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Zareba

A cache by Parks Canada Batoche Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 07/12/2014
Difficulty:
1.5 out of 5
Terrain:
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

Watch for and collect all the puzzle pieces in each cache. Assemble the puzzle and enter to win a prize to be drawn at the main event Saturday evening. This cache will not be available before opening of the site Friday morning. Puzzle only available for July 18 2014. There is an access fee for the Park

The Zareba is an encampment used as a base of attack and defense. A Zareba is usually built using stakes or thorny bushes but because of the lack of suitable trees close by a trench was dug and the soldiers used any available material to provide protection from the Metis and natives

Batoche: The Battle of Batoche lasted three days, from May 9, to May 12, 1885. The North West Field Force, under Maj. General Middleton, launched an attack (near side) against some 350 Métis and First Nations people, bunkered down in rifle pits, in front of Batoche (background). Louis Riel (left) and Gabriel Dumont (below) - who was the military leader - were both in the town.

On May 9 Middleton began a frontal assault, by land, in concert with what was to be a water-borne attack by the heavily sandbagged steamer Northcote, bristling with riflemen, who would be put on shore behind the backs of Dumont's men. The steamboat attack fizzled when Dumont ordered the ferry cables lowered, which cut off the tall funnels of the passing steamship. It drifted helplessly down the river with its load of captive riflemen.

The Militia's land attack failed too, as Dumont's men fired mercilessly from their rifle pits. When Middleton pulled back his men, the Métis and Indians advanced and sniped at them constantly.

Over the next two days Middleton bombarded Dumont's positions with heavy guns and sporadic rifle fire. The Métis and Indians held their ground and kept up a peppery sniping, but were running dangerously low on ammunition.

On May 12,Middleton tried to orchestrate a two prong attack, from opposite sides, against the men in the rifle pits around the church. He would feint an attack with a few men on the far side, hoping to draw the defenders out of the trenches. At which time the second more powerful pincer would attack and catch them out in the open. Their signal to move would be the sound of Middleton's group starting to fire. But the cross wind was so strong they did not hear the gunfire, and the support attack never started. Middleton returned to camp, fuming at the failure.

As he ate lunch in frustration, word arrived that the Métis had - after all - come out of their rifle pits to investigate what was going on. They were quickly overrun by a group of Canadians who put them to flight while Middleton was angrily eating lunch.

The battle was over; but Riel and Dumont escaped.

Each side had lost some 25 men.

With the main leaders captured or put to flight - Riel surrendered days later, and Dumont a refugee in the United States - the Northwest Rebellion was effectively over.

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