In the Maritimes

Nova Scotia

Volunteer rifleman, Halifax Rifles, 1859

Caption: Volunteer rifleman, Halifax Rifles, 1859

Nova Scotia was the most populous of the Maritime colonies, with approximately 14,000 militiamen in 1821, 26,000 in 1830, 41,000 in 1845 and 44,000 around 1860. Apart from the regiments of the Sedentary Militia organized throughout the colony, there was a Nova Scotia Volunteer Artillery corps at Halifax to assist the regular artillerymen of the Royal Artillery who operated the cannon at the many forts defending the port. Around 1840, the elite companies of this prosperous city's regiments were probably the best trained and equipped in the colony. The 1859 statute on the volunteer companies led to the creation of many such companies throughout the colony. So enthusiastic was their reception that the number of volunteers had to be restricted to 2,000, although the number was increased to 2,600 in 1862. The colony's government supplied modern weapons and ammunition and paid the instructors as well as part of the costs of the uniforms.