Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Live-blogging the siege of Quebec+250 #26

Saturday, July 28, 1759: James Wolfe abandons his ideas about a direct assault on the quays of Quebec. “Our allies of the navy have examined the place and think it formidably entrenched within," he writes. Another option becomes untenable, and the season races on.

Captain Knox, the British diarist/historian, is collecting stories from the night before, of how the British sailors responded to the threat to the fleet from the French fireships:
Our gallant seamen, with their usual expertness, grappled them before they got down above a third part of the basin, towed them safe to shore, and left them at anchor, continually repeating, “All's well.” A remarkable expression from some of these intrepid souls to their comrades on this occasion I must not omit, on account of its singular uncouthness, viz. “Damn, Jack, did'st thee ever take hell in tow before?”
The French diarist known as the supply clerk notes consequence from that attack for the town and its people:
It seems that the enemy was annoyed by last night’s attempt [the fire ships] and they revenged themselves on the town, having fired between midnight and six in the morning more than 200 bombs. Gregoire had a leg cut off by an exploding bomb and his brother was lightly injured.
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