Montcalm and Wolfe eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 771 pages of information about Montcalm and Wolfe.
was, in the main, a failure.  Three of the French ships, however, lost in fog and rain, had become separated from the rest, and lay rolling and tossing on an angry sea not far from Cape Race.  One of them was the “Alcide,” commanded by Captain Hocquart; the others were the “Lis” and the “Dauphin.”  The wind fell; but the fogs continued at intervals; till, on the afternoon of the seventh of June, the weather having cleared, the watchman on the maintop saw the distant ocean studded with ships.  It was the fleet of Boscawen.  Hocquart, who gives the account, says that in the morning they were within three leagues of him, crowding all sail in pursuit.  Towards eleven o’clock one of them, the “Dunkirk,” was abreast of him to windward, within short speaking distance; and the ship of the Admiral, displaying a red flag as a signal to engage, was not far off.  Hocquart called out:  “Are we at peace, or war?” He declares that Howe, captain of the “Dunkirk,” replied in French:  “La paix, la paix.”  Hocquart then asked the name of the British admiral; and on hearing it said:  “I know him; he is a friend of mine.”  Being asked his own name in return, he had scarcely uttered it when the batteries of the “Dunkirk” belched flame and smoke, and volleyed a tempest of iron upon the crowded decks of the “Alcide.”  She returned the fire, but was forced at length to strike her colors.  Rostaing, second in command of the troops, was killed; and six other officers, with about eighty men, were killed or wounded.[190] At the same time the “Lis” was attacked and overpowered.  She had on board eight companies of the battalions of La Reine and Languedoc.  The third French ship, the “Dauphin,” escaped under cover of a rising fog.[191]

[Footnote 188:  Particulars in Entick, I. 121.]

[Footnote 189:  Secret Instructions for our Trusty and Well-beloved Edward Boscawen, Esq., Vice-Admiral of the Blue, 16 April, 1755.  Most secret Instructions for Francis Holbourne, Esq., Rear-Admiral of the Blue, 9 May, 1755.  Robinson to Lords of the Admiralty, 8 May, 1755.]

[Footnote 190:  Liste des Officiers tues et blesses dans le Combat de l’Alcide et du Lis.]

[Footnote 191:  Hocquart’s account is given in full by Pichon, Lettres et Memoires pour servir a l’Histoire du Cap-Breton.  The short account in Precis des Faits, 272, seems, too, to be drawn from Hocquart.  Also Boscawen to Robinson, 22 June, 1755.  Vaudreuil au Ministre, 24 Juillet, 1755, Entick, I. 137.

Some English accounts say that Captain Howe, in answer to the question, “Are we at peace, or war?” returned, “I don’t know; but you had better prepare for war.”  Boscawen places the action on the 10th, instead of the 8th, and puts the English loss at seven killed and twenty-seven wounded.]

Here at last was an end to negotiation.  The sword was drawn and brandished in the eyes of Europe.

Chapter 7

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Montcalm and Wolfe from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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