Colonel Simon Fraser, Commanding Officer
78th Regiment of Foot, 1757-63

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Siege of Quebec: Week Four

July 18th, 1759. This morning General Wolfe reconoitered the opposite or north shore above the town ; seems to think a landing practicable.

In the afternoon Major Dalling marched with two companies along the south shore three miles to the westward of our post, in order to look for places most convenient for the troops to ascend at the landing on the north shore. He found two or three.

On our return to our cantonments we were ordered to take a little rest, as we were to escort General Wolfe in the morning.

July 19th, 1759. At 10 o'clock last night the General came to our cantonments in order to see the shipping pass the town ; at 10 o'clock the Sunderland and Squirrell men-of-war with two transports passed the batterys ; 31 shot fired at them, none of which touched.

Matched to escort the General, who went on board the Sutherland in a whaleboat ; at 3 o'clock in the morning Captain Carden and Fraser's company with some rangers marched to a settlement about 7 miles up the river above the town, to endeavour to take prisoners. We crossed a river near it with not the proper precaution ; discovered two or three straggling fellows who got off ; it seemed by the fires in the houses they had been inhabited lately. Found a note on the door of a house begging that we should not set it on fire. Returned to our cantonments by 10 o'clock at night, and on our arrival marched with the General 4 miles back ; the same communication we came by, where we remained all night. About 11 o'clock the enemy sett up the Indian hoop, and fired small arms ; most probably occasioned to a small alarm.

20th. Last night the General went on board the Sunderland ; at eight o'clock this morning marched to our cantonments ; on our way way we took a Canadian and his boy about 12 years old prisoners ; one of our men fired at him, and not withstanding his seeing it impossible to escape, being surrounded by 100 men, he returned the fire, and killed the soldier a Highlander belonging to Capt. Fraser's company. It was with great difficulty his life was suffered from the fury of the men who were exasperated at the scoundrel's action. He seemed to know little excepting the haunts of the straggling inhabitants.

20th. This evening an intelligent deserter from the enemy confirmed that the 13th curt. 1500 men having crossed the river in order to attack our battery and post, but on landing a false alarm made them fire on each other ; two Canadians were killed, the Indians fled then, and the detachment returned without presuming to look at one of our sentinels.

21st. Rainy weather ; marched to escort Admiral Holmes to Capt. Goram's post, being 2 miles from our post. He greatly difficulted how to get on board the shipping as they lay 6 miles above Goram's.

Arrived the General from on board the Sunderland, who informed us he had ordered Colonel Carleton to land at Point au Tremble with Amherst's and Fraser's Grenadiers, and a small detachment of the 3rd B. of R. Americans, which order was put in execution at daybreak in the morning of the 22nd. They were opposed by some Canadians and Indians, who gave way soon. Fraser's Grenadiers pursued too far, killing two Indians, and obliging the remainder to fly, leaving everything behind. Major Prevost, Lu Mc Douwel, and one volunteer wounded, with 14 men killed.

22nd. Marched from Goram's post as an escort to the General ; on our return to the cantonments received orders of marching. At night the town much bombarded, set on fire, and burnt most of the night a good many shot and shell ; two ships, endeavouring to pass the batterys sustained most of the fire, was obliged to set back with contrary winds, without which they could pass.

The lady's taken yesterday returned this day ; Capt. Smith, Aide de Camp to Gen. Wolfe, not politely used by the French in town.

23rd. Remained in our cantonments all day under orders for marching ; detained for want of a guide. At 1 o'clock this night marched the whole detachment of Light Infantry, with 30 Rangers, under the command of Major Dalling. At the time of our departure to town set on fire, and burnt most of the night.

Anonymous. Journal of the particular transactions during the siege of Quebec: at anchor opposite the Island of Orleans, July 26th, 1759. London, Quebec, 1901.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Siege of Quebec: Week Three

July 11, 1759. Some cannonading from town.

The enemy has changed their encampments to prevent the annoyance of a battery erected on the opposite side of the Falls of Montmorency, by putting themselves under cover of a hill, which has rendered our battery useless. But notwithstanding it's to be hoped that our engineers will use their utmost efforts to reconoitre their situation, and erect on some advantageous ground another for their amusement.

Rafts begun this day for transporting men. They are almost the same as projected by the Chevalier Tolar'd, excepting some bad alterations made by ....Frizer of the Royal Americans, one of the many quacks we import from foreign services. Major Dalling's detachment marched from Point Levy to the battery (erecting where the General and Admiral formerly reconoitred).

At one o'clock in the morning of the 12th inst. was the last gun mounted. The battery consists of 5 13-in. mortars, and 6 32-pounders.

12th. This morning the marines took post in a redoubt above the battery.

Towards noon some boats discovered coming down the river and landing men, among whom was seen red coats. It's feared the enemy have made prisoners from General Amherst's army.

Major Dalling's detachment to the westward of the battery (posted).

About 10 o'clock this night opened the battery on the town, to where and from whence a great number of shot and shells were fired. None of us hurt.

13th. Nothing extraordinary. Posted this night to the right of the battery. Neither shot or shells from either sides.

14th. Good weather. Little done. Posted this night to the right of the battery. A few shot and shell fired from our battery, but none from town. Great cannonading to the east of Montmorency by the enemy's battery's

15th. Little done on this side. Fortifying the encampment to the eastward of Montmorency.

About 12 o'clock this night Capt. Goram of the Rangers found three whale-boats, which he lodged in a copse of wood, and it's thought he intends to surprise a schooner close by the town. 

16th. A very smart cannonading from town, which has been in fire most of the day. A new bomb-battery erecting to the right of the former.

This night three ships of war were to pass the town ; and after posting the men under proper cover for saving them from shot and shell we were at length disappointed : the reason not known.

At 12 o'clock this night, Capt. Goram set out in order to surprise the schooner aforesaid, but after padling one hour he returned to Major Dalling's post saying he could not find it, which was pretty extraordinary as the schooner still remained in the same creek as formerly, and the distance from the shore could not exceed half a mile.

17th. The reasons of the ships not passing this town last night is imputed to want of wind, which is just possible as there was a good breeze on shore.

5 men killed and three scalped by the enemy to eastward of Montmorency. Captain Coseman of the ----- regt. dangerously wounded, he being fired on when placing some sentinels at an advanced post.

A soldier of Capt. Carden's company of Light Infantry deserted to the enemy, after killing his comrade.

A deserter from the enemy informs that they intend to attack our battery at Point Levy, also Colonel Burton's post ; saying that the 13th inst. 1600 men crossed the river on that intention, but returned the 14th on pretence of being discovered.

The weather continues good. Little doing. Posted by the battery as usual ; neither shot or shell during the night by either sides.

Anonymous. Journal of the particular transactions during the siege of Quebec: at anchor opposite the Island of Orleans, July 26th, 1759. London, Quebec, 1901.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Siege of Quebec: Week Two

July 4, 1759. This morning a flag of truce sent into town. In the afternoon another sent from town ; the business not known ; excessive rain and thunder, succeeding by lightning. The Light Infantry under orders of marching all this day.

5th. Colonel Burton, with the 48th regiment and Major Dalling's Light Infantry, took post opposite the south side of the town. The General and Admiral (Saunders) reconoitered the post, and it's expected a bomb-battery will be erected there.

6th. This morning one of Admiral Saunder's barges was taken by some canoes with armed men in them. The sailors got so near on shore that they leaped into the water and escaped, excepting one wounded man who was taken.

Remained under arms where posted the evening of the 5th till four o'clock this evening, when we marched to the camp at Point Levy.

At twelve o'clock this night marched to -------; lay in ambush for a party of Arcadians and Miomac Indians.

7th. Lay in a most disagreeable swamp inclosed with wood, where we discovered nothing ; the men were not so silent and attentive as was wished. At 10 o'clock at night marched from here, examining all the houses as we went along, and halted at the church of Beaumont, where the men was lodged. Consisted of 300, the party, 12 miles from camp at Point Levy.

8th. Lay in Beaumont Church most of this day. At noon discovered men walking at the border of the woods. Several parties sent out to endeavour to make prisoners. None taken. The parties brought in several sheep, hogs, fowls, &c., with a great quantity of household furniture and wearing apparel, at which conduct Major Dalling seem'd greatly offended. All the household furniture and wearing apparel deposited in the church of Beaumont, with a manifesto fixed on the church door.

9th. Marched from Beaumont to Point Levy. On our arrival was informed that General Wolfe the night before had landed on the north side of the River St. Lawrence, and to the eastward of Montmorency Falls with the Grenadiers Light Infantry, and most of the 2nd and 3rd brigades. The regiments at Point Levy struck their tents, and remained in the woods for 12 hours, when they encamped on their old ground, which consequently made the enemy imagine the whole were on the north shore, and gave time to General Wolfe to take post and fortify his camp.

10th. A soldier of the 48th regiment deserted to the enemy from his post.

Major Dalling, with two companies of his detachment, marched to reinforce Colonel Burton. Towards evening great thunder, lightning, and rain. Little done.

Anonymous. Journal of the particular transactions during the siege of Quebec: at anchor opposite the Island of Orleans, July 26th, 1759. London, Quebec, 1901.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Siege of Quebec: Week One





JULY 26TH 1759


Prefatory note: The name of the author of this journal is not known, but it is supposed to have been an officer, or non-commissioned officer in "Fraser's Highlanders." The original manuscript is property of Mr. Galloway, of Inverness. In comparing the dates of the various events recorded, with those given by other writers of the period, it is perceived the original author is generally accurate. There are also many particulars given of the last days of the Siege, which are of exceptional value.

The Siege of Quebec

June 27, 1759. This morning the greatest part of the army landed on the Island of Orleans. Afternoon of this day it blew excessively hard, the consequence of which occasioned a great many boats sunk and staved, particularly several transports driving from their anchors and running on shore.

28th. The remaining part of the army landed, at which a sudden gale of wind arised, which endangered the troops debarking, as also damaging the ship greatly. More boats lost.

29th. This morning about 1 o'clock the enemy, by favour of a N.W. wind and ebb of tide, sent down several fire ships and rafts with an intention to destroy the fleets : but the activity of the sailors with their boats and grapplings prevented any bad consequence attending thereto.

Major Dalling's detachment of Light Infantry under arms all night occasioned to an alarm given by Capt. ------- of Kennedy's regiment leaving his post, and coming into camp at an unseasonable hour.

The Louisbourg Grenadiers, Major Dalling's Light Infantry, and two companies of Rangers took post on the west end of the Island of Orleans, discovered four separate encampments of the enemy (north side of the river), twixt the Falls of Montmorency and the town, being 10 miles distance, strongly fortified, being the general rendez-vous called Beauport where the enemy were constantly employed in rendering defensive from the first appearance of our fleet in the River St. Lawrence.

This evening 6 men wounded on the west end of the Island of Orleans, belonging to Amherst's and Kennedy's regiments.

30th. Amherst's, Kennedy's, Webb's, and Fraser's regiments decamped from the west end of the Island of Orleans, embarked on board flat-bottomed boats, crossed the river St. Lawrence, and landed on the south side. Had some picquering with the enemy's Irregulars, of which they killed four, took THREE prisoners, and beat the remainder off from a post they occupied opposite to Cape Diamond ; after which the army took post at Point Levy, and remained quiet all night without the least molestation.

This morning two grenadiers of Whitemore's regiment were scalped, and most cruelly mangled on the east end of the Island of Orleans by three lurking Indians, who, after the murder, made their escape in their canoes to the north shore occupied by the enemy.

July 1st. Bragg's, Lasscell's, and Anstruther's regiments, under the command of Brigadier Townshend, marched from their former camp on the west end to the east point of the Island of Orleans. And the Light Infantry from thence to Point Levy on our arrival.... was informed that the 4 regiments posted here suffered by a cannonading from floating batteries or boats mounting 6 and 9-pounders. Amherst had 4 killed and wounded, and Fraser's 12 men.

2nd. A large detachment from the four regiments under the command of Brigadier-General Moncton, flanked by the Light Infantry, escorted General Wolfe, who went a reconoitering two miles to the west-ward of the camp at Point Levy. Discovered a few Canadians and Indians who fired on us from behind a bush. NONE HURT. 

3rd. Very rainy weather ; nothing done ; all quiet.

Anonymous. Journal of the particular transactions during the siege of Quebec: at anchor opposite the Island of Orleans, July 26th, 1759. London, Quebec, 1901.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Lt. Hugh Fraser Transfers to the 78th Regiment, Oct. 1761

Writing from Staten Island in the fall of 1761, General Jeffrey Amherst informs the Honorable Governor James Murray regarding the recent commission sold to Lieutenant Hugh Fraser, 27th Inniskilling Regiment, and his impending transfer to the 78th Regiment. Military transfers of this nature were often necessary to maintain the proper distribution of troop levels across the regiments during the campaign.

Staten Island 25th Octr. 1761

Dear Sir,
I Have granted a Commission to Lieut. Fraser of the 27th. to the Company in Frasers, and he now Sets out to Joyn the Regt. and will Deliver you this with my other Letters.

I am, with great Truth & Regard
Dear Sir,  &c.

Jeff Amherst


P.S. The Company is Capt: Fraser's who sells out.

Hon: Govr. Murray.

Note: Lt. Hugh Fraser is the only Fraser officer in 1762 to be identified as having previously served with the 27th Inniskilling Regiment. A full list of officers to have served with the 78th Regiment is located here.

Jeffrey Amherst, "Letters from the Commanders-in-Chief, New York to the Governor of Quebec, 1760-1763." War Office Records: Amherst Papers. W.O. 34, vol. 3.

Ford, Worthington Chauncey. British Officers Serving in America, 1754-1774. Boston, 1894.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018.

Friday, June 1, 2018

General Forbes' Letter to Colonel Simon Fraser, Sep. 1757

Writings of General John Forbes
New York Septr. 16th 1757.~

I am commanded by the Earl of Loudoun, to acquaint you, that as your Regiment is ordered directly to New York, that you will order Returns to be made out, to be deliver'd in upon your Arrival there.

- 1st: A General Return of the Battalion, with the Numbers of your Supernumeraries.
- 2d: A Copy of your Recruiting Accounts, stating the Time from Whence the Pay of the Battalion commenced; the Sum allowed by the Government for inlisting each man; With a true State of the Sums paid for Recruiting and Subsisting each Man. As also the Number that the Regiment consisted of, from the 24th of December last, and so forward weekly to the 24th. of June.

You are likewise to give and Account to what Time the Pay of the Regiment has been issued from the Pay Office into your Agent's Hands; and to what Time the Regiment has received Money for their Subsistence; and what Provision is made for supporting the Regiment that his Lordship may give Orders accordingly.
In Case that his Lordship be gone from hence, before your Arrival, You are to take the Earliest Opportunity of transmitting the above to his Lordship, wherever he may chance to be. And in His Absence, you will find Orders Left here with the Commanding Officer, How you are further to proceed. I am

                                                                                    Your most obt. Humble Servant.
                                                                                             Jno. Forbes.
Lt. Colo. Fraser


[Endorsed:] Copy. A Letter from Colonel John Forbes Adjt. Genl. to Lieut. Colonel Fraser New York Sept. 16th 1757.

James, Alfred Procter. Writings of General John Forbes Relating to His Service in North America. Collegiate Press, Menasha, Wisconsin, 1938.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018.  All rights reserved.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Payroll Account of Thomas Russell, 78th Regiment of Foot, 1758

Private Thomas Russell, 78th Regiment of Foot, 1758
Much like today, accounting books were used in the eighteenth century for documenting military pay and other related expenses accrued over periods of time. The payroll account of Thomas Russell, 78th Regiment, covers the period of July 5, 1757, through April 24, 1758. 

Note: Category headers and bracketed script have been added for clarification and do not appear in the original document. Additionally, it would not be uncommon to discover accounting errors as these were gentlemen who created inaccuracies the same as you and I.


To 9 Weeks Pay & arrears from y'e. 5th July to y'e. 5th September
     £: 1. 10. 9
To 5 Weeks arrears of Pay from y'e. 5th Sept'r. to 10th Oct'r.
     £: 0. 8. 4
To 3 Weeks arrears @ 5p week
     £: 0. 1. 3
To 6 Weeks Pay & arrears from y'e. 17th Oct'r. to y'e. 28th Nov'r. 1757
     £: 1. 0. 6
To 21 Weeks arrears of Pay from y'e. 28th Nov'r. 1757 to y'e. 24th Apr'l. 1758
     £: 1. 15. 0

[Total]  £: 4. 15. 10


To 1 Pair Shoes & 1 Nap Sack
     £: 0. 6. 6
To 2 Haversacks & 1 Cocade
     £: 0. 2. 8
To 1 Pair Garters & 1 Sett buckles
     £: 0. 1. 4
To 1 Kilt & 1 Small belt
     £: 0. 1. 4
To 1 Turn Key Screw brush & wire
     £: 0. 0. 9
To Provisions at Glasgow
     £: 0. 4. 8
To Spruce Beer at Halifax
     £: 0. 2. 8
To 2 Cheq'd. Shirts
     £: 0. 7. 0
To 10 Months Stoppages for y'e. Payment Serjt. @ 1p month
     £: 0. 0. 10
To 7 Months D'o. for y'e. Barber @ 2p D’o.
     £: 0. 1. 2
To y'e. Proportion of a Cook's Frock
£: 0. 0. 8
To Cash given you at Fairf'd. & Boston
     £: 1. 8. 9

  [Total]  £: 2. 17. 7

 [Income minus Expenses equals Cash Paid]

To Cash Paid as Bala'ce of Above
       £: 1. 18. 3

Halifax 4th May 1758 Rec'd. y'e. above Bala'ce. in full of my Pay & arrears of Pay from y'e. Date of my Attestation to y'e. 24th Apr. last as witness of my hand.     [his mark]  Thos. X  Ru┼┐sell

Major James Clephane, "Payroll account of Private Thomas Russell, 78th Regiment of Foot, 1758." Military Account Book at Halifax. NAS GD125-34-5, pp. 181-82.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018.