Calling the roll on board the Great Eastern shortly before her departure from the Mersey with troops for Canada, 1861. 'Shortly after noon on Thursday week the Great Eastern sailed out of the Mersey on her voyage to Quebec with troops to reinforce the Canadian garrisons. The day was cloudless, there was brilliant sunshine, and the piers and dock walls for five miles, as well as the landing-stages, were lined with spectators, who, as the great ship passed them, responded most heartily to the cheers raised by the soldiers who thronged the deck and the lower portions of the rigging. As she passed the landing-stages she fired salutes, and another on passing the fort. Both paddles and screw were in motion. In her wake were a score or two of tugs, occasional steamers, and other boats, filled with passengers, whose intention was to accompany the Great Eastern as far as the Bell buoy. The troops seemed in high spirits, and during the passage down the river a band on board the steamer played several favourite airs. There were on board the Great Eastern 2079 men and 46 officers; the former having with them 159 wives and 244 children. The cabin passengers (civilians) who went at the same time numbered about 40'. From "Illustrated London News", 1861.
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