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Wohler, J. Patrick.

Toronto, Dundurn Press, c1984. 159pp, paper, ISBN 0-919670-77-6 (paperbound boards) $19.95, O-919670-76-8 (paper) $9.95 (Dundurn Lives) CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Kenneth A. Elliott

Volume 13 Number 4
1985 July

Seven thousand soldiers were repelled by three hundred. This fact sounds like a story from Greek mythology. But in the reality of the history of Canada it describes the famous Battle of Chateauguay in 1813 under the aegis of Charles de Salaberry. The present volume is a tribute to this Canadian hero.

Wohler, under a grant by the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council, spent several years researching what he finally committed to print. The depth of his research is witnessed by the impressive selected bibliography he includes for the reader.

Wohler has the unique ability to focus on the major characteristics and life experiences of De Salaberry without being pedantic. His summary of Charles's early life and military career prepares the reader for the struggles and heroism of this "soldier's soldier." Wohler paints the broad strokes of Charles's character as one who had the special gift of leadership. Knowing the names of all his men, circulating among them in the heat of battle, encouraging, directing, correcting, and being on the front line of attack in full view of his men are but a few of the means Charles used effectively in his military leadership.

The large print and wide margins will be attractive to the reader. Wohler has provided a table of contents listing all eleven chapter titles in bold type. In the three appendices, he has included some reprints of original letters and poems, the latter being presented in their original French version without translation. All the footnotes are conveniently listed according to chapter at the end of the work. An index of noteworthy historical characters and battles concludes the volume. Apart from the cover, all photographs and maps are in black and white. They are clear and sharp, but one looks in vain for colour prints.

Any course in Canadian history should include this work on its required reading list. High school history teachers and librarians will find this work a treasure of inspiration.

Kenneth A. Elliott, Laval Catholic H.S., Chomeday, Que.
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