Saturday, July 18, 2009

Live-blogging the siege of Quebec +250 #16

Wednesday, July 18, 1759: Captain Knox has a warning for future readers of his journal of the campaign:
Many new projects are talked of; but, I believe, from no other motive than to amuse the enemy, in order that false intelligence may be circulated throughout their camps should any of our soldiers desert: a practice common in all armies, and the reader in the course of this work will find many stratagems and reports recited, which were never intended to be put in execution, and, therefore, are not to be looked upon as inventions of the Author of this Journal.
He then reports a French deserter has revealed that 1500 men will attack the English gunbatteries tonight.

Instead something more consequential occurs. Late tonight, the British naval commanders send the Sutherland, 50 guns, the frigates Diana and Squirrel, two armed sloops and two transports, up the river past the town of Quebec in the narrowest part of the river. They emerge successfully above Quebec almost entirely undamaged. Knox:
The enemy did not fire above twenty-eight guns all last night, which makes us conjecture, that the failing of these ships into the upper river was a great surprife to them; General Wolfe, who was then at our batteries, gave the town a moft incessant fire, while this small fleet were passing.
Control of the river and freedom of movement above the town....
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