Previous Index Next




The battalions of embodied militia' raised at various times in Lower Canada during the war, were recruited by districts under militia officers, but were equipped from the magazines of the regular army and subsisted from the regular commissariat. These battalions were of consider-able strength. The 3rd Battalion, for instance, raised by Lieut.-Col. James Cuthbert, in the Three Rivers District, had 880 rank and file. The uniform consisted of green jackets, blue trousers, caps decorated with feathers, rosettes, bugle badges, and moccasins. The sergeants carried pikes and wore sashes, like those of regular regiments. Occasionally they were hard put to it for uniforms. Lieut.-Col. Voyer, commanding the 4th Battalion "Select and Embodied Militia," writing from his regimental headquarters at Chateauguay on September 26th, 1814, complained that upwards of 500 men of his battalion had not been supplied with any clothing or shoes since June, 1813, and that a great many had only linen trousers.

Several levies of the sedentary militia of Lower Canada were made during the early months of the war to carry out military works at Isle-aux-Noix and other points along the exposed frontier. On August 16th, 1813, Major-General Sheaffe, however, was informed from headquarters that no more corvee or levying of the militia for manual labour alone was to be required.

Among the forces raised by voluntary enlistment in Lower Canada, was the Corps of Voyageurs, to whom was delegated the water transportation work between Mont-real and Kingston, and, this corps being overtaxed, parties of men were drafted to its assistance from the various battalions of embodied militia in Lower Canada. Many of its officers were North-West traders, the commanding officer being William McGillivray, one of the influential bourgeois of the North-West Company.

Two provincial corps raised in Montreal early in 1813,

1 A force kept permanently on foot, but composed of successive drafts of six-months' men.

Previous Index Next