The colonies were administered by the French Department of Marine, and it had decided to raise and maintain an army of its own for colonial service, distinct from the Royal army. The officers of this service, while on duty in Canada, signed themselves as "Captain" or "Lieutenant" —as the case might be—"of a Company of the Troops detached from the Marine, in Canada." The Colony Troops wore white uniforms of the period,—including three-cornered hats, long coats with turned-back skirts and black facings, leggings, etc., of similar pattern to those of the French service regiments. The companies appear to have been despatched on foreign service as soon as they could be raised and equipped, without any care being bestowed in France on their organization, training, and discipline, and before accommodation was provided for them in the colony, for Chevalier Jacques de Meulles, the Intendant (1682-86), writing to the Home Government, complained that there were no guard-houses for the troops at Three Rivers and Montreal. Most of the commissions were given in France, but some were allotted to prominent colonists, former officers of the Carignan-Salieres Regiment or sons of seigneurs and colonial gentry.
Early in 1684, La Barre made preliminary arrangements for a punitive expedition against the Iroquois, assembling a number of friendly Indians at Fort Frontenac, and re-viewing them on April 17th. He was awaiting reinforcements from France, and on June 5th wrote to the French Government praying that the troops asked for might be sent, or that he might be permitted to resign and return to France. Meantime he proceeded with his preparations for the expedition, gathered a force of Canadians and Indians at Fort Frontenac, and again held a review there on August 14th. When in September La Barre finally set out from Montreal on what was to prove an abortive expedition, his force consisted of about 700 Canadians, 130 regulars, and 200 Mission Indians. He was expecting more Indians and a body of coureurs de bois under Du Lhut and La Durantaye to meet him at