Alexander Campbell served as a sergeant with the 7th Fusiliers, a battalion of militia which was headquartered in London, Ontario. This unit was called into active service on April 1, 1885 and, within a week, had embarked on their journey west -- a journey made more arduous by the gaps in the railway above Lake Superior. After stops in Winnipeg and Swift Current, the 7th Fusiliers did not reach the area of the fighting until after General Middleton's forces had defeated the Métis at Batoche. The unit was one of many which served to protect the Northwest Field Force's lines of communication. Campbell was stationed at Clark's Crossing (north of Saskatoon on the South Saskatchewan River) and at Telegraph Coulee. The 7th Fusiliers left for their return journey to Ontario in mid-July without ever seeing combat.
Alexander Campbell's association with the University of Saskatchewan began in 1913, and in 1922 he became the first Dean of Pharmacy. He retired in 1928 and died in December 1942. While on active duty, Campbell made pencil sketches of what he saw. Some years later he used these drawings as the basis for a series of small watercolours which he combined with a narrative of his service. Jean Murray, a professor of history at the University of Saskatchewan, came into possession of the volume and upon her death in 1981 it was left to the University Library, where it is now housed in the Special Collections Department as MSS 49 #17.
As part of the Northwest Resistance Project, Campbell's unpublished volume has been digitized and can be viewed in its entirety.
Go to Alexander Campbell's An Account of the Advances of
the 7th Fusiliers of London to aid in the suppression of the North West Rebellion of 1885
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