Charles de Salaberry: Soldier of the Empire, Defender of Quebec


159 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-919670-77-6





Reviewed by Ian A. Andrews

Ian A. Andrews is a high-school social sciences teacher and editor of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association’s Focus.


J. Patrick Wohler, Coordinator of Museum Technology at Algonquin College in Ottawa, has expanded his interest in the War of 1812 into a biography of a major participant in the Battle of Chateauguay, Lt. Col. Charles de Salaberry. This is also a genealogical study of a very martial family whose members were associated with colonial Louisbourg and Quebec, the American Revolutionary War, and the French Revolution as well as the Napoleonic Wars and the Red River Rebellion of 1870.

A native of Quebec, Charles de Salaberry became an officer in the British military and later a militia officer in Lower Canada during the War of 1812. The focus of this short book is the battle that took place near Chateauguay on October 26, 1813, between the Canadian Voltigeurs commanded by de Salaberry and American forces led by Maj.-Gen. Wade Hampton, and the amazing Canadian success against overwhelming odds. A byproduct is the political infighting between de Salaberry and his superior, General Sir George Provost, as to the relative credit each should receive for the success of this skirmish. To support de Salaberry’s claim, Wohler includes several pieces of documentary evidence. Interspersed with the narrative are many maps and illustrations of the characters mentioned.

This biography provides an interesting look at a distinguished, yet little known, French Canadian career soldier who supported the British in protecting his homeland against American encroachment during the War of 1812, and the part played in this War by the Battle of Chateauguay.


Wohler, J. Patrick, “Charles de Salaberry: Soldier of the Empire, Defender of Quebec,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,