A fortified pass. Colonel Wetherall advancing to the capture of St. Charles
Lord Charles Beauclerk (1813-1842)
1840, 19th century
Ink and watercolour on paper - Lithography
26.5 x 36.6 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Military (334) , Print (10661)
Keys to History
Wetherall was not sure what to expect as he advanced on St. Charles. Rumour had it that he would face some 3 000 patriotes led by Thomas Storrow Brown, an English speaker and one of the patriote leaders of the Fils de la Liberté. This print shows 350 British troops advancing on the patriote forces, which did not number more than 100 men armed with muskets.
Source : The Aftermath of the Rebellions [Web tour], by Brian J. Young, McGill University (see Links)
The confrontation at St. Charles was to be a critical turning point in the rebellions, pitting well-armed British soldiers against untrained patriote troops.
St. Charles was a Richelieu Valley town located in an area where the patriotes existed in great strength. The countryside was, in fact, more dangerous for British troops than the city.
The battle took place on November 25, 1837, two days after the patriote victory in nearby St. Denis.
Violence by badly armed patriotes gave British troops a pretext to respond with heavy firepower and to occupy the countryside.