History Browser

Search Results

Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life > Recruitment and Demobilization

Date > 1700

Attempts to Increase Military Strength

Type: Document

Despite their disunity, the staff of New France agreed on one thing - the need for more fighting men to defend the colony. During the winter of 1756-57, Governor Vaudreuil reorganized existing resources, and two more battalions from the French metropolitan army were dispatched.

Site: National Defence

The City Falls

Type: Document

Encouraged by weak British resistance, the American rebels were able to capture Fort Saint-Jean south of Montreal in November 1775. This left the city without defence, and Governor Carleton fled. The rebels took Montreal, and began trying to raise Canadian troops to fight for them.

Site: National Defence

A Return To Earlier Methods

Type: Document

After 1777, in order to keep the American rebels on the defensive, the British adopted the old Canadian tactic of raiding enemy settlements. The raids were made by mixed groups of Amerindians and soldiers. The troops used were American loyalists such as Butler's Rangers.

Site: National Defence

Demobilization and Retirement

Type: Document

Before reforms in the mid-19th century, most British soldiers left the army only when their regiment was disbanded in the aftermath of a war. When this occurred in Canada, men were offered land to encourage them to settle in the colony. Pensions were rare, and worth little.

Site: National Defence

Men of the King's Royal Regiment of New York settling in Johnstown in 1784

Type: Image

This contemporary watercolour shows a encampment of Loyalist veterans and their families at Johnstown (present-day Cornwall, Ontario) in 1784. Some of these men of the King's Royal Regiment of New York still wear their red coats. (Library and Archives Canada, C-002001).

Site: National Defence

J.C.B. Goes to Canada

Type: Document

There is an eye-witness account of the life of a soldier recruited for the Troupes de la Marine in Canada. Joseph Charles Bonin, called 'J.C.B.' joined in 1751, bored with his life as a clerk. After a seasickness filled Atlantic crossing, J.C.B. reached Quebec.

Site: National Defence

A Canadian Military Elite is Born

Type: Document

The officers of the Compagnies franches de la Marine became more and more Canadian in nature as time passed. Eventually, a majority of these men were born in the colony, and the French-born officers also established strong roots in Canada.

Site: National Defence

The Invasion of Nova Scotia

Type: Document

Throughout late 1775 and into the summer of 1776, the garrison of Nova Scotia increased in numbers. Colonial regiments raised in America from loyal subjects were an important part of the garrison. Along with additional British regular troops, they secured the colony for the Crown.

Site: National Defence

Composition of the Garrison

Type: Document

The Compagnies franches de la Marine on Île Royale were sent thousands of recruits between 1714 and 1755, but were perpetually under strength. To bolster them, part of Karrer's Swiss regiment, a mercenary unit in French service, was stationed in the colony.

Site: National Defence

Recruiting Sergeants

Type: Document

Recruiters would entice potential volunteers with false tales of the easy, glorious life they would lead in the military, and told stories of riches to be won. Getting the men drunk also played an important part in recruiting practices.

Site: National Defence