CHAPTER 5: Demobilization
A Time For Defence Cuts
In 1815 a world tired of more than 20 years of conflict welcomed the end of the Napoleonic wars. Throughout the long period of peace that followed, all the countries involved in these confrontations were relieved to be able to make huge cuts in their military spending, which was swallowing up most of their budgets. In Great Britain the Royal Navy was reduced from 140,000 to 17,000 men. Army personnel were cut to 110,000, the minimum required to maintain British garrisons in Great Britain and the colonies. With the exception of those in India, regular colonial troops were disbanded.
Some believed, rightly, that the people of British North America would lose interest in defence matters unless one or more Canadian regiments were kept active. But Great Britain retained its strict cost-saving measures and applied them rigorously. All the Fencibles regiments, including the 104th, which had been raised in New Brunswick, were disbanded in 1816-17. Henceforth all defence would be the responsibility of the home British army sent to the colony.