The Horrors of War

People sometimes think that war in the time of our ancestors was a more noble undertaking than it is today. The following lines, written in the days of the colourful uniforms, serve to question any such notions.

The scene is Saint-Charles on Sunday November 26, 1837, the day after the battle between the Patriotes and the British troops. At the scene is Captain George Bell of the 1st British Regiment, who sadly sees parents and friends coming to look for the bodies of their loved ones. Two distinguished-looking girls approach Bell and ask if he can help them find their father, which he agrees to do:

"I went along with them, and, alas! he was indeed found with his head shattered to pieces, and a most dreadful corpse, frozen like a log, with his limbs extended in the manner in which he fell, and the blood and brain congealed and forming a part of the horrid mass. These poor girls, with some assistance, had him placed upon a sleigh, and covered up. One of them never shed a tear, the other was in agony. I could fancy their inward feelings, and I pitied them from my heart, poor souls! It is such scenes as these that make war so awful."