Century of Conflict: The Struggle Between the French and British in Colonial America

By Joseph Lister Rutledge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI
THE PATHS OF GLORY

Louisburg falls, isolating New France. Her danger, extreme as it is, intensified by declining morale of the people and dissension among her leaders. Wolfe's success at Louisburg brings him command of Britain's supreme threat to New France. His background, his health, his character. Disaster at Beauport followed by decision to attack the heights. An unheralded change of plan, and attack by way of the Anse au Foulon. Vergor's continued failure or worse and Vaudreuil's ineptitude permit the British to reach the Plains of Abraham. The battle. Death of Wolfe and Montcalm. De Ramesay surrenders city.

The situation of New France could never be wholly desperate while Louisburg guarded its eastern portal. That was the knowledge that was at the heart of all her later thinking. Louisburg guarded the precious life line. Without it New France was hopelessly alone. Recognizing this, no effort had been spared to make it as nearly invulnerable as possible. The fortress itself had been strengthened, and this time there was no Bigot on hand to scamp the work. The garrison had been increased. Now there were nearly three thousand regulars, and with them a thousand militia and half as many Indians. The armament had been strengthened too. There were two hundred cannon actually mounted in the defenses, not to mention the seventeen heavy mortars. A sizable French fleet was there. It doubled the number of guns and of men.

More important than this, there was a new governor, not timid and uncertain and blundering as Duchambon had been when Pepperrell and Warren had headed the attack. The Chevalier de Drucour was of a different breed, stern, courageous, determined. He had a courageous wife, too, which is

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