War of 1812people

Charles de Salaberry


Charles de Salaberry responds to the Legislative Assembly's unanimous vote of thanks

The Battle of Chateauguay

Salaberry's letter to his father after the Battle of Chateauguay

My dear Father,

The 26th has been a glorious day for me and those of my troops engaged. The American army commanded by Gen'l Hampton and another general has been repulsed by a little band - all Canadians - and yesterday that army commenced its retreat, or will endeavour to get into this country through some other road. The enemy's force consisted of all his troops, about 7,000 men and 5 pieces of cannon, 300 cavalry. The action lasted four hours, and it ended in the enemy being obliged to return to his former position five miles back, leaving many of his dead and wounded behind and a great number of his men scattered in the woods, also many drums, 150 firelocks and baggage. The number of my men engaged did not exceed three hundred. The rest were in reserve in the lines I had constructed. Our killed and wounded were only 24 including officers, there were none but Canadians amongst us. I was in the first line during the whole of the action and afterwards, with a small reserve, beat off a large body of Americans and saved Capt. Daily and his company. I chose my own ground and after the action pushed in my piquets two miles in advance of where they were before. Without arrogating to myself too much credit, I am proud to think that this defence, on our part, has at least prevented the American army from penetrating to La Prairie. We are here situated about 35 miles from Montreal. This is certainly a most extraordinary affair. Chevalier and all officers in this action conducted themselves with great bravery. The prisoners have been about 25. We are all very much harassed and I am not well.

I remain in haste, my dear Father, Yours faithfully,
Ch. de Salaberry