Letter from Charles-Michel de Salaberry to his father a few days after the battle

Battle of the Châteauguay National Historic Site

De Salaberry at Chateauguay Drawing of Charles-Michel de Salaberry and militiamen during the battle of the Châteauguay
© National Archives of Canada / C.W. Jefferys / C-70238, about 1938

"Dans le bois en haut de la rivière
Chateauguay, Oct. 29, 1813

My dear Father,

The 26th has been a glorious day for me and those of my troops engaged. The American army Comd by Gen'l.(General) Hampton & another General has been repulsed by a little band - all Canadians - & yesterday that army commenced its retreat, or will endeavour to get into this country through some other road. The Ennemy's force consisted of all his troops, about 7 000 men and 5 pieces of Cannon, 300 Cavalry. The battle 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 & wounded behind and a great number of his men scattered in the woods, also many drums, 150 Firelocks & Baggage. The number of my men engaged did not exceed three hundred. The rest were in reserve in the lines I has constructed. Our killed & wounded are only 24 including officers. There were none but Canadians amongst us. I was in the first line during the whole of the action and afterward, with a small reserve, beat off a large body of Americans and saved Capt. (Capitaine) Daly and his Company. I chose my own ground & after the action pushed on 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 [Juchereau] & all officers in this action conducted themselves with great Bravery. The prisoners have been about 25. We are all very much harassed & I am not well.

I remain in haste, my Dr Father, Yours faithfully

Ch. De Salaberry"

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