Quebec, 1759: The Siege and the Battle

By C. P. Stacey | Go to book overview

VII
THE 13TH OF SEPTEMBER: APPROACH

On 12 September, while Wolfe was making the final dispositions for that night's enterprise, the French, unfortunately for themselves, were making some routine supply arrangements which were to render the enterprise a great deal easier.

During the day the munitionnaire Cadet wrote to Bougainville at Cap Rouge asking him to do everything possible to pass a convoy of provision boats down the river to Quebec during the night; if this could not be done, then Cadet would have to send carts to Cap Rouge for the food next day -- "but if it came by water, that would save us a great deal of trouble". 1 As part of the plan, Bougainville's posts were warned that the boats would be attempting the dangerous trip down the river past the British ships, and that it was important to avoid any action that would give them away. But, for some reason that does not appear, the convoy movement was cancelled; and word of the cancellation was not sent to the posts.2 It is really not surprising that some writers should have suggested that this train of events was the result of treachery; but there is no evidence that it was due to any cause except gross negligence. It was to make a great contribution to the fatal outcome. It would seem that a heavy responsibility rests on Bougainville; for the boats were to depart from Cap Rouge, where he was, and he cannot have failed to know of the change of plan.

Wolfe's letter to Burton had said, "Tomorrow the troops re-embark, the fleet sails up the river a little higher, as if intending to land above upon the north shore, keeping a convenient

-120-

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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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