Guide to Sources for Research into Military History

Canadian Military History in the 19th Century

Canada and the British Army, 1846-1871: A Study in the Practice of Responsible Government : Col. C. P. Stacey (Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1963)

This, as well as the book below, are the two foundational studies, both of which focus on strategy, logistics, and fortifications.


Safeguarding Canada, 1763-1871 : J. Mackay Hitsman (Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1963)

From the preface: "This study of British plans to defend Canada during the years 1763-1871, and the extent to which they were implemented, is based primarily on manuscript sources now easily accessible to students of military history. [...] Next to nothing in this volume relates to tactics, which Cyril Falls has very simply defined as 'the art of conducting a battle or section of a battle.'  Rather this book is a study of strategy, a word which, in this case, may simply be substituted for 'plans' in the opening sentence above."


Rebellion: The Rising in French Canada, 1837 : Joseph Schull (Toronto : Macmillan of Canada, 1971)

From the preface: "This book is not an analysis of basic causes.  It is an attempt, rather, to tell the story of the events and place them in scale.  They tend to grow small in the long perspective of history, but they do not diminish in the folk-memory of a people."


Guns Across the River: the Battle of the Windmill, 1838 : Donald Graves (Prescott : Friends of Windmill Point, 2001)

From the preface: "[O]nce I began to investigate the battle, I discovered it was a fascinating episode involving some very colourful characters.  The battle of the windmill was also an event that had its humorous aspects, and if so many people had not lost their lives during those five awful days in November 1838, it would have made a delightful comic opera, but unfortunately it resulted in much death and suffering that was all the more tragic because it was needless.  I also found that in the 162 years since the action was foight it had become thickly covered with mythological weeds that badly needed to be cut back."


Prairie Fire: the 1885 North-West Rebellion : Bob Beal and Rod Macleod (Edmonton : Hurtig Publishers, 1984)

From the preface: "Prairie Fire attempts an explanation of the people and the attitudes that defined the Canadian West in 1885."





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