Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Siege of Quebec: Week Five

Fraser's 78th Highlanders
July 25th, 1759. Arrived this morning on the lower settlements of the North side, the River en Chemin, Capt. Fraser's Co. having the van. Seized about 300, including men, women and children, 150 head of cattle, some horses, and several sheep. When we came near the above camp forage was forwarded with Capt. Delaune's Company, as also the prisoners.

Major Dalling marched to Capt. Goram's house, where the detachment took post till further orders.

26th. Marched from last night's post to our cantonments, where we were informed of Capt. Delaune;s sending last night a corporal and six men with orders to Major Dalling, who were attacked on the communications by twenty Canadians (as the corporal) said. One Rigby, our surgeon's mate, who accompanied the corporal's party was killed with 2 men, 3 taken prisoners, only one escaped with the corporal, who confirmed the above, as also that on returning the corporal killed one of the Canadians.

Three of the prisoners from Capt. Delanne's Co. of those taken and sent to camp, recommended to the particular care of the captain. The evening of the 24th curt. Colonel Fraser set out with 300 men of his regt. to take prisoners, and bring cattle ; as they were marching some miles, east of Beaumont, they were fired on by one man only (as is said) which wounded the Colonel in the thigh, and broke Capt. McPherson's arm.

After arriving in camp we learnt that the Colonels van guard was fired on before day, who, according to others, retired into the wood, and he stepping to some small eminence to give directions to a part of his detachment to move on in a manner formerly directed, his voice making it known to the enemy where the commanding officer stood, three of them directed their fire up that way, which wounded the Colonel and Capt. McPherson in the right thighs. 

27th. Remained in cantonments all day ; nothing done in camp. In the night the enemy sent down one fire raft containing one hundred stages, lined with combustibles (did no harm).

28th. A deserter from the enemy to the westward of Montmorency ; little intelligence.

29th. Extreme hot weather ; 13 companys under orders all day ; it was supposed they were to cross Montmorency Falls, and attack a redoubt ; nothing was done. Capt. Ross and Lt. Nairn of Colonel Fraser's Regt. fought a duel this morning, very much to the discredit to the former.

30th. MORNING INTELLIGENCE. A deserter from one of the grenadier cos. on the Island of Orleans going over to the enemy is the reason nothing was done yesterday.

30th. a landing was to be endeavoured the 29th, consisting of two rgts. from Point Levy, and 13 cos. grenadiers from orleans, under cover of the fire of two frigates running on shore at high water, which time of the two regts. landing, the troops on the north shore were to cross Montmorency Falls, ----- Webb's regt. to march along the south shore the length of Goram's and return in the evening to their former post. The reason of which designing to draw the attention to the quarter. Posted this night by the battery as usual.

31st. At 12 o'clock this day, two catts with 6-pounders (in place of the supposed frigates) ran on shore, at which time the troops embarked in floats and in boats ; the many motions made by them gave the enemy time to assemble there in force where an attack was most probable. The two catts and the battery to the eastward of Montmorency continued firing till about five o'clock evening, when the 13 cos. Grenadiers from Orleans and the 2 regts. from Point Levy landed on the beach at which time the Montmorency troops crossed below the Falls, it being low water. The Grenadiers formed, and marched up to attack the entrenchments but by the steepness of a hill directly above them it was found impracticable, sustained a heavy fire for some minutes without their firing a shot, being obliged to retire. Amherst's and the Highlanders covered their retreat, which was done in good order, and without confusion, carrying off the wounded. The troops to the eastward of Montmorency returned to their camp with Fraser's regt., the Grenadiers to Orleans, and Amherst's to Point Levy. As the ships could not be got off there was a necessity of burning them. Killed, 38 ; wounded, 62 ; missing 1.

Faints made. Brigadier Murray commanded Anstruther's regt. and a body of Light Infantry, with orders to move on as if intending to cross above the aforesaid Falls, and if possible to effect it ; and Colonel Burton with Webb's regt. marched along the southern shore in order to DRAW THE ATTENTION OF THE ENEMY their WAY.

Source:
Anon. 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, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018.

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