St. Antoine de Padoue, Batoche, Sask.
To His Excellency,
As promised to you I shall give to you these few words about the war
where Louis Riel participated in 1885. It is not Louis Riel but the
coward government who has made war against the poor people of Saskatchewan.
The war ended on May twelfth, a Tuesday night. There Louis Riel has
taken the road to escape on foot and take to the woods with his family
and many families of which I was part with an eighteen month old baby in
my arms, to walk day and night, sitting in the woods, hiding, resting.
What made Riel surrender to the troops ? Thursday night Moïse
Wellet who had been taken prisoner by the soldiers was given a letter to
deliver to Louis Riel on the promise that if he found Riel and the letter
was delivered he would be set free. That is what Moïse Wellet
did. I did not read this letter but Louis Riel did and said Middleton
wants me to surrender, and that nothing will done to me but this is all
to the contrary. They will put me right in front of the cannon when
I will arrive. This was a Thursday night. At morning we left
early and Friday night we were at Batoche about twelve to fourteen miles
without having had anything to feed our greatest hunger, when we arrived
at the back at Batoche behind the small village there is a beautiful meadow,
we rested, we had with us a good old Métis by the name of Carbath
Fayant. There were some animals there. He told the young people
to kill a young calf and immediately a fire was prepared and each one took
a piece and ate. Louis Riel ate a little and this poor man bade farewell
to his little children, made them pray the Lord and left. He came
back to do the same thing during three days, then he left but we did not
see him surrender but we heard the shouts of José when he surrendered
to them. All the houses were burnt down when we came back home.
No house, no bed, no covers. All we had left was our canadian and
métis courage to live a season too far advanced to plant seed.
Some have sown a few barrels of seed to produce seed for the following
Forgive me Your Excellency for these words written by the hand of a
sixty-two year old woman.
Your humble child,
Madame Barthélémi Pilon