A Decade of Turbulence

The Invasion of 1866

Second Thrust Turned Back

A few days later, on June 8, a second small army of Fenians crossed the border near Huntingdon, south of Montreal. Several corps of volunteers had already been posted nearby but excitement had reached a peak in the Montreal newspapers. The Gazette even reported that the number of invaders was around 5,000, when in reality there were only 1,000, and they advanced only a few kilometres into Canadian territory - when they saw that there were several thousand British soldiers and Canadian volunteers converging on them from all sides they beat a hasty retreat. But the British and Canadian troops caught up with approximately 200 Fenians as they were leaving Pidgeon Hill. The Royal Guides, a Montreal volunteer cavalry company, charged them with swords drawn and captured 16. After this episode, the Fenians suspended their attacks for a few years.