Memorable Manitobans: Men of the Red River Expeditionary Force (1870-1877)
The Red River Expeditionary Force under Garnet J. Wolseley came to the Red River Settlement in August 1870. It is sometimes referred to as the Wolseley Expedition. Wolseley himself stayed for only a few days, returning to Eastern Canada with his regular forces, leaving a force in Manitoba under the command of Samuel Peters Jarvis, who eventually turned it over to William Osborne Smith. The RREF was finally disbanded in 1877.
This is a listing of 1,704 men who served in the RREF between 1870 and 1877, including information on their rank, battalion and company, age at enlistment, occupation, marital status, and date and place of discharge.
Those indicated “yes” in the 1870 column were members of the First RREF serving in 1870 under Garnet J. Wolseley (i.e. the Wolseley Expedition).
Battalion abbreviations: 1st = First Ontario Rifles, 2nd = Second Quebec Rifles, PBR = Provisional Battalion of Rifles, PBA = Provision Battalion of Artillery.
From abbreviations: O = Ontario, Q = Quebec, NB = New Brunswick, NS = Nova Scotia, NFLD = Newfoundland, USA = United States of America, M = Manitoba, PEI = Prince Edward Island.
More than one Bounty Warrant number indicates two or more Warrants issued for different periods of service either as a re-enlistment or as a substitute.
“Did not finish term” indicates that the individual did not finish serving out the term agreed upon and either supplied a substitute or not. “Dismissed for bad conduct” indicates “Discharged with ignominy” or “Dismissed for bad conduct”. Both mean that no Land Grant is allowed. “Invalided, did not finish term” indicates an “Invalided” individual whose term was not finished through no fault of his own. “Unfit, did not finish term” indicates a person declared “Unfit” who is usually responsible for the declaration appearing on his record. Many of these are due to alcohol related problems. “Medically unfit, did not finish term” indicates an individual discharged as medically unfit who is responsible for the discharge. “Refused to join” indicates that this individual agreed to sign up and when faced with his attestation papers either was not present or refused to sign. Attestation papers indicate the length and terms of service.
Joseph F. Tennant, Rough Times, 1870-1920. A Souvenir of the 50th Anniversary of the Red River Expedition and the Formation of the Province of Manitoba, Part 1, Chapter 9.
Appendices II and III, The Canadian and the Metis: The Re-Creation of Manitoba, 1858-1872 by Frederick J. Shore, PhD dissertation, University of Manitoba, 1991. [From Library and Archives Canada, RG9, II B4, Volume 16. Department of Militia and Defence, Post-Confederation Records, Adjutant-General's Office and Headquarters, 1867-1922. Register and Lists of Officers, 1867-1922 and Register of Service, Red River Battalion, 1870-1877]
This gallery was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 22 May 2010