Montreal’s sedentary militia, mustered once a year, existed until 1871, when it began to be replaced by the regular Canadian army, which emerged gradually through the 1870s and ‘80s.
‘In England the gorget as a symbol of military rank was first worn during the reign of Charles II (1660-1685). Colonels of infantry were primarily the only officers privileged to wear it, and at that time it was of steel and nearly as large as the former breastplate. Later captains and lieutenants wore miniature gorgets patterned after the original style, but made of gilt brass, gold or thin steel studded with gold … In 1786, a general order was issued to the British army prescribing that the gorgets of all officers of infantry- of-the-line should be gilt with gold, with the King’s cypher and a crown in the middle, to be worn with a ribbon and a rosette at each end, of the color of the regimental facing. The gorget was thus worn as a part of the military uniform until about 1830 … it was a natural step for the American powers to utilize the gorget as a symbol of status among the Indians of North America. When the British began to to seek the friendship of the Iroquois, they adopted the old system of furnishing medals to the chiefs and head warriors. Later, when the Iroquois came to be regarded as practically an integral part of the British military system in America, especially during the French and Indian War (1754-1763) … the King – through Indian agents – gave commissions to various head-men, making then “gorget captains”. (A. Woodward, Denominators of the Fur Trade. An Anthology of Writings on the Material Culture of the Fur Trade, Pasadena, 1970, pp.33-4). The gorget later assumed a purely ornamental role, and was manufactured, often with totemic designs, by Native American silversmiths, from French and British models.