Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Live-blogging the Quebec siege+250 #34

Sunday, August 5, 1759. Back in March, James Wolfe had written to General Amherst (his commanding officer and senior British officer in North America) that if “we find that Quebec is not likely to fall into our hands (persevering, however, to the last moment), I propose to set the town on fire with shells, to destroy the harvest, houses, and cattle, both above and below, to send off as many Canadians as possible to Europe and to leave famine and desolation behind me. Belle resolution et très chrétienne!"

Wolfe's siege has not yet reached that last moment, but the season wears on. The town is already crumbling under his bombardment, but Wolfe's mind now begins to turn to the other aspects of his in-case-of-failure program.

Captain Knox reports buzz around the British camp:
We are told by deserters, that they will wait until General Wolfe is obliged to draw his troops from the north camp, then fall on him with their whole force and cut the flower of his army to pieces. An attempt to this effect would afford his Excellency the highest satisfaction, as he might then hope to bring them to a regular action, what he seems moft to wish for.
As we have seen, Montcalm is not thinking that way at all. He will hold to his defensive lines.
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