The Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812

The 1802 Peace

War Resumes

Private, 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot, circa 1810-1812

Caption: Private, 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot, circa 1810-1812

Peace did not last long. Misunderstandings and incidents were rife, and on May 16, 1803, hostilities between France and Great Britain were declared. The situation led to British North America preparing for action, but before the colonial legislatures had even had time to order the raising of local troops London decreed the establishment of four regiments of "Fencibles." Subject to the same laws, regulations and conditions of service as the other corps of the British army, the fencible infantry regiments were different in one respect: they were to serve only in North America. The British Treasury paid all of their costs, they appeared on the Army List - the official register of the regular army - and their officers were officially an integral part of the regular army. 60

In the Maritimes, the Royal Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick regiments were recruited. In Upper and Lower Canada, it was decided to begin by raising part of the Canadian Fencibles Regiment in Scotland. The operation began badly and recruits mutinied in Edinburgh in 1804. Eventually most of the soldiers in the regiment were recruited in Lower Canada, but appointments of colonial gentlemen, Anglophone or Francophone, were few and far between, the officers of these regiments being mostly British.