Previous Index Next

 

TICONDEROGA   71

was suddenly heard, mingled with unintelligible shouts and expletives in French and English. In the uncertain light, with every bush possibly concealing either a friend or a foe, not knowing whether to advance or retire, dodging round trees among which their red coats offered a pitiably easy target, every man fought for his own hand. Scarcely knowing in what direction to aim, the scattering, vicious fire of a skirmish rained through the branches, burying bullets by the score in the trunks, and ripping the bark off the trees. In the first onset Lord Howe had dropped dead, shot through the heart, but except for those immediately beside him, none knew what had happened. The desperate conflict raged on, until with a rush about fifty Canadians, firing as they went, struggled back towards the hills, leaving a hundred and forty - eight of their company prisoners, and a number still blindly fighting their way across the British lines, to be killed or drowned in an attempt to swim the river. The English loss was small, but never had a deeper calamity befallen a force than in the death of Lord Howe. When the nature of their loss became known, gloom and widespread grief settled over the troops, depriving them,


Previous Index Next