Today I want to tell you about Charles Beaupre 1824-? my third cousin, 3 times removed.
I came across a record in Ancestry (above) that lists Charles Beaupre applying for compensation under the Fenian Raid Volunteer Bounty Act, having fought with the rank of Private, with the Quebec Provisional Army to fight at The Battle of Trout River in the Fenian Raids on May 27, 1870.
Between 1861 and 1871 The Fenian Brotherhood, an extremist group of Irish Republicans, who were based in the United States, launched raids against Canada in an effort to force the British Government to withdraw from Ireland. Their plan was to capture Canada and take it hostage in order to force Britain to withdraw from Ireland.
At the Battle of Trout River, the Canadians were under the command of Col. George Bagot of the British 69th Regiment of Foot along with the 50th Battalion, and the Montreal Garrison, including the Quebec Provisional Battalion. The Irish were under the command of General John O’Neill and General Owen Starr. From all accounts it was a short battle, with the Fenians beating an orderly retreat back across the border, not long after the battle started. The Fenians later denied they were defeated in any way and had simply redeployed.
Shortly after his return to the United States, O’Neill was placed under arrest and charged with violating neutrality laws. General Starr was eventually located and tried, and served time in prison in Auburn New York.
Getting back to Charles; to combat the Fenian threat, the Canadian Militia in both Ontario and Quebec was called out on several occasions, often for only a few days at a time. As you can see by the document above, Charles served from the 20th to the 30th of April and again from the 24th to the 29th of May 1870. The Battle of Trout River occurred on May 27th 1870.
Decades after the battles, the government decided that all those who participated in the defence of Canada during the Fenian Raids (and who were still living), would be provided a grant or bounty of $100.00 upon application under the terms of the Fenian Raid Volunteer Bounty Act 1912.
On the reverse side of the application was the Comrades Declaration (below). The aim was to get a corroborating witness to swear you were indeed part of the Raids.
The final document I was able to locate is a letter to Charles Beaupre from the Department of Militia and Defence dated June 28, 1912, requesting more information as to his rank, regiment, dates served etc. By this time it has been 42 years since Charles fought in those battles and he is 88 years old. I have not been able to locate, at this time, any proof that Charles was in fact granted his $100.00. I certainly hope he was.