Intro: The term Cadet can be misleading and confusing in Canadian accounts. “Cadet Corps” only officially surfaces in the 1889 cadet corps movement, used in books, Newspapers, Militia & Defence reports of the day, and while in parliament debates; however the term Cadet goes back pre British conquest of New France. In Col. E.J. Chambers’ compilations, “cadets” were organized at Quebec pre and post 1860s. “The exigencies of military service, however, made it necessary to use the Canadian settlers on far distant fields on militia service. When Celeron de Bienville, June 15th. 1749, left Lachine on his celebrated expedition to the Valley of the Ohio, he had no less than- 180 Canadian Militia with him, the rest of his force, exclusive of Indians, being 14 officers and cadets and 20 soldiers.” ………………
“French Noblesse in the Province of Quebec, November, 1767:—Captains having the Order of St. Louis, 9; captain named in the Order but not invested, 1; captains who have not the Order, 4; lieuts. having the Order, 1; lieuts., 16; Ens., 20; officers de reserve, 2; cadets, 23; have never been in the service, 44; in the upper country who have never been in the service, 6; total, 126.”….
For 1864: After these schools had been a season at work, he collected those who had qualified at them in a camp he formed at the old disused barrack of Laprairie, which is south of the St. Lawrence river, near Montreal. He asked me (Chambers’), to be its commandant, and, always anxious for any interesting employment, I gladly accepted the offer. These cadets were formed into two battalions, one of Upper, the other of Lower Canadians, and two excellent officers of the Canadian militia were selected to command them…………….
The status quo mainstream historian, Canadian Cadet Corps Roots account as fallows:—
The Early History.
The Royal Canadian Army Cadets (RCAC) can trace back their history to the creation of Drill Associations in 1861, predating confederation by 6 years. Great Britain had also formed cadets in 1860. These associations were linked to local schools. The American Civil War and the threat of the Fenian Raids motivated their creation in Upper and Lower Canada. These early cadet units, called drill associations, mark the beginning of the Canadian Cadet Movement, one of the country’s oldest youth programs.
Trinity College Volunteer Rifle Company was formed June 1, 1861 in Port Hope, Ontario. Bishop’s College Drill Association was formed in Lennoxville, Que on December 6, 1861. Another fourteen of the early cadet corps called “Drill Associations” or “Rifle Companies” stood up in Ontario and Quebec. Canada’s oldest continually serving cadet corps is No. 2 Bishop’s College School Cadet Corps in Lennoxville, Quebec, its roots firmly in the previous drill association.
These early “drill associations” accepted members ranging in age from 13 to 60. The distinction between high school cadets and the adult militia became clear in 1879, when authorization was given to form 74 “Association for Drill in Educational Institutions”. Young men over 14 years of age where invited to participate and would not be employed in active service.
Canada’s DHH Ph.D.s’ championed Cadet Corps Roots ingrained account, recycled by mainstream historians, on-line &c., is murky, shallow and questionable. The original 1862-63 Gov., M & D submitted, published reports, paint a completely different portrait. Upper Canada’s Trinity College by MGO 1st June 1861, organised an independent rifle company, raised by Major Robt. B. Denison, at “Weston Toronto.” Authorised by GO., 3rd June 1861 and incorporated as No. 9 Coy “Trinity College,” 2nd Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada. 2nd Batt. VMR’s C., were reorganised in late 1862, and redesignated No. 8 Company, “Trinity College.” The battalion by MGO 18 March 1863, restyled as 2nd Batt., VMR’s C or “The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto,” Trinity College retained their No. 8 Company designation. Bishop’s College Drill Association, formed in Decr., 6th 1861, only unfolded in 1869; its seeds were firmly rooted in the Independent Rifle Companies, raised during the Trent Affair. BCS, from 1861 till 1866 was classified under, “Volunteer Militia Infantry and Rifle Corps,” however in 1867- 69 returned to its roots as a “Class B Independent Company,” therefore obviously not cadet corps roots. As for “another 14 early Drill Associations or Rifle Companies stoop up, in Ontario and Quebec,” is misleading, erroneous. For Lower & Upper Canada, (United Canada’s East & West), by February 1862 over 60 Independent, Regular, Volunteer, “Rifle, Infantry Companies,” “Class A & B” were authorised. The amendment Section 11 consisted of; “professors, masters, pupils of Universities, Schools or other public Institutions raised the above mentioned companies,” I only uncovered two non-school’s D.A.’s organised pre Decr., 62. Drill Associations were only assented by the militia act amendment, 9th June, 1862, with minimal interest from educational institutions, the majority preferred Rifle, Infantry, etc., Coy’s or were already authorized as active, independent, volunteer &c., Militia pre amendment. This prompted a new regulation, obligating the Militia District Divisions and Sub-Divisions, of the “Sedentary Battalions, Companies,” too raise Drill Associations. By Dec., 1862 to 7th Feb., 1863, a total of 76 Drill Associations were authorised by GO., though 70 were allotted by Section 11. Circa 1867, post Fenian Raids, a push for College/University, Coy’s, authorised as Independent, Volunteer Militia, Rifle, Infantry, etc., restyled as Drill Associations, was afoot, included non-schools. Several factors for reorganisation: Complying with Drill Associations, 11 now Section 58 of the Militia Act: “Independent companies of infantry” composed of professors, masters, pupils of Universities, Schools or other public Institutions……. “Associations or Companies shall not be provided with any clothing or allowance therefore, nor shall they receive pay.” Actually, just one factor influenced the Big Wigs at Québec, the amount of money saved by the government coffers.
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS DEPARTMENT OF ADJUTANT GENERAL OF MILITIA, AND THE BEST MEANS OF REORGANIZING THE MILITIA.
- We recommend that the Province be divided into such “Military Districts” as the Commander-in-Chief may, from time to time, direct.
- That each Military District be divided into “Regimental Divisions.”
- That in order to facilitate the enrolment, relief and reinforcement of an Active Force, each Regimental Division be divided into “Sedentary Battalion Divisions,” and subdivided into “Sedentary Company Divisions.”
- That each Regimental Division shall furnish one Active and one Reserve Battalion, to be taken as nearly as practicable in equal proportions from the male population each division, between the ages of 18 and 45.
- That each Company of an Active Battalion, together with its corresponding Reserve Company, be taken from within the limits of a defined territorial division, the boundary of which shall be identical with that of a Sedentary Battalion Division, or of a distinct portion of such division.
- That in order to accommodate the Sedentary Battalion Divisions to the organization of the Active Battalions, the limits of the former be, where necessary, re-arranged.
- We recommend that each of the principal cities of the Province, namely, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton and London, with such portions of the surrounding country as may, from time to time, be added to them by the Commander-in-Chief, shall constitute a Military District, to be divided into Regimental and Sedentary Battalion Divisions, as hereinbefore detailed; that they be allowed to furnish Volunteer Militia of the three arms in the proportions hereinafter detailed, in lieu of Active Battalions of Regular Militia. In the event of these cities failing to furnish their full complement of Volunteers, they shall, in part or altogether, fall under the General Regulations of the Regular Militia, in such manner as the Commander-in-Chief shall direct.
- That all the Regiments of Volunteer and Regular Militia shall be numbered from one upwards, the numbers to be drawn by lot.
- GEO. ET. CARTIER,
- JOHN. A. MACDONALD,
- T. GALT,
- ALLAN N. MACNAB,
- E. P. TACHE,
- D. LYSONS, COLONEL,
- T. E. CAMPELL,
- THOMAS WILY,
Secretary. Quebec, March 15, 1862.
- ANNO VICESIMO-QUINTO VICTORIAE REGINAE.
- AN ACT AMEND THE ACT RESPECTING THE MILITIA.
- Militia Act Amendment: Chapter 1, 26 Victoria, 1862.
- [Assented to 9th June, 1862.]
WHEREAS it is expedient to make the following provisions (Preamble) in amendment of chapter thirty-five of the Consolidated Statutes of Canada, intituled: An Act respecting the Militia: Con. Stat. Canada, cap. 35. Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent, of the Legislative Council and Assembly of Canada, enacts as follows:
- Section 11. (Certain Companies may be organized, &c, but not paid): The Commander in Chief may sanction the organization of associations for purposes of Drill and of independent Companies of Infantry composed of professors, masters, pupils of Universities, Schools or other public Institutions, or of persons engaged in or about the same, or of reserve men; but such Associations or Companies shall not be provided with any clothing or allowance therefore, nor shall they receive pay.
PROVINCE OF CANADA.
Head Quarters, Quebec, 17th November, 1862.
Militia General Order No. 1.
His Excellency the Commander in Chief has been pleased to promulgate the following Orders for the information and guidance of the Militia of the Province, respecting the appointment and duties of Brigade Majors under the provisions of the existing Militia Law, viz:—
- The Drill Instructors in each District will be placed under his sole control; he will distribute them through the Districts, and detail them for their respective duties as occasion may require.
- He will be required to organize Drill Associations amongst the Officers and Non commissioned Officers of each Battalion of Sedentary Militia within his District, with a view of their acquiring such a knowledge of, and proficiency in, their drill and military duties as will enable them to impart, as occasion may require, the knowledge thus obtained, to those under their command. This branch of his duty will also include the control and supervision of the organizations for drill, contemplated by the 11th clause of the amended Militia Act of last Session.
By command of His Excellency the Right Honourable the Governor General and Commander in Chief.
- De Salaberry, Lieut. Col., Dep. Adjt. Gen. of Militia, L. C.
- Walker Powell, Lieut. Col., Dep. Adjt. Gen. of Militia, U. C.
Report: State Of The Volunteer Force.
The Province being divided into 21 Military Districts, or say Lower Canada 11, and Upper Canada 10, the Volunteers in each District are under the immediate supervision of the Brigade Major, who has been appointed in accordance with the amended Militia Act of 1862, and whose duties are described as follows, in a General Order which was issued by this Department on the 17th November last:—
- The Drill Instructors in each District will be placed under his sole control, he will distribute them through the districts and detail them for their respective duties as occasion may require.
- He will be required to organize Drill Associations amongst the Officers and Non commissioned Officers of each Battalion of Sedentary Militia within his District, with a view to their acquiring such a knowledge of, and proficiency in their Drill and Military duties as will enable them to impart, as occasion may require, the knowledge thus obtained to those under their command. This branch of his duty will also include the control and supervision of the organizations for Drill contemplated by the 11th Clause of the amended Militia Act of last Session.
- He will further be subject to such orders and regulations as the Commander-in-Chief may see fit, from time to time, to issue for his guidance and instruction. He will report direct to Head-Quarters, and be the channel of all communications therewith in each Military District, for the Militia, both Sedentary and Active. Since the appointment of these active officers in each District, much has been done in the organization of the Militia into Companies of Volunteers and Drill Associations, but as yet a sufficient length of time has not elapsed to fully develop the new system, but judging from the results since the appointment of these Brigade Majors, the Department has every reason to believe that as regards organization and Drill in the several Districts, this branch of the Militia Staff has been decidedly successful.
Under the provisions of the 11th Section of the amended Militia Law, 70 Drill Associations, composed of the Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the Sedentary Militia, have been organized as follows: say, Lower Canada, 34; Upper Canada, 42; all of which will be supplied with arms and instruction for purposes of drill. Judging from the number of rolls reaching the Department daily, it is fair to presume that during the next three months the total number of these associations will be considerably increased. All of which is respectfully submitted for Your Excellency’s consideration.
- De SALABERRY, Lt.-Colonel, Dep. Adjt. Genl. Militia, L. C.
- WALKER POWELL, Lt.-Colonel. Dep. Adjt. Genl. Militia, U. C.
The Adjutant General’s Office, Quebec, February 10th, 1863.
- To His Excellency, the Governor General, &c, &c, &c. Quebec.