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The number of Canadians assembled at St. Charles was about fifteen hundred, according to the best accounts. They were under the direction of an individual by the name of T. S. Brown. This Brown, formerly a merchant in Montreal, becoming bankrupt, had, like many other men of desperate fortunes, selected politics as a trade. His fondness for wine, when indulged, had led him, in the previous summer, occasionally to divulge the plans of the patriot party, and he had more than once threatened, when somewhat stimulated, that bloody scenes would be enacted during the winter. Profane, intemperate, and bankrupt, he strikingly resembled, in character and history, the notorious Benedict Arnold.

The party under Col. Gore, upon reaching St. Denis, a village about seven miles from St. Charles, were fired upon from the houses, and, after some skirmishing, were driven back. Whether their retreat was owing to the failure of provisions and ammunition expected by the steamboat, or to want of skill and courage in the commander, it is not easy to decide.

The other party, under Col. Wetherall, reached St. Charles in strength. The attack began with the artillery, by which some execution was done. On a nearer approach, the troops were received by a tremendous discharge of musketry from the intrenchments. But the gallant defenders of the fort, afraid of raising their heads above the breastwork, to take aim, lest a stray ball from the enemy should reach them, simply crouched beneath the stockade, shoved their muskets over, and fired without aim. Of course, they all fired over the heads of the soldiers, who stood unharmed, while the balls were wasted in the air.

Col. W., not much alarmed by such marksmen, ordered his soldiers to enter and storm the fort. They instantly obeyed, rushed on, mounted the breast work, and took possession at the point of the bayonet. The Canadians fled, after the slaughter of numbers had taken place. A few took refuge in a barn, and firing from it, killed one or two of the soldiers. Fire was applied to the barn, and both it and its occupants were consumed. The whole loss of the Canadians was one or two hundred. The troops lost six, killed. About fifteen or twenty were wounded. Col. Wetherall, according to the orders received at his departure, returned to Montreal.

This battle, or rather skirmish, decided the fate of the war, and developed satisfactorily the character of the men with whom the government were to deal, as one or two remarks will show.

At St. Charles, the war commenced under the most favorable circumstances for the Canadians. That village was situated in the midst of five counties, inhabited almost entirely by people of French descent, all of whom were decidedly revolutionary in their politics, and had proudly asserted at their late meeting a few weeks previous, that their “ lives, fortunes and sacred honors," were pledged to the attainment of political liberty. The position was selected by the insurgent leaders, with the knowledge of these facts. But when the day of trial came, “they came not up to the help" of the country. Not more than fifteen hundred at most, could be collected at St. Charles. These fifteen hundred, behind intrenchments, were easily blown to atoms, or scattered like chaff, by four hundred British soldiers. They were not the men of '76. They were not the men of Bunker Hill.

Different versions of the affair, have been studiously circulated in the United States. It has been stoutly maintained, that a large number of the soldiers were killed, and that victory even leaned in favor of the patriots. Why then did the Canadians flee? Why did the leaders to a man, take refuge in woods and caves ? Why is it, that in the “Five Counties," since that battle, not a peep or mutter of opposition to the government has been heard? Why is it, that a petty detachment of about fifty men, stationed at St. Denis, can keep in awe the patriot thousands of the “ Five Counties?” Surely, if any advantage had been gained by the Canadians, or if that day's conflict had been doubtful—the leaders would not have been fugitives and vagabonds, nor the people prostrate and subdued.

Another incident illustrative of the spirit with which the war was carried on, deserves attention. Lieut. Weir, who was attached to the party under Col. Gore, not reaching Sorel in time to join his regiment, hired at that place a Canadian to transport him in his caleche, to the troops who had already commenced their march. The driver treacherously took him by a road, different from that traversed by his regiment, and carried him to the insurgent forces, where, of course, he was a prisoner. Rumors of his murder soon began to be heard, and shortly after the defeat at St. Charles his body was found. The fingers were hacked in pieces, the skull broken, the body mangled with musket balls and bayonet stabs, in the most horrible manner. was evident, that this officer while a prisoner of war, had been murdered under circumstances of savage barbarity.

The leaders of the Canadian party either could, or could not have prevented this foul deed. If they could, and did not, then in


the treatment of Lieut. Weir, we have a fearful index as to their intentions, with respect to all in the province obnoxious to them. If they could not have prevented the persetration of such a deed by their men, then, had they been successful in conquering the country, they could not have prevented other and similar enormities. In either case, this horrible murder warned the inhabitants of the province, of the treatment which they, their wives and families, were to expect, if such leaders and such men were to bear rule over them. No wonder, that they dreaded such domination ; since they saw in the murder of Lieut. Weir, fearful proof that a French revolution, not an American revolution, was in store for them.

Another incident occurred, which was also strikingly indicative of the character of the insurgents, and of the manner in which they would have used their power if successful in the contest. In the county of L'Acadie, there had lived for two or three years, two protestant missionaries. Humble, devoted and peaceful, they had employed themselves unceasingly in the instruction of the young, the explanation of the bible, and the furtherance of the gospel among the Canadians. They had met with some success, and a little band of converts were assembled around them to enjoy the privilege of frequent instruction.

When the disturbances began and the inhabitants of that county, principally French Catholics, thought that they could, without impediment from the civil authorities, follow the bent of their own inclinations, one of the first acts was to assenble a large force around these blameless missionaries and their affectionate converts, and threaten that unless they removed instantly, their houses should be burnt and themselves murdered. The little band, in severely cold weather, were obliged to abandon home and property, and flee for their lives.

Let the reader roark these two facts.- In the course of this war, the Canadians had but one British officer, as prisoner. Him they murdered, with most shocking barbarity. They had but one protestant clergyman and church, completely in their power. Them, they offered the alternative, of removal or death. These facts require no comment.

After the defeat at St. Charles, a second assemblage of insurgent Canadians, began at Grand Brulé, in the opposite direction, about forty miles from Montreal. Rumor described them as very numerous,-as amounting to several thousand, -as rapidly preparing strong intrenchments. Marauding parties scoured the country in all directions, plundering grain, horses, cattle, Vol. X.


and whatever was esteemed valuable, from inhabitants who would not take up arms in their favor.

Sir John Colborne, the commander in chief, having restored quietness to the “Five Counties,” collected all his force, and early in December, marched towards Grand Brulé. He had about twelve hundred regular troops, several hundred armed volunteer citizens of Montreal, with a train of artillery. On the second day, he reached St. Eustache, about twelve miles from Grand Brulé, where the Canadians determined to make resistance. They had taken possession of the church, and other large stone buildings in the village. Sir John, posting his troops, so as to surround the place, commenced the attack with artillery. Gradually approaching nearer, the musketry began and continued for a short time, when the contest was closed by storming the buildings; bayoneting and driving out the occupants, and consuming the houses with fire. About one hundred Canadians were killed ; three soldiers were killed; six wounded.

The next morning a flag of truce came down from Grand Brulé. The troops marched thither ; the leaders of the Canadians fled_all the men came out, laid down their arms, and surrendered at discretion. The volunteer corps from the neighboring county, incensed by the treatment they had received from the Canadians, set fire to the village, and it was completely consumed.

On the fifth day from their departure, the troops returned to Montreal, with the exception of a single regiment, ordered to take a tour through the county, and receive the arms and submission of the Canadians. The war had ceased.

As indicative of the state of the country, it should be here stated, that before, and since the affair at St. Eustache, addresses have been pouring in from the French parishes all over the country. These are addressed to the Governor, numerously signed, disavowing all participation in the rebellion which has been in progress, and assuring the Governor of their sincere attachment to their present constitution.

There is also another fact, worthy to be remarked, by all who wish to form a correct opinion of the state of Lower Canada. No sooner had hostile movements commenced, than thousands of volunteers took up arms in defense of government. At the present time, there are probably twenty thousand volunteers. From three to five thousand men have taken arms to overthrow the government. Five times that number, promptly enrolled themselves, to defend it.


If a majority have a right to choose a republican form of government, then surely a majority have a right to retain a colonial or monarchical government. Twenty thousand have sig- . nificantly given their votes, against five thousand.

The leaders of the Canadian party, who have fled to the United States, have labored hard to produce the impression, that this struggle is similar in its character and claims, to the old American revolution. But there are no points of resemblance. Compare them as to,

Unanimity. In 1776, three millions of Americans were united to a man. With here and there an exception, too insignificant to be noticed, leaders and people, rose to throw off the British government. In Canada it is entirely the reverse. Of its six hundred thousand inhabitants, nearly two hundred thousand are of Scotch, Irish, English and American descent. These are almost unanimous in favor of the present constitution. Of the remaining four hundred French, large numbers are opposed to the present movements, as is indicated by the fact already alluded to, of the numerous loyal addresses, flowing in from all parts of the country. Several of the leading political men, such as Mr. Debartzch and D. B. Viger, hardly second to Mr. Papineau in political influence, with numerous influential French citizens in Montreal, have published an appeal to their countrymen, dissuading them from war, and exhorting them to obey the present constitution. Moreover, the Catholic Bishop and priesthood, a very powerful and influential body of men, have used all their exertions, to prevent, or stop the present movement. More volunteers have organized themselves to defend the constitution than to overthrow it.

On the score of unanimity, there is a wide difference between the Americans and Canadians. The immense proportion in favor of their present government, have rights, surely, no less than the insurgents.

Leaders.--It is an insult to American patriots, to compare the leading men of the present abortive struggle, with the men who planned and executed the American revolution. Mr. Papineau, it is well known, is an infidel of the most determined stamp; Mr. Brown is a bankrupt in fortune,-intemperate and profane in his habits; Dr. Nelson has avowed, that it would be for the good of the country, if every bible in it were burned ; O'Callaghan and Rodier traversed the country, to hold political meetings on the Sabbath, and exhorted the people to drill on that day, as an extremely appropriate employment.

Are these men like Adams, Quincy, Trumbull, Franklin, the prayerful, devout Washington ?

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