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The Battle of Batoche
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Monday May 28, 2012 in Books

The Battle of Batoche
British Small Warfare and the Entrenched Métis

By Walter Hildebrandt

Foreword by Jean Teillet

The Battle of Batoche is the best-known confrontation between Métis and British soldiers in the Northwest Resistance of 1885. It remains one of Canada’s most emotion-laden memories, chronicling an historic event equivalent to the 1863 battle of Gettysburg. After Batoche, everything changed for the Métis people and for Canada as well, especially in Quebec. The battle decided the future for the Métis people – mixed Cree or Anishinaabe and Scottish or French ancestry who populated the Red River region known today as modern Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota. The battle was the climax of the federal government’s efforts to control the native and settler population of the West. It also changed attitudes in Quebec, which saw widespread outrage over the hanging of rebel leader Louis Riel following the battle; distrusting the Conservative government, French-speaking Quebecois began to feel safe only in Quebec and consequently limited their expansion into western Canada.

Walter Hildebrandt’s chronicle of the battle, first published at the centenary of the Northwest Resistance in 1985, eloquently revisited and analyzed the strategies of both sides. This redesigned new edition adds sidebars and extended captions, as well as numerous maps and photographs that offer detailed description of the fateful battle. Sidebars focus in detail on topics related to the battle, including Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont as leaders of the Métis resistance; nurse Kate Miller, Canada’s Florence Nightingale; Batoche as the site of the first-ever battlefield photos, taken on horseback during the battle; the Gatling gun as evidence of the newly industrial nature of warfare; and zareba warfare and riflepit trenches as foreshadowing of the trenches of World War One, among other topics.

Recent historiography, in particular, on Métis and First Nations involvement, including the role of women and children, is incorporated into the text and notes and bibliography are updated.

Foreword by Jean Teillet, great-grandniece of Louis Riel.

ISBN 13: 9780889226937 | ISBN 10: 889226938
10 W x 8 H inches | 144 pages
$24.95 CAN / $24.95 US
Rights: World
Backlist | Non-Fiction | Bisac: HIS006020
2nd Paperback Edition

QUOTES OF NOTE

"Each year since the battle at Batoche in 1885, Métis people gather there to commemorate the sacrifices of our ancestors and celebrate our culture. Despite the defeat on the battlefield and the subsequent execution of our leader Louis Riel, Batoche personifies the triumph of the human spirit over the forces of displacement, marginalization and indifference.
I welcome this book for accurately capturing the military history of the North-West Resistance. Instilling in Canadians an appreciation of the powerful forces at work during that period can foster a better understanding of the challenges faced today by the Métis Nation in its ongoing struggle for self-determination within Canada."
– Clem Chartier, President, Métis National Council

"Walter Hildebrandt takes a meticulous look at the Battle of Batoche and provides unique insight into an event pivotal to the history of the Canadian prairies. The study is balanced in its provision of various perspectives and personal accounts and generously includes many historical images and maps sure to please history lovers."
– Blair Stonechild, Professor of Indigenous Studies, First Nations University of Canada

"The Battle of Batoche: British Small Warfare and the Entrenched Métis is worth acquiring just for the quality of its introductory and concluding sections. Precise writing and perceptive analysis make this study a pleasure to read … Hildebrandt is one of the few authors that carefully places the events of 1885 in a national and international context.”
—Manitoba History

About the Contributors

Walter Hildebrandt
The Battle of Batoche cover
The Battle of Batoche

Walter Hildebrandt
Non-Fiction


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