Troops, with a party of regulars, Canadians, and Indians, overland from Montreal to Hudson Bay, via the Ottawa river, Lake Timiskaming, Lake Abitibi, Black river, Abitibi and Moose rivers to Hudson Bay. With Troyes were three of the famous sons of Charles Le Moyned'Iberville, Saint-Helene, and Maricourt—who, as volunteers, had under their command eighty or a hundred Canadians, including a number of coureurs de bois. Apart from the thirty Colony Troops, the greater part of the force were merely hardy woodsmen, skilled boatmen, and when required, good fighters.
The trip to Fort Moose, their first objective, took three months, but no tidings of the approach of the expedition had reached the English trading post. No summons was made, and the fort with its furs and merchandise, four-teen cannon, and 3,000 pounds of powder, was in the possession of the war party before the commander and his garrison of sixteen men realized the presence of any enemies. Fort Charles was next captured; it offered some slight resistance, but it was manned by too small a force to oppose successfully the French party, and it surrendered after the death or injury of five of the garrison. The French also seized a sloop, manned by fourteen men, on which Governor Bridgar, who had arrived to take charge of the fort, was a passenger. Here again the Hudson's Bay Company's men were taken by surprise, a guard being killed before he -could sound an alarm, and the crew awakened from their sleep by the stamping of the French on the decks. Fort Albany, the next to be attacked, was, in its way, a formidable stronghold, having four bastions, and being armed with no fewer than forty-three cannon. The garrison was, however, a weak one, composed almost entirely of clerks and fur traders with no military experience, and hampered by the presence in the fort of women and children. The French landed cannon and opened a brisk bombardment, to which the garrison replied for two days. A breach was made in the walls, the ammunition was exhausted, and surrender