Montcalm and Wolfe eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 931 pages of information about Montcalm and Wolfe.
details of the sufferings of the rangers.  An old chief of the St. Francis Indians, said to be one of those who pursued Rogers after the town was burned, many years ago told Mr. Jesse Pennoyer, a government land surveyor, that Rogers laid an ambush for the pursuers, and defeated them with great loss.  This, the story says, took place near the present town of Sherbrooke; and minute details are given, with high praise of the skill and conduct of the famous partisan.  If such an incident really took place, it is scarcely possible that Rogers would not have made some mention of it.  On the other hand, it is equally incredible that the Indians would have invented the tale of their own defeat.  I am indebted for Pennoyer’s puzzling narrative to the kindness of R.A.  Ramsay, Esq., of Montreal.  It was printed, in 1869, in the History of the Eastern Townships, by Mrs. C.M.  Day.  All things considered, it is probably groundless.

Vaudreuil describes the destruction of the village in a letter to the Minister dated October 26, and says that Rogers had a hundred and fifty men; that St. Francis was burned to ashes; that the head chief and others were killed; that he (Vaudreuil), hearing of the march of the rangers, sent the most active of the Canadians to oppose them, and that Longueuil sent all the Canadians and Indians he could muster to pursue them on their retreat; that forty-six rangers were killed, and ten captured; that he thinks all the rest will starve to death; and, finally, that the affair is very unfortunate.

I once, when a college student, followed on foot the route of Rogers from Lake Memphremagog to the Connecticut.

Chapter 27


The Heights of Abraham

Wolfe was deeply moved by the disaster at the heights of Montmorenci, and in a General Order on the next day he rebuked the grenadiers for their precipitation.  “Such impetuous, irregular, and unsoldierlike proceedings destroy all order, make it impossible for the commanders to form any disposition for an attack, and put it out of the general’s power to execute his plans.  The grenadiers could not suppose that they could beat the French alone.”

The French were elated by their success.  “Everybody,” says the commissary Berniers, “thought that the campaign was as good as ended, gloriously for us.”  They had been sufficiently confident even before their victory; and the bearer of a flag of truce told the English officers that he had never imagined they were such fools as to attack Quebec with so small a force.  Wolfe, on the other hand, had every reason to despond.  At the outset, before he had seen Quebec and learned the nature of the ground, he had meant to begin the campaign by taking post on the Plains of Abraham, and thence laying siege to the town; but he soon discovered that the Plains of Abraham were hardly more within his reach than was Quebec itself.  Such hope as was left him lay in the composition of Montcalm’s army.  He respected the French commander, and thought his disciplined soldiers not unworthy of the British steel; but he held his militia in high scorn, and could he but face them in the open field, he never doubted the result.  But Montcalm also distrusted them, and persisted in refusing the coveted battle.

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Montcalm and Wolfe from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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