Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 26, 2013 12:37 ET

The Government of Canada Commemorates the Battle of Chateauguay

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 26, 2013) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of National Defence, participated today in a formal ceremony at the Battle of Châteauguay National Historic site in Howick, Quebec to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Châteauguay.

More than 150 soldiers and musicians from three Canadian Army Reserve Brigades gathered at the historical site to honour the memory and exploits of their predecessors at the Battle of Châteauguay, a significant victory for Canadians during the War of 1812. Soldiers from the Canadian Grenadier Guards; The Black Watch; Les Voltigeurs de Québec; The Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders; Les Fusiliers du St-Laurent; le Régiment de la Chaudière; and le 4e Bataillon du Royal 22e Régiment were present as proud descendants of the troops who fought this important battle exactly 200 years ago.

"Just yesterday I announced that our Government will be naming one of the new Joint Support Ships in honour of The Battle of Châteauguay, a key chapter in the development of our country," said Minister Nicholson. "The 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, including the Battle of Châteauguay, is an opportunity for all Canadians to take pride in our traditions, remember our shared history, and commemorate the achievements of those early Canadians who fought so valiantly."

The force that won the victory at Châteauguay was composed entirely of Canadian militia from Quebec (Lower Canada) and First Nations allies, under the command of one of their own- Lieutenant-Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry. The Canadian Army of today has its origins with these early Canadians from Quebec who, despite facing great adversity and overwhelming odds, defended Montreal and Canada's borders in the fall of 1813.

"The Battle of Châteauguay is a prime example of the illustrious history of Canada's Army," said Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse, Commander of the Canadian Army. "This event serves as a reminder that, be they historical battles or more recent engagements, Canadian soldiers have proven time and again to be a capable and formidable force. We are indeed 'Strong. Proud. Ready.'"

During the War of 1812, control of the St. Lawrence River provided a key strategic advantage. American efforts thus focused on Montreal, and were designed to cut the supply lines to Upper Canada. The defence of the region around Montreal prevented the American army from penetrating key terrain and ultimately forced their withdrawal back over the border.

The victory at Châteauguay was critical to the larger victory won during the War of 1812 and the emergence of Canada as an independent nation in North America.

In a recent Government of Canada announcement, it was decided that the Royal Canadian Navy's new Joint Support Ships (JSS) will be named Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Queenston and HMCS Châteauguay in recognition of the significant battles of Queenston Heights and Châteauguay during the War of 1812.

Note to Editors / News Directors:

For more information, please see the following web pages on the Battle of Queenston Heights and Battle of Châteauguay.

For more information on the naming of the Royal Canadian Navy's new Joint Support Ships, please visit: JSS News Release.

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