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THE SIEGE OF LOUISBOURG 55

great straits, heard of the intention, and without delay presented a petition to the Command-ant, urging their incapacity to withstand such an assault. They begged him to capitulate. Negotiations for peace were accordingly opened, and terms by which the troops should march out with arms and colours arrived at. The gallant defence was at an end, and the ships sailed peacefully into the harbour on the 17th of June, while General Pepperel and his forces advanced through the south gate, under what remained of the Princess bastion, a bronzed, ragged, emaciated, yet satisfied throng. It was not until the 3rd of July, at one o'clock in the morning, that Boston received news of the fall of Louisbourg, but the sudden joyful pealing of bells and thundering of cannon soon told the sleeping townspeople of the happy result of the war. There was rejoicing and thanksgiving throughout the whole country, and this in time spread to the mother country, which could scarcely believe that so much had been accomplished with such inadequate means.

There have been more dramatic events in history, perhaps, than the capture of Louisbourg, but few more audacious or unexpected. Set on foot by one determined and not too prudent


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