LOWER CANADIAN REBELLION, 1837–38 201
province was in a hopeless state of disorganization, but volunteer corps were quickly being enrolled at Montreal, Quebec, and in the Eastern Townships.
Colonel Gore took his force down the river by steam-boat to Sorel, where he was joined by Lieut.-Col. Hughes of the 24th, with two companies of the 66th. From there he moved toward St. Denis over roads that were veritable seas of mud. The rebels were busily en-gaged destroying bridges, and altogether it took eleven and a half hours to cover the distance, not quite a mile and a half an hour. The rebels were found strongly en-trenched at St. Denis, and after several fruitless attempts to carry their position, Gore returned to Sorel. He had lost several men, and had found it necessary to spike and abandon his howitzer. The first engagement thus ended in a victory for the insurgents.
Meanwhile Colonel Wetherall had marched his force from Chambly to St. Charles. About a mile from the village the rebels opened fire on his men from a barn on his front, and also from the opposite bank of the Riche-lieu. The barn was promptly carried and burnt. The main position of the rebels at St. Charles was found to be well fortified and held by a strong force, with two field-guns. After a brisk exchange of fire, breaches were made in the defences, and the enemy's position was carried at the point of the bayonet. Both the Royals and the Montreal cavalry distinguished themselves in the final assault. Wetherall had three men killed and eighteen wounded. The rebel casualties were much more severe. Out of a force estimated at 1,500 men they are said to have lost between 200 and 300 killed, besides a number taken prisoners. At St. Denis the rebels lost 100 men out of an estimated force of between 1,500 and 3,000. Wetherall returned to Chambly on November 28th, scattering a large body of the enemy at Point Olivier on his way, and bringing in twenty-five prisoners.
Colonel Gore returned to Montreal and was sent out again to St. Denis, where he arrived on December 2nd,