The Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812

Canada at War with France

Maritime Preparations

On the other hand, the British colonies along the Atlantic coast took the French threat very seriously, for they were vulnerable in the event of attack by warships from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon as a supply base. To counter this eventuality, the British decided to take preemptive action by attacking this small French territory, which the Revolution had impinged upon in spite of the distance: the previous year, hundreds of inhabitants of the archipelago took refuge on Cape Breton Island and the Magdalen Islands. As a result, on May 14, 1793, several British warships arrived at Saint-Pierre. Any resistance was useless, and the 120 men of the Compagnie franche de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon in garrison surrendered without a fight. During this time a portion of the regular troops and the British ships posted to North America left for the West Indies, where furious battles were already under way. To replace them, the authorities decided immediately to raise "provincial" (i.e., colonial) troops. They began recruiting for the Royal Nova Scotia Regiment, the King's New Brunswick Regiment, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and two companies of the Volunteers of the Island of St. John.