Quebec, 1759: The Siege and the Battle

By C. P. Stacey | Go to book overview

IV
JULY: MONTMORENCY

Somewhat after midnight on the night of 8-9 July, Wolfe with the grenadiers of the army landed on the north shore of the St. Lawrence about three-quarters of a mile below Montmorency Falls. Later that night Townshend's brigade joined him. There was no opposition. 1 On the 10th, as we have already seen, Murray with a great part of his brigade also moved to Montmorency. The main forces of the two opposing armies then faced each other at close range across the Montmorency River.

Wolfe had now adopted what may be called his third plan. The first was the basic scheme to land on the Beauport shore, which had been frustrated by the French getting there first; the second was the idea of landing a strong detachment to entrench above the town, which he abandoned from the fear of its being attacked by the French main force and perhaps also because of the naval situation. (These two had been foreshadowed in the letter to his uncle written in May.) The third may be called a variant of the first. Since the Beauport shore was inaccessible, Wolfe landed as close to it as possible. He now faced the task of evicting the French from the Beauport position to enable him to force the line of the St. Charles and reach the weak side of Quebec.

For weeks to come he wrestled with this problem. What was the best approach to Montcalm's position? An attack across the Montmorency -- a not inconsiderable obstacle -- at one or more of the few points where it could be forded? A frontal waterborne assault from the Basin? Or a combination of the two? Concurrently he again considered from time to time an enter-

-60-

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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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