|Pioneers stand by as the new Officer of Engineers ponders what to do.|
During the first half of the 19th C Black volunteers were particularly useful for border guards as British troops tended to contain too high a perecentage of men who were attracted by the prospect of life in the US. This was much less attractive to men who ancestors had arrived in Canada as Loyalists and/or escaped slaves.
The Black volunteers also tended to be used to hard labour and performed as well with axe and shovel as they did with rifle and musket.
This unit was inspired by the Black Pioneer Company raised in York County in New Brunswick at the time of the Aroostook ''War". Black Pioneer units remained a feature of the Canadian Army right up to the end of WWI. By WWII all units were integrated.