Apl 7th 85
Since writing you last from Biscotasing I have both seen and done a good deal. We went from there a long way until we came a day or two later to Dog Lake the end of the line. We took sleighs with boards nailed around and no robes or straw for a drive of 45 miles, we left at 6 a.m. driving was rather cold work, so far the grub had been getting steadily worse but in the middle of the drive we stopped at [Fraser?] and Ridouts shanty where we had a splendid meal all sorts of meat [biscuit?] and I stuffed my haversack full of all sorts of things including a can of jellied tongue as in this part of the country we can never depend on where we shall get the next meal as the Queens Own and A and B Batteries have been before us and eaten the best part of the supplies. From this shanty we drove to a place called Birch Creek where we arrive about 10 oclock at night and when quite a long way off we saw big lights which proved to be the camp fires of the 10th Royals of Toronto about 275 strong, we were very sorry to come up with them as we had after that to be under the orders of their Colonel and have since always been the last to get anything to eat as the 10th always take care to have first [hack?] at everything, we got nothing to eat here but had a cup of hot coffee, we loafed aroud the place when we were put on board the train about 1.30 am. to go a distance of 90 miles to the next break in the line. The consisted of gravel construction cars with a few boards nailed along to keep the men from falling off the nigt was intensely cold 20 below zero and some of the boys were afraid to go asleep for fear of being frozen. However I went and laid down and slept without harm until 6.30 am and was not hurt in the least, the only thing which troubled me was that I dreamt I was on a expedition to the north pole and so felt the cold even in my sleep. A most peculiar thing about the weather along Lake Superior is the strength of the sun during the day and the cold at night. Hugh [Winters?] had his cheeks sunburnt like the mischief in the afternoon and had them frozen the same night, his face is in a pickle. The breakfast we got in the morning was this. The men formed up in single file with their cups in one hand and were marched past a place where we made a grab for a sandwich with one hand and a cup of tea with the other. We then took the sleighs and drove all day until we reached a place on the Lake called Port Munro, where we had grub about 6. P.M. The place we were quartered for meals was the dirtiest place I ever saw and quite took away our appetites although they were not by any means slim ones.
We pitched our tents in the snow for the night, this was my first experience of sleeping in a tent in winter. [However?] it did not matter much as I was detailed with 5 others for guard which kept me up most of the night. We left there at 5 am for a march of 20 miles along the Lake to McKellars Bay where we took the train for a place called Jackfish Bay, at this place we halted for the night and had two of the best meals of the expedition so far. From Jackfish bay we took sleighs for a drive of 28 mils along the Lake and then about 4 oclock in the afternoon we reached there and took the open gravel car for 65miles which brought us to the edge of the Lake about eleven oclock last night. we so far had not had anything to eat since 6 oclock in the morning we [were?] served here with a cup of tea and some bread and then about 12 o’clock started on a march on the Lake of about 13 miles to Nepigon where we arrived about four in the morning —
The march across the Lake last night was the hardest march I ever put in, you can imagine how hard it was from the fact that about 45 men of the 10th dropped in the snow completily used up to wait until the ambulance corps came along in sleighs to pick them up. Capt Todd is immensely pleased at the way we are behaving ourselves in the march last night not a man of our company gave up. I was of great use to the men in the march and played the piccolo for them more than half the way I was complimented by the officers this morning for same – I think I get along with the boys better than almost any one in the Company –
We will now not have any more hard work for some time as we reached Port Arthur this morning at 10 oclock and we put in a glorious meal —
We expect to reach Winnipeg some time tomorrow where no doubt we will be very well received.
I will not write now for a couple of days after I reach Winnipeg and you will be informed through the papers of our movements. I am in the best of health and spirits and as brown as a berry from the sun. In fact have not been so fit as Sparks calls it for years. When you write to me from this [out?] you will please address letters and papers
to Pte. L.L. Brophy
“Guard's Sharpshooting Co
To be forwarded in the corner of envelope
No more at present as I am pretty well wound up and have not anything more to tell you – Love to mother and the family –
Your afftc son
– Lewis –
[written crosswise on final page, date/author unknown: “April 7th/85”]