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78   TICONDEROGA

Towards evening the utter futility of pro-longing the assault had more than proved itself, and the attacking force withdrew by degrees, carrying away the wounded. The defenders, thankful for their own amazing success, had neither strength nor will to pursue, and indeed feared for some days that the battle might be renewed later with artillery; but this course was deemed inexpedient, and the army retreated to its former quarters, Abercromby offering no further molestation. By the French, whose attitude of mind before the battle is known, the victory was considered simply a miracle, and the invincible gallantry of their defence against overwhelming odds must remain a matter of pride and honour to Canadians for ever. In great exultation and profoundly impressed with the splendid valour of his battalions, Montcalm erected a great wooden cross on the spot, in-scribing on it, in Latin and French, lines of his own composing to the honour and glory of God :

" Soldier and chief and ramparts' strength are nought ; Behold the conquering Cross ! 'Tis God the triumph wrought."


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