Milice du district de Québec

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Milice du district de Québec

Origin and History

In 1651, M. d'Ailleboust formed all male citizens of Québec into squads. Local militia took the name of their respective captain. The militiamen of Québec wore a red tuque.

In 1674, Governor Frontenac organised all valid men (between 16 and 60 years old) of the various parishes into militia companies which would serve in wartime. The captain of each company was chosen by the settlers. Militia company assembled once a month for training.

In 1684, a company of militia from Cap Rouge, commanded by Captain Denis Joseph Juchereau de La Ferté, served in the expedition against the Iroquois. In 1689, this same officer serving with d'Iberville in the Hudson Bay, at the head of a party of militia, captured near Fort Nelson, the English governor of New Severn.

In October 1690, the militia of the Government of Québec were called to arms to defend the city against an expedition led by Governor Phipps of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. The company of Beauport, under the Sieur de Juchereau, distinguished itself in a skirmish.

In 1696, Frontenac organised a large expedition against the Iroquois. The expeditionary force (2,200 men) consisted of 4 regular battalions and 4 militia battalions from various governments.

By 1711, the militia of Québec could field 2,200 men.

In 1744, a French force of 60 regulars and 700 militiamen from unspecified origin (Québec, Trois-Rivières or Montréal) took part in an unsuccessful attempt to recapture Port-Royal in Acadia. In 1745, 1,300 militiamen from various part of Canada were sent to reinforce Louisbourg which finally surrendered on June 28 to a force of provincial from New England. In May 1746, Ramezay at the head of 680 militiamen from Québec, Trois-Rivières and Montréal marched towards Acadia to make raids in various locations. In February 1747, the vanguard of this column (240 men) under Coulon de Villiers, attacked the British garrison of Grandpré (present-day Horton) and forced them to surrender. Ramezay's column finally returned to Canada in June of the same year.

Service during the War

During the Seven Years' War, the militia of Canada were involved in numerous campaigns, sieges and battles. However, most sources don't specify the origin of the various militia units. It is therefore quite difficult to ascertain the exact role played by the militia of Québec. Even though this particular militia seems to have been rarely involved in operations, it might have been present at the following campaigns and actions:

As per a census, in January 1759, there were 7,511 men fit for militia duty in the Government of Québec. On May 20, Governor Vaudreuil sent a letter to all captains of militia to instruct them to prepare their company for active duty. During the summer, the militia of the Government of Québec took part in the defence of Québec. In June, the militia of Québec (about 5,000 men) was posted on the extreme right in the entrenchments of Beauport. On September 13, at the Battle of Québec, the militia of Québec was posted on the right wing. In mid September, after the defeat on the Plains of Abraham, the town militia remained in the city and surrendered on September 17.


Militiamen had no uniforms. At the beginning of a campaign, they were supplied with a shirt, a hood, breeches, mitasses, moccasins and a blanket.


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This article contains text translated from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Bibaud, M.: Histoire du Canada, sous la domination française, Montréal: John Jones, 1837, pp. 314-315
  • Tricoche, Georges: Les milices françaises et anglaises au Canada 1627-1900, Paris: Charles-Lavauzelle, pp. 9-54
  • Chambers, Ernest J.: The Canadian Militia : a history of the origin and development of the Force, Montréal: L. M. Fresco

Other sources

N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.