April, 1813 - Tiger Dunlop at Depot-Isle of Wight

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April, 1813 - Tiger Dunlop at Depot-Isle of Wight

Post by pud » Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:26 pm

Source: RECOLLECTIONS of the AMERICAN WAR 1812-14. Dr. [Tiger] Dunlop. Toronto: Historical Publishing Co. 1905. pp.3-4.

"The end of March or the beginning of April, 1813, found me at the Army Depot in the Isle of Wight. Sir Walter Scott in his Surgeons Daughter, says that no one who has ever visited that delightful spot can ever forget it, and I fully agree with him, but though perfectly susceptible of the impressions which its numberless beauties leave on the mind, I must confess that the view of a fleet of transports rounding St. Helens to take us to our destination, would have been considered by myself and my comrades, as a pleasanter prospect then all Hampshire could offer to our admiration.,…

I went once, and only once, to the Garrison Mess, in company with two or three officers of my acquaintance, and saw among other novelties of a mess table, one officer shy a leg of mutton at another's head, from one end of the table to the other. This we took as notice to quit; so we made our retreat in good order, and never again returned, or associated with a set of gentlemen who had such a vivacious mode of expressing a difference of opinion.

The fact is, all the worse characters in the Army were congregated at the Isle of Wight; men who were afraid to join their regiments from the indifferent estimation they were held in by their brother officers. These stuck to the Depot, and the arrival of a fleet of transports at Spithead or the Mother-bank, was a signal for a general sickness among these worthies. And this was peculiarly the case with those who were bound for Canada, for they knew full well if they could shirk past the month of August, there was no chance of a call on their services until the month of April following. And many scamps took advantage of this. I know one fellow who managed to avoid joining his Regiment abroad for no less than three years.

I took my departure from this military paradise for the first time, for this country, in the beginning of August, 1813, in a small, ill-found, undermanned, over-crowded transport as transports in those days were very apt to be; and after a long, weary, and temp S. Joe Savoy at of three months, was landed at Québec in the beginning of the following November."

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