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Subject > Strategy and Tactics > Guerrilla

Date > 1700

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

A Return To Earlier Methods

Type: Document

After 1777, in order to keep the American rebels on the defensive, the British adopted the old Canadian tactic of raiding enemy settlements. The raids were made by mixed groups of Amerindians and soldiers. The troops used were American loyalists such as Butler's Rangers.

Site: National Defence

Hostilities Between Settlers and Natives

Type: Document

The border region between Upper Canada and the United States became troubled during the early 1790s. British garrisons remained in several posts south of the Great Lakes, and American troops were fighting a campaign against an alliance of several Amerindian nations in 1790-1791.

Site: National Defence

Butler's Rangers - The American Revolution - Join or Die - A Question of Loyalties

Type: Document

Many Loyalists who fled the Thirteen Colonies formed guerrilla armies that were Britain's most effective weapon against the American Revolution. The most notorious of them all was Butler's Rangers, led by John Butler, a wealthy New York landowner who recruited Loyalists and Indians from the Six Nations to fight the Americans. The story of Butler and his Rangers is the subject of this excerpt from the television series "Canada: A People's History." Includes links to educational resources, bibliography, games, puzzles, and video clips.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Acadian militiaman, 1755-1760

Type: Image

Not all Acadians were deported in 1755. Some escaped into the wilderness of present-day New Brunswick and from there, staged such a relentless guerrilla-style warfare on British areas that it took great numbers of British and American provincial troops to guard, with variable success, the western borders to Nova Scotia. Following the surrender of the French army in September 1760, the Acadians partisans would not give up to the British and it took French officers to finally convince them to lay down their arms and respect the capitulation. Reconstruction by Derek Fitzjames. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Last Struggles of the Foxes

Type: Document

Even after this disaster, the Foxes were not silenced. In 1733, the remnants of the nation formed a new alliance with the Sauks in Iowa and attacked a French party. A punitive expedition was mounted without success, and in 1737 the French 'pardoned' the Foxes.

Site: National Defence

Conflict with the Locals

Type: Document

In 1775, during an exploration of the Pacific coast, seven Spanish sailors were massacred by Amerindians who had pretended friendship. After the disaster, which took place in the present-day Washington state, the Spanish sailed north to the 58th Parallel, claiming the coast for Spain.

Site: National Defence

A Change in Tactics

Type: Document

As the 1750s went on, the large size of the British forces in North America allowed the adoption of European-style strategies. Nevertheless, Britain also raised units - 'light infantry' - that imitated the tactics so successfully used by the Amerindians and Canadians.

Site: National Defence

A Failed Policy

Type: Document

Despite deporting the Acadians in 1755, the British wish to solve the 'security problem' they posed was unfulfilled. Few British colonists settled in the newly-vacated region, while Acadian refugees became guerrillas in the forests, turning into a genuine threat.

Site: National Defence

Americans Driven From Montreal

Type: Document

In May of 1776, Amerindian forces from the West, led and supported by British regular troops or Canadian militia, attacked American rebel forces and positions near Montreal. With their position worsening, the rebels retreated south after trying to set fire to Montreal.

Site: National Defence