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THE FALL OF QUEBEC   97

 

 

Too great haste has been laid to the French commander's charge. It is said he should have been less precipitate. But his motive seems strong enough for forcing the battle. On the Heights the ramparts were but slightly equipped, and entrenched the enemy would be still more formidable than it already was. The French regulars were arranged in the most exposed position, but they were too few in number, and later it was said no message had been received by de Bougainville until too late. By far the greatest number were Canadians, courageous but untrained, who, eager for the contact, rushed forward at the word of command, receiving the British volley at close range, all unprepared for its deadly reality. As the smoke cleared away, the French centre was seen to be full of gaping spaces, which in response to the frantic efforts of their officers the troops in vain tried to fill. Again the simultaneous fusillade of the opposite ranks sent forth its pitiless rain of lead, and as the order to charge bayonets rang through the air, and redcoat and Highlander swept forward with their bristling hedge of steel, the unhappy Canadian centre broke and fled.

To the right Wolfe himself led the charge

L


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