The Yukon Field Force 1898-1899
The discovery of gold in the Yukon in 1896 had generated a rush of miners and speculators. In 1898, in order to support the NWMP in maintaining law and order, an Order-in-Council authorized the formation of the Yukon Field Force. The 203-man force was mainly constituted of 133 soldiers from The Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry and 46 Gunners of The Royal Canadian Artillery (14 from Kingston and 32 from Québec) with two 7 Pdr RML guns. After tremendous difficulties, the Force finally reached their two main destinations, Fort Selkirk and Dawson City, in September and October respectively. The Force carried out garrison duties and other tasks normally done by police and customs officers. Once the troops returned to their home stations they were replaced by a small militia unit, the Dawson City Rifle Company. The Force reported to Inspector Sam Steele of the Mounties.