9th September 1859
I should be glad to
receive any instructions from Your Excellency respecting the
formation of Volunteer Corps in the Colony. I have had the honour
of confer occasionally with you on the subject, and I submit the
present would be a good time for making a beginning. The excited
state of the Public which prevailed some time since arising from
the San Juan affair has subsided, and has left a calmer but
equally settled feeling as to the necessity of organizing some
arrangement for the local inhabitants to lend and efficient aid in
the defence of the Colony on any sudden emergency.
The presence of a
Detachment of Royal Marines at Victoria affords the means for
organizing and drilling to some extent a Volunteer Infantry Corps. It would be but a skeleton formation for want of Arms, but the
best of the Volunteers so drilled would hereafter be the
Non-Commissioned Officers of an enlarged Battalion and the nucleus
would be very serviceable.
I am given to understand
the Admiral contemplates placing at the disposal of the Colony
some heavy Pieces of Ordnance on the departure for England of any
of the Ships of War; he might also perhaps be disposed to spare a
Field Piece or two. I have two Non-Commissioned Officers of
Artillery who are disposable to drill a Volunteer Artillery Corps.
Under my command I have
also a Serjeant and Private of the 15th Hussars who are
disposable to drill a small Escort of Cavalry. I could contrive to
arm and furnish Saddles and Bridles for 20. Small as such a force
would be, they could be most useful as Videttes and to convey
information, and if picked men they would be a good nucleus for
further extension when more Arms and Appointments are received.
Serjeant Smith 15 Hussars
is at Victoria, and his services could be made available at once. I have been given to understand that several gentlemen are well
disposed to place themselves under his instruction.
I have the honor to be,
Your most humble obedient