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70   TICONDEROGA

growth it would be impossible to take the artillery, unless by previously constructing a road, and for that there was no time. It was rumoured that Montcalm would very shortly be reinforced by a large detachment, and the troops were therefore ordered forward at once in four divisions, without the guns. The leading division was in command of Lord Howe, colonel of the 55th, all unaware that in their course they had cut off an advanced body of about three hundred and fifty Canadians, who forthwith precipitately endeavoured to regain their own ranks through the woods.

Viscount Howe, an Irish nobleman, by his pleasant ways and sound practical methods, had made for himself a name to conjure with in every circle, civil and military. With him military tactics had become a highly developed science, and General Abercromby gave him first place as an adviser, while his watchful interest in the welfare and comfort of the ranks made him the idol of the men.

Owing to the nature of the ground, and unaware of the presence of the enemy, on this occasion discipline had been somewhat relaxed, and the men were advancing in what order they could, when a sharp exchange of musket shots


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