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Date > 1800 > 1830-1839 > 1839

British iron guns mounted on iron carriages, circa 1815

Type: Image

Iron carriages were introduced in the British artillery in 1810. They were to be placed ‘in such parts of fortifications as are least exposed to the enemy’s fire’ as it was feared they would shatter if hit by enemy artillery. The examples seen in this photograph are found at the Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site.

Site: National Defence

Fort Henry, Kingston, 1839

Type: Image

Fort Henry was the largest and most modern fort built by the British Army in Upper Canada and was nicknamed ‘the citadel of Upper Canada’. This watercolour was made in April, 1839, during the aftermath of the 1837-1838 Rebellions in Canada. Restored in the 1930s, the Kingston, Ontario structure is now one of the major historic sites in Canada. (Library and Archives Canada, C-000510)

Site: National Defence

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

Aerial view of Fort Lennox

Type: Image

Fort Lennox was built on Isle-au-Noix just north of the American border between 1819 to 1826. Its purpose was to block the way towards Montreal to any hostile force coming up the Richelieu River from Lake Champlain. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Private, service dress, Colored Infantry Company, Upper Canada Incorporated Militia, 1843-1850

Type: Image

Raised in 1838, the Colored Infantry Company recruited from Blacks in Upper Canada was the only provincial unit on duty between 1843 the unit's disbanding in 1850. It served mainly along the American border in the Niagara area. Besides the service dress shown, these Black Canadian soldiers also had the shako and scarlet coat trimmed with white lace for full dress as in the British infantry. Reconstruction by Garth Dittrick. (Parks Canada)

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

Grenadier, 24th (the 2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot, 1840

Type: Image

This grenadier wears the summer full dress uniform. White trousers were worn in summer, dark grey with red piping in winter. A detachment of the 24th fought at Saint-Denis in November 1837. The Incorporated Militia units raised in Canada during 1837-1838 had similar uniforms. The Canadians had their cuffs and collars in dark blue instead of green. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Sergeant and officer, 85th, or The King's Regiment of Light Infantry (Bucks Volunteers), 1839

Type: Image

The 85th, or The King's Regiment of Light Infantry (Bucks Volunteers) was one of the British regular regiments that were rushed through the woods from New Brunswick to Quebec City in January 1838. It stayed in Lower Canada for most of the year before moving on to Upper Canada. The uniforms shown are those of a sergeant (left) and officer (right). Note the distinctive green pompon of a light infantry regiment on the shakos, as well as the crescent-shaped 'wings' on the shoulders. Reconstruction by P. W. Reynolds. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Sir George Augustus Wetherall (1788-1868)

Type: Image

Lieutenant-Colonel Wetherall, 1st, or The Royal Regiment of Foot, won the battle of St. Charles on 25 November 1837. This print shows him later in life, in the uniform of a British general. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence