1776 Battle of the Cedars
When Canada defeats an invading army, as occurred 246 years ago this week, we know how to boast about it. Behold the mighty monument to our victory over the Americans at the Battle of the Cedars, 1776! It puts that puny Arc de Triomphe to shame.
In 1775 a Continental Army invaded Quebec. The American forces succeeded in taking Montreal but failed in their siege of Quebec City. By May 1776 their position was untenable and they began to withdraw back to New York. This left their garrison at The Cedars, south of Montreal, exposed to attack.
When a detachment of British regulars, some Quebecois militia, and hundreds of Iroquois showed up outside the wooden fort, the American commander Isaac Butterfield tried in vain to negotiate an armed withdrawal. When that option was denied, he surrendered. Other American troops at nearby Quinze-Chênes put up a fight but they too yielded. The British officers were able to persuade the Iroquois not to massacre their prisoners but the captives were looted by the natives.
A prisoner exchange was arranged and the American soldiers were released but Congress, arguing that the Iroquois had committed atrocities, refused to honour their side of the swap.