Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Artillery preserved in Canada 7: New Brunswick, Aulac, Fort Beausejour

Artillery preserved in the province of

New Brunswick, Aulac, Fort Beausejour

Data current to 19 Sep 2018.

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document every historical piece of artillery preserved in Canada.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these guns to provide and update the data found on these web pages.  Photos are by the author unless otherwise credited.  Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Guns and Artillery in Canada would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at hskaarup@rogers.com.

For all official data concerning the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, please click on the link to their website:

Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Website

Note: Back in the day, artillery in Canada was referred to by its radio call sign "Sheldrake".  It is now referred to by its "Golf" call sign.  (Acorn sends)

Une traduction au français pour l'information technique présente serait grandement apprécié. Vos corrections, changements et suggestions sont les bienvenus, et peuvent être envoyés au hskaarup@rogers.com

Aulac, Fort Beauséjour – Fort Cumberland National Historic Site of Canada, 111 Fort Beauséjour Road.

 (Author Photos)

Fort Beauséjour is a large five-bastioned star fort on the Isthmus of Chignecto, a neck of land connecting present-day New Brunswick with Nova Scotia.  The site was strategically important in Acadia, a French colony that included parts of what is now Quebec, The Maritimes and northern Maine.  It was built by the French from 1751 to 1752 . It was surrendered to the British in 1755 after the Battle of Fort Beauséjour and renamed Fort Cumberland.  The fort played an important role in the Anglo-French rivalry of 1749-63 and in the 1776 Battle of Fort Cumberland when sympathisers of the American Revolution were repulsed.  Today the site is a National Historic Site of Canada, named the Fort Beauséjour - Fort Cumberland National Historic Site. 

Portions of the fort have been restored.  By 1753 the fort had pallisade walls and a five metre high earthwork.  It was a pentagon shaped star fort with bastions built of earth and pickets at the corners.  

In 1755, the British anticipated taking the fort as the political situation in European declined, and with that in mind, the French position may have been undermined early on by Thomas Pichon, a clerk at the fort.  The British commandant at Fort Lawrence (based on the present day Nova Scotia side of the border East of Fort Beauséjour), paid Pichon for information about French activities.  Pichon provided accounts of French activities, plans of forts and an outline of the steps necessary for capture, which Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton later used in the attacks onthe fort.  Pichon delayed the strengthening of Beauséjour by advising that the British would not attack that year.

A convoy of 31 transports and three warships left Boston on 19 May 1755, carrying nearly 2,000 New England provincial troops and 270 British regulars, and dropped anchor near the mouth of the Missaguash River on 2 June.  The next day the troops, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton of the regular army, disembarked a few kilometres from Fort Beauséjour. To defend the fort, Commander Louis Du Pont Duchambon de Vergor had only 150 soldiers from the Compagnies franches de la Marine and a dozen canonniers-bombardiers.  On 16 June 16, a large English bomb went through the roof of a casemate and killed many of its occupants.  Commander Louis Du Pont Duchambon de Vergor, the commander of Fort Beausejour, laid down his weapons.  The fort was surrendered, and renamed Fort Cumberland.  The next day Fort Gaspereau was surrendered without being attacked.  The fall of these forts settled the boundary dispute in favour of the British and marked the beginning of the Expulsion of the Acadians.  The minister of Marine, Machault, had good reason to believe the forts had been "very ill defended" and Vergor was summoned before a court martial at Quebec in September 1757 but was acquitted.

* For a more detailed description of the battle, I recommend ("The Siege of Fort Beauséjour, 1755" by LCol (retired) Chris M. Hand, (Goose Lane Edition, Fredericton, New Brunswick, 2004).

Fort Cumberland

In the months following the fort's capture, British forces ordered Acadians living in the region to sign an oath of allegiance to the British Crown.  However, the Acadians refused, preferring to remain neutral. Some Acadians reported that they had been coerced into assisting in the defense of Fort Beauséjour, and the British used this as a reason to begin the Expulsion of the Acadians.  Acadian homes were burned to prevent their return.  As the British army had relocated to Fort Cumberland, they abandoned and burned Fort Lawrence in October 1756.  Fort Cumberland became one of the sites in which the British imprisoned or temporarily held Acadians during the nine years of the expulsion.

Under the leadership of French officer Boishébert, Acadians and Mi'kmaq fought the expulsion from their homeland.  In the early spring of 1756, a band of Acadian and Mi'kmaq partisans ambushed a small party of New England soldiers' cutting wood for Fort Cumberland, killing and mutilating nine men.  In April 1757, after raiding Fort Edward, a band of Acadian and Mi'kmaq partisans also raided Fort Cumberland, killing and scalping two men and taking two prisoners.  In July, Mi'kmaq captured two of Gorham's rangers outside Fort Cumberland.  In March 1758, forty Acadian and Mi'kmaq attacked a schooner at Fort Cumberland and killed its master and two sailors.  In the winter of 1759, five British soldiers on patrol were ambushed while crossing a bridge near Fort Cumberland.  They were scalped and their bodies were mutilated as was common in frontier warfare.  In October 1761, commander of the fort Roderick McKenzie of the Montgomery's Highlanders went to Bay of Chaleurs to remove the 787 Acadians. He captured 335.

In 1776, early in the American Revolutionary War, Fort Cumberland and its garrison of the Royal Fencible American Regiment repelled several rebel attacks in the Battle of Fort Cumberland (also known as the Eddy Rebellion) from local guerrillas led by the American sympathizer Jonathan Eddy.  With minimal logistical support from Massachusetts and four to five hundred volunteer militia and First Nations supporters, Eddy attempted to besiege and storm Fort Cumberland in November 1776.

The fort's defenders, the Royal Fencible American Regiment (RFAR)led by Joseph Goreham, a veteran of the French and Indian War, successfully repelled several attempts by Eddy's militia to storm the fort, and the siege was ultimately relieved when the RFAR plus Royal Marine reinforcements drove off the besiegers on 29 November.  In retaliation for the role of locals who supported the siege, numerous homes and farms were destroyed, and Patriot sympathizers were driven out of the area.  The successful defense of Fort Cumberland preserved the territorial integrity of the British Maritime possessions, and Nova Scotia remained loyal throughout the war.

Fort Cumberland was abandoned in the late 1780s.  With the British resumption of the War of 1812 with the United States, British forces reoccupied and refurbished the fort, although it did not see any action during this conflict.  The British military in 1835 declared the fort surplus property and it was abandoned.

A museum at the site depicts the conflicts between France and Britain in the 1700s, and the later struggle between America and Britain.  (Wikipedia)

There are nine pieces of artillery on display outdoors in front of the Fort:

 

 (Author Photos)

Cast Iron 8-inch 9-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Land Service Mortar, weight unknown, cast prior to 1780, corroded trunnions, no discernible markings, mounted on a wooden carrying box.  This mortar was acquired from the Royal Artillery Institution, Woolwich, England, in 1933.  No. 1.

 

Cast Iron 4-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Carronade with Blomefield pattern breeching ring, weight corroded, (SOLID) on left trunnion, (F) on right trunnion, unmounted.  The Carronade is a short smoothbore, cast iron cannon, which was used by the Royal Navy and first produced by the Carron Company, an ironworks in Falkirk, Scotland.  It was used from the 1770s to the 1850s.  Its main function was to serve as a powerful, short-range anti-ship and anti-crew weapon.  While considered very successful early on, Carronades eventually disappeared as rifled naval artillery changed the shape of the shell and led to fewer and fewer close-range engagements.  No. 2.

Cast Iron 64-pounder 71-cwt Mk. I Muzzleloading Rifle with Millar pattern breeching ring.  This gun is a Palliser conversion from a 32-pounder 58-cwt SBML Gun, weight 58-0-2 (6,498 lbs), (RGF No. 615, I, 1877) on the left trunnion, (+) on the right trunnion, Queen Victoria cypher, broad arrow mark.  Cast as a 32-pounder, this gun was given a Palliser modification with the gun being re-bored to 64-pounder.  It came from Fort Clarence in 1924.  No. 3.

Fort Clarence (formerly the Eastern Battery) was a British coastal fort built in 1754 at the beginning of the French and Indian War in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  Initially it had 8 guns mounted.  In the spring of 1759, a Mi'kmaq attack on the Eastern Battery killed five soldiers.  Eastern Battery was renamed as Fort Clarence by Prince Edward on 20 October 1798 in honour of his brother, the Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews, later King William IV.  In the late 1790s a Martello Tower replaced the blockhouse.  The fort was rebuilt with stone in the 1860s, but the remaining parts of the fort were buried in the 1940s.

Portrait of Queen Victoria, who reigned from 2 June 1837 to 22 Jan 1901. The portrait was painted at her Coronation, 1838.  (Wikipedia Photo)

Blomefield Cast Iron 24-pounder 50-cwt Smoothbore Muzzzleloading Gun, weight 50-0-21 (5,621 lbs) under the cascabel, Samuel Walker & Company of Rotherham, England (WCo) on left trunnion, (Serial No. 80) on right trunnion, CV C N, 80 on the cascabel, King George III cypher, broad arrow mark, 1800-1820.  Iron lock-strap over vent.  This large unmounted gun had been at Fort Cumberland up to the latter part of the 18th century, then at the Dorchester Penitentiary in New Brunswick for many years until gifted to Fort Beauséjour by the Department of Justice.  This makes it one of the few on display that was actually in service with this fort.  No. 4.

Cypher and portrait of King George III, reigned from 25 Oct 1760 to 29 Jan 1820.  (Wikipedia Photo)

 

 

 

Cast Iron 18-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 41-1-21 (4,641 lbs), Samuel Walker & Company of Rotherham, England (W) on left trunnion, (Serial No. TBC) on right trunnion, broad arrow mark, W.  Originally located at Fort Cumberland, acquired from the Robb family, Amherst, NS in 1930.  No. 5.

 

Cast Iron 18-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 41-0-0 (4,592 lbs), (W) on left trunnion, (SOLID) on right trunnion, King George III cypher, broad arrow mark, unmounted.  Originally located at Fort Cumberland, acquired from the Robb family, Amherst, NS in 1930.  No. 6.

Cast Iron 18-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight corroded, not discernible, King George III cypher, No. 9 at a right angle over the cypher, broad arrow mark, both trunnions broken off, broken button.  ca. 1776-1790.  Originally located at Fort Cumberland in 1813, acquired from the Amherst School Board in 1930. No. 7.

Cast Iron 6-pounder 14-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 14-3-21 (1,673 lbs), (P) on left trunnion, right trunnion corroded, no cypher, unmounted.  No. 8.

French Cast Iron 2-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight and trunnions corroded, Fort Gaspéreau, ca. 1751-1756, mounted on a wheeled wood carriage.  Gift of Honourable Frank B.  Black, Sackville, NB in 1936.  No. 9.

Bronze 6-pounder 6-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 6-0-9 (681 lbs), J & H (John & Henry) King, 1813, King George III cypher (1760-1820), below the Henry, Earl of Musgrave, Master General of Ordnance cypher (1810-1818), broad arrow mark (indicating British Government ordnance), mounted on a wheeled wood field carriage.  This bronze gun on display in the Visitor Centre has a calibre of 3.67 inches (93-mm) and a barrel length of five feet (1.52 m).  It weighs 672 lbs (302 kgs)and is mounted on a wooden two-wheeled single pole block trail with iron fittings.  It would normally have been moved with a team of six horses along with a limber carrying additional stores and 46 rounds of ammunition.  The gun fired a six-pound (2.73 kg) solid shot, case shot, or a shrapnel shell (27 balls) to a range of 1,400 yds (1,280 m).  This was the standard gun used by British horse artilery during most of the first half of the 19th century.  They were still being cast in 1855 and remained in active service as late as 1881.  (Doug Knight, Guns of the Regiment, Service Publications, Ottawa, 2016).  No. 9.

On display inside the Visitor Centre.

French Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight TBC, ca. 1732-1770, the only remaining gun of those used in the defence of Fort Beauséjour in 1755.  Gift from Dr J.C.  Webster in 1937.

French Cast Iron ½-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, used for the defence of blockhouses and other likely fortifications.  Gift of W.L.  Bidden, Moncton, NB.

Cast Iron ½-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, stamped J & H (John & Henry) King, 1813, mounted on a wood carriage.  Stolen in 2004, investigation continuing.

Cast Iron 1-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, small Naval gun with decorative cast-iron lion’s head carriage, raised letters on carriage LAXEVAGS (SIC) VAERK BERGEN, indicating the gun was made in Norway.  Gift from the estate of Dr J.W.  Sangster, Sackville, NB in 1937.  Stolen in 2004, investigation continuing.

Cast Iron 1-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 1-3-20 (216 lbs), J & H (John & Henry King), ca. 1760-1780. 

Bronze 3-pounder 3-cwt Smoothbore MuzzleloadingGun, weight 3-0-1 (337 lbs), 1799, J & H King, previously at the Carleton Martello Tower, Saint John, NB in the early 1980s, currently undergoing conservation in Dartmouth, NS.

Bronze 3-pounder 3-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 3-0-1 (337 lbs), 1800, J & H King, previously at the Carleton Martello Tower, Saint John, NB in the early 1980s, currently undergoing conservation in Dartmouth, NS.

Cast Iron 4-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Guns, ca. 1760 (four) previously at Carleton Martello Tower in Saint John, NB, currently in storage.