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.

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.

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.

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.