The Revolt of Pontiac and the American Invasion

1764: The Canadian Volunteers Battalion

A Military Tradition Continued

Command was indeed given to Canadians, several of whom were, moreover, former officers of the Compagnies franches de la Marine, including Battalion Major Jean-Baptiste-Marie Blaise Des Bergères de Rigauville. Confidence returned little by little, and by mid-April the five companies were complete. The Canadian uniform was different from that of the regular soldiers: woollen cap, capote, leggings and moccasins; the colours appear to have been red and green. The Battalion of Canadian Volunteers 28 left for the West in May, accompanying the British soldiers first to Fort Oswego, and then Niagara, Detroit and finally Fort Sandusky. However, the hostilities were already coming to an end. Pontiac's Amerindians surrendered in the summer of 1764 and made peace. 29 The Canadians were therefore not involved in any battles, but the news of their presence alongside the British worried the Amerindians because they were thoroughly familiar with their bushfighting skills. Once the campaign was over, in the fall, the Canadian companies returned to their respective districts, as agreed, and were eventually dissolved in early December. This battalion was thus a link between on the one hand the former troops of New France, and the militia companies that had existed in the parishes since 1760, and on the other hand the troops of the British regime. Although the Canadians were abandoned by France, they continued their military tradition.