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Grenadier, 17th Regiment of Foot, 1750s

Type: Image

The 17th Regiment of Foot arrived at Halifax in 1757. It took part in the siege of Louisbourg as part of Brigadier James Wolfe's brigade. The 17th’s grenadiers were surprised by a French sortie on 9 July 1758. Their captain, Lord Dundonald, and part of the company were killed. The regiment was later part of General Amherst’s army, advancing up Lake Champlain in 1759 and down the Richelieu River in 1760. It fought at Île-aux-Noix and was at the surrender of Montreal in September 1760. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Map of the battle of Châteauguay, 26 October 1813

Type: Image

The battle of Châteauguay took place along the east and west banks of the Châteauguay river. There was a narrow cleared area on the west bank (towards the top of this map published in 1815), and it was here that the Canadian defenders manned their abbatis (barricades made of felled trees) on 26 October 1813. Most of the fighting took place on the west bank, but an American attempt to outflank the abbatis led to fierce and confused fighting on the east bank as well. The broken terrain helped the defenders by keeping the invaders from realizing that they outnumbered the Canadians ten to one.

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

Fort Montgomery - the American fort built inside Canada

Type: Image

The United States Corps of Engineers began building Fort Montgomery in 1816, after the War of 1812. It was sited near Rouses Point, New York, at the northern end of Lake Champlain at the mouth of the Richelieu River. In the case of another war, it was to guard the northern American border against British and Canadian incursions and provide a base for United States armies invading Canada in that area. However, construction had to be abandoned after two years when the fort was found to be slightly inside Canada’s boundaries. Fort Montgomery got the nickname ‘Fort Blunder’ and was never completed. The site later reverted to the United States in 1842 as a good will gesture between Britain, Canada and the United States, nations that have since been allies in the great struggles of the 20th century.

Site: National Defence

Private, 50th (Shirley's) or 51st (Pepperell's) Regiment of Foot, 1754-1756

Type: Image

Shirley's and Pepperell's Regiments were units of the British army raised in Massachusetts at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. Both were largely captured by the French in 1756 while part of the garrison of Oswego. The units were disbanded. This American colonist wears the red coat of a British regular, with red regimental facings. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

The fight of the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, Hampton Roads, Virginia, 9 March 1862

Type: Image

The naval battle between the Confederate States' heavily armed ironclad steamship CSS Virginia (the much altered former USS Merrimack) against the Union navy’s iron ship USS Monitor on 9 March 1862 caused a revolution in naval battle tactics. With its low profile and a rotating turret with only two guns, the Monitor prevailed over her opponent thus establishing the superiority of ships mounted with turrets. Military and political authorities in Canada and Britain followed these developments closely. Contemporary engraving.

Site: National Defence

Quebec batteries firing on Phips' ships during October 1690

Type: Image

Part of Quebec's defences is shown firing upon the invaders’ ships during October 1690. The upper town was protected by a good wall with intermittent batteries. There were more defensive works up towards the Chateau Saint-Louis near Cape Diamond. In the lower town, facing the harbour, there were two strong French shore batteries armed with heavy 18 and 24-pounder naval cannon. Inland, a line of earthworks punctuated with 11 redoubts enclosed the city from the western side. This 19th century print is inaccurate in some details (for instance, the Château Saint-Louis which only had one storey in 1690) but gives a good sense of the general action. (Library and Archives Canada, C-006022)

Site: National Defence

A skirmish at Dickinson's Landing in Upper Canada between Patriots and the Loyalist Cavalry in 1838

Type: Image

Several units of Canadian militia cavalry were incorporated in 1838 to patrol the colony, guarding against raids. While the action shown is fictional, this painting gives an idea of the kind of work that was expected of the mounted loyalist volunteers. (Library and Archives Canada, C-001032)

Site: National Defence

Wreck of the steamboat Caroline near Niagara Falls, 29 December 1837

Type: Image

The destruction of the American steamboat Caroline in December 1837 caused a diplomatic storm between Britain and the United States. Canadian loyalist volunteers, commanded by a Royal Navy officer, mounted a raid across the border to capture the merchant ship that was supplying William Lyon Mackenzie's Canadian rebels on Navy Island. This 1838 aquatint suggests that the burning ship went over Niagara Falls, but in fact it ran around on a small island before this could happen. (Library and Archives Canada, C-004788)

Site: National Defence

Loyalist soldier, 1776-1783

Type: Image

Several corps of Loyalists connected with Canada wore this pattern of red uniform with green facings. Jessup's King's Loyal Americans, formed in 1776 to accompany General Burgoyne's expedition are noted in red faced green. The Loyal Nova Scotia Volunteers, raised by Nova Scotia Governor Francis Legge were also recorded in these colours in 1783 by a German officer. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence