Previous Index Next

 

LOWER CANADIAN REBELLION, 1837-38 203

 

followed him, took the wrong road, and was captured by the rebels at St. Denis. He was pinioned, put in a wagon, and sent under escort to St. Charles. On the way he seems to have been foolish enough to enter into a dispute with his guards. The latter flew into a passion, shot him down, and brutally mutilated him with their swords. His body was weighted with heavy stones and thrown into the Richelieu, but it was subsequently re-covered and brought to Montreal for burial. The result was that the attitude of the troops, both regulars and militia, towards the rebels was transformed from one of more or less impersonal hostility to a savage thirst for revenge. Many an unfortunate habitant of the Grand Brule had to suffer because of the brutality of his fellow-countrymen on the Richelieu. "Remember Jack Weir!" became the war-cry of the troops.

On the 13th of December the Commander-in-Chief himself led an expedition, consisting of all the available troops, about 2,000 men, from Montreal to St. Eustache, in the Lake of Two Mountains district. Here some 1,200 rebels were collected, under Scott, Girouard, Girod, Chenier, and other leaders. Sir John Colborne sent Major Townsend, with a portion of the 24th and the St. Andrew's Volunteers, to St. Benoit, and moved on St. Eustache with two brigades of infantry, the Montreal Volunteer Cavalry, and six field-guns. The infantry included the Royal Regiment, 32nd, 83rd, Royal Montreal Rifles, and Globensky's Volunteers. The rebels had occupied the church and other buildings in St. Eustache, which they defended with stubborn courage. Colborne methodically surrounded the town, battered the buildings with his artillery, and poured volleys of musketry into the houses. The church and presbytery were finally carried at the point of the bayonet, the rebels resisting to the last. The losses of the rebels were appalling, many falling a prey to the flames in the burning buildings, besides those killed in action. Girod tried to escape, but, being overtaken, shot himself; several of the other leaders were killed or


Previous Index Next