We are never sure…

How can we be sure about something that happened 234 years ago?

Was Chrétien Lemaire really in North Carolina in September 1780?

Chrétien was part of Creuzbourg’s Jäger Corps.

This is what I found on that unit.


Creuzbourg’s Jäger Corps (Jäger-Corps von Creuzbourg) was an independent Jäger battalion raised by the county of Hesse-Hanau and put to the disposition of the British Crown, as part of the German Allied contingent during the American Revolutionary War. The corps fought at the Battle of Oriskany, although mostly serving as garrison of different Canadian posts.

Chrétien Lemaire

Is the file on Chrétien Lemaire valid?

More excerpt..

The Hesse-Hanau contingent arrived to Canada in the summer of 1777 and became part of General Burgoyne’s army that after the Battle of Saratoga became American prisoners of war. Creuzbourg’s Jäger Corps, however, escaped defeat and imprisonment, as it was to be a part of Barry St. Leger‘s western offensive during the Saratoga Campaign. Due to the slowness of wilderness travel, only one of the Corp’s companies arrived in time to participate in this campaign. This single company made, however, a significant contribution to the American defeat at the Battle of Oriskany. The remaining companies did not join St. Leger until after the Siege of Fort Stanwix had ended and the Crown forces were retreating northward. [4][5]

During the winter of 1777-1778, Creuzbourg’s Jäger Corps was quartered in the area southeast of Montreal. In August of 1778 at least one company was based around Terrebonne. The winter of 1779-1780 was spent in cantonment at La Prairie and during the summer of 1781 the corps was part of Québec garrison. The winter of 1781-1782 spent in quarters in Saint-Vallier and Châteauguay; during the summer of 1782 the corps was posted to Île aux Noix and Lacolle, in the Montérégie region.[3]

Did Chrétien Lemaire took part in the Battle of Saratoga?

Was he in North Carolina in 1780?

Did he desert his post there?

If not, why would he have deserted his post when his unit was in cantonment at LaPrarie when he was in no danger?

So many unanswered questions. 


You should be because I am also confused.

One thing is for certain though, Chrétien Lemaire was discharged in 1783 and he stayed in Quebec. He got married and he fathered one son who, in turn, got married and fathered at least four children, one of which is Arther’s ancestor.

How Arther’s ancestor deserted the British Army in 1780?

Well, I guess we will never know for sure…

Arther and Rose 2

Have I ever told you about how my ancestor deserted the British Army in 1780?


3 thoughts on “We are never sure…

    • The living conditions for these soldiers were harsh.
      He had to be fighting somewhere in the U.S.
      Living conditions were better for soldiers in cantonment here in Quebec.
      I surmise he was taken prisoner with the soldiers after the battle of Saratoga in 1777.

      Under the terms of the convention Burgoyne’s army was to march to Boston, where British ships would transport it back to England, on condition that its members not participate in the conflict until they were formally exchanged. Congress demanded that Burgoyne provide a list of troops in the army so that the terms of the agreement concerning future combat could be enforced. When he refused, Congress decided not to honor the terms of the convention, and the army remained in captivity. The army was kept for some time in sparse camps throughout New England. Although individual officers were exchanged, much of the “Convention Army” was eventually marched south to Virginia, where it remained prisoner for several years.[137] Throughout its captivity, a large number of men (more than 1,300 in the first year alone) escaped and effectively deserted, settling in the United States.[138]

      That would explained the lapse of time he spent as a deserter, and then his demotion when he returned in May 1782.

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