Three days later Riel announced he would assemble an army that would wipe the Mounted Police out of existence in a week. He took an Indian agent and other government officials prisoners. At Batoche he seized the church and the priest. Telegraph lines from Prince Albert to Regina were cut, and the next day Riel formed a provincial government, "exovedate", as he named it.
On March 21 he demanded the surrender of Fort Carlton, but Superintendent L.F.N. Crozier refused. Five days later Crozier decided to try to get supplies from a store at Duck Lake. The small party of men sent out was turned back by Dumont. Then fifty-three police and forty-seven volunteers set out for Duck Lake. In one hour twenty-five percent of them were dead or wounded. Commissioner Irvine left Regina for Prince Albert in bitter cold. He arrived with over a hundred men, but on the night of March 27 the force was evacuated to Prince Albert. The police force's knowledge of the country and the people proved to be of great assistance to the militia.