Quebec, 1759: The Siege and the Battle

By C. P. Stacey | Go to book overview

III
MAY AND JUNE: CONTACT

On 10 May 1759 Colonel de Bougainville, returning from his eventful mission to France, arrived at Quebec. He found that Vaudreuil and Montcalm were at Montreal, and thither he hastened with his dispatches.

Among the papers which Montcalm received from France at this moment was, according to his journal, one warning him of a British expedition against Quebec. He at once informed Vaudreuil and sought his permission to go to Quebec immediately to see to its defences. Vaudreuil at first refused, but shortly he himself received a dispatch from the Court, presumably that dated 16 February, which told him that "le Général Wolf" was being sent from England with 8000 men and would pick up others at Halifax. 1 Vaudreuil was ordered to concert defence measures with Montcalm. The general was now permitted to go, and he lost no time. He left Montreal on 21 May, reached Quebec on the evening of the 22nd, and immediately fell to work.

The 23rd brought reports of British ships at St. Barnabé, near Rimouski; they were, of course, Durell's. The news was confirmed at midnight by the flames of signal fires and by a courier from below. By that time Montcalm and, evidently, the Intendant had assembled the officers of the naval and merchant vessels at Quebec and arranged to put their crews to work; the next day 300 sailors were digging a trench-line along the right bank of the St. Charles under the direction of an engineer who had come in from France only a couple of days before. Orders went out in one direction to bring down to Quebec the regular battalions which had spent the winter in the districts of Mont

-40-

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Quebec, 1759: The Siege and the Battle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Maps vi
  • Introduction - Two Hundred Years of History vii
  • I - Dramatis Personae 1
  • II - The Fortress 27
  • III - May and June: Contact 40
  • IV - July: Montmorency 60
  • V - August: "Skirmishing, Cruelty and Devastation" 81
  • VI - The British Change Direction 95
  • VII - The 13th of September: Approach 120
  • VIII - The 13th of September: Battle 138
  • IX - The Fall of Canada 156
  • Postscript - Generalship at Quebec, 1759 167
  • Appendix - Wolfe's Correspondence with the Brigadiers, August 1759 179
  • Abbreviations and Select Bibliography 192
  • References 195
  • Index 208
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