Saturday, August 08, 2009

Live-blogging the siege of Quebec+250 #38

Thursday, August 9, 1759: Captain Knox notes: “A great smoke is perceived this morning on the north side, at a distance below Orleans. This is supposed to be occasioned by Captain Goreham's detachment, who are burning the settlements abreast of the ile of Coudres.” The community of Baie St-Paul has been destroyed.

News has reached Quebec of the fall of Fort Niagara at the end of July. Meanwhile Chevalier La Corne, commanding a small detachment where Lake Ontario enters the St. Lawrence, had found his position untenable. If the British attack, he will be obliged to retreat to La Presentation, virtually at the western end of the settlements of New France.

Lévis's journal:
Analyzing the situation, we decided to leave nothing to luck. We agreed that M. de Levis will head for that frontier with 800 men, a hundred from the French regular troops, the rest militia, to do everything possible to limit the damage. M. le marquis de Vaudreuil gave orders assigning him command of all the Montreal frontier. He left August 9 in the evening with M. de la Pause and Le Mercier.
This is a serious blow to Montcalm. Lévis has been his strong calm capable right arm throughout the siege, the only French officer besides Montcalm skilled in more than regimental manoevres. Lévis will do all he can to shore up the Montreal defences, but even more than the troops he takes away, Montcalm will miss the military skill and knowledge Levis has been contributing all through the siege.
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