Friday, August 14, 2009

Live-blogging the siege of Quebec+250 #43

Tuesday, August 14, 1759 Captain Knox repeats a favourite rumour of the besiegers, predicated on the assumption that Quebec will not fall this summer:
A strong fortress, to contain a garrison of three thousand men, this winter, on the island of Coudres, is again reported to be determined upon, and the plan to be very soon put in execution. [The Ile aux Coudres is a short distance downriver from Quebec and the Ile d’Orleans.]
And the supply clerk notes the news circulating among the besieged:
The English officer taken prisoner in the action of July 31 has died [of his wounds] tonight. The cares and remedies of the surgeons could not save his life or cure his mortal wound. His loss is regretted by everyone. [This was Captain Ouchterlony of the grenadier company of the 47th Regiment -- hardly "English" to his Highland compatriots]

On the ramparts we have had two men killed by a shot. We have just learned the enemy has set fire to the St Roch district and a part of St Nicholas. The churches have been spared.

Knox also reports another instance of the successes of French (mostly, First Nations, actually) raiding parties that infuriate the British command and persuade them they are justified in unlimited warfare: "Four sailors, who have been for some time missing, were found scalped on the lower end of the isle of Orleans."
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