure any here in British Columbia, ands perhaps Your Excellency will be kind enough to cause inquiries to be made as to whether any can be obtained in Victoria from among the recent imports.  It is possible that something similar in nature can be procured, if not the exact article itself.  The object as Your Excellency is aware is a light easily portable Waterproof Sheet suitable to lie upon on wet ground and to pack up such articles as should be kept dry in transport.  The next best articles are the Hudson’s Bay Co. painted Canvass Sheets, but they are heavier and more bulky for transport.

These articles will be required for the work on Roads next Season, under any circumstances; and you will readily apprehend my reasons for having in the mean while all men under arms ready for any service in the Field at a moment’s notice.

I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient,
Humble Servant,

RC Moody
Colonel RE Comd.
Her Majesty’s Forces

Note: Camp sheets, also know as India Rubber sheets would not be approved part of the articles issued to the British Soldier by the war Department until 21st January 1862.  It is interesting to note that the Detachment were issued with them upon setting sail from England in October of 1858 - nearly 4 years earlier.

The follow-up to this letter is the 8th February 1862.