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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Coteau-du-Lac in Vaudreuil-Soulanges RCM, Quebec — French Canadian Region
 

A strategic site / Un lieu stratégique

 
 
A strategic site / Un lieu stratégique Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 6, 2014
1. A strategic site / Un lieu stratégique Marker
Inscription. English:
During the American Revolution, Governor Haldimand decided to establish a supply centre at Coteau-du-Lac, since it was well situated on the line of communication between Montréal and the Great Lakes. As early as 1779, blockhouses, palisaded works and abattis protected the installations from possible raid or surprise attack by a small force.

The War of 1812 changed Coteau-du-Lac’s defensive role considerably. Now that the American border was only a few kilometres away, the enemy could bypass Kingston and attack Montréal directly, thus isolating the defensive forces of Upper and Lower Canada. Since Coteau-du-Lac was still vital to controlling communication between the two Canadas, the site needed stronger fortifications that could with-stand a major, artillery-supported attack.

A Site to be Defended
In addition to the fortified barracks and blockhouses, defensive works were set up on either side of the canal as part of the fortification complex constructed in 1813. To the west, a thick rampart protected the barracks, powder magazine and guardhouse from an attack the enemy might make on dry land. The rampart’s indented trace meant that firing angles intersected, thus ensuring that the defensive works were properly flanked.

The sector to the east of the canal was set up in view
A strategic site / Un lieu stratégique Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 6, 2014
2. A strategic site / Un lieu stratégique Marker
of controlling navigation on the river. Its principal feature was a battery situated on the point of Couteau-du-Lac and equipped with three 24-pounder guns. This artillery was mounted on traversing platforms, which could be swivelled to cover nearly a full circle with cannon fire. Nearby stood the octagonal blockhouse, commanding the rest of the fortifications.

French:
Lors de la guerre de la Revolution Américaine, le gouverneur Haldimand décide d’aménager un centre de ravitaillement à Coteau-du-lac, qui occupe une position avantageuse pour les communications entre Montréal et les Grands Lacs. Dès 1779, blockhaus, palissades et abattis protègent les installations contre un éventuel coup de main ou une petite attaque surprise.

La guerre de 1812-1814 modifie sensiblement le rôle défensif de Coteau-du-lac. La frontière américaine, dorénavant située à quelques kilomètres, ouvre la possibilité à l’ennemi de contourner Kingston, pour attaquer directement Montréal et isoler les forces defensives des deux Canada. Coteau-du-lac, toujours essentiel au contrôle de la communications entre le Bas et le Haut Canada, nécessite alors un fortification plus importante, capable de résister à une attaque majeure supportée par l’artillerie.

Une place à défendre
Outre les casernes fortifiées et les blockhaus, l’ensemble défensif construit
Coteau-du-lac rapids image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 6, 2014
3. Coteau-du-lac rapids
en 1813 comporte deux entités aménagées de part de d’autre du canal. À l’ouest, un volumineux rempart protège les casernes, la poudrier ainsi que le corps de garde contre une attaque de l’ennemi, qui pourrait provenir de la terre ferme. Le trace découpe du rempart assure le croisement des angles de tir, nécessaire au flanquement des ouvrages défensifs.

Le secteur aménagé à l’est du canal a pour objectif de contrôler la navigation sur le fleuve. Il est principalement doté d’une batterie, située sur la pointe du Coteau, et qui se compose de trois pieces de 24 livres. Cette artillerie, montée sur des plateformes pivotantes, permet de soutenir le feu sur près de 360º . À proximité, on retrouve le blockhaus octagonal, qui offre une position de commandement sur l’ensemble des fortifications.
 
Erected by Parks Canada / Parcs Canada.
 
Location. 45° 17.248′ N, 74° 10.497′ W. Marker is in Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec, in Vaudreuil-Soulanges RCM. Marker can be reached from Chemin du Fleuve just from Rue du Fort, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 307 Chemin du Fleuve, Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec J0P 1B0, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Worth Defending! / Mission: Parry Any Land-based Movements (a few steps from this marker); A dry canal (within shouting distance of this marker); A canal that must be preserved (within shouting distance of this marker); What is a lock canal? (within shouting distance of this marker); Adapting the canal to new needs (within shouting distance of this marker); A very busy canal (within shouting distance of this marker); The Durham boat (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); A canal excavated in the rock (about 90 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coteau-du-Lac.
 
Regarding A strategic site / Un lieu stratégique. This marker is located at Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar of 1812Waterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 27, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 177 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 27, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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