The Revolt of Pontiac and the American Invasion

1764: The Canadian Volunteers Battalion

Canadians in British Service

As these events were taking place in the Ohio Valley, instructions from Amherst about the formation of a contingent of troops in Canada reached General Murray. At the beginning of March 1764 Murray ordered the formation of five companies of Canadians, 60 men each commanded by Canadian officers. Murray asked the militia captains to assemble "young people from their parishes and to ask for volunteers." 26 Montreal and Quebec were to supply two companies each, Trois-Rivières one.

The conditions offered to the Canadians were new to them, however, accustomed as they were to serving for no remuneration under the French regime. They were to be paid six sous per day while serving, in addition to being supplied with clothing, equipment and weapons. Militiamen in the other British colonies received the same benefits, but the offer elicited the Canadians' mistrust of "the English." The rumour spread throughout the parishes that the young people, because they were being paid, would be signing up in the British army "for life." 27 At the end of March recruiting was moving slowly indeed. The British governors were finally able to reassure the Canadians, explaining as well that their officers and non-commissioned officers would not be British.