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HISTORY OF CANADA.   313

moment Colonel Booker, who was in couuuand, received a message that Colonel Peacock would not arrive for some time. A report spread, too, that a Fenian cavalry force was about to charge, and the Queen's Own was therefore ordered to form a square. There was in truth no cavalry to charge, but the Fenians were quick to take advantage of the good target presented to them, and poured in a deadly fire. An effort was made to extend the battalion, but it was only partially successful, and the volunteers were ordered to retire. O'Neil made no attempt to follow, and shortly afterwards returned toward Fort Erie. Meanwhile a Canadian force had come by water from Port Colborne, and had taken possession of Fort Erie, capturing a number of stragglers from O'Neil's force. The " general " managed to retake the village, but that night he and his men recrossed the river and the raid was at an end. To those who fell at Ridgeway a beautiful monument has been erected in Queen's Park, Toronto.

New Brunswick now Declares for Confederation.—It was while these exciting events were in progress along the frontier that New Brunswick was called on to pronounce a second time on the question of Confederation. The legislative council had throughout supported the project, and during the session of 1866 a dead-lock was avoided only by the resignation of the anti-confederation ministry. A dissolution took place, and in the summer of 1866 the people of New Brunswick supported Confederation as strongly as they had opposed it the year before.

The Parliament of Nova Scotia Adopts the Plan.—In Nova Scotia the opposition to Confederation was led by Joseph Howe, who demanded that the question should be submitted to the electors before the province was finally committed. It is a matter for regret that this course was not taken. The Quebec resolutions were adopted by an assembly, which, as the next election showed, did not truly represent the opinion of the province on the question. Nova Scotia was thus practically forced into Confederation, and while she would now, without doubt, decline to withdraw from the union, the original compulsion long left a feeling of bitterness behind it.

The B. N. A. Act.—On the 4th of December, 1866, delegates from Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick assembled at the Westminster Palace Hotel in London, England. They sat, under


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