Battle at Chignecto

The Battle at Chignecto happened during Father Le Loutre's War when Charles Lawrence, in command of the 45th Regiment of Foot (Hugh Warburton's regiment) and the 47th Regiment (Peregrine Lascelles' regiment), John Gorham in command of the Rangers and Captain John Rous in command of the navy, fought against the French monarchists at Chignecto.[10] This battle was the first attempt by the British to occupy the head of the Bay of Fundy since the disastrous Battle of Grand Pré three years earlier. They fought against a militia made up of Mi'kmaq and Acadians led by Jean-Louis Le Loutre and Joseph Broussard (Beausoliel). The battle happened at Isthmus of Chignecto, Nova Scotia on 3 September 1750.

Battle at Chignecto
Part of Father Le Loutre's War
Charles Lawrence
DateSeptember 3, 1750
Location45°55′00″N 64°09′57″W / 45.916639°N 64.165806°W / 45.916639; -64.165806Coordinates: 45°55′00″N 64°09′57″W / 45.916639°N 64.165806°W / 45.916639; -64.165806
Result British victory
Mi'kmaq militia
Acadian militia
Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain
British America
Commanders and leaders
Jean-Louis Le Loutre
Louis de La Corne
Louis Le Neuf de la Valiere
Joseph Broussard (Beausoliel)
Chief Étienne Bâtard
Father Charles Germain[1]
Charles Lawrence
John Gorham
Captain John Rous
Silvanus Cobb
Horatio Gates
Captain William Clapham
Colonel Peregrine Lascelles
John Salusbury
Hugh Warburton[2]
Joseph Gorham
Joshua Winslow
John Brewse (wounded)[3]
Captain William Rickson[4]
Francis Bartelo  
Henry Grace  (POW)[5][6]
300 Mi'kmaq and Acadian militia 700 British regulars and New England Rangers
Casualties and losses
7-8 Mi'kmaq[7] 20 killed;[8] 3 killed, 12 missing [9]

Historical contextEdit

Despite the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained primarily occupied by Catholic Acadians and Mi'kmaq. By the time Cornwallis had arrived in Halifax, there was a long history of the Wabanaki Confederacy (which included the Mi'kmaq) protecting their land by killing British civilians along the New England/ Acadia border in Maine (See the Northeast Coast Campaigns 1688, 1703, 1723, 1724, 1745, 1746, 1747).[11][12][13]

To prevent the establishment of Protestant settlements in the region, Mi'kmaq raided the early British settlements of present-day Shelburne (1715) and Canso (1720). A generation later, Father Le Loutre's War began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports on June 21, 1749.[14]

Within 18 months of establishing Halifax, the British also took firm control of peninsula Nova Scotia by building fortifications in all the major Acadian communities: present-day Windsor (Fort Edward); Grand Pre (Fort Vieux Logis) and Chignecto (Fort Lawrence). (A British fort already existed at the other major Acadian centre of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Cobequid remained without a fort.)

After the raid in Dartmouth in 1749, on October 2, 1749, Cornwallis created an extirpation proclamation to stop the raids. The Siege of Grand Pre was the first recorded conflict in the region after the raid on Dartmouth.

The battleEdit

Battle of Chignecto by Charles Morris (inset of A chart of the sea coasts of the peninsula of Nova Scotia, 1755)
Le Loutre retrieved this bell from the Beaubassin church during the Battle at Chignecto (1750): (Le Loutre retrieved the bell again from the Beausejour Cathedral during the Battle of Beausejour)

On 23 April, Lawrence was unsuccessful in getting a base at Chignecto because Le Loutre led 70 Mi'kmaq and 30 Acadians in burning the village of Beaubassin, preventing Lawrence from using its supplies to establish a fort.[15][16] (According to the historian Frank Patterson, the Acadians at Cobequid also burned their homes as they retreated from the British to Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia in 1754.[17]) Lawrence retreated, but he returned in September 1750.

On September 3, 1750 Captain John Rous, Lawrence and Gorham led over 700 men (including the 40th, 45th and 47th Regiments) to Chignecto, where Mi'kmaq and Acadians opposed their landing.[18] They had thrown up a breastwork from behind which they opposed the landing. They killed twenty British, who in turn killed several Mi'kmaq. The Mi'kmaq and Acadians killed Captain Francis Bartelo in the Battle at Chignecto.[19][20] Le Loutre's militia eventually withdrew to Beausejour, burning the rest of the Acadians' crops and houses as they went.[21]


On 15 October (N.S.) a group of Micmacs disguised as French officers called a member of the Nova Scotia Council Edward How to a conference. This trap, organized by Étienne Bâtard, gave him the opportunity to wound How seriously, and How died five or six days later, according to Captain La Vallière (probably Louis Leneuf de La Vallière), the only eye-witness.[22] After the battle, the British built Fort Lawrence at Chignecto and the Mi'kmaq people and Acadians continued with numerous raids on Dartmouth and Halifax.




  1. ^ Johnson, Micheline D. (1979). "Germain, Charles". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Vol. IV (1771–1800) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
  2. ^ "A history of Nova-Scotia, or Acadie". 1865.
  3. ^ Sutherland, Maxwell (1979). "Brewse, John". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Vol. IV (1771–1800) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
  4. ^ "Wolfe in Scotland in the '45 and from 1749 to 1753". 1928.
  5. ^ The history of the life and sufferings of Henry Grace, of Basingstoke in the county of Southampton. Being a narrative of the hardships he underwent during several years captivity among the savages in North America, ... Written by himself
  6. ^[bare URL PDF]
  7. ^ Minutes of Board of Trade. 9 Nov. 1750
  8. ^ p. 10
  9. ^ Winslow's journal
  10. ^ Salsbury's journal re: Gates
  11. ^ Scott, Tod (2016). "Mi'kmaw Armed Resistance to British Expansion in Northern New England (1676–1761)". Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society. 19: 1–18.
  12. ^ Reid, John G.; Baker, Emerson W. (2008). "Amerindian Power in the Early Modern Northeast: A Reappraisal". Essays on Northeastern North America, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. University of Toronto Press. pp. 129–152. doi:10.3138/9781442688032. ISBN 978-0-8020-9137-6. JSTOR 10.3138/9781442688032.12.
  13. ^ Grenier (2008), pp. 154–155.
  14. ^ Grenier (2008); Thomas Beamish Akins. History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition). p 7
  15. ^ M de la Valiere Journal 15 September 1751
  16. ^ Gentleman's Magazine Vol 20 July 1750 p. 295
  17. ^ Frank Harris Patterson. History of Tatamagouche, Halifax: Royal Print & Litho., 1917 (also Mika, Belleville: 1973), p. 19
  18. ^ London Magazine, 1750, p. 291
  19. ^ Thomas Beamish Akins. History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition). p 19; Griffiths (2005), p. 391
  20. ^ p. 160
  21. ^ Grenier (2008), p. 159.
  22. ^ Johnson, Micheline D. (1974). "Bâtard, Étienne". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Vol. III (1741–1770) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.

Primary Sources

Literature citedEdit