This Day in History: 1849-10-13

Troopship Apollo, carrying the 59th Foot to Hong Kong, makes harbour at Capetown after a slow and famine-stricken passage from Brazil. She is already 118 days out from Ireland, but remains at the Cape for 3 weeks, allowing her passengers to recover through full, fresh rations, and the troops to spend time ashore in bell tents.  Some of the officers manage to see something of the country, making a trip to the vineyards and wine cellars of Constantia. A noted Irish rebel on a nearby convict ship, being transported to Australia, records in his journal that on her deck, the band of the 59th ‘plays every morning and every evening, making the soft air thrill and tremble with delightful march or waltz.’