Posted by Captain Everett on April 02, 1998 at 21:38:07:
In response to Haste, written by Ken on April 02, 1998 at 15:50:23
] If he could. But this all had to be done very hastily; he could not have counted on there being any commissions for sale up north within the time he had to work. Another problem might have been that he had to get the consent of the colonel of the regiment Wickham was moving to. It might have strained Darcy's conscience to vouch for Wickham in such a way (-:
As the militia and militia laws of Upper Canada, I'd agree with what Ken wrote on the distinction between militia and regular units. It may well be that JA simply wanted Wickham conviniently out of the story, and was only vaguely familiar with the practise of purchasing commissions. It would, however, have been a major consideration to remove him to somewhere where the details of the reason behind the move were not known. Within the officers' "community" of a regiment minor breaches of etiqette could lead the perpetrator to being temporarily "sent to Coventry." One could well imagine how they would ostracize Wickham if his crimes were known. There's part of me that wonders if this transfer did not involve a favour of some kind.
There are a few references to officers going AWOL in the 1814 Militia Law of Upper Canada. As stated above, they were patterned after those of England. It gives a long list of fines and prison sentances for various offences, both for officers and soldiers. Some really only apply to local or sedentary militia, as opposed to the full-time (or embodied) militia to which Wickham would have belonged. One section states that an officer who fails to march with his regiment when it is called out was subject to a fine of £50, "and to be held unfit to serve his Majesty as an Officer in any Military capacity." (A gaol term of six to twelve months would be sentenced if the fine was not paid.) This did however, have behind it the assumption that there was a real military threat involved. A militia officer merely failing to report to a scheduled drill was subject to a fine not exceeding £10. Interestingly, while there doesn't seem to be anything covering an officer going awol. There is a paragraph stating that any NCO or private who absented himself would be subject to a Court Martial; any officer who failed to follow up on such an absence would be cashiered, but nothing on the officer himself doing so. In my research on the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada (who volunteered to serve for the duration of the war with the US), there were several cases of officers going awol during the quiet winter of 1814-15. Nost of these were simply overstaying their furlough, and none seem to have suffered any repercussions for doing so.
I remain, etc.
- Thank you, all of you Caroline 12:53:10 4/04/98 (0)
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