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Date > 1600 > 1660-1669

Subject > Armed Forces > Military Ceremony and Honours

Drummer, régiment de Carignan-Salières, 1665-1668

Type: Image

This reconstruction by Michel Pétard shows a drummer of the régiment de Carignan-Salières during the regiment's service in New France. He is wearing the livery of the princes of Carignan. The Carignan coat of arms is painted on his drum; the central shield of the arms shows a white cross on a red field. The drummer's role was to communicate the orders of his commander through patterns of drum beats. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

The Nature of the Militia

Type: Document

Participation of the general populace of New France in the militia provided an important link between a hierarchical absolutist government and a population known for being proud and independent. Although membership was non voluntary, this was not resented by the men involved.

Site: National Defence

Militiamen raising the May pole in front of their captain’s house

Type: Image

The tradition of raising the May pole in front of the Militia captain's house, which began in the era of New France, went on in French Canada until the middle of the 19th century.

Site: National Defence

The Military Wedding

Type: Document

During the 18th and 19th centuries, marriage for the common British soldier was governed mostly by custom. Marriage involved 'leaping over the sword', where bride and groom did just that in the presence of the man's companions. Official permission was needed in theory, but seldom given.

Site: National Defence

The White Flag As A Battle Flag

Type: Document

With origins in the Wars of Religion of the early seventeenth century, an all white flag symbolized France during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was flown over military outposts and from ships' masts throughout the existence of the colony of New France.

Site: National Defence

Guardsman, bodyguard of the Marquis de Tracy, 1665-1667

Type: Image

This man-at-arms is one of 17 personal bodyguards responsible for the Marquis de Tracy between 1665 and 1667 during his time as Governor General of New France. By specific decree of the King, de Tracy's guard wore tabards similar to those of the Musketeers of the Royal Guard. These were blue, lined with red and decorated with white crosses and trim. This is the costume made famous in the novel 'The Three Musketeers' by Alexandre Dumas. Reconstruction by Michel Pétard. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

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 Governor General's Guard

Type: Document

During the period when New France was a colony of the French crown, the Governor General was authorized to have a small group of bodyguards, just as was the case in the provinces of France. The men often wore the Governor General's personal livery as a uniform.

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

Officer with regimental colour, régiment de Carignan-Salières, 1665

Type: Image

The regiment's Colours were in the livery colours of the Prince of Carignan which were red lined with blue. The regimental uniform was brown with grey facings. Print issued on the 300th anniversary of the founding of Trois-Rivières in 1934.

Site: National Defence