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Resource Type > Image

Subject > Wars, Battles and Conflicts

Date > 1700 > 1790-1799 > 1799

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

Fort George, Upper Canada

Type: Image

In 1794, Jay’s Treaty led to withdrawal of British forces from Fort Niagara. In 1796, work began on Fort George at Newark (present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario), directly across the Niagara River from the older fort. Fort George was the scene of several battles during the War of 1812. It is now a major National Historic Site. The wooden palisade at the centre of this photograph sits on top of the earth-built curtain wall linking two of the fort's six stone bastions, one of which can be seen at the end of the palisade. To the left is a part of the ditch (or 'covered way') surrounding the fort, along with an further earthwork known as a ravelin. The ravelin, with its own wooden palisade and small blockhouse inside, made it more difficult for any attacker to assault the curtain wall.

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

Officers and midshipmen, Royal Navy, 1787-1812

Type: Image

This early-20th century print shows the development of Royal Navy officers' uniforms during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The grouping to the left has the 1787-1795 uniforms, that at right the 1795-1812 uniforms. The officer in scarlet belongs to the Royal Marines, circa 1795. The Admiral (fourth from the right) is Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson (1758-1805). To the left stands a captain, to his right a lieutenant. Second from right is a midshipmen (naval officer in training) with the distinctive white collar patches of his rank. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

'Cat of nine tails' whip

Type: Image

The ‘cat of nine tails’ was a whip used to flog soldiers. This one was used in the British 83rd Regiment of Foot. The length of the wooden stick was 43cm (1' 5"), its tails 53cm (1' 9"), and it weighed 141,75 g. (5 ounces). (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Model of Fort St Joseph

Type: Image

Fort St Joseph was built in the late 1790s to ensure British access to lakes Huron and Superior. In 1812, it was the base for the successful attack on the American Fort Michilimackinac on Mackinac Island, Michigan. This capture led to the Anglo-Canadian control of much of the Northwest during the war. The large building in the centre of the fort is a blockhouse, built in 1797. Other structures included a guardhouse, kitchen, storehouse, powder magazine, bakehouse, and blacksmith shop. The whole complex was surrounded by a wooden palisade with four bastions.

Site: National Defence

Soldier’s shoulder belt-plate of the Royal Canadian Volunteers, 1795-1802

Type: Image

This oval brass belt-plate is the pattern issued to the Royal Canadian Volunteers. This two battalion British regular regiment was raised in Canada, and existed between 1795 and 1802. These belt-plates were used to link the two leather belts worn by British soldiers at this time, and most units had a style of plate that was particular to them. In this case, the design is fairly simple - the 'GR' cypher of King George III of Great Britain, surrounded by the unit's title 'ROYAL CANADIAN VOLUNTEER BATTN'. Portraits of the regiment’s officers show that they did not use this pattern of belt-plate, having at least two different versions of their own. (Private collection)

Site: National Defence

British 'India Pattern' musket, 1797-1839

Type: Image

The 'India Pattern' was an economy version of the earlier 'Short Land' pattern muzzle-loading smoothbore flintlock musket. During the 1790s, the British colonial army in India was increasing rapidly in size, and the new pattern of musket was created as a relatively inexpensive of arming these men. As the French Revolutionary Wars dragged on, the India pattern was adopted for all new production in 1797. These weapons found their way to every continent. The British infantry used them until the late 1830s. The Canadian militia did not replace these weapons until the mid-1850s. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

British swords: trooper's 1796 pattern light cavalry sword (behind); 1803 pattern infantry officer's sabre (in front)

Type: Image

This photograph shows two of the types of swords used by the British army in Canada during the early 19th century. The 1796 pattern light cavalry sword was a weapon designed for slashing. It was the main weapon of British light cavalry units throughout the Napoleonic Wars, and saw service in Canada with both British Light Dragoon regiments and Canadian militia. The 1803 pattern infantry officer's sabre was one of several types in use. The so-called 'flank company' officers - grenadiers and light infantry - were allowed to carry fashionable curved-blade sabres instead of straight-bladed swords. The example shown in this photograph has a fine ivory grip, gilded hilt and a blade ornamented with 'bluing' and gold inlay. Since officers bought their own weapons, such details were largely up to the buyer and his commanding officer. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence