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Home > Civil War Sesquicentennial> Walter Phelps Transcript

Walter Phelps Transcript

Box 110, Folder 19


London, Canada West

January 11, 1862

Dear Sir

Being an American citizen but residing in this place I cannot but take notice of the prevalent feeling pervading Canada West against the people across the lines as they term them here- the people of the United States should not be deceived by the apparent security the rendition of Mason & Slidell will apparently give, but see if there is not really some thing more serious than any thing yet anticipated upon. The Militia of Canada is called out and drilling by regular officers of the Regular Army besides troops are stationed at Montnall Bridge on Grand Trunk, Montrall, Kingston, Colungh ( ß ???), Toronto, Hamilton, St. Catherines, Jus Bridge (Niagra River), London Geulph, and other points in Canada and no abatement to volunteer movements, but full as ??? exertions to forward movements etc as ever.

The Secret lays in the weakening of the power in the States by civil discord and this bring the opportune moment for action-any pretext will be good enough to precipitate a forward movement to accomplish the purpose, which is not the benefit of the Southern Confederacy as many suppose, but to obtain an outlet for Canada which is closed for 5 months of the year, except by passing through the United States and the people are clamorous for the State of Maine with the harbour of Portland which would be of immense value to Britain in the future for they fear the power of the States here often and it is asserted often here that unless the States can be crippled by some such means eventually they will rule the Seas and the Continent. What few remarks I have made is sufficient for you to look to your situation in case of a war existing - for Canada cannot forego the idea of giving up this hold upon the seaboard neither could the Mother Country with out a ???, which they conceived the war to gain, for Maine is the key of Canada, at present and for all time to come in winter.

Respectfully etc

Walter S. Phelps

P.S. being an employee of the Great Western Railway as engineer of a locomotive I wish my name suppressed from the public

This Ry has a regiment formed from the employees of the car, locomotion, and traffic department and the G. I. Ry has a Rifle Regiment formed all to act as minute men W.S.P.