Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Underground - Chapter Three Posted!

The third chapter of Underground, “A Proper Crutch,” is now available at www.cmgbooks.com/5.html.  I’m sorry it’s late; some last-minute research turned up some last-minute plot problems.  For instance:Lieutenant Mills was originally posted to Fort George in Niagara; Fort George was abandoned in the 1820s.  You see the problem? ;).  This was then complicated by exams and a major research paper. 

In any event, exams are finished, all the plot bugs are now ironed out (I hope) and the chapter is ready for your enjoyment!

Some Notes on the Chapter:

The Watkins wing of Kingston General Hospital was constructed in 1863 as an isolation ward.  Many of the beds were reserved for charity, but a few on the second floor could be used by patients of a slightly higher class who were able to pay for the medical attention they received.  .

Murney Tower is one of four Martello towers constructed along the shore of Lake Ontario in the mid-nineteenth century to provide additional fortification to Kingston.  Like Fort Henry, Murney Tower never saw action, as the conflict with the United States was concluded by treaty, though it was used by the British army until the 1870s, and by the Canadian forces until the 1890s.

Caroline’s comment on what Lieutenant Mills is wearing is not, perhaps, as out of place as it might seem.  In the nineteenth century, only officers in the British army were allowed to keep their civilian clothes.  Ordinary soldiers’ clothes were taken and burned, so the only coat they owned was their uniform coat; being bright red, this made it very difficult for men to desert. 


Angus, Margaret. Kingston General Hospital: A Social and Institutional History. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1973.

For information about nineteenth century Kingston, including a basic chronology and details about Murney Tower, check out the Kingston Historical Society at www.kingstonhistoricalsociety.ca.  I should note here that Murney Tower contains a museum of nineteenth-century military artefacts that is open during the summer months (more information on the website above).

Both Fort Henry and Fort Wellington are still standing, and are open to the public from May until October.  You can visit their respective websites at

Enjoy “A Proper Crutch,” and check back soon for chapter four!

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