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Date > 1700 > 1780-1789 > 1783

Subject > Politics and Society > War Art, Literature and Music

Military Bands

Type: Document

The British likely introduced the military band to Canada. These regimental musicians were paid for by individual units. Instrumentation favoured flutes, clarinets and percussion. The bands played a strong role in the social life of garrison towns throughout Canada.

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

Entertainment

Type: Document

During the 18th and 19th centuries, alcohol and prostitutes were not the only forms of entertainment available to British soldiers. Cards and dice were popular, as was singing and playing music. The army tried to encourage reading, and it set up schools for the illiterate majority.

Site: National Defence

Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site of Canada: A Multi-Purpose Structure

Type: Document

The site at Coteau-du-Lac represented a major point of transit for British military logistics efforts. Between 1781 and 1814, the army developed large-scale infrastructures on the site, which testify to the importance the colonial authorities attached to improving and protecting transportation and communications along the route linking Montréal and Kingston.

Site: Parks Canada

Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Haldimand, Governor General of Canada, circa 1770

Type: Image

Sir Frederick Haldimand (1718-1791) served as Governor General between 1778 and 1784. He had to safeguard Canada while keeping the pressure on the Americans' northern frontiers just as his British garrison was being reduced. He therefore used German mercenary troops as garrisons while promoting raids deep into American territory by parties of Loyalists and Mohawk Indians. This portrait shows him in the uniform of a field officer of the 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot in the early 1770’s. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

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

Jean-Baptiste-Philippe Testard de Montigny (1724-1786)

Type: Image

Testard de Montigny was an officer in the Compagnies franches de la Marine. He distinguished himself in raids against New England in 1746-47, and then in Ohio and in the Great Lakes region during the Seven Years' War. He was made a Chevalier de Saint Louis in 1757.

Site: National Defence

Guidon bearer, Brunswick Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig, 1776-1777

Type: Image

Among the German mercenary troops arriving at Quebec in 1776 was a unit of cavalry from Brunswick. Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig (or 'Prince Ludwig's Dragoon Regiment') was supposed to be given horses in North America, and wore high leather riding boots. Still waiting for horses, they marched south with General Burgoyne's army in 1777 and were captured after the British defeat at Saratoga. Recruits sent from Brunswick allowed the regiment to be reformed at Quebec in 1781. This man's uniform is in the traditional cornflower blue of the Brunswick dragoons. He holds a swallow-tailed cavalry flag called a guidon. Its pole is made in the form of a joisting lance, a fashion of the time. In the centre of the guidon is white horse of Niedersachsen, the crest of the Dukes of Brunswick. Confusingly, a very similar white horse of Hanover was used on British flags at this time. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Fort Chambly

Type: Image

The third fort on this site, construction began on Fort Chambly in 1709. It was made of stone and looked rather like a castle. This made it different from the low-lying, bastioned fortresses of Europe. The fort was built to be impressive and all but impregnable to Indian enemies and raiding American colonials. The fort wall facing the Richelieu River was pierced for artillery. During the War of 1812, Fort Chambly was the HQ for British and Canadian troops guarding the area south of Montreal against an advance by American armies. The complex fell into ruins during the 19th century. Its walls were stabilized in 1885 when it was made a Canadian government historic park. Recognized as a unique surviving example of military architecture, Fort Chambly was given a major restoration in the 1980s by Parks Canada. This returned the fort to its appearance of the mid-18th century.

Site: National Defence

Soldier, Butler's Rangers, 1778-1783

Type: Image

Butler's Rangers were uniformed in green, with red facings. This man, dressed for campaigning, wears his lapels buttoned over. There is record of a leather cap worn by the unit, but reconstruction shows an unofficial substitute - a kerchief. There is also some information that Butler's men wore green smocks on some occasions. All in all, this famous (or infamous) regiment must have presented a very mixed appearence in the field. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence