CASAULT, LOUIS-ADOLPHE, soldier, deputy adjutant-general of the Canadian militia; b. 21 Oct. 1832 at Saint-Thomas de Montmagny, L.C., son of Louis Casault and Françoise Blais; d. 2 July 1876 at Quebec.
Louis-Adolphe Casault’s ancestors had come originally from Saint-Pierre-Langers, Lower Normandy, and settled at Saint-Thomas de Montmagny in 1759. Louis-Adolphe was the 13th child of the family; one of his brothers, Louis-Jacques*, became founder and first rector of the Université Laval, and another, Louis-Napoleon*, chief justice of the Superior Court of Quebec. At the age of 12 Louis-Adolphe was enrolled as a boarder at the Petit Séminaire of Quebec and subsequently attended the college of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière. After his college course, he entered the firm of Casault, Langlois et Angers of Quebec, headed by his brother, Louis-Napoleon, where he studied law for three years.
The legal profession did not, however, appeal to his restless spirit and, in a burst of patriotic enthusiasm, he enlisted in the French army on the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1853. He later wrote: “young and enthusiastic, I was unable to resist wanting to play a part in this event which was already stirring up so much interest in both hemispheres.” He had hoped to join the Zouaves in France, but because he was a foreigner he was sent to the Foreign Legion. He served in the Crimea, 1854–55, and was present at the battle of Chernaya and at the capture of the Malakoff at Sebastopol. In June 1856 he went to Algeria with the legion, and took part in the bitter campaign against the Berbers in 1856–57. Although in the Crimea he had become a corporal of grenadiers despite his small stature, and had been promised advancement, Casault lacked the necessary political connections in France to gain promotion. Accordingly, when his enlistment expired in March 1857, he took his discharge and returned to Canada where he wrote a series of articles describing his experiences in the Crimea and Algeria; these were published in 1857 by his cousin, Joseph-Charles Taché*, in Le Courrier du Canada. He intended to resume the study of law, but, when the 100th Regiment of Foot (Prince of Wales’s Royal Canadians) was raised in Canada for the British army in 1858, Casault once more found himself in uniform. On 29 June he received a commission as lieutenant and served with his new regiment in England, Gibraltar, and Malta.
Following his retirement from the British army in 1868, he entered the Canadian service, was promoted lieutenant-colonel and became deputy adjutant-general of the militia in Military District 7, with headquarters at Quebec. In 1870 he raised and commanded the Quebec Regiment, one of the two militia regiments which formed part of Colonel Garnet Joseph Wolseley*’s Red River expedition, sent to maintain peace and order in the newly formed province of Manitoba. The militia were in garrison in the winter of 1870–71, the Quebec Regiment being stationed at Lower Fort Garry (Winnipeg). In the spring of 1871 Casault resumed his appointment at Quebec. On the recommendation of Wolseley, he was made a cmg on 16 Dec. 1871.
Lieutenant-Colonel Casault retained his appointment as deputy adjutant-general at Quebec until 16 May 1876, when he was obliged to retire owing to ill health and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel Henri-Theodore Juchereau Duchesnay. At 43 years of age, he died at Quebec, where he was buried with full military honours.
Louis-Adolphe Casault was not long survived by his wife, the former Julie-Cimodecée Cauchon, daughter of the Honourable Joseph-Édouard Cauchon*, whom he had married in 1868. They left two children.
L.-A Casault, “Trois ans dans l’armée française,” Le Courrier du Canada (Québec), sept. et oct. 1857. Canada, Report on state of militia, 1869–76. Le Canadien (Québec), 6 juill. 1876. Journal de Québec, 4 juill. 1876. Morning Chronicle (Quebec), 6 July 1876. Hart, New army list, 1859–69. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire, I, 323. P.-G. Roy, Les juges de la province de Québec, 103. F.-É.-J. Casault, Notes historiques sur la paroisse de Saint-Thomas de Montmagny (Québec, 1906). Benjamin Sulte, Histoire de la milice canadienne-française, 1760–1897 (Montreal, 1897), 60, 74, 80, 84. F. E. Whitton, The history of the Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) (2v., Aldershot, Eng., 1926). F.-J. Audet, “Officiers canadiens dans l’armée anglaise,” BRH, XXIX (1923), 91. “Les trois frères Casault,” BRH, XLVI (1940), 141–42.