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these operations rested, not with Carleton, for whom such warfare would have been uncongenial, but with his successor, Major-General Frederick Haldimand. Haldimand's outlook was in no way different from that of Carleton, but he lacked Carleton's rigour and firm authority. Nevertheless, from the first he in- sisted that raiding take place only upon legitimate military objectives, that non- combatants be spared, that prisoners receive the protection accorded by the us- ages of war, and that war parties always be accompanied by white officers. In the course of the border war, however, most of these regulations were bent or broken, no matter how frequently Haldimand and his subordinates at the interior posts insisted upon their observance. They were, in fact, virtually unenforceable; once the decision was taken to launch a frontier offensive, to support it with arms and supplies and to offer the protection of the posts to the dependents of the Indians, the means of control diminished. There were never enough regular officers to accompany Indian bands; normally they were led by officers of the Indian Department or by the largely Loyalist Reserve Rangers. Some at least of these had no more concern for European usages of war than did the Indians. Le- gitimate military objectives, in a war of this nature, were not merely stockaded posts and blockhouses, but houses, outbuildings, crops and livestock. There was little that combatants could do to prevent the taking prisoner of women and chil- dren. Periodically, after excesses against non-combatants had been committed, or prisoners slaughtered, there were threats to withdraw support from the Indian raiding parties.

But in the end Haldimand and his officers were forced to recognize that the Indians -- and their Loyalist allies -- had become as vital to the maintenance of the British position in the interior, as to the fur trade, the latter still the chief support of the province of Quebec. As Haldimand wrote to Germain in 1779, when the Six Nations came under attack from American regular forces, "should they be forced to yield upon this occasion and from their weakness, as well as our inability, to support them, from the difficulty of pushing up Provisions, be obliged to come into the Terms of the Rebellious Colonies, Niagara, the Upper Country $ Fur trade will go".21 In the end, Haldimand reached the point of con- cluding that the Indians, through their pin-prick war -- a form of war which ear- lier had won nothing but contempt from the professionals -- had pushed back the frontier and saved the posts for Britain. As a result, he was convinced of the pe- culiar injustice of a peace treaty that did not take the Indian contribution into account:

  • I am fully satisfied of the indispensable Necessity of keeping the Indians

attached to the British Cause, knowing that by their Alliance, we have hitherto, with a handful of Troops, kept possession of the Upper Posts, and that without their cordial assistance, it will be impossible to maintain that Country -- therefore Policy, as well as gratitude, demands of us an atten- tion to the Suffering and future Situation of these Unhappy People in- volved, on our account, in the Miseries of War with an implacable En-

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