Here is how the Riel diary was introduced on the front page of the April 7, 1966, issue of the Weyburn (Saskatchewan) Review:
"The diary of an Ontario staff sergeant made study of the Riel Rebellion more interesting for the Grade 12 class at Western Christian College this winter.
"When the class came to study this highlight in Saskatchewan history, student Bob Hamilton of Edson, Alta. (formerly of Burstall, Sask.) remembered that his grandmother, Mrs. E.S. Gooderham of Clarkson, Ont., visiting his family a few years ago, had shown him her father's diary, recording the rebellion as seen by a patriotic young easterner who enlisted to fight the revolt.
"Mr. Hamilton wrote his grandmother, who obligingly sent the dairy, a well-preserved, leather-bound volume of about 100 pages, in which Staff Sgt. Walter F. Stewart had made daily entries from a few days before his enlistment in Port Hope, Ont., until his discharge about two months after that fateful day at Batoche in 1885.
"The diary, although written in pencil more than three quarters of a century ago, is quite legible, and includes a sketch of the steamship 'Northcote', which took the Midland Battalion up [sic] the South Saskatchewan River to Batoche. Another is a detailed sketch of the battle area.
"The Midlanders were specially recruited in Ontario to put down the western rebellion, and after brief training, crossed Ontario on a railway which still had a number of gaps, necessitating long hikes through snow and slush.
"The siege and attack on Batoche, led by the Midlanders, is described in considerable detail. Just as it is almost over, the victors are confronted with the sobering spectacle of an Indian woman cradling her dead 10-year-old daughter, cut down as she ran through the army's line of fire to be with her mother.
"The sergeant goes on to describe the surrender of Poundmaker, the tracking of Big Bear, and the long trip back home to Ontario. He closes with the assessment that it was 'a rebellion that should never have happened'.