Sunday, August 30, 2009

Live-blogging the siege of Quebec+250 #59

Thursday August 30, 1759 While the grand strategy of the siege is being reoriented, Captain Knox offers an anecdote that illustrates both the travails of the colonists and the fate of amateur soldiers who go up against trained forces:
A company of rangers, on a scout towards Beaumont [on the south shore downriver from Quebec] eastward, surprised about twenty Canadians reaping their corn, who instantly took to their arms and made to a coppice that covered the road, at half a mile's distance, intending to way-lay them. They gave our rangers a fire before they were within reach, which discovered their design, whereupon the Captain retired a little way, formed his men into three divisions, detached one to the right, and another to the left, while the third moved on at a gentle pace. Upon the center party's advancing, the enemy fired again, and immediately the other divisions got round, and rushed upon them unexpectedly. Five of those wretches were killed and scalped, and four were made prisoners. The rangers had two men slightly wounded, who returned to the field where the Canadians had been reaping and found a bag of bread, a second of powder, and a third of letters. Many of them I read, which breathed most emphatically of misery and distress.
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