Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Siege of Quebec: Week Six

Fraser's 78th Highlanders
August 1st. 1759. The weather continues to be very hot ; little done ; posted in a picquetted orchard.

2nd. Weather as yesterday. By this day's orders it appears that the General is not very well satisfied with the manner the Grenadiers attacked, as they went on with too great precipitation, also before the troops from the eastward of Montmorency could form to support them. Advanced in so great a hurry that is was impossible to preserve silence or method, not pay proper regard to the directions given them by their commanding officers, which is the very essence of military discipline. We took possession of a redoubt and a 5 gun battery at the foot of the precipice, but was obliged to abandon it without nailing the cannon.

Some imputes this, as follows, to be the reason of the Grenadiers' mistake, viz. that the sailors who landed them huzzaed that the Grenadiers from Orleans and Montmorency had joined. And that a certain captain ordered his drummers to beat the march without the desire of the Commanding Officer, which occasioned the miscarriage of the day. A flag of truce from town with a very antick letter from the French governor relating the prisoners taken at Montmorency.

By intelligence from Admiral Holms, a large body of the enemy are above the town, and is supposed means to cross. This night posted as the former.

3rd. The weather continues hot ; little done ; remained at our post this night in order to march in the morning.

4th. Marched at two o'clock this morning from our cantonments to Village de Couleur where we arrived by break of day ; surrounded several houses, found no person. About 8 o'clock saw a few Canadians and Indians, but could not come up with them. Drove horses, cows, and sheep to camp. On our arrival in camp, was informed of a flag of truce from town with letters for the French prisoners, which is said were all returned unopened. Received orders to hold ourselves in readiness to march against to-morrow's evening with the 15th regt. and 200 Marines under the command of Brigadier-Gen. Murray.

5th. All this day under orders of marching. At twelve o'clock this night marched with the 15th regt. and 200 marines to Goram's post, where we remained from 10 o'clock in the morning to 6 o'clock evening of the 6th inst. On the beach waiting the return of flat-bottomed boats, which did not arrive for fear of being discovered, as our embarkation was to be made with the greatest secrecy ; when we thought we were liable to be discovered we drew off from the beach, and took position in some houses about a mile west of Goram's post.

6th Marched from last night's posts, and crossed the River Else Chemin with the 15th regt. and 200 marines ; about one hour thereafter, embarked on board the Sunderland man-of-war, and the remaining part of the troops distributed to the different vessels proportionate to the vessels' accomodation, where the whole remained all night.

7th. Remained on board the Sunderland man-of-war till three o'clock this evening, when Capt. Simon Fraser's co. of Light Infantry were ordered to be embarked on board the sloop Good Intent. A fine open country on both sides of the river, 18 leagues above or west of the town. At twelve o'clock this night were ordered to be ready to embark on board the flat-bottom boats ; counter-ordered at two o'clock in the morning of the 8th inst.

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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