Canada under British Rule 1760-1900 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 395 pages of information about Canada under British Rule 1760-1900.

As Bishop Plessis stimulated a patriotic sentiment among the French Canadians, so Vicar-General Macdonell of Glengarry, subsequently the first Roman Catholic bishop of Upper Canada, performed good service by assisting in the formation of a Glengarry regiment, and otherwise taking an active part in the defence of the province, where his will always be an honoured name.  Equally indefatigable in patriotic endeavour was Bishop Strachan, then rector of York, who established “The Loyal and Patriotic Society,” which did incalculable good by relieving the necessities of women and children, when the men were serving in the battlefield, by providing clothing and food for the soldiery, and otherwise contributing towards the comfort and succour of all those who were taking part in the public defences.  Of the engagements of the war there are two which, above all others, possess features on which the historian must always like to dwell.  The battle which was fought against such tremendous odds on the banks of the Chateauguay by less than a thousand French Canadians, led by Salaberry and Macdonell, recalls in some respects the defeat of Braddock in 1755.  The disaster to the British forces near the Monongahela was mainly the result of the strategy of the Indians, who were dispersed in the woods which reechoed to their wild yells and their ever fatal shots fired under cover of trees, rocks and stumps.  The British were paralysed as they saw their ranks steadily decimated by the fire of an enemy whom they could never see, and who seemed multitudinous as their shrieks and shouts were heard far and wide in that Bedlam of the forest.  The leaves that lay thick and deep on the ground were reddened with the blood of many victims helpless against the concealed, relentless savages.  The woods of the Chateauguay did not present such a scene of carnage as was witnessed at the battle of the Monongahela, but nevertheless they seemed to the panic-stricken invaders, who numbered many thousands, alive with an enemy whose strength was enormously exaggerated as bugle sounds and Indian yells made a fearful din on every side.  Believing themselves surrounded by forces far superior in numbers, the invaders became paralysed with fear and fled in disorder from an enemy whom they could not see, and who might close upon them at any moment.  In this way Canadian pluck and strategy won a famous victory which saved the province of Lower Canada at a most critical moment of the war.

If we leave the woods of Chateauguay, where a monument has been raised in recognition of this brilliant episode of the war, and come to the country above which rises the mist of the cataract of Niagara, we see a little acclivity over which passes that famous thoroughfare called “Lundy’s Lane.”  Here too rises a stately shaft in commemoration of another famous victory—­in many respects the most notable of the war—­won by a gallant Englishman, whose name still clings to the pretty town close by.

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Canada under British Rule 1760-1900 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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