The Revolt of Pontiac and the American Invasion
Raising Troops in Canada
Canadian Militia Demobilized
In Canada, the arrival of this army signalled demobilization of the militias. The Canadians had seen everything by now! Although concerned about defending their land, they preferred to remain neutral, leaving the English to fight among themselves, particularly as the British could now rely on excellent German soldiers. Also, when Burgoyne decided to raise 300 Canadians to serve with his army, he encountered considerable difficulty, finding few volunteers. The captains of the three companies were indeed seigneurs, but "the impopularity of their Seigneurs" 44 caused the Canadians to be reluctant to join, and in any case the Canadians were afraid of being forced to enlist in the British army. Finally, in May 1777 Governor Carleton had to fall back on the Militia Act to enlist young bachelors. To prevent any attempts at resistance, he even threatened to "take two married men for each boy ... who deserts," with the result that "the three companies were soon complete." 45 The governor nevertheless had to promise the men they would be back with their families in November. On the strength of these assurances, the Canadians marched off, two companies leaving with Burgoyne's army and the third with the auxiliary corps of Lieutenant-Colonel Barrimore Matthew St. Leger.
- Date modified: