Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Live-blogging the siege of Quebec+250 #20

The British naval map shows most of the locations that keep turning up in the daily events. The western tip of the Ile d'Orleans is at right. Montmorency Falls just above it at top right -- note the shallows that impede British ship movements there. The fortified Beauport shore, where Montcalm holds the bulk of his troops, runs between Montmorency and the city. Point Levy can be seen at bottom centre -- note the close range of the artillery duels between the batteries there and those of the city. The ships in the river at far left mark the British naval presence upriver, close to the eventual landing site.

Sunday, July 22, 1759: Yesterday Wolfe used his new command of the river above Quebec to dispatch Guy Carleton (today a junior officer, come the 1770s a governor of Canada) and a raiding party to land at Pointe-aux-Trembles about 30 k west of Quebec. The raiders briefly skirmished with militia and First Nations fighters and soon retreat to the boats. They took with them a couple of hundred prisoners, not troops but civilians, many of them women and children who had retreated upriver to escape the shelling of Quebec City -- and also "Sieurs Frichet, LaCaze and LainyƩ" who, according to the supply clerk's journal, had gone to visit their mistresses there.

Today the prisoners or hostages are returned to the city under a flag of truce. The clerk continues:
General “Hwolf” received the ladies very politely. He strongly advised them not to return to the city, which would be reduced to ashes in a few days. He sent his compliments to M. Bigot and assured him that as soon as we are taken they will treat him with all possible consideration. They also had much praise for M. de Montcalm, saying he was a good general but that M. de Vaudreuil lets them do whatever they wanted to. They expressed the hope of making themselves masters of Canada. That is all I learned from these prisoners who were very glad to be back although they had been well treated.
[Map from Claude LaFrenière's blog]
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