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Date > 1800 > 1840-1849

Subject > Armed Forces

Sir Wilfrid Laurier National Historic Site of Canada: End of a Long Reign

Type: Document

Wilfrid Laurier's penchant for compromise allowed him to remain in power for 15 years, earning him the nickname of the "Great Conciliator". But in 1911, this talent proved inadequate to the task of winning elections.

Site: Parks Canada

Officer and gunner, Royal Regiment of Artillery, 1840

Type: Image

This unit always had several companies posted in Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1840 for example, officers and men wearing the uniforms shown could be seen in Halifax, St. John’s (Newfoundland), St. John (New Brunswick), Quebec, Montreal, Chambly, Drummondville, Kingston and Toronto with detachments in smaller towns and outlying forts.

Site: National Defence

Weapons

Type: Document

This section illustrates a selection of firearms and bladed weapons used by British and Canadian military units during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Site: National Defence

Private Charles Traveller, 70th (the Surrey) Regiment of Foot, 1841

Type: Image

This self-portrait of Charles Traveller, a soldier of the 70th (the Surrey) Regiment of Foot, is one of the few known paintings by a common soldier of the era. Traveller, shown accompanied by his dog, painted the picture in Laprairie in 1841. At the rear, from left to right: the soldiers' barracks (resembling a barn), the officers' barracks (resembling a villa), the light infantry and grenadier companies of the 70th in ranks, the guardhouse and the regimental band. Traveller wears the winter dress uniform of a private of the light company of the 70th. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

The Military Art of the American Northwest

Type: Document

War in the Pacific Northwest centred around the canoe, which could be up to 20 metres long. Flotillas of canoes would attack enemy villages, hoping to capture prisoners to keep as slaves. Coastal forts of cedar logs were to be found, used to help control and tax maritime trade.

Site: National Defence

Military Costumes

Type: Document

This section is a collection of surviving artifacts and period artists' illustrations. Illustrated are uniform coats of officers or enlisted men from a variety of Canadian and British units that served in present-day Canada during the period 1780-1870.

Site: National Defence

23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welsh Fuziliers), 1838-1853

Type: Image

The 23rd Foot served in various places in Canada between 1838 and 1853. Its regimental mascot is a goat, a tradition that has since been adopted by its allied Canadian regiment, the Royal 22e Régiment. From left to right: a private, a pioneer, the drum-major and two officers. Note the traditional black silk ribbon worn at the back of the collar by the officers of this regiment. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

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

Militia of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

Type: Document

This report discusses the organizational features of the militia of the separate provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island prior to Confederation.

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