Amongst the various soldiers of the regular army and marines in New France, there were also artillerymen. Our group represents gunners of the regiment of the Corps Royal de l’Artillerie et du Génie (at this time the French artillery included the engineers). There were only fifty-two officers and men sent to New France and there were routinely incorporated into the companies of colonial gunners called the Cannoniers-Bombardiers. These two units wore the same uniform apart from the gold lace and brass buttons of the Royal Artillerie whilst the Cannoniers-Bombardiers were silver. These men were better paid than soldiers of the line as they were technical specialists and their officers were required to attend military school – unlike the infantry and cavalry!
The Artillerie served at all the major engagements in North America from the siege of Oswego in 1756 to the final battle at Saint Foy in 1760. The difficulty of transporting heavy guns over the rugged American terrain required innovations such as floating cannon on rafts to their destinations and great endurance.