Thursday, August 27, 2009

Live-blogging the siege of Quebec+250 #56

Monday, August 27, 1759. The diarist de Foligné has news of a new French initiative to blunt the British attack:
Headquarters ordered the sailors distributed around our gun batteries withdrawn in order to man five of our frigates that are upriver and to sail them down to Pointe aux Trembles to attack the enemy vessels.
The men, 600 or 700 strong, led by seven naval officers, reach Cap-Santé and are distributed among the French vessels that have been sheltering there throughout the siege. The British naval force upriver from Quebec is still quite small. Given the risks of passing beneath the town’s batteries, only a few ships have run that gauntlet. The five frigates have some hope of seriously damaging the British naval strength above the town.

Weakening the town’s gun batteries by removing several hundred men seems a serious risk. But powder for the guns is low anyway. And if this naval thrust can eliminate or even weaken the British naval forces that have made possible the raids and landings Brigadier Murray had recently led, the security of the north shore of the river upriver from Quebec will be greatly increased.

More developments tomorrow.
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