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Sketches Illustrating the Early Settlement and History of Glengarry in Canada
Chapter 24


Sir John Cox borne Commissions Colonels Macdonell and Fraser to Raise Two Battalions of Glengarry "Lads" for Service in Lower Canada.—List of Officers ob "Lancaster Glengarry Highlanders."—Charlottesburg Regiment Stationed at St. Philippe, and Lancaster Regiment at Napierville.—Comments of the Montreal "Herald" on their Appearance on their Return.— General Clitherow Testifies to their Service and Efficiency.—Temporarily Relieved from Further Service.

The service of the Glengarry Militia were soon to be required however.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, Sir John Colborne, on. the 15th January, iS-^8, wrote to Colonel Donald Greenfield Macdonell as follows:

Montreal, 15th January, 1838.

"My Dear Sir

"Our affairs in Upper Canada as regards the conduct of the United States Government and people require that great exertion should be made to place ourselves speedily in a strong defensive position.

Do you think that you and Colonel Fraser could raise two battalions of Glengarry lads for five or six months' general service?

If you are of opinion that two corps of six hundred men could be formed in a few weeks I authorize you to proceed in organizing them immediately.

I remain, dear sir,"

Yours very faithfully,

J. Colborne. Colonel Macdonell, commanding Glengarry Militia.

A similar letter was on the same day addressed to Col. Fraser. The Lancaster Regiment of Glengarry Highlanders, raised under the general orders of 8th January, 1838, and in pursuance of the above letter of Sir John Colborne, was officered as follows:

Lieutenant-Colonel—Donald Macdonell (Greenfield).
Major—Alexander Macdonell (Aberchalder).

Captains.

Donald Macdonell (Buidh),
Rarald Macdonell,
Malcolm McMartin,
Neil Macdonald,
George Macdonell (Greenfield),
AlIan Cameron,

Lieutenants.

Angus McDougall,
Donald Chisholm,
Donald McDougall,
John Stewart,
Thomas Oliver,
Alexander Macdonell.

Ensigns.

Alexander Macdonell,
John Macdonell,
Alexander McGregor,
Alexander Cameron,
Angus Kennedy,
Donald Macdonell.

Adjutant—William Hayes.
Paymaster—Alexander Macdonell.
Quarter-Master—Angus Macdonell.

I am unable to give a list of the officers of the Charlottenburg Regiment, which was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Fraser. His grandson most kindly placed at my disposal all the papers connected with the corps, which have been most carefully preserved, hut unfortunately they do not contain the names of the officers, nor was Judge Pringle, who, owing to his relation to Colonel Fraser's family, was in even better position to have procured information respecting the Regiment, able to procure a list when giving those of other Regiments of Glengarry and Stormont.

On the 31st January, 1838, Colonel Gore addressed Colonel Fraser as follows:

Montreal, January 31st, 1838.

Sir,—I am directed by His Excellency the Lieutenant General Commanding to, inform you, that, from the reports which have reached him of the preparations of invasion from the lines that your services may be required, and that if you can march your Regiment to Montreal, Sir John will immediately have arms served out to you and you will be quartered in the L'Acadie district.

I have, etc.,

Chas. Gore, Deputy Quarter Master General

To Colonel Fraser,

Commanding First Glengarry Regiment.

Colonel Fraser's (Charlottenburgh) Regiment was quartered at St. Philippe, in the County of Laprairie. When Colonel Macdonell's (Lancaster) Regiment went down I am unable to ascertain. It was stationed at Napierville, and both remained in Lower Canada during the winter.

The Charlottenburg Regiment returned in March, the Montreal "Herald" of the 20th of that month remarking, "One Regiment of Glengarry Highlanders, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Fraser, arrived in town yesterday from St. Philippe, and created quite a sensation as they marched through our streets to the martial music of the spirit-stirring bagpipes. They mustered about five hundred strong, and were generally considered as fine and efficient a body of volunteers as could be produced in the Province, such men as would ' do or die' for their Queen and country. They are en route for their homes, after having displayed their willingness to defend with their lives the glorious institutions of their Fatherland from the encroachment of internal traitors or foreign enemies."

Colonel Macdonell's Regiment remained until May. The "Herald" of the 1st May stated, "This day the Lancaster Regiment of Glengarry Highlanders, under command of their Colonel. Donald Greenfield Macdonell, marched into town en route to Upper Canada from Napierville, where they were quartered since their arrival in this Province during the winter. They are a fine body of men, and presented a very military appearance." On the 2nd May they were inspected by the Commanding Officer of the District of Montreal, who directed the following letter to be addressed to Colonel Macdonell;

Montreal, May 2nd, 1838.

Sir,—I am directed by the Major-General commanding the District to request that you will accept and convey to the officers, noncommissioned officers and privates of the Lancaster Glengarry Highlanders the expression of his best thanks for the soidier-like appearance that they presented at the inspection yesterday. Major General Clitherow directs me to assure you that he will afford him great pleasure to be enabled to report mort favourably to His Excellency the Commander of the Forces on the appearance and efficiency of this fine corps, and he doubts not that should their active services at any future period be required, the Lancaster Glengarry Highlanders will maintain the high reputation which they have now so deservedly acquired

I have, &c.,

James John Hamilton, Major and Major of Brigade.

At the inspection of the Charlottenburg Regiment by Sir John Colborne and his staff, one of the men, Lewis Grant, who stood 6 feet 7 inches, carried a brass three-pound field-piece on his shoulder when the Regiment marched past.

Having returned to Upper Canada they were disembodied in accordance with the following letter :

Montreal, nth May, 1838.

Sir,—With reference to my letter addressed to you on the and instant, I have this day received the direction of the Commander of the Forces to inform you that the large reinforcements which have arrived at Quebec from England enable His Excellency to dispense with the services of the corps which you have so zealously brought forward in time of danger and alarm for the defence of the Province, which measure becomes the more desirable as, from the advanced period of the season, many of the men must be anxious to return to theii homes. His Excellency is therefore pleased to direct that the Lancaster Glengarry Highlanders under your command shall be disembodied on the 15th instant, receiving pay, however, to the end of the month.

His Excellency has been pleased to grant permission for the men of your corps to retain the arms, etc., which they have in their possession, as well as a certain proportion of ammunition. (After instructions as to the care to be taken of the arms and ammunition the letter proceeds:)

The Commander of the Forces requests that the officers, noncommissioned officers and men of the Lancaster Glengarry Highlanders will accept his sincere thanks for the important service which they have rendered, and he is firmly persuaded that should the Provinces be ever again in danger of revolt or attack from the lawless banditti from which it has lately been rescued, that they will be the first to come forward in their defence.

His Excellency also grants permission to the Loyal Volunteer Corps to retain their clothing, which must, however, be preserved with the greatest care, as in the event of their services being required on any future occasion no further supply will take place.

The officers and men of the disbanded Loyal Volunteers are to remain upon the list according to the designation of their respective corps, as unpaid volunteer corps.

I have, etc.,

W. P. Christie, Provincial Military Secretary.

A letter similar in effect was addressed to Colonel Fraser, under date 19th April, the Charlottenburg Regiment was released from further service.


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