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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
The 1895 General Society of Colonial Wars Monument
In 1895 members of the General Society of Colonial Wars visited Louisbourg and the unveiled a red granite column at the fortress site.
The Society of Colonial Wars was organized in New York in 1892. Soon there were chapters in other states. The purpose of the Society was to commemorate events from the pre-revolutionary period of the United States.
One of the first projects of the Society was to erect a monument at Louisbourg to mark the 150th anniversary of the New England siege of 1745. The announcement of the idea was not greeted with universal applause. Three French language newspapers and the Antigonish Casket newspaper protested the idea of a group from a foreign country raising a monument on Canadian soil to what had been a Canadian defeat. Additional protests came from the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada. Still, the ceremony went ahead.
On June 17, 1895, two trains carrying 1000 people left Sydney. The first train carried Lieutenant Governor Daly of Nova Scotia, the Society of Colonial Wars committee, the Sydney committee and guests. The Lieutenant Governor was met at the waterfront by a cutter from H.S.S. Canada and was taken aboard. The actual ceremony was delayed from noon until 3:55 PM to permit the more than 2000 visitors to assemble. According to the official Report of the Committee on Louisbourg Memorial, "Her Britannic Majesty's ship Canada, the Dominion cruiser Curlew, and merchant vessels anchored in the harbor displayed their colours, the Canada being dressed in bunting from stem to stem. Flags were also flying over many houses in the town, and the streets filled with people, as the event was a great gala day for Louisbourg and vicinity. Many of the churches held bazaars, and, near the site of the monument, tents and platforms were erected, where the lads and lassies were dancing to the inspiring music of bagpipes."
The Louisbourg Committee included: H.C.V. Levatte -Chairman, Edward S. McAlpine - Secretary, James MacPhee -Treasurer, Rev. T. Fraser Draper, Neil J. Townsend, Charles R. Mitchell, Wm W. Lewis and Roderick McDonald.
"The monument is a polished granite shaft of the Roman Tuscan order, slightly modified as to proportion standing on a base which rests on a square pedestal or die four feet high, which in turn stands on a heavy block of platform.
The capital of the column is surmounted by a polished ball, two eet in diameter, or a dark red New Brunswick granite. From a distance is appears as a rusted cannon ball and stand as a typical emblem of war.
The polished shaft and die are of New Brunswick Lily Lake Granite, being the same character, but lighter in colour.
The monument not including its foundations weights about sixteen tons, and stands twenty-six feet high above the circular mount which rises four feet above the redoubt.
The monument was erected by Epps, Dodds & Co., of St. George New Brunswick."
The column was originally erected on the glacis of the King’s Bastion and surrounded by a wrought iron fence. With the reconstruction of a portion of 18th-century Louisbourg, in the 1960s, the column was dismantled and moved to Rochefort Point close by the Atlantic Ocean. This is where up to 1,000 of the victorious New Englanders, victims of disease during the winter of 1745/46, are buried.
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Researched/Photographed By Bill O'Shea and Assembled by Eric Krause - Krause House Info-Research Solutions (1996-Present) -
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Text on the 1895 monument
(left side when facing front)
LIEUTENANT GENERAL PEPPERELL
16 ARMED VESSELS
(right side when facing front)
MILITIA AND SEAMEN
By The Society