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.

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, The 78th Regiment of Foot, 2018.


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