“Between the Forks and Carleton”


"Last Saturday night young William Tate Enrolled his scouts, he would not wait, But galloping up though he was late Between the Forks and Carleton." The soldiers report that "for the French we've made a shroud" and "Middeton had made them run"


Billy Smith (born c. 1870) was a youth living not far from Batoche at the time of the Metis uprising (for which see the notes to "Riel's Song"). The title of the song refers to the site of the Battle of Batoche, where General Middleton defeated the rebels when their ammunition ran out.

"The Forks" is not a river fork but a trail fork; one branch of the road led to Prince Albert (the closest major town to Batoche) and the other led to Fort Carleton.

The tune is said to be based on "Johnny Cope," though obviously somewhat worn down. - RBW

Historical references

  • May 12, 1885 - Battle of Batoche. Defeat of the Metis under Louis Riel

Cross references


  1. Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 132-133, "Between the Forks and Carleton" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #4514
  3. BI, FMB132


Author: Billy Smith
Earliest date: 1958
Keywords: battle Canada
Found in: Canada(Ont)