Battle of Lacolle National Historic Site of Canada

Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, Quebec
Image of original plaque © Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1927.
Image of original plaque
© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1927.
Photo showing location of plaque on boulder for this NHSC. © Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1989Detail view of the plaque commemorating this battle of the War of 1812. © Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1989Image of original plaque © Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1927.
Address : corner of highway 202 east and 223 north, Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, Quebec

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1923-05-25
Dates:
  • 1814 to 1814 (Significant)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • War of 1812  (Event)
  • Major R. B. Handcock  (Person)
  • Major-général James Wilkinson  (Person)
  • First Nations  (People, group)
Other Name(s):
  • Battle of Lacolle  (Designation Name)
  • Battle of the Lacolle Mill  (Plaque name)
Research Report Number: 2010-SDC-CED-021

Plaque(s)


Original Plaque:  Quebec

In memory of officers and soldiers of the 13th Regiment, Royal marines from Ile-aux-Noix, Canadian Fencibles, and Canadian Voltigeurs engaged. On 30th March, 1814, the Americans after cannoading the stone mill unsuccessfully, retired with heavy loses and abandoned their plan of campaign.

Existing plaque: corner of highway 202 east and 223 north corner of highway 202 east and 223 north, Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, Quebec

Here, on 30 March 1814, Major R.B. Handcock and a British garrison of 500 men of the 13th Regiment Royal Marines, Canadian Fencibles, Voltigeurs and Indians withstood an attack by 4,000 American soldiers on the fortified mill. Daunted by their resistance, General James Wilkinson fell back to the American border, thus ending the last American invasion of Lower Canada during the War of 1812.

Description of Historic Place

Battle of Lacolle National Historic Site of Canada is located within a suburb of the town of Lacolle, Quebec, just north of the border between Canada and the United States. In March 1814, a small force composed of the British garrison the 13th Regiment of Foot, Royal Marines, Canadian Fencibles, Voltigeurs and Aboriginal warriors withstood an attack by 4,000 American soldiers. Resistance to the American forces centred at the local mill on the river’s southern bank and a blockhouse 200 metres away on the northern bank. The mill’s location on the Lacolle River is marked by an HSMBC cairn next to the road. Official recognition refers to a 150 meter radius from the centre of the bridge on route 223 that crosses the Lacolle River.

Heritage Value

The Battle of Lacolle was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1923 because: The Battle of Lacolle Mill ended the last American invasion of Lower-Canada during the War of 1812.

The Battle of Lacolle, the final battle against the American invasion of Lower-Canada during the War of 1812, is valued for its associations with the protection of Canada. Following a previously unsuccessful attempt to march into Montreal in 1812, Major-General James Wilkinson planned an American invasion of Lower-Canada for March 1814. Major-General Wilkinson crossed the frontier with an army of 4 000 men and headed towards the Lacolle River where he had been defeated in 1812. On March 30th 1814, the Americans opened fire on the mill near the Lacolle River where Major R.B. Handcock led a small force of approximately 500 men. This force comprised a small British garrison of the 13th Regiment of Foot, Royal Marines, Canadian Fencibles, Voltigeurs and Aboriginal warriors. Major Handcock’s forces withstood the attack on the fortified mill. Daunted by Major Handcock’s resistance, Major-General Wilkinson gave up his incursion and retreated to the American border, thus ending the last American invasion of Lower Canada during the War of 1812.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, May 1927; June 2010

Character-Defining Elements

Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
the site’s location in the town of Lacolle surrounding the bridge crossing the Lacolle River near the
Lacolle Mill and the blockhouse; its proximity to the border between Canada and the United States, and the Richelieu River; the in situ remains of the garrison that existed during the War of 1812 including the blockhouse; the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains which may be found within
the site in their original placement and extent.