Quebec, 1759: The Siege and the Battle

By C. P. Stacey | Go to book overview

VIII
THE 13TH OF SEPTEMBER: BATTLE

Having made his reconnaissance in the direction of the town, and presumably selected the ground he proposed to occupy, Wolfe moved the part of the army which was formed in line above the Foulon path off to the eastward along the cliff edge.1 (There is really nothing to sustain Doughty's queer notion, based on a French account,2 that it fetched a long circuit round by the Ste. Foy road.) On coming opposite to the chosen position, it deployed to the left and stood in line of battle facing the city. It was now on the area of generally flat and open ground then commonly called the Plains -- or the Heights -- of Abraham; though the lands actually held by the seventeenthcentury pilot Abraham Martin seem to have been considerably nearer the city than the ground taken up by Wolfe.3 Knox tells us that this ground was occupied about six o'clock in the morning, and adds that the line as first formed consisted only of three battalions and the Louisbourg Grenadiers; but as more units came up Wolfe revised and extended it.

In the end, six battalions and the Grenadiers formed the battle-line. On the right, above the St. Lawrence, drawn back to deal with the French sharpshooters in the bushes by the cliffside, was the 35th; next came the Louisbourg Grenadiers, and in order the 28th, 43rd, 47th, 78th (Fraser's Highlanders) and 58th. Evidently in order to cover the long front across the plateau stretching towards the St. Charles, the line was formed only two deep instead of the three then usual. In reserve in rear, extended on a wide front, was the 48th. Monckton, as senior

-138-

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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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