Military of New France

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The Military of New France consisted of a mix of regular soldiers of the French Army, French Navy and Canadien volunteer militia units. Prior to 1690 most French troops were sent from France, but localization meant that by 1690, (In 1669 Louis XIV ordered that all valid men of New France between the ages of 16 and 60 must do mandatory military service so every parish would have its own militia) more were Canadian volunteers and by the 1720s mostly Canadiens.[1]


Château Saint-Louis

The French and Canadiens built forts from Newfoundland to Louisiana and others captured from the British from the 1600s to the late 1700s. Some were a mix of military post and trading forts.

Fort Chambly 1840
Virtual Museum of Canada Fort Lachine (1913)
Fort Niagara
Fort Saint Jean


Régiment de Languedoc soldier
Compagnies Franches de la Marine
Troupes de la Marine
    • Bombardiers de la Marine (Navy Bombardiers) 1702-1760s - 108 bombardiers
    • Troupes de la marine (Troops of Marines) 1682-1755 - 1759 - 1000 soldiers
    • Galley Troops (Pertuisaniers des Galères)
  • Canadian Militia
    • District of Québec: 1759 - 5,640 miliciamen
    • District of Montréal: 1759 - 5,455 miliciamen 4,200 sent to Quebec City
    • District of Trois-Rivière: 1759 - 1,300 miliciamen 1,100 to Quebec City
    • Canadian Cavalery: 200 cavalerymen
  • Acadian Militia 1759 - 150 miliciens
  • Native Indians 1759 - 1,800

Military commanders[edit]

General Montcalm

French Royal Navy[edit]

Duc d'Anville
Le Pélican

Ships built in New France[edit]

A list of ships posted to New France:

  • La Tempête

Ship building in New France 1650s and repair facilities were available in Quebec and Louisburg.

Ships built in Quebec shipyard include:

  • 500-tonne store ship launched on June 4, 1742
  • Caribou, a 700-tonne store ship launched on May 13, 1744
  • Castor, a 26-gun frigate launched on May 16, 1745
  • Carcajou, a 12-gun corvette built in 1744-45
  • Martre, a 22-gun frigate launched on June 6, 1746
  • Saint-Laurent, a 60-gun vessel launched on June 13, 1748
  • Original, a 60-gun vessel - sank when launched on September 2, 1750
  • Algonquin, a 72-gun ship launched in June 1753
  • Abénaquise, a 30-gun frigate launched in the spring of 1756
  • 30-gun frigate begun in 1756 but not completed


  • muskets
    • light hunting musket by militia units
    • flintlock muskets by marines
    • matchlock muskets with bayonets by marines
  • swords
  • pike - used by pikemen
  • hatchet - used by militiamen
  • halbard

See also[edit]