History Browser

Search Results

Resource Type > Image

Date > 1800 > 1800-1809 > 1801

British iron mortar, circa 1810

Type: Image

Mortars were designed to shoot an exploding shell at a very high angle, 45 degrees or more. They were used in the siege and defence of fortifications. An explosive shell was fired up into the air and arced downwards to drop within the enemy defences. When the shell's fuse burned down, it exploded. These projectiles are the 'bombs bursting in air' mentioned in the American national anthem, where they were being fired from a British fleet attacking Baltimore.

Site: National Defence

32 pounder guns mounted on traversing wooden garrison platforms

Type: Image

These early 19th century British artillery pieces are mounted on platforms that allow guns to swing in a wide arc and thus follow a moving target such as a ship. These reconstucted carriages are found at the Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site near Montreal, Quebec. The fortifications were built to defend the canal lock - the first built in North America.

Site: National Defence

Private’s coatee, Royal Nova Scotia Regiment, circa 1801

Type: Image

This garment is one of the earliest surviving uniforms known to exist in Canada. It is red with dark blue collar, cuffs and wings, white lace ornamenting the buttonholes and pewter regimental buttons. The Royal Nova Scotia Regiment was raised in Nova Scotia in 1793 and was disbanded in 1802. It served on garrison duty in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. It wore this style of uniform from about 1798. (Halifax Army Museum, Halifax Citadel)

Site: National Defence

Sailors, Royal Navy, circa 1800-1815

Type: Image

At the time of the War of 1812, sailors of the Royal Navy — like in most navies of the period — had no prescribed uniform. But in 1623, the Royal Navy adopted a system by which sailors could buy ‘Slop Clothing’ at a fixed price. Generally, the seamen's dress consisted of a blue double-breasted jacket, with brass or horn buttons, a short waistcoat — often red but it could be another colour, blue or white trousers, a round hat, a neckerchief — often black, stockings and shoes. Slop clothing was also avaliable in Canada. An advertisement in Halifax’s 'Nova Scotia Royal Gazette' of 24 November 1813 mentioned a ‘Complete assortment of Slop Cloathing, viz, Men and youth's fine Jackets and Trowsers, Scarlet and blue cloth Waistcoats, Woolen and cotton cord ditto [waistcoats], Striped Cotton and red Flannel Shirts, Great Coats, Pea and Flushing Jackets and Trowsers, men’s flannel drawers’, these later items to face the cold North Atlantic weather.

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

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