Saturday, October 11, 2014

When Talbot Employed Sauve Qui Peut


During the war with the United States, in 1812, Colonel [Thomas]Talbot commanded the militia of the District, a force then not numerous; and this Western portion of Canada, was more indebted for safety to the difficulty of supporting an army in it, and of finding an enemy, than, to the force, which could be brought together to repel an attack. Therefore, only marauding parties found their way into the settlement more in search of plunder, than with any view of fighting.

On one occasion, one of these marauding parties, commanded by a man named Walker, presented themselves at Port Talbot, and summoned the garrison to surrender. The garrison, it may be conceived, was not very formidable, there being no fortifications or troops, except a few of the yeomanry. The sudden appearance of these brigands, left not much time for consultation, and Capt. Paterson, who commanded the yeomanry or militia, intimated to Colonel Talbot, that as defence was out of the question, sauve qui peut [translated to "save himself who can"] should be the order of the day, and that he, (the Colonel) of all others, ought not to be found at home, to grace the triumph of a lawless horde. [Source]

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