In the autumn of 1755 officers and troops from New England, acting under the authority of the colonial governors of Nova Scotia and Massachusetts, systematically rounded up more than 7,000 Acadians who lived in communities along the shores of the Bay of Fundy. Men, women, and children alike were crowded into transport vessels and deported in small groups to the other British colonies. Many families were separated, some never to meet again. The remaining 10,000 to 12,000 Acadians managed to escape and spent years as refugees. Many took up arms in resistance. The campaign of removal continued for eight years, by which time a total of more than 10,000 Acadians had been forced from their homes and dispersed widely across the Atlantic world. Meanwhile, their property was plundered, their communities were torched and their lands were seized.
Some of the most appalling violence occurred at the site of present-day Fredericton, New Brunswick, in a village called Sainte-Anne along both sides of the St. John River, which was home to approximately 1,000 Acadians. In November 1758, Colonel Robert Monckton, in command of 2,000 troops, ascended the river as far as present-day Gagetown, leaving a swath of destruction on both banks; he succeeded in capturing few of the Acadians living there, though, as most of them had fled upriver to Sainte-Anne. To remedy this, two months later in February 1759 Monckton sent a company of 15 New England rangers, under the command of Lieutenant Moses Hazen of Massachusetts, to strike that community. Hazen was ordered to "kill them all and give no quarter". He succeeded in bringing back 23 prisoners and 6 scalps. Joseph Godin-Bellefontaine, several years a resident of Sainte-Anne at the time, provided a rare first-hand Acadian account of the attack. The rangers captured his entire family, Godin-Bellefontaine declared in a deposition taken by French authorities. He and his grown son Michel were bound hand and foot and forced to watch as the Yankees abused their wives and daughters. "They took their rage to the point of massacring his daughter Nastazie, wife of Eustache Paré", reads the deposition, "crushing her head with a blow of the butt of a gun, his two children and a son of Michel, and splitting the head of the wife of the latter with a blow of a hatchet". The surviving members of the Godin-Bellefontaine family were sent to Halifax and eventually transported to France.
Paul D. LeBlanc
For English version of this article click on http://inquestiatimes.blogspot.ca/2017/09/monckton-architect-of-genocide.html