Yachting on the Great Lakes with the Royal Artillery, 1863 by Marc Seguin, historian and author

It was in August, 1863, when three British Army officers, members of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, sailed around Lake Ontario with stops at Sackets Harbor, Oswego, Sodus Point and Rochester. They had been sent to Canada the year before, along with 12,000 other British soldiers, at a time when Britain was on the brink of war with the United States. War was eventually averted, but the soldiers remained in Canada until the end of the American Civil War. Several of these soldiers joined the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, one of the oldest yacht club on the Great Lakes.

That August in 1863, the artillery officers were on leave from their regimental duties. One of the officers, Lieutenant Henry Baines, was a talented writer and painter. He kept a daily record of the cruise in his illustrated journal entitled “A Month’s Leave, or the Cruise of the Breeze” in which he writes about events of the Civil War and encounters with soldiers in the Union Army.

The lecture was held at the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

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