Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry, Hero of Châteauguay
Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec, located on the Saint-Lawrence, was named in his honour.
Charles de Salaberry served as an officer of the British army in Lower Canada (now Quebec). As war loomed in the spring of 1812, he helped raise a unit of militia corps, known as the Canadian Voltigeurs, from among his primarily French Canadian compatriots. These new forces would help defend Lower Canada against the imminent attack.
He is best known for the Battle of Châteauguay in October of 1813,where about 1,700 Canadians helped repel around 3,000 American troops and Montreal was saved from a large-scale attack.
In October 1813, he was ordered to proceed to the Châteauguay River with his troops in order to fend off the much larger American force that was preparing to attack Montreal. To stop the Americans, he set up a blockade and created the illusion that his forces were much stronger than they actually were. The Americans, under General Wade Hampton, fell for this ruse. Tired and discouraged, they retreated.
October 26, 2013, will mark the 200th anniversary of Charles de Salaberry's historic efforts to defend the path to Montreal. Here are some of the ways that they are being remembered:
- A Charles de Salaberry statue was installed in 2006 at the Valiants Memorial, located in downtown Ottawa. To learn more about the memorial, listen to these audio clips.
- Canada Post issued a Charles de Salaberry 17 cent stamp in May, 1979.
- Canada Post will also issue a new stamp in 2013.
Want to know more? Here are some useful links:
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