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Louis Riel - The Surrender

Cautious after Fish Creek, Middleton stopped for two weeks to rest his men. He left for Batoche on May 7, accompanied by the steamer "Northcote" which he planned to use in launching an attack from the Saskatchewan River. The Métis soon managed to disable the steamer, but the government troops were too strong.

On May 12, the fourth day of the battle, the Métis were defeated. The two leaders reacted differently to this defeat. Both were hidden in the woods and ravines around Batoche. Riel, after ensuring the safety of his family, withdrew into the woods to pray. He made no attempt to flee. When Middleton demanded that he surrender, he replied that he would give himself up to fulfill God's will and that he wanted freedom for all his council and his people. He would surrender so that he could continue to defend the Métis' cause.

After his surrender, Riel was taken to Regina. Dumont, on the other hand, tried unsuccessfully to recapture Batoche. Hearing that Riel had given himself up, he fled to the United States with Michel Dumas.

The resistance was over. Poundmaker surrendered on May 23, but Big Bear was still at large. He was attempting to restore the unity which had existed on the plains.

On May 26, he engaged Colonel Strange's men in battle, but, with his braves dying of hunger and no more ammunition left, Big Bear finally gave himself up on July 2.


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