This letter emanated from the Military Department of The Office of Chief Secretary for Ireland. I was fortunate in having it in the collection, as almost all of the records of the above department were destroyed in the fire at the Four Courts Dublin in 1922. This meant that much of the historical information which allowed detailed analysis of the functions and transactions of this section of army organisation, simply disappeared. There are very few surviving records of The Chief Secretary’s Office for the period in question. Gabriel Montgomery surveyor of Lifford and Strabane was a most valuable asset to the army for several years and most emphatically his tasks were in the national interest. He was a historically important figure deserving due recognition.

This letter is signed by Colonel French. Who was he? The Triple Almanac dated 1813, which was published in Dublin, lists “Lieutenant Colonel J French as one of the Assistant Quarter Master Generals of the Army in Ireland.”

The topic of the letter is an expression of thanks for the remarkable surveys conducted by Gabriel Montgomery during this period, as directed by the Deputy Quarter Master General.