The Revolt of Pontiac and the American Invasion

The Americans Lay Siege to Quebec

Carleton Rallies the Defenders

City of Quebec militiaman, circa 1775­-1776

Caption: City of Quebec militiaman, circa 1775­-1776

Fortunately for the British, Carleton regained control of the situation and finally displayed his leadership qualities. In Quebec, all that remained of the regular troops were a few staff officers, approximately 60 soldiers from the 7th Regiment, 37 naval infantry soldiers and six artillerymen. Carleton also had the assistance of 200 recruits who had just arrived from Newfoundland and who belonged to a new colonial regiment called the Royal Highland Emigrants, as well as sailors taken from the ships in the port and approximately 80 artificers and workmen. Finally, he had some 900 men from the city militia, divided into eight "Canadian Militia" companies and six "British Militia" companies. 38

Carleton began by expelling from the city anyone who supported American ideas. He took measures to strengthen the fortifications and assembled a good supply of rations and ammunition. He then reorganized his incongruous garrison and equipped it with the supplies recently received from England. With the regular soldiers and Scottish recruits, he established an elite reserve corps; he integrated the sailors and artificers into the artillery and into engineering, and assigned the bulk of the defence effort to the two militia corps. He distributed green uniforms to everyone, and, in anticipation of winter, fur hats, capotes, mittens and other appropriate clothing. Not least, Carleton was able to rouse his men. Suitably fed, armed and sheltered within the walls of the city, they resolutely awaited the Americans.

Additional Images

Private, The Royal Highland Emigrants, 1775-1776