Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Live-blogging the siege of Quebec +250 #5

July 7: The British cannot besiege Quebec effectively until they have secure control of the St. Lawrence. Early in July, they are still far short of that, even downriver from the city and the narrows.

Foligné, a merchant marine officer detached to command a gun battery on the quay of Quebec, takes a professional interest in the naval skirmishing today, describing how British vessels move into the strait between the Ile d'Orléans and the north shore near Montmorency Falls, how gunboats and floating batteries engage them, and how the British fall back to the main body of their fleet. "That is how this engagement ended, without loss or damage on our part,," he writes; "we do not know what damage the enemy may have received from the shots which we saw hitting home." Captain Bell, a British diarist, notes "the passage from Montmorency to Levy for boats still dangerous, the floating batteries still reigning triumphant." Wolfe had been grousing earlier about "the amazing backwardness in these matters on the part of the fleet." (As C. P. Stacey observes, he is accusing the navy of being gun-shy.)
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