The Acadian Participation In The War Of Independence Of The U.S.

Article No: 27

The Acadian Participation In The War Of Independence Of The U.S.

The Acadians who had been expelled to Massachusetts in 1755-56 started to come back to the Maritime Provinces in 1766. Some stayed until the eve of the War of Independence of the U.S. Even when war broke out, there were still some Acadians in different States, some of whom took part in the war.

In Massachusetts, when the war started, one of these was Pierre Robichaud, born January 28, 1753, in Port Royal, the son of Pierre (himself son of another Pierre) and of Marguerite Robichaud (herself daughter of François). This family had been quartered for some time in Walpole, with the d'Entremonts. Pierre Robichaud was to be one of the "minute-men," of legendary reputation, who took part in the battle of Lexington and Concord, April 19, 1775, when "was fired the shot heard around the world." His name appears in a document in which he is said to be of "Wrentham, Private, Capt. Oliver Pond's Co., of minute-men, which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service 7 days." He enlisted again at Stoughton, on Aug. 8, 1777, in the Company of Capt. Abner Crane, of the Regiment of Colonel John Robinson, when he served a month and 23 days in Rhode Island. A year later, on Aug. 22, 1778, he again entered into service, this time in the company of Lieutenant Hezekiah Ware, who had passed from the Fourth Regiment of the County of Suffolk to the Regiment of Colonel Haw. He was to return again to Rhode Island with this Company, that had undertaken an expedition. On Sept, 11, after 21 days under arms, he retired.

His brother, Joseph Robichaud, born in exile in Walpole, in May of 1756, was also to participate in the War of Independence in Rhode Island, as a private and a member of the Company of Captain Samuel Fisher of the Regiment of Ehraim Wheelock, who had been called to go to Warwick, R.I., on Dec. 8, 1776. He remained with this Company until the end of the month, after having served 23 days. A few years later, June 11, 1779, he was to marry, at Wrentham, Mary Ware of the same place, 28 years of age, the daughter of Daniel Ware and of Mary Hewes. She died in 1806. Her husband, Joseph Robichaud, was "cast on Lovell's Isle, Boston Harbour, and perished Dec. 10, 1787, aged 31." The remains of both lie in the cemetery of Wrentham Center. They had one daughter, Mary, born at Foxboro, Mass., Nov. 20, 1787, thus only three weeks before her father drowned. She became a school teacher. She died on March 31, 1873, at Walpole, "from old age," being 85 years old.

Closer to home, we know of a relative of many Acadians of Yarmouth County who took part in the American War of Independence. He was Basile Mius (now written Muise or Meuse). He was born in Baccaro, Capt Sable, now Villagedale, Shelburne County, very shortly before his family was taken into exile in Massachusetts at the end of April, 1756. He was the ninth child of the 13 children of François Mius (himself the son of Joseph Mius, dit d'Azy) and of Jeanne Duon (a sister of Abel Duon, the ancestor of the d'Eons of Pubnico) which family I referred to previously in my sketch no. 11. While they were in exile, we find the members of the family mostly in Salem. After the father died, it was only in 1775, at the very beginning of the Revolution, that the mother and a certain number of her children came back to Nova Scotia, first to Pubnico, then to Sluice Point, at Muise's Point, known to the French people as "La Pointe-des-Ben," because it was established by Benjamin Mius, one of the sons. Four of the other boys remained in Salem where, it seems, they got married, among whom was Basile.

On Jan. 27, 1776, Basile Mius enlisted as a soldier in the First Company of Captain Daniel Warner, who was stationed in Gloucester, Mass., for the defense of the American coasts. One month and five days later, that is on Feb.29, he retired. He re-enlisted on June 12 of the same year (1776) at Salem as "drummer" on board the sloop "Tyrannicide," under the command of Captain John Fisk. He was discharged the following Sept. 20.

Many of the members of the Muise family now living in south-western Nova Scotia and members with other names affiliated with the family are related to Basile Mius, and thus can boast of having had a relative who fought in the War of Independence of the U.S. These are most of the Muises of Sluice Point, Surette's Island, Amirault's Hill and Quinan, and their descendants, all the Frottens, the first of the name, Julien Frotten, having married Anne Mius, a sister to Basile; some of the Doucettes of the District of Clare and all those of Quinan, as Michel Doucet, their ancestor, and married Marie Mius, another sister to Basile; also many of the LeBlancs of Amirault's Hill and Abram's River, as Amand LeBlanc, whom I mentioned in my sketches no. 11 and no. 18 as "uncle Amand," had married Isabelle Mius, still another sister to Basile.

It was not only in Massachusetts that the Acadians took part in this war, but also those who were still in other American colonies where they had been sent into exile. We even know of 50 of them who, after having fought alongside the Americans, received lands at Chazy, then in Vermont, but today in New York State, on Lake Champlain, close to the Canadian border, for helping the "Americans" win the war.

Also, it was not only in the U.S. that the Acadians took part in the War of Independence. Some of those who had come back from exile to the Maritime Provinces enlisted in an army whose mission was to make the conquest of what was then Nova Scotia, which included then New Brunswick. If they had succeeded, the Maritime Provinces would have become the 14th State of the American Union. I will tell you about it next week.

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