Wednesday, 12 October 2011

de Salaberry

While it may be true that without British regulars Canada would no doubt have had much more difficulties defending itself, one battle in 1813, at Chateauguay, it was only Canadians, and mostly Quebecois (those from Lower-Canada) without help from the British, stood their ground against the American invasion force some five times their number.  The American commander Hampton, thinking the odds with him, had a French speaking officer ask, no doubt in the flowery speak of the day, to surrender. DeSalaberry, it was said, picked up a musket himself and shot the officer dead!
After a flank march across the river failed to dislodge the Canadians who had a position behind a small ravine and abattis (basically branches of trees piled up) and fearful of the Indians - actually only 22(!) but they came in and out of the forest so appeared to be hundreds - to fightened eyes-  and made a fearful whoop; that Hampton caved in and departed for winter quarters.

Most portraits of deSalaberry at the battle show him on a tree stump which I tried to replicate.  His uniform was that of a rifleman in green (although his unit -  The Voltigeurs, carried muskets only).  The rank and fife however wore a light gray rifles uniform with black trim and a fur covered pointed headdress.

This link provides info on this unit:
http://www.warof1812.ca/voltigeurs.htm

Here is DeSalaberry exhorting the troops:

Old Glory 28mm
 and kinda fuzzy.  Ebay fuzzy? ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Another piece of history I was unaware of, thanks for the heads up! Nice figure too, if you cross your eyes the photo comes back into focus, he he!!

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