Thursday, July 09, 2009

LIve-blogging the siege of Quebec +250 #7

[Due to a technical error -- someone can't read a calendar, more or less -- July 9's events time-travelled into July 8's report. I've now put some new material in yesterday's post, and I've moved the events reported yesterday to today, where they should have been in the first place, and expanded them a bit.]

July 9: Montcalm, reviewing his options in a letter to Lévis, his second-in-command, emphasizes the benefits of the defensive strategy: shore up the lines and let the British try to get at them.

Action: The diarist Foligné describes heavy firing from the batteries at Quebec across the river to Pointe de Levy, "where the enemy has been building for some days a battery to fire on the city." Wolfe is not yet able to pour fire in upon the city, its defenders, and its citizens. But the townspeople know what's coming. As Lévis's journal reports: "The people of Quebec, seeing with concern the gun batteries the enemy is building at Pointe de Levy, which will be able to burn and destroy their homes, urgently demand that they be allowed to go attack those works."

Meanwhile, the Journal du Siège notes the results of yesterday's moves at Montmorency:
We learn of firing at the [Montmorency Falls, and of the ships firing on M. de Lévy’s camp, just to entertain them, no doubt.

The result: the Ottawas defeated about forty English who advanced in a squad. And they attacked another column of 300 or 400 men who recoiled and than, as a second group flanked them, were hard hit. In this skirmish we had 4 Canadiens and three natives killed and one Canadien and four natives wounded. The English had at least a hundred men killed, but they have held their place. They encamped above the falls and they have a two-gun battery. They know their trade well. I hope we know ours – in truth we are going to need it.
(Casualty estimates for the other side, it should be said, tend to be unreliable and generally exaggerated)
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