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HISTORY OF CANADA.   239

high treason. The charge was based upon the utterances of Papineau, Dr. O'Collaghan, Dr. Nelson and others of the popular leaders, who at this time were holding a series of meetings through the districts lying immediately around Montreal. The attempt to execute these warrants met with armed resistance at St. Denis and St. Charles, on the banks of the Richelieu. These villages lie about midway between Sorel and Chambly, from each of which points detachments were sent to enforce the execution of the warrants for the capture of the popular leaders.

St. Denis.—Colonel Gore, marching up from Sorel with five companies of regulars, a few horsemen, and one field-piece, was confronted (23rd November) at St. Denis by a motley collection of insurgents ensconced in a distillery and a stone building adjoining. Dr. Nelson was at their head, Papineau having retired to St. Charles. They numbered about eight hundred, but of these only about one hundred had fire-arms (with a poor supply of ammunition), the rest being armed with pitchforks, cudgels, and other like weapons. The fighting lasted several hours. The insurgents were reinforced early in the afternoon by about eighty additional armed men, and Gore was finally compelled to retire with heavy loss.

St. Charles.—Two days later Colonel Wetherell, marching down from Chambly at the head of a column of about three hundred, with a few mounted volunteers and two cannons, attacked the rebel position at St. Charles, the chief point of concentration. Here rude entrenchments had been thrown up, supported by a stone mansion house. The whole, however, was commanded by a neighboring hill, upon which Wetherell planted his cannon and proceeded to batter down the rebel defences. The conflict, was short. The insurgents lost heavily, the leader (Brown) fled, and the position was soon carried by assault. A week later Colonel Gore returned to St. Denis only to find that it had been abandoned. A band of American "sympathizers" from Vermont was dispersed near Lake Champlain, and the Richelieu district was again at peace. Dr. Nelson was taken prisoner ; Papineau and the other insurgent leaders sought safety across the border.

St. Eustaehe.—To the north of Montreal, in, the Two Mountains district, Papineau's supporters had for some time been demonstrative, and now, under Dr. Chenier and a Swiss settler,


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