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Subject > Armed Forces > Military Ceremony and Honours > Awards, Decorations and Medals

Date > 1600

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville

Type: Document

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville (1661-1706), son of tactician Charles Le Moyne, was perhaps the greatest soldier New France ever produced. Between 1686 and 1706 he established himself as a master commander both on land and at sea. Also an explorer, he founded the first permanent settlement in Louisiana.

Site: National Defence

The Cross of Saint Louis

Type: Document

This medal, the only one given to French officers at the time, was awarded for years of long and good service. Its holders became knights of the Order of Saint Louis, and from 1750 were automatically raised to the nobility. Over 140 officers in New France received the Cross.

Site: National Defence

Nobles and Commoners

Type: Document

The French nobility wanted to forbid commoners positions as military officers. Louis XIV favoured competence above all else, but his successors gradually capitulated. The colonial forces were attractive to non-noble officers, since the nobility preferred to stay in France.

Site: National Defence

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville et d’Ardillières (1661-1706)

Type: Image

Born Pierre Le Moyne, the Canadian-born officer known best as 'd’Iberville' was the most eminent soldier born in New France. This 19th century print is based on a contemporary portrait painted some time after Le Moyne d'Iberville was made a chevalier of the Order of Saint-Louis in 1699. The white cross of the order can be seen on his breast.

Site: National Defence

Promotion

Type: Document

Practically the only award available for soldiers during the French regime was promotion to a higher rank This meant a raise in pay, as well as some prestige. For sergeants, the extra work required by the rank cut down on outside work, so their wives often ran taverns for soldiers.

Site: National Defence