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  Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada

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Street Scenes by Speelman / Impressions artistiques de Louisbourg par Speelman

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More Soldier Questions

Was there a difference in the quality of training received by the compagnies franches soldiers and the New England militia?

Militias, as opposed to a standing army, are citizen forces brought together for a specific purpose. Both types of forces have prescribed training processes however a militia would theoretically have less time to train and would be less experienced.

In spite Governor de Forant's low opinion of Louisbourg's soldiers to perform even the manual of arms, the garrison still had more training than New England militia. There were, for example, the quarterly reviews of the soldiers where the entire garrison (minus guards) was paraded and the daily mounting of the guard involving approximately one third of the garrison. These all provided opportunities for the garrison to practice group formations. Moreover, there was some regular artillery practice, which would have been considerable benefit during the siege.

At least in the 17th century, the principal aim of New England militia training on muster days was "still to produce men capable of performing the 'postures of the musket' and of firing volleys on command." While there were militia artillerymen from Boston who had training on the great guns, a number of New England artillerymen showed an alarming tendency during the 1745 siege to overload and explode their cannons.