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50 THE SIEGE OF LOUISBOURG

would have been exposed to a continual raking fire from the garrison. The audacity and rashness of the besiegers knew no bounds, and only proves their inexperience. Even the ordinary precautions of war were disregarded. Only when the batteries were in the most exposed positions could they be induced to throw up earthworks, preferring to take their chances with the French gunners, who, though excellent shots with the musket, do not appear to have been adepts with the big guns. Often the cannon balls, harmlessly ploughing up the ground, are said to have been picked up by the lively colonists and sent back to do damage from their own muzzles. Not that the newcomers were at all admirable as marksmen when they began, for it would have been difficult not to do some damage to the large extent of wall. So little, indeed, did they know of artillery practice, that Commander Warren was obliged to send some of his ships' gunners to give them much-needed instruction, and numerous accidents resulted from doubleshotting and other methods due to wanton ignorance. In the early days of the bombardment, great discouragement resulted when the small guns proved quite ineffectual against the solid masonry of the fort, and but for a fortunate


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