Montcalm and Wolfe eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 931 pages of information about Montcalm and Wolfe.

From these and other reasons, the numerical superiority of the English was to some extent made unavailing.  This superiority, though exaggerated by French writers, was nevertheless immense if estimated by the number of men called to arms; but only a part of these could be employed in offensive operations.  The rest garrisoned forts and blockhouses and guarded the far reach of frontier from Nova Scotia to South Carolina, where a wily enemy, silent and secret as fate, choosing their own time and place of attack, and striking unawares at every unguarded spot, compelled thousands of men, scattered at countless points of defence, to keep unceasing watch against a few hundred savage marauders.  Full half the levies of the colonies, and many of the regulars, were used in service of this kind.

In actual encounters the advantage of numbers was often with the French, through the comparative ease with which they could concentrate their forces at a given point.  Of the ten considerable sieges or battles of the war, five, besides the great bushfight in which the Indians defeated Braddock, were victories for France; and in four of these—­Oswego, Fort William Henry, Montmorenci, and Ste.-Foy—­the odds were greatly on her side.

Yet in this the most picturesque and dramatic of American wars, there is nothing more noteworthy than the skill with which the French and Canadian leaders used their advantages; the indomitable spirit with which, slighted and abandoned as they were, they grappled with prodigious difficulties, and the courage with which they were seconded by regulars and militia alike.  In spite of occasional lapses, the defence of Canada deserves a tribute of admiration.

Chapter 31


The Peace of Paris

In accordance with the terms of the capitulation of Montreal, the French military officers, with such of the soldiers as could be kept together, as well as all the chief civil officers of the colony, sailed for France in vessels provided by the conquerors.  They were voluntarily followed by the principal members of the Canadian noblesse, and by many of the merchants who had no mind to swear allegiance to King George.  The peasants and poorer colonists remained at home to begin a new life under a new flag.

Though this exodus of the natural leaders of Canada was in good part deferred till the next year, and though the number of persons to be immediately embarked was reduced by the desertion of many French soldiers who had married Canadian wives, yet the English authorities were sorely perplexed to find vessels enough for the motley crowd of passengers.  When at last they were all on their way, a succession of furious autumnal storms fell upon them.  The ship that carried Levis barely escaped wreck, and that which bore Vaudreuil and his wife fared little better.[857] Worst of all was the fate of the “Auguste,” on board

Project Gutenberg
Montcalm and Wolfe from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook