Military Wiki
Lunenburg Campaign
Part of the French and Indian War
DateMarch - December 1758
LocationLunenburg, Nova Scotia
United Kingdom Great Britain Mi'kmaq militia
Acadian militia
Commanders and leaders
Lieut-Colonel Patrick Sutherland [1]
D. Christopher Jessen [2]
Joseph Gorham
Captain Rudolf Faesch (3rd Battalion, 60th Regiment of Foot) [3][4][5] Montgomery's regiment[6] Naval Captain Silvanus Cobb[7]
Charles Deschamps de Boishebert
Chief Joseph Labrador [8]
Chief Paul Laurent
30 unknown
Casualties and losses
disputed – French report: 20 killed, 5 prisoners; British report: 5 killed, 5 prisoners none
Part of a series on the
Military history of
Mi’kmaq people
Mi’kmaq Warrior
Battle off Port La Tour 1677
Raid on Salmon Falls 1690
Raid on Chignecto 1696
Avalon Peninsula Campaign 1696-97
Northeast Coast Campaign 1703
Raid on Grand Pré 1704
Siege of St. John's 1705
‪Battle of St. John's 1709
Siege of Port Royal 1710
Raid on Port Roseway 1715
Battle of Winnepang 1722
Blockade of Annapolis Royal 1722
Raid on Canso 1744
Siege of Annapolis Royal 1744
Siege of Port Toulouse 1745
Siege of Louisbourg 1745
Naval battle off Tatamagouche 1745
‪Battle at Port-la-Joye 1746
Battle of Grand Pré 1747
Raid on Dartmouth 1749
Siege of Grand Pre 1749
‪Battle at St. Croix 1750
Battle at Chignecto 1750
Raid on Dartmouth 1751
Attack at Mocodome 1753
Battle of Fort Beauséjour 1755
Battle of Petitcodiac 1755
Battle of Bloody Creek 1757
Siege of Louisbourg 1758
Lunenburg Campaign 1758
Battle of Restigouche 1760
Burying the Hatchet ceremony 1761

The Lunenburg Campaign was executed by the Mi'kmaq militia and Acadian militia against the Foreign Protestants who the British had settled on the Lunenburg Penisula during the French and Indian War. The British deployed Joseph Gorham and his Rangers along with Captain Rudolf Faesch and regular troops of the 60th Regiment of Foot to defend Lunenburg.[9] The Campaign was so successful, by November of 1758, the members of the House of Assembly for Lunenburg stated "they received no benefit from His Majesty's Troops or Rangers" and required more protection.[10]

Historical Context

Despite the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained primarily occupied by Catholic Acadians and Mi'kmaq. To prevent the establishment of Protestant settlements in the region, Mi'kmaq raided the early British settlements of present-day Shelburne (1715) and Canso (1720). A generation later, Father Le Loutre's War began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports on June 21, 1749.[11] By unilaterally establishing Halifax the British were violating earlier treaties with the Mi'kmaq (1726), which were signed after Father Rale's War.[12]

Despite the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained primarily occupied by Catholic Acadians and Mi'kmaq. By the time Cornwallis had arrived in Halifax, there was a long history of the Wabanaki Confederacy (which included the Mi'kmaq) protecting their land by killing British civilians along the New England/ Acadia border in Maine (See the Northeast Coast Campaigns 1688, 1703, 1723, 1724, 1745, 1746, 1747).[13]

The British quickly began to build other settlements. To guard against Mi'kmaq, Acadian and French attacks on the new Protestant settlements, British fortifications were erected in Halifax (Citadel Hill) (1749), Bedford (Fort Sackville) (1749), Dartmouth (1750), Lunenburg (1753) and Lawrencetown (1754).[14] There were numerous Mi'kmaq and Acadian raids on these villages such as the Raid on Dartmouth (1751).[15]

After the Raid on Lunenburg (1756), Governor Lawrence sought to protect the area by establishing blockhouses at the LaHave River, Mush-a-Mush (present day Mahone Bay) and at the Northwest Range (present day Blockhouse, Nova Scotia).[16] Despite the protection of these blockhouses, Indians and Acadians continued raiding the area, executing eight such raids over the next three years.[17] A total of 32 people from Lunenburg were killed in the raids with more being taken prisoner.[18] The British reported that most of these raids were by the Mi'kmaq and Acadians at Cape Sable.[19] (The Argyle, Nova Scotia region was formerly known as Cape Sable and encompassed a much larger area than it does today. It extended from Cape Negro (Baccaro) through Chebogue.)

Following the raid of 1756, Mi'kmaq made eight more raids on the Lunenburg Peninsula over the next three years. In 1757, the Mi'kmaq raided Lunenburg and killed six people from the Brissang family.[20] That same year, the Lunenburg settlers were compelled to do "much militia duty".[21] During the winter, 300 soldiers under the command of former Governor, now Major General, Hopson's were stationed at Lunenburg.[22]

By year end, Governor Charles Lawrence wrote, "More inhabitants were killed and taken prisoner, by which many were too much exposed, and others apprehensive of danger. The people much discouraged, and in great distress."[23] (By June 1757, the settlers of another Halifax satellite settlement, Lawrencetown, had to be withdrawn completely again from the settlement because the number of Mi'kmaq and Acadian raids eventually prevented settlers from leaving their houses.[24] Of the 151 settlers who arrived in Dartmouth in August 1750, after Mi'kmaq and Acadia raids half of the settlers left the community within two years later.[25] By the end of war (1763), Dartmouth was only left with 78 settlers.[26])

The Campaign

The following year, March 1758, the Mi'kmaq raided the Lunenburg Peninsula at the Northwest Range (present-day Blockhouse, Nova Scotia) and killed five people from the Ochs and Roder families.[22] On 15 May 1758, Captian Faesch left Halifax for Lunenburg with troops of the 60th Regiment and an order was given for Sutherland to join the forces enroute to Louisbourg.[27] Acadian privateers attacked shipping off of Lunenburg.[28] By the end of May 1758, most of those on the Lunenburg Peninsula abandoned their farms and retreated to the protection of the fortifications around the town of Lunenburg, losing the season for sowing their grain.[29] For those that did not leave their farms for the town, the number of raids intensified.

During the summer of 1758, in response to the British Siege of Louisbourg (1758), Mi'kmaq conducted four raids on the Lunenburg Peninsula. On July 13, 1758, a member of the Labrador family killed two boys on the LaHave River.[30] The next raid happened at Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia on August 24, 1758, when eight Mi'kmaq attacked the family homes of Lay and Brant. While they killed three people in the raid, the Mi'kmaq were unsuccessful in taking their scalps, which was the common practice for payment from the French.[31] Two days, later, two soldiers were killed in a raid on the blockhouse at LaHave, Nova Scotia.[32] On September 8, Jessen led 60 militia and forty troops from the 60th Regiment around the peninsula for a week to scout for Mi'kmaq, which they did not find.[2] During that time, on September 11, Mi'kmaq captured a child in a raid on the Northwest Range.[33]

After the Siege of Louisbourg (1758), Gorham's Rangers were stationed at Lunenburg for the winter.[34] Despite the presence of Gorham's Rangers and the 60th Regiment, in December Lawrence wrote to the Lords of Trade, that the Mi'kmaq "had just destroyed a whole family remarkable for their industry, and that in so bloody and barbarous a manner as to terrify and drive three parts of the people from their county lots into the town for protection."[35]


The raids continued the following spring. One raid happened on March 27, 1759, in which three members of the Oxner family were killed.[20] The last raid happened on April 20, 1759. The Mi’kmaq killed four settlers at Lunenburg who were members of the Trippeau and Crighton families.[36] In a letter to the Lords of Trade dated 20 September 1759, Lawrence continued to comment on the raids by Mi'kmaq and Acadians slowing the development of the community.[37] Again, Acadian privateers attacked shipping off of Lunenburg.[36] In his Journal, British officer Knox declared that the British garrisons and inhabitants in the colony "could not be reputed in any other light than as prisoners, " so completely was the colony controlled by the Mi'kmaq, Acadians and French.[38]

Chief Paul Laurent of the LaHave Tribe arrived in Halifax after surrendering to the British at Fort Cumberland on 29 February 1760 and signed a peace treaty in Halifax on 10 March 1760.[39][40][41]



  1. Canadian Biography
  2. 2.0 2.1 Journal of Captain Christopher Jessen
  4. Desbraisey, p. DesBrisay, 50
  5. Bell, p. 517, note 33a
  6. p. 55
  7. Desbraisey, p. 28
  8. The Labrador family of Lunenburg were metis and were present still at Lunenburg in 1753 and 1755. They were also among the Acadians deported from Piziquid in 1755. (Bell, p. 510) (See History of Lunenburg County, p. 343)
  9. "Regular" refers to a professional British soldier, paid by the British Crown.
  10. Bell, p. 512, note 44
  11. Grenier, John. The Far Reaches of Empire. War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008; Thomas Beamish Akins. History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition). p 7
  12. Wicken, p. 181; Griffith, p. 390; Also see
  13. John Reid.“Amerindian Power in the Early Modern Northeast: A Reappraisal.” in Essays on Northeastern North America: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008) ; Grenier, John. The Far Reaches of Empire. War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2008.
  14. John Grenier. The Far Reaches of Empire: War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. Oklahoma University Press.
  15. Grenier pp. 154–155. For the Raids on Dartmouth see the Diary of John Salusbury (diarist): Expeditions of Honour: The Journal of John Salusbury in Halifax; also see A genuine narrative of the transactions in Nova Scotia since the settlement, June 1749, till August the 5th, 1751 [microform] : in which the nature, soil, and produce of the country are related, with the particular attempts of the Indians to disturb the colony / by John Wilson. Also see
  16. Bell, W. Foreign Protestants, p.507.
  17. The "Foreign Protestants" and the Settlement of Nova Scotia by Dr Winthrop Bell. pp. 504-513
  18. Bell. Foreign Protestants. p. 515
  19. The "Foreign Protestants" and the Settlement of Nova Scotia by Dr Winthrop Bell. p. 513
  20. 20.0 20.1 Archibald McMechan, Red Snow of Grand Pre. 1931. p. 192
  21. Desbresaie, p. 49
  22. 22.0 22.1 Bell, p. 509
  23. p. 54
  24. Bell Foreign Protestants. p. 508
  25. Harry Chapman, p. 31
  26. Harry Chapman, p. 32
  27. Sutherland did not return to Lunenburg until September 6 (see Bell, p. 509)
  28. Bell, p. 513, note 50
  29. Bell. Foreign Protestants. pp. 510, 513
  30. Bell, p. 510
  31. Bell, Foreign Protestants, p. 511
  32. Bell, p. 511
  33. Bell, p. 512
  34. Rogers Rangers, p. 35
  35. Desbraisey, p. 52
  36. 36.0 36.1 Bell, p. 513
  37. p. 53
  38. Bell, p. 514
  39. (See Beamish Murdoch, Vol. 2, p. 385
  40. See Beamish Murdoch, Vol. 2, p. 385
  41. Chief Francis Mius of La Heve signed a peace treaty on 9 Nov. 1761. (See Desbrasiey, p. 55


  • Bell, Winthrop Pickard. The "Foreign Protestants" and the Settlement of Nova Scotia:The History of a piece of arrested British Colonial Policy in the Eighteenth Century. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961
  • Mather Byles DesBrisay (1895). History of the county of Lunenburg.

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