Canadian period

Canadian period

Was the presence of a permanent battery necessary to protect the citadel at this time? In the early 1870s, the American threat still worried the young Canadian government. The United States had been in the throes of civil war a few years earlier and the Canadian militia staved off several Fenian invasion attempts between 1866 and 1871. The Fenians, who were Irish Americans opposed to the English occupation of Ireland, launched several raids on Canada, which was seen as a British ally.

After their creation, Battery A was sent to Kingston and Battery B was stationed in La Citadelle. Thomas Bland Strange, a seasoned British officer, became Commandant of the Québec City garrison and was mandated to train the young Canadian militia. Strange himself was bilingual and had French-speaking assistants: Captain Charles E. Montizambert and lieutenants Maurice Duchesnay and Auguste La Rue.

Despite this Francophone presence among the troops, the working language remained English. Moreover, a good many British soldiers choose to stay in Canada when their contracts expired, thereby perpetuating British influence and traditions within the new Canadian army, which had not yet forged its own identity.

In spring 1885, the two batteries helped repress the rebellions of the Métis and Native people, led by Louis Riel, in the Northwest Territories (modern-day Saskatchewan). It was, without doubt, the Canadian army's largest military campaign since its inception. Battery B returned to the citadel in July 1886.

Following the army's restructuring in 1893 and Battery B’s permanent departure for Kingston in 1905, La Citadelle was occupied by different Royal Canadian Artillery companies, notably companies 3 and 4. They were also stationed in the fortress during World War I, before finally ceding their place (in 1922) to the 22e Régiment, which became La Citadelle's sole occupant.



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