Battlefields of the North-West Rebellion Canada

Section for posting period and modern photographs and maps of the Victorian battlefield.

Battlefields of the North-West Rebellion Canada

Postby GrantRCanada » 29 May 2010 18:53

I have saved a few very large (e.g. up to about 7500 pixels wide) high resolution (600dpi) contemporary maps of a few of the battlefields of Canada's North-West Rebellion, lithographed by the Canada Bank Note Co.. The original image files are gigantic (up to 13 or 14 megabytes) so, needless to say, I will not be re-posting the originals, although I'd be willing to e-mail them to anyone who might be interested .....)

Here are thumbnail links to smaller (maximum of 2000 pixels width) and lower resolution (200dpi) versions, which seems to be about the furthest one can reduce them and still have reasonable detail -

Battlefield of Batoche, from an original drawn by Capt H. de H. Haig, RE -
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Battlefield of Fish Creek, original also drawn by Capt. Haig -
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Battlefield of Cut Knife Hill, original drawn by Lt. R.L. Wadmore, "C" Company, Infantry School Corps, Permanent Militia of Canada -
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Re: 1885 North-West Rebellion Battlefield Maps

Postby Darrell » 30 May 2010 01:13

Good stuff Grant. Hopefully next time I get over to Saskatoon, I can take a detour up and get some photos of the area around Batoche.
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Re: 1885 North-West Rebellion Battlefield Maps

Postby fouronionrings » 17 Jul 2010 15:10

These are really outstanding. Thanks for taking the time to post them.
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Battlefield of Batoche Canada May 1885

Postby Darrell » 10 Mar 2011 23:50

Anyone have pictures around Batoche centering around he Battles of May 1885?
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Re: 1885 North-West Rebellion Battlefield Maps

Postby GrantRCanada » 11 Mar 2011 10:14

This map of the Batoche Battlefield was published in The Illustrated War News edition of June 27, 1885 -

(Click on thumbnail for full-size version ....)
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Re: May 1885 - Battle Fields of Batoche

Postby GrantRCanada » 11 Mar 2011 10:24

Darrell:

What sort of images are you looking for? Only the actual Battle of Batoche, or do you mean the other engagements of the North West campaign? (I'm not sure, since you say "the Battles of May 1885" ....)

I presume period photographs would be preferred ..... but they are relatively scarce, and many which do exist aren't all that clear.

Captain James Peters (OC 'A' Battery, Regiment of Canadian Artillery) was an amateur photographer, and took a number of photographs during the campaign .... some of which you will likely have seen reproduced. Apparently his camera was damaged on the trip west, and suffered from both light leakage and focusing difficulty, but the images he produced are pretty much all that exist specifically of Batoche at the time the military action took place there. However, there are some other photographs of the campaign ....

Contemporary engravings, paintings and such also exist, of course, but were often rendered far from the actual locations, and based on descriptions or sketches, so they can be affected by "artistic license", unfortunately.

Let me know what you are interested in, and i can try to put some images together .....

In the meantime, I have just posted a link to the map of the Batoche battlefield which was published in The Illustrated War News edition of 27 June 1885, here - http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=3524&p=20061#p20061
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Re: May 1885 - Battle Fields of Batoche

Postby Darrell » 11 Mar 2011 12:48

Hi Grant, actually what I would prefer would be modern day photos. I know there's likely not a lot to see as many of the local building(s) probably don't exist anymore. But I like pictures of valleys, hills etc. One day I might swing over and take a look if I knew what I was looking for :)
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Re: May 1885 - Battle Fields of Batoche

Postby GrantRCanada » 11 Mar 2011 20:59

Well in that case, you likely can't do much better than the Photo Gallery at the Parks Canada website for Batoche National Historic Site ...... which contains over 400 images -
http://www.pc.gc.ca/dci/src/3d_e.asp?what=gallery&sitename=batoche&theme=dc&btn_state=HTML&more_lnk=no

Below is just one of the images from that Parks Canada Photo Gallery showing the Rectory as it now is (..... the frame structure having since been increased a bit in length and a log extension added on the rear .....) along with a James Peters photograph depicting Gen. Middleton talking with the priests in front of the Rectory in 1885. (Bullet holes from the battle are still visible in the siding of this building!)
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Re: May 1885 - Battle Fields of Batoche

Postby Darrell » 11 Mar 2011 21:38

Now that's a great bunch of pictures Grant. I appreciate the link. Exactly what I was looking for :)
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Re: May 1885 - Battle Fields of Batoche

Postby Sabreur » 11 Mar 2011 22:45

I may be able to help with your wishes in a couple of months. I live in Prince Albert and am planning on visiting Batoche and especially Fish Creek (also known as Tourond's Creek) after the snow melts (there is lots of that & it hasn't even begun to melt) to take some photographs. In particular I want to see if I can replicate the artist's views of the battles that were produced at the time.

Some of the battle locations indicated on Google Earth aren't quite right. This may help -
Fish Creek Site = 52.55 N, 106.175 W
Batoche = 52.765 N, 106.117 W
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Re: May 1885 - Battle Fields of Batoche

Postby Sabreur » 11 Mar 2011 22:57

By the way since this is March 11, here are some telegrams from 1885 that start March 11:

FROM SUPERINTENDENT CROZIER: "Carlton, March 11, 1885.
Halfbreeds greatly excited. Reported they threaten attack on Carlton before i6th. Halfbreeds refuse to take freight or employment for Government; will stop all freight coming into country after i6th of this month. Getting arms ready. Leader will not allow people to leave home, as they may be required. Origin of trouble I think because letter received stating Riel not recognised British subject ; they expect arms from States. Have ordered twenty-five men from IDattleford and one gun to come here at once."

FROM THE COMMISSIONER: "Regina, March 12, 1885.
Just received the following telegram from Gagnon, dated today, from Carlton. Have shown it to Lieutenant-Governor. Halfbreeds excited; move about more than usual, preparing arms. Do not know cause or object of these preparations."

FROM SUPERINTENDENT IRVINE: "Regina, March 14, 1885.
Lieutenant-Governor received telegram dated Carlton today from Crozier, saying Halfbreed rebellion may break out any moment and joined by Indians and asking that his division be largely increased. Would recommend that at least one hundred men be sent at once before roads break up. Please instruct."

TO SUPERINTENDENT IRVINE: "Ottawa, March 15, 1885.
Start for the north as quickly as possible with all available men up to one hundred. Telegraph marching out state, and report when passing telegraph station."

FROM SUPERINTENDENT CROZIER: "Duck Lake, March 17,
1885. Our movements and preparation have quieted matters; no cause for alarm. Prince Albert people did splendidly."

FROM SUPERINTENDENT DEAN : "Regina, March 19, 1885.
The following received from Superintendent Crozier. Rumor tonight Indians being tampered with. Large force should be sent without delay that arrest may be made if necessary to prevent further and continuous trouble from Riel and followers. Militia arms from Battleford will be here in a day or two."

SUPERINTENDENT CROZIER: "Carlton, March 21, 1885. Rebels seized storehouse south branch. Lash, Indian agent, and other prisoners. Threatened attack on Carlton tonight or tomorrow. Rebels by last report assembled at Batoche's crossing."

These are quoted from chapter 19 of "The History of Saskatchewan and the Old North West" published in 1913.
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Re: May 1885 - Battle Fields of Batoche

Postby GrantRCanada » 12 Mar 2011 11:11

Yes .... endeavoring to duplicate the views depicted in either period photographs or artist's renderings can be an interesting exercise .... but also quite challenging because of changes in vegetation, structures and even terrain over the past century and a quarter .... and, indeed, because of frequent inaccuracies in artist's renderings.

As an example, here is one of Peter James' photographs from 1885, which he titled "Batoche from where Lt. Fitch was killed". (This refers to Lt. William Fitch of the 10th Battalion, Royal Grenadiers of Canada, who was shot dead during the final assault on Batoche.)
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Here is a contemporary photograph of the site, from roughly the same angle .... albeit taken from a position likely somewhat further forward, and perhaps more to the left, of the spot where Peters took his -
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None of the structures on the river flat which constituted "Batoche's Crossing" survive. The group of structures on the right, strung out along the Humbolt-Carlton Trail running down to the river crossing, are referred to as the "East Village", and those on the left of the photograph, closer to the river and backing onto it, constituted the "West Village".

Here is a detail enlarged from the same image .... the large structure on the extreme left (in the West Village) is Boyer's Store and the false-fronted building on the extreme right (in the East Village) is Xavier Letendre's Store .....
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Here is a closer period view of the "East Village" -
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Finally, to hopefully tie all of the above together, here is a detail cropped from Capt. H. de H. Haig's map of the Battlefield. The Rectory (shown in my previous post) and nearby Church are located on a height of land some distance away from the actual village (i.e. at the left in the map) and the James Peters photo of Batoche would have been taken from the brow of the hill in roughly the same orientation as the dotted line marked "Direction of our Attack". The buildings of the "East Village" are represented by the red squares below the words "Batoche Crossing", and those of the "West Village" are shown above the word "Plough" ....

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Re: May 1885 - Battle Fields of Batoche

Postby Darrell » 17 Mar 2011 20:15

To tie in nicely with this thread, I recently obtained this 1885 w/ Saskatchewan Clasp to a fellow from the 90th Battalion. Involved in the fighting.
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Re: May 1885 - Battle Fields of Batoche

Postby Darrell » 17 Mar 2011 20:16

Naming:
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Re: May 1885 - Battle Fields of Batoche

Postby GrantRCanada » 17 Mar 2011 21:08

Very nice medal and claps, Darrell!

I understand that North West Canada medals were issued un-named, with any such naming being done at the unit level, locally - hence a relative proliferation of font styles/sizes, and a great many un-named medals ....

I have an un-named example (without clasp) which is thus quite appropriate for my Cowboy Action Shooting and re-enactment persona of John M. 'Rattlesnake Jack' Robson, enrolled as a Scout with the Rocky Mountain Rangers .... there being no known medals named to any members of that small irregular unit, so far as I am aware.
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