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Wolfe and Montcalm
Chapter VIII After the Battle - Death of Montcalm


TAKING into consideration the slenderness of the two armies the battle of the Plains of Abraham was merely a bloody skirmish, for the rival forces did not together number ten thousand men. From the standpoint of its results it must, however, be always looked upon as one of the great events of the eighteenth century, since from it went forth the impetus that resulted in the American revolution, and the birth of the great republic which is to-day tending to shift westward the centre of civilization. The British lost only six hundred and fifty-five men, killed, wounded and missing, the regiments which suffered the most severely being the Highlanders, the Royal Americans and Anstruther's, the three which had met the Canadians. The French loss was hardly more than that of the opposing army. It totalled between seven hundred and eight hundred men, says the Journal kept in the army, and only six hundred men and forty-nine officers according to Vaudreuil. Never, however, was a rout more complete; and it was all the more irresistible because the French had no reserves. It would have been extremely easy to have summoned five or six hundred men from the town, where they were useless, as the battle was fought outside the walls, but the attack had been so sudden that no one had even had time to think of the possibility of a reverse. The army was, in short, seized by an incredible panic.

"It was a sorry spectacle for those who were watching from the windows of the general hospital," wrote Folignd. "1 would never have thought that the loss of a general could have caused a rout which, I venture to say, is unparalleled."

The detachment of Canadian militia, summoned in the morning from the Montmorency Falls to defend the hornwork, and which was composed of the best of the coureurs de bois, raged like lions in their cages on seeing the army cut to pieces, but were unable to render any assistance.

Chevalier Johnstone, who was mounted, acting as aide-de-camp, had been carried by the rush of the fugitives to the brink of the Genevieve hill; but had stopped at the foot of a ravine to encourage some soldiers at least partly to retrieve the day. On regaining the height he was greatly surprised to find himself in the midst of the English, who had advanced while he was in the ravine encouraging the gunners. As he was mounted on a fine black horse the enemy took him for one of the commanders, and greeted him with a volley. Four balls pierced his clothes. Another lodged in the pommel of his saddle, and his horse was struck four times but did not fall. He thereupon started at full speed towards the neighbouring hill, indicated in the distance by the windmill on its summit.

He crossed the fields of St. Roch in the direction of the bakery and entered the hornwork, where his horse, covered with blood which flowed from his wounds, fell under him.

"It is impossible to imagine," says he, "the confusion that I found in the hornwork. The dread and consternation was general. The troops were so demoralized that they thought the enemy had only to present themselves at the bridge to become masters of the place." The hornwork was a solidly constructed work on the left shore of the river St. Charles, which is seventy paces wide at this place, and only fordable at low tide a musket shot lower down. The side facing the river and the heights was composed of high and strong palisades, placed perpendicularly, and with gunholes pierced in them for large cannon. The part overlooking the Beauport road consisted of earthworks joined by two wings to the palisades.

The tumult and fright increased in the place as the troops continued to crowd in. The last regiments were still on the other shore, and the Royal-Roussillon regiment had scarcely left the streets of the Palais when a general cry arose in the enclosure : " The bridge of boats must be cut." Mont-gay and La Mothe, two old officers, cried to the Marquis de Vaudreuil that the hornwork would be taken in an instant with the sword, that all the army would be cut to pieces without quarter; and that the only thing that could save them was an immediate and general capitulation, giving up Canada to the English.

If we are to believe Johnstone, the only eyewitness who leaves us a circumstantial account of the incident, he was the only person who kept his presence of mind. He has endeavoured, it is true, falsely to usurp to himself the credit for having been the first to indicate to Lévis the existence of the fords in the Montmorency River at the beginning of the siege, and also pretended that it was he, who, upon this last occasion, prevented the cutting of the bridge of boats, and the immediate signing of the capitulation by Vaudreuil.

"Thanks," says he, "to that regard which the army accorded me on account of the esteem and confidence which M. de Montcalm had always shown me publicly, I called to M. Hugon, who commanded, for a pass in the hornwork, and begged of him to accompany me to the bridge. We ran there, and without asking who had given the order to cut it, we chased away the soldiers with their uplifted axes ready to execute that extravagant and wicked operation.

"M. de Vaudreuil was closeted in a house in the inside of the hornwork with the intendant and some other persons. I suspected they were busy drafting the articles for a general capitulation, and I entered the house, where I had only time to see the intendant with a pen in his hand writing upon a sheet of paper, when M. de Vaudreuil told me I had no business there. Having answered him that what he said was true, I retired immediately, in wrath."

Johnstone was still feeling hurt over the rebuff which he had just received when he saw M. Dalquier, commander of the Béarn regiment, an old scarred officer as loyal as he was brave, approaching him. Johnstone began to abuse Vaudreuil before him, and conjured Dalquier not to consent to the shameful capitulation which the governor was about to propose, and which would at one stroke of the pen lose forever to France a colony which had cost her so much in blood and money. Johnstone having lost his horse started along the Beauport road on foot, to join Poulariez, who had remained in the ravine. He had scarcely gone three or four hundred yards when he saw him coming as fast as his horse could gallop, so he stopped him and repeated to him what he had said to Dalquier. Poulariez replied that rather than consent to a capitulation he would spill his last drop of blood. He then told Johnstone to go and take possession of his house, and to make himself at home and take some rest at once. Then spurring his horse he started at full speed for the hornwork. "I continued sorrowfully jogging on to Beauport," continues the chevalier, "heavy at' heart over the loss of my dear friend, M. de Montcalm, broken in spirit and lost in reflection concerning the changes which Providence had brought about within the space of three or four hours."

Seldom; in fact, had a reverse of fortune been more sudden and complete. The evening before everything promised a speedy deliverance in view of the advanced season,- the discouragement of the besieging army after more than two months of Amherst's inaction on Lake Champlain, and the reassuring news from the rapids. And now all was lost. The English were victorious, and masters of the heights, Montcalm was dying within the walls of Quebec, the French army was defeated, crushed, disorganized, and deprived of its chief, and not one of the superior officers was capable of replacing him.

"Ah, sir," wrote Bougainville to Bourlamaque, "what a cruel day. It has deprived us of all hope. My heart is broken, and yours will not be less so. We shall be thankful if the stormy season which is approaching saves the country from total ruin."

Bougainville tries, in this letter, to excuse his own conduct and to throw upon others the blame for what he calls "the loss of the best position in the world and almost of our honour." It is nevertheless upon himself more than any other that the responsibility for this disaster rests. It was he who, charged to keep watch day and night, was the first to be surprised. He says himself that he was notified of the British landing at eight o'clock in the morning. Joann&s says that he was notified by the fugitives, which would make it still earlier. Be that as it may, he knew by eight o'clock through Vaudreuil's letter of the descent of the English at the Foulon. He started out at once, but instead of flying to help Montcalm he stopped at Sillery, where he took it into his head to take by assault a stone house where the English were strongly entrenched. He uselessly sacrificed Duprat's brave volunteers there, many of them being killed, as well as Brignotel, a lieutenant of the La Sarre regiment. He was repulsed and continued to lose precious time. It was at this very moment that Montcalm, ready to give battle, exclaimed  "Is it possible that Bougainville does not hear that ?" Bougainville distinctly heard the fusilade and the cannon of the two armies, since he was only half a league from the Plains of Abraham; but the blindness with which he seemed to be stricken still followed him, and he appears to have been glued to the ground. It was only towards twelve o'clock that he regained his senses upon hearing of the loss of the battle.

Vaudreuil at once marched the various corps composing the army to their old positions at the Beauport camp. In the council of war held at headquarters the superior officers were far from showing the firmness which Johnstone gives us to understand. They were all unanimous in declaring that there was no course to follow other than to retreat to Jacques Cartier. The governor and the intendant displayed some energy. They thought of combining the remainder of the army with Bougainville's corps, and renewing the attack with a simultaneous sortie by the garrison.

Vaudreuil sent a courier to Montcalm to ask his advice. The dying general replied that they had to choose between three things : the renewal of the attack, a retreat to Jacques Cartier, or capitulation ; but he did not want to decide between them.

"If I had attacked," says Vaudreuil, "against the opinion of all the principal officers I would probably have lost both the battle and the colony, because they were so ill-disposed for battle."

The retreat to Jacques Cartier was then decided on, but was kept secret till the moment of departure. At half-past four in the afternoon Vaudreuil wrote to Lévis: "We have had a very unfortunate affair. At daybreak the enemy surprised M. Vergor, who commanded at the Foulon. They quickly gained the heights. . . . The Marquis de Montcalm commanded with the first detachment. I took the rear guard, and hurried on the militiamen whom I overtook. I also warned M. Bougainville, who immediately started from Cap Rouge with his five companies of grenadiers, two field-guns, the cavalry, and all his best men. Although the enemy had surprised us their position was very critical. It was only necessary for us to wait for the arrival of Bougainville, so that while we attacked the enemy with all our forces he would take them in the rear, but luck was against us, the attack being made with too much precipitation. The enemy, who were on a height, repulsed us, and in spite of our resistance forced us to make a retreat. . . We lost a great many in killed and wounded. Time does not permit me to give you any details upon this point, for I am not well informed myself as yet. What we do know, which is most distressing, is that the Marquis de Montcalm has received several wounds all equally dangerous. We entertain grave fears for him. No one desires more than I do that his injuries will not prove fatal. We are thus reduced to the following circumstances. (1.) We are not in a position to take our revenge this evening. Our army is too discouraged, and we could not rally it. If we wait till to-morrow the enemy will be entrenched in an unassailable position. (2.) I neither can nor will, consent to the capitulation of the entire colony. (3.) Our retreat becomes therefore obligatory, and all the more so since we are forced to it by our want of foodstuffs. In view of all these considerations I leave this evening with the ddbris of the army to take up a position at Jacques Cartier, where I beg you, sir, to join me as soon as you receive my letter. You will see that it is very urgent that you make all possible haste. I will await you with impatience."

This letter of Vaudreuil's is much calmer than we would be led to expect upon reading what his enemies say about his alleged agitated and troubled state. The tone of moderation with which he speaks of Montcalm, only a few hours after the defeat, when he believed that he had a perfect right to blame him for not having followed his advice, is also noteworthy.

Vaudreuil said to Montcalm himself in the last letter which he wrote to him at six o'clock in the evening :" I cannot tell you how pained I am to hear of your wounds ; I hope that you will soon recover, and assure you that no one is more anxious for you than myself as I have been so attached to you. I would have liked very much to have engaged the enemy again to-day, but the commanders of the different corps have all represented the impossibility of doing, so, on account of the advantageous position of the English and the weakening and discouragement of our army, so there is nothing to do but to retreat. The opinion of these gentlemen being supported by your own I give way to it, though sadly enough, on account of my wish to remain in the colony at all costs. It is only by taking this course though, that I can use to the best advantage the remaining fragments of the army. I enclose, sir, the letter which I wrote to M. Ramezay, with my instructions to him, containing the articles of capitulation which he should ask of the enemy. You will see that they are the same which I arranged with you. Be kind enough to have him hold the document after you have read it. Take care of yourself, I beg you, and think only of your recovery."

Montcalm replied by Captain Marcel: "The Marquis de Montcalm entrusts to me the honour of writing to tell you that he approves of everything. I read him your letter, and the terms of capitulation, which I have given- to M. Ramezay according to your instructions, together with the letter which you wrote to him." Marcel added in a postscript: "The Marquis de Montcalm is not much better, though his pulse is now a little stronger than at ten o'clock in the evening."

Vaudreuil's lack of energy never showed as much as after the defeat of September 13th. Beyond a doubt he had his reasons not to renew the battle against the advice of the principal officers; but the course of wisdom would have been to force an engagement immediately. The essential object was to save Quebec. He should not have decamped without provisions, the more so as he was safe for the time being beyond the St. Charles.

The English, worn out for want of sleep and with fatigue, were entrenching themselves, and could not think of coming to attack him. Such temerity would have endangered the fruits of their victory and their hopes of taking Quebec. The French army had still more need of rest. One night's sleep would have given them new life and a chance to rally from their consternation. The townsfolk would not have awakened to find themselves abandoned, and there would have been time to transport the ten days' provisions from the Beauport camp to the town. In short the retreat to Jacques Cartier was in no way necessary. The army had only to join Bougainville who was falling back upon Lorette, and to put up its tents at Ste. Foy, where, sheltered by the large woods, it could soon have entrenched itself in such a manner as to fear no attack. It would have been nearer its base of supplies, whose transport was in no way more difficult than it had been previous to the battle, and Vaudreuil, with all his forces united, would have been able to maintain constant communication with Quebec, which the British were in no condition to invest. The advanced stage of the season would have prohibited a long siege, and their operations would have been continually arrested and delayed by night attacks in conjunction with sorties by the garrison. It is probable that Montcalm's opinion and those of his chiefs-of-staff which offered no alternative other than a retirement upon Jacques Cartier finally outweighed all other considerations.

The fatal September 13th was succeeded by a dark cold night, and over the camps of both the vanquished and the victors silence reigned supreme, broken only by the rumblings of the batteries at Pointe Ldvis, which, from time to time, hurled projectiles towards the city, streaking the lowering sky with a gleam of fire. At nine o'clock the army got under way in a single column amidst the same profound silence. Its tents remained standing, and the men carried with them only their ammunition and four days' provisions. The Quebec dignitaries, with six hundred men from Montreal, formed the advance guard, followed by the La Sarre brigade, composed of five battalions. The artillery and part of the equipment, escorted by the bridge guard, brought up the rear. A cavalry officer and one hundred and thirty men remained in the camp, and spiked the cannon, blew up the powder magazine, cut the bridges, and fired the floating battery. The column followed the Charlesbourg road, reaching that place at three o'clock, and at six o'clock it halted at Lorette village. Many of the famished and discouraged militiamen here took advantage of the darkness to regain their firesides, so as to be able to look after the needs of their families and gather in their harvests, "caring little," says a contemporary writer, "to what master they now belonged."

Johnstone, whose sentiments are well known, exaggerates the disorder of this night march. "It was not a retreat," he says, "but a horrid, abominable flight, a thousand times worse than that in the morning upon the Heights of Abraham, with such disorder and confusion that, had the English known it, three hundred men sent after us would have been sufficient to destroy and cut all our army to pieces." Except the Royal-Roussillon regiment, which Poulariez, always a rigid and severe disciplinarian, kept well in order, there were not to be seen thirty soldiers together of any other regiment. They were all mixed, scattered, dispersed, and running as hard as they could, as if the English army was at their heels.

The army halted about noon at St. Augustin, and at five o'clock in the afternoon reached Pointe-aux-Trembles, m which village it was lodged for the night. Jacques Cartier was only reached about noon on the fifteenth, after a delay caused by repairs which were being made to the bridge over the river. Finally, worn out by fatigue, and even more by the depressing defeat, the men were able, after a march of over forty miles, to take some rest, and dry their rain-soaked clothing in the barns and houses of the neighbourhood.

A letter from Montcalm, written by his aide-decamp, Marcel, at ten p.m., had been handed to Vaudreuil before he left the Beauport camp, and its bearer did not conceal the fact that the general was dying. When his secretary had left him on the St. Louis road, to obey the orders of the Chevalier de Bernetz, Montcalm had been carried into the residence of Dr. Arnoux, king's surgeon, who was with Bourlamaque at Ile-aux-Noix. His brother, a surgeon like himself, , was summoned in his place. After carefully examining the wounds, and especially the more dangerous ones, he merely looked at his illustrious patient, and shook his head.

"Is the wound a mortal one?" asked Montcalm.

"Yes," replied Arnoux, concealing nothing.

"I am content," replied Montcalm, "how much longer have I to live?"

"Not twenty-four hours," was the reply.

"So much the better," returned the dying man. "I shall not live to see the English masters of Quebec."

His faithful aide-de-camp, Marcel, took his place by his bedside, and never left it.

It was to Marcel that Montcalm confided his last instructions, asking him to write to Candiac, and to convey his tender farewell to his mother, wife and family on his return to France. To the Chevalier de L£vis, his best friend, he bequeathed all his papers.

We have seen in what manner he replied to the letters of the Marquis de Vaudreuil. When, however, de Ramezay, the commandant of the garrison, came to ask his advice concerning the defence of Quebec, he dismissed him with the remark:—"I have no longer either advice or orders to give you. The time left to me is short, and I have much more important matters to attend to."

Still, with the darkness of the tomb upon him he saw that there was one last public duty to perform. It was that of imploring the victors' clemency for the unfortunate colonists whose defence had cost him so dear, and so he wrote to Brigadier Townshend, Wolfe's successor :—" The well-known humanity of the British sets me at ease concerning the lot of the French prisoners and the Canadians. Please entertain towards them the sentiments they inspired in me, and let them not perceive the change of masters. I was their father; be you their protector."

A moment later the venerable bishop of Quebec entered, his own face reflecting the pain depicted upon that of the dying general, whom he prepared for death, administering the last sacraments, which the latter received with all the ardour of his fervent faith. Mgr. de Pontbriand was determined to remain with him until he had yielded his last breath.

"I die content," the general repeated, "because I leave the affairs of my master, the king, in good hands. I have always had a high opinion of the talents of M. de Lévis." He breathed his last on September 14th, at daybreak, aged forty-seven years and six months.

As soon as Marcel had closed his eyes he wrote to Lévis as follows:—"It is with the deepest grief that I acquaint you with the loss we have sustained in the death of General Montcalm at five o'clock this morning. I did not leave him for a moment until his death, which I believe was the best thing I could do after receiving his permission. It was a mark of attachment and gratitude which I owed him after all the kindnesses and good services he showered upon me. I can never forget them."

The confusion in Quebec was such that it was impossible to find a workman to make a coffin for the deceased general. "Seeing this difficulty," says the annalist of the Ursulines, "our foreman, an old Frenchman of Dauphine, known amongst us as Bonhomme Michel, hastily got together some planks, and, shedding copious tears, made a rough box little in keeping with the precious corpse it was to hold." The body of the brave soldier was laid within it, and at about nine p.m. the funeral procession started for the Ursulines' chapel, through the streets encumbered with debris and ruined walls. Behind the coffin marched in mournful silence the commander of the garrison with his officers, and many citizens, their number being added to as they advanced, by the townsfolk, women and children. No tolling bells or salvos of artillery announced the general's funeral, for the only guns that spoke hurled projectiles on the town. The crowd filled the church, wherein all was absolutely dark save for the wax tapers arranged round the trestles which bore the bier. To the right close to the convent chapel's railing a bombshell had torn up the flooring, and made an excavation in the soil. This cavity it was which, enlarged and deepened, formed a suitable soldier's grave.

The curd of Quebec, Abbé Resche, assisted by two of the cathedral canons, intoned the Libera, those present, and the choir of eight nuns, who remained to guard the convent, responding. Then the coffin was lowered into the ditch, "whereupon," says the convent's chronicler, "the sobs and tears broke out afresh, for it seemed as though New France were descending into the grave with her general's remains." Her enemies thought so too, but they were mistaken, for the sword of France had merely passed into another hand. The conquered were to rise afresh from this disaster to a greater victory, and work out for themselves new destinies.

In the camp of the victors equal mourning reigned. The flags of the fleet fluttered at half mast, and a sentinel watched with reversed arms before the door of the cabin containing Wolfe's inanimate form. Among the wounded of both sides carried on board the fleet lay, wounded unto death, one of the French army's leading officers, the wise and valiant Senezergues.

Let us return to the incidents of the eventful thirteenth of September. Townshend, as soon as he had driven the French to the St. Charles River, recalled his victorious troops and formed them up on the Plains of Abraham to face a new foe which might at any moment fall upon their rear. As a matter of fact Rochebeaucour's cavalry, and the leading files of Bougainville's columns were already showing upon the horizon, but they withdrew without engaging, and disappeared behind the fringe of trees. As soon as the British commander was satisfied that all his enemies were in full retreat he set his men at work entrenching. Before night fell the plain was freed from shrubbery and clumps of trees, artillery had been brought up, redoubts laid out, houses fortified and cannon established in the windmill at the head of the Cote Ste. Genevieve.

Many of the wounded had been taken to the general hospital. "We were surrounded," says Mother St. Ignace, an eye-witness, "by the dead and dying, who were brought in by hundreds, and many of whom were closely connected with us, but we had to lay aside our grief, and seek for space in which to put them.

"The enemy were masters of the country and at our very door, and there seemed to be grave reasons indeed why we should fear. . . Night was falling and redoubled our uneasiness."

About midnight loud blows on the monastery door were heard. Two young nuns, who were carrying broth, were passing by the door and opened it, but fell back in affright when they found themselves face to face with a squad of British soldiers. The officer in command seemed to be of high rank. "He entered without any escort," continues the hospital historian, "and asked for the three mothers superior whom he knew to be together here. They appeared with calmness and dignity, though not without betraying some fear concerning this late visit. ' Compose, yourself, ladies, and be kind enough to reassure all the sisters. You will not be in any way disturbed,' said Brigadier Townshend with the utmost courtesy, for it was indeed he. ' Only, in order to better protect you I will have your house surrounded by a guard.'

"Our mothers could only bow acquiescence and accept the situation, and in a short time two hundred men were drawn up below our windows."

Before daybreak on the fourteenth the news that the army had abandoned the Beauport camp flew through Quebec. At first no one would believe it when the beautiful autumn sun showed the tents still standing in line along the Beauport shore as before. As soon, however, as the news was confirmed beyond peradventure, a panic seized the entire population even to the officers of the garrison. Unfortunately for them the commandant was not equal to the occasion. "He did not even know how to maintain order," says Captain Pouchot. "Despondency was universal," wrote Ramezay, "and discouragement excessive. Complaints and murmurings against the army which had abandoned us became the general cry, and in such critical circumstances I could not prevent the merchants and militia officers from meeting at the residence of M. Daine, the lieutenant-general of police, and mayor of the city. There they decided upon capitulating, and presented me with a petition to that effect signed by M. Daine and all the leading citizens." The chief sources of the popular alarm were the irritation of the British by the massacre at Fort William Henry, their continual threats of vengeance, the ravaging of the country towards the end of the siege, and, finally, the cruelty of the rangers. It was to protect the town from such vengeance that, at the opening of the siege Montcalm and Vaudreuil had together drawn up the articles of capitulation handed to Ramezay on theeveningof the thirteenth. A number of families from the suburbs, who had sought shelter within the walls upon the approach of the British had brought the population up to six thousand souls, of whom two thousand seven hundred were women and children, one thousand sick or invalids at the general hospital, fifteen hundred militiamen and sailors, and six hundred men of the regular army. For all these mouths, which had already suffered much from hunger for some time past, there were only eight days' provisions at half-rations. On the evening of the thirteenth, owing to a lack of vehicles, the intendant had only been able to send into the city fifty barrels of flour from the camp. When Ramezay sent for the rest it was found to have been plundered by the Indians and the famished people of the neighbourhood.

Ramezay, on the evening of September 15th, called a council which was attended by fourteen officers from the different corps, and communicated to those present the instructions of the Marquis de Vaudreuil not to wait until the town was taken by assault, but to capitulate as soon as the provisions gave out. The council seemed as fainthearted and downcast as the commanders of the battalions assembled by Vaudreuil on the previous evening, and declared- for capitulation. One of the number alone, the heroic Jacquot de Fiedmont, commander of the town artillery, was in favour of reducing the rations and resisting to the last. He had already distinguished himself at Beausdjour by opposing the capitulation proposed by Vergor, and had often been remarked by Montcalm.

If, when the council of war was held, Ramezay was excusable for capitulating, he was not so the following day (the 16th), for, before night he had received two messages from Vaudreuil. One was written, and the other verbal, and both assured him that he would speedily have assistance, both in provisions and in troops. An orderly officer, the Cheva-alier de St. Rome, had at the same time arrived at Cap Rouge, where he handed to Bougainville a letter from the governor, instructing him to give escort to Quebec for sixty barrels of flour which that officer had with him. "The cavalry," said Vaudreuil, "seems to me the force best suited for this purpose, for the main object now is to save the town from want, and keep the enemy outside it." In a postscript the governor emphasized the matter, adding: "Give M. de St. Rome every possible assistance in the execution of his mission."

Bougainville at the same time wrote a note to Ramezay telling him where he could find some flour concealed by private individuals. The commandant, however, being resolved to capitulate showed no one the letters from Vaudreuil and Bougainville, the latter of whom had promptly carried out his orders. Notwithstanding a perfect torrent of rain, which lasted for two days, Captain de Belcour entered Quebec on the morning of the seventeenth. At one o'clock on the afternoon of that day Roche-. beaucour wrote from Charlesbourg to Bougainville: "I have just sent M. de Belcour, whom you know to be very intelligent, to the city, to tell de Ramezay that I will bring him one hundred quintals of biscuits without fail. Belcour and I are well acquainted with the ground and the position of the enemy, who certainly cannot prevent our entering the city at low tide."

As he left Quebec the daring Belcour entered the hornwork, whence he cannonaded any detachments of the British who came within range. Amidst all the dismay, there occurred at Jacques Cartier an event which at once reanimated the entire army. This was the arrival of Levis, who came from Montreal to take command. He had made the journey at headlong speed, only to find the disaster even worse than he had anticipated. The moment that he took hold of the army, however, he proved himself to be the man for the occasion. Immediately upon his arrival he hastened to headquarters, where Vaudreuil was with his leading officers, and exclaimed :—" The loss of a battle does not necessitate the abandonment of thirty miles of territory." He then severely censured the retreat to Jacques • Cartier, and ordered a return to Quebec. The joy over his return was unbounded. Confidence was restored to the weakest, and Vaudreuil again became possessed of such energy as he was capable of. The reed had found its sturdy oak. " he immense number of fugitives I had first met at Three Rivers," writes Ldvis, "prepared me to some extent for the disorder in which I found the army. I know of no similar case. At the Beauport camp everything had been abandoned, tents, cooking utensils, and all the army baggage. The condition of absolute want in which I found the army did not discourage me. Learning from M. de Vaudreuil that Quebec had not yet been taken, and that he had left there a fairly large garrison, I resolved to repair the error which had been made, and induced M. de Vaudreuil to march his army back to the relief of the town. I showed him that this was the only means to prevent the wholesale return of the Canadians and Indians to their homes, and to revive the courage of the army ; that in marching forward we would collect a number of stragglers; that the residents of the neighbourhood of Quebec would rejoin the army; that from our knowledge of the country we would be able to advance close to the enemy'; that if their army was found to be badly posted we might be able to attack them, or at least, by approaching the place, we would prolong the siege, by the assistance we would supply in men and provisions ; that we could also evacuate and burn it when it no longer remained possible to maintain it, so that it would offer no shelter to the enemy from the inclemency of the winter season."

Lévis very quickly re-established discipline, while his activity was infectious. At four o'clock the following morning, September 18th, the army started on its march, and Bougainville had been notified. Since the morning of the thirteenth he had endeavoured to make amends, by his excellent conduct, for recent events with which he had so much cause to reproach himself. While the army was retreating he had proposed to Vaudreuil to maintain his position at Cap Rouge, and to occupy Lorette, in order to preserve uninterrupted communication with the town. Vaudreuil hadapproved the suggestion. Onthe morning of the seventeenth, the unfavourable weather having broken up the roads and delayed the convoy of M. de St. Rome, Bougainville sent his cavalry in advance of it with sacks of provisions across their saddles. Vaudreuil, when informed of it, wrote him the same day: "I learn with pleasure from your letter that the cavalry is at Charlesbourg. I strongly approve your plan of visiting the camp with seven or eight hundred men to protect the passage of the biscuits, which are at Charlesbourg, to Quebec by the cavalry. To show yourself thus in the camp and to make the enemy believe that we still occupy it, will be very effective. I have no doubt that you have taken the precaution to have good guides. However, you are able to go by way of Bourg Royal. Doubtless you will not fail to profit by the return of your ' cavalry to have them carry back with them as much as possible from the stores or the camp."

Ramezay was informed of these movements and of the assistance of all kinds which awaited him; but instead of profiting by it to raise the spirits of the garrison, he only sought pretexts to capitulate the more quickly. Many of the soldiers, taking advantage of this disposition, refused to fight, and laid down their arms. Others deserted to the enemy or to the country, and some of the officers set the example of insubordination. Violent altercations occurred, and upon one occasion the town major, Joannas, was so exasperated that he struck a couple of these officers with the flat of his sword.

Far from sharing the ideas of Ramezay the brave Fiedmont redoubled the fire of his artillery. While the cannon of the Lower Town fired at random on Pointe Ldvis, the new batteries that he had erected alongside the heights thundered at the camp and outworks of the English. The latter had advanced their approaches towards St. Louis Gate, near which they had commenced a redoubt, of which the construction was retarded by Fiedmont, who made continual breaches in it. At ten o'clock in the morning Ramezay ordered Joannas to raise the white flag on the ramparts, and to go and propose the capitulation, but Joannas indignantly revolted against the order. "I protested before everybody," he said, "against the advice I had given at the council of war, because of the changed conditions of affairs, and I proposed to go myself and make more careful search for flour. Nothing more was then said about capitulation until about four o'clock."

Then, however, Admiral Saunders, profiting by the north-east wind which had blown for two days, with storms of rain, advanced six of his large vessels in front of the Lower Town. The English guard from the trenches was ordered at this time to cut down the trees and bushes in front of the St. John Gate, which might serve as shelter for sharpshooters. Those in the town expected a simultaneous attack from both land and water, and the general alarm was sounded. Fiedmont and Joann&s proposed to Ramezay to evacuate the Lower Town, and to reinforce the Upper Town by the troops moved up from it. But this officer, who as Joann&s says, had never seen fighting except in the woods, and knew nothing of defence, refused to follow his advice. He raised the flag on both the land and water side of the town. "I tore it down," continued Joannas, "not believing that the commandant had changed his mind, but at that instant I received a written order to go and capitulate, and the memoir of conditions was handed to me in consequence." Joannas then thought of nothing more than to drag out the negotiations, and to throw difficulties in the way, in order to give time for the promised assistance to reach the town. " By these means," he said, " I gained until eleven o'clock at night, which was the hour prescribed by the English general to receive our final answer. I then returned to the town and reported to M. de Ramezay the difficulties which I had created." La Rochebeaucour was riding at this moment with his cavalry, through the rain, the wind and the darkness, along the bat-tures of Beauport, to attempt the ford of the river St. Charles. In half an hour he was going to enter the town. Eleven o'clock struck. Ramezay, very far from listening to the appeals of Joannas, hastened to give him a second order in writing, to conclude the capitulation, and sent him back to the English camp. He had scarcely left by the St. Louis Gate when Rochebeaucour entered by that of the Palace, with his bags of biscuits streaming with water. Ramezay, quite disconcerted, muttered to him that he was too late, that Joannas had gone to the British general to conclude the capitulation. " After having represented to him," said La Rochebeaucour, "that he would certainly receive succour, he left me to understand that if the English objected to anything he had asked, he would break off the negotiations, on condition that he would be sent, the following day, from four to five hundred men, which could then be done on account of the means of communication. 'I will undertake, if you wish it' he said, 'to pass them into the town with provisions.'"

Ramezay rid himself of the importunate presence of Rochebeaucour by quieting him with promises which he did not intend to keep. Joannas prolonged the negotiations until the morning of the following day. Lévis was then marching with all his army. He dismounted at Pointe-aux-Trembles, to write to Bougainville: " You cannot doubt my regrets for the loss of M. de Montcalm. It is one of the greatest that could befall us. I mourn him both as my general and as my friend. It leaves me a very difficult task, and the most able amongst us will be seriously embarrassed. We must do for the best. . . . The position in which we may find the enemy will decide the course for us to take."

Lévis wrote to Bourlamaque in the same sense, telling him that he was marching to the relief of Quebec. He begged him to conceal the disaster as much as possible, Ile-aux-Noix, so well defended by Bourlamaque, caused him no anxiety. He counted on him to second and to advise him. Finally he asked him to keep him well informed of whatever was going on.

The return of fine weather rendered the marching of the army more easy, and the presence of Lévis, who took care to show himself from one regiment to another with a calm and confident air on his martial face, had restored good humour and animation amongst the troops. There was no apprehension as to the fate of Quebec, for the commandant dare not act without new orders, since the governor had revoked his first instructions, and ordered him to hold out to the last extremity. The army marched all the day of the eighteenth. Next day at sunset it entered St. Augustin,and prepared to pass the night there, when it received the crushing and incredible news that Ramezay had signed the capitulation. Captain Daubressy, of the Quebec garrison, who had been sent by him, handed the articles to Vaudreuil. A cry of indignation arose from the army. " It is unheard of," wrote General de Lévis, "that a place should be given up without being either attacked or invested." Bougainville, who marched with the advance guard, had passed Charlesbourg on the night of the eighteenth, and was not more than three-quarters of a league from Quebec, ready to throw himself with six hundred men of the flower of the army into Quebec, when he learned the fatal news. "Such," he said, bitterly, "is the end of what has been up to this moment the finest campaign of the world."

Townshend was very easy about the terms of capitulation, for his position was very critical, and he was anxious to have Quebec at any price. He was astonished himself at the good fortune which opened the gates to him before he had fired a single cannon. The garrison obtained the honours of war: they were to march out of the town with arms and baggage, drums beating, torches lighted, with two pieces of French cannon and twelve rounds for each piece; the land forces and marines were to be transported to France; the citizens were not to be molested for having borne arms in defence of the town, and were to remain in possession of their goods, effects and privileges, with the free exercise of the Roman Catholic religion. The inhabitants of the country who laid down their arms were to have the same privileges.

On the nineteenth, before sunset, the gates of the city were opened. General Townshend with his staff, followed by three companies of grenadiers and one of artillery, drawing a field-gun upon which floated the British flag, crossed the Upper Town and stopped in front of the Chateau St. Louis. The commandant of the place, who awaited him, handed over the keys. The white uniforms of France lined up for the last time in front of the gates and filed off in silence to give place to the English sentinels. A body of marines, detached from the fleet under the command of Captain Palliser, took possession of the Lower Town. Salvos of artillery saluted the flag of England, raised at the same time on the summit of Mountain Hill and on the citadel, from which it was never more to descend.

It still remained to the victors to guard this conquest during a winter spent in the midst of the ruins, deprived of all communication, and compelled to hold out against an active and audacious enemy. The proud Townshend, impatient to return to England and enjoy a triumph which others had merited more than he, confided the difficult task to Brigadier James Murray. The nine regiments of the fine, with the artillery and a company of rangers, forming a total force of seven thousand three hundred and thirteen men, remained under his orders. The other companies of rangers with the Louisbourg grenadiers and the marines, prepared to re-embark on the fleet. Major Elliott, with a corps of five hundred men, went to dislodge the French from the hornwork, and left there a strong garrison. While waiting for a certain number of houses to be repaired to serve as barracks, the troops camped in front of the walls of the town.

On September 21st, Murray issued a proclamation announcing that the inhabitants of the environs of Quebec were at liberty to resume peaceable possession of their properties and to go freely about their business. "But," says Folignd, "what properties does he desire our habitants to occupy after the ravages he has had committed,—their houses burned, their cattle taken away, their goods pillaged? From this day our poor women may be seen emerging from the depth of the forest, dragging their little children after them, eaten by flies, without clothes, and crying with hunger. What grief must be endured by these poor mothers who neither know whether they now have husbands, or if they have, where they are to find them, or what assistance they will be able to furnish their poor children at the commencement of the winter season, during which they always have difficulty to provide for them, even when comfortably settled at home ! Not even the sieges of Jerusalem and of Samaria afforded more harrowing scenes." It was only, however, the families who lived in the immediate vicinity of Quebec, and who had consequently no means of seeking an asylum elsewhere, who made peace with the English. With the exception of these unfortunates, who had simply to choose between death and submission, the mass of the Canadians were obstinately determined to continue the fight, and to remain attached to that France which no longer thought anything about them. Not even from the history of the earliest times is there to be found an instance of more touching fidelity or persevering courage.

The frosts of autumn had made their appearance. All the soldiers and sailors were set at work to destroy the redoubts erected on the plains, to remove the ruins from the streets, to repair the dwellings, to complete the fortifications, to cut and bring in firewood, and finally to disembark and store the provisions and ammunition. By the commencement of October the army was able to be fairly well accommodated with lodgings, either within the walls or in the palace of the intendant, which had escaped the siege with only slight damage. The nuns of the Ursuline Convent and of the Hotel-Dieu returned to their respective convents, which were now partly occupied by troops. The strictest discipline was maintained at all the posts. Day and night, in the rain and cold as well as in fine weather, sentries patrolled the surroundings to guard against all surprise. The command of the place might have been confided to a more able tactician, but not to anybody better adapted to gain the esteem and the confidence of the Canadians.

In one of the last days of October the cannon on the ramparts answered to the salute of the fleet which was sailing for England. On board the Royal William were the embalmed remains of General Wolfe.

A few days earlier Captain Marcel, on the point of leaving for France with the prisoners of war, had visited the chapel of the Ursulines to bid a last farewell to the remains of his general, who was never more to see the beautiful sky of Provence, nor yet his olive plantations, his oil mill and his much-loved friends of Candiac.

In England the news of Wolfe's success came with most dramatic effect. The despairing letter which he had written to Pitt a few days before his death had been published and had caused universal disappointment. "If the general was doubtful of the result," said the public, "surely we have cause to despair." Three days later came altogether the news of the defeat of Montcalm, of the death of Wolfe, and of the fall of Quebec. "The incidents of a drama," said Horace Walpole, "could not have been more artfully conducted to lead an audience from despondency to sudden exultation. Despondency, triumph, and tears were mingled together, for Wolfe had fallen in the hour of victory." The young hero was lauded to the skies. The whole face of the country was brilliantly illuminated. Only one locality, Blackheath, remained dark and still; for there a recently-widowed mother mourned the death of the best of sons. Her fellow-citizens, respecting her grief, abstained from all public rejoicing. Lady Montague, writing to the Countess of Bute, said: "General Wolfe is to be lamented, but not pitied. I am of your opinion that compassion is only due to his mother and intended bride." The great minister, who had discovered the genius of Wolfe, made his panegyric in the House of Commons, and the gratitude of the English people raised him a monument in Westminster Abbey.

The France of Louis XV hastened to forget the memory of Montcalm, which lay upon it as a burden of remorse. The France of America will always cherish it. It has forgotten his faults to remember only his virtues and his heroism. The name of Montcalm is inscribed on our monuments and public places. History and poetry have joined hands to celebrate the national heritage of his glory. The mausoleum raised over his tomb a century after his death is not less honoured than that of Wolfe at Westminster.


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