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The Military Art of the American Northwest

Type: Document

War in the Pacific Northwest centred around the canoe, which could be up to 20 metres long. Flotillas of canoes would attack enemy villages, hoping to capture prisoners to keep as slaves. Coastal forts of cedar logs were to be found, used to help control and tax maritime trade.

Site: National Defence

Americans Forced On the Defensive

Type: Document

Trying to strike back at the Loyalist raiders who caused such trouble, the American rebels sent troops to destroy Iroquois settlements in 1779. Although thousands of refugees were forced to flee, the raids continued with increased strength, with the rebels generally on the losing side.

Site: National Defence

An Offensive Against the Ohio Valley

Type: Document

In 1755, with an army built around his two regular regiments, General Braddock began an attack from Virginia into the Ohio Valley. The 200 kilometre advance towards Fort Duquesne was slowed by the need to build a road and bridges to carry the army through the difficult terrain.

Site: National Defence

The 'French Gate' at Fort Niagara.

Type: Image

Construction of the so-called 'French Gate' began at Fort Niagara in 1756. Note the coat of arms - from 1725, the royal coat of arms of France was ordered to be put up over the main gates of towns and forts in New France. The fort itself dates back to the 1720s, and was expanded substantially at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. Several of the original French structures still stand, incorporated within later British and American works. The whole site is now a New York state park.

Site: National Defence

A New Balance of Power?

Type: Document

With more troops available, new tactics could be used to defend Canada. Strong garrisons for the towns and new forts to block Iroquois attacks along the Richelieu River were created.

Site: National Defence

The City Falls

Type: Document

Encouraged by weak British resistance, the American rebels were able to capture Fort Saint-Jean south of Montreal in November 1775. This left the city without defence, and Governor Carleton fled. The rebels took Montreal, and began trying to raise Canadian troops to fight for them.

Site: National Defence

Harsh Terms of Surrender

Type: Document

Since the fortifications of Montreal were too weak to withstand a siege by the British in September 1760, French commanders Vaudreuil and Lévis were forced to surrender. The terms were harsh, with the defenders being refused the honours of war.

Site: National Defence

The battle of Long-Sault, in May 1660

Type: Image

This early-20th century engraving shows the climax of the legendary 1660 defence of Long-Sault against the Iroquois by Adam Dollard des Ormeaux and his men. One of the French defenders is shown holding a keg of gunpowder above his head. This makeshift bomb would fall back inside the fort and kill much of the garrison.

Site: National Defence

Fort Beausejour Taken

Type: Document

When war began in 1755, the British took the offensive immediately in Nova Scotia, attacking and capturing both French forts on the disputed isthmus of Chignectou. Fort Beauséjour fell on June 17 after a short formal siege, while Fort Gaspareau was taken shortly after without a fight.

Site: National Defence

Fort Montgomery - the American fort built inside Canada

Type: Image

The United States Corps of Engineers began building Fort Montgomery in 1816, after the War of 1812. It was sited near Rouses Point, New York, at the northern end of Lake Champlain at the mouth of the Richelieu River. In the case of another war, it was to guard the northern American border against British and Canadian incursions and provide a base for United States armies invading Canada in that area. However, construction had to be abandoned after two years when the fort was found to be slightly inside Canada’s boundaries. Fort Montgomery got the nickname ‘Fort Blunder’ and was never completed. The site later reverted to the United States in 1842 as a good will gesture between Britain, Canada and the United States, nations that have since been allies in the great struggles of the 20th century.

Site: National Defence