Previous Index Next

 

64   MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

and vigorously attacked it. In the narrow confines of the English position about 350 men were huddled together. For ten hours they sustained a heavy musketry fire, and then, having lost about seventy men in killed and wounded and finding his position untenable, Washington capitulated. In this affair, known as Great Meadows, the French had only some twenty casualties.

These occurrences did not lead to immediate hostilities between France and England, but preparations were made by both for the war which they saw to be inevitable. General Braddock was sent with two regiments from England to New York, while Field-Marshal Baron Dieskau was appointed to command six regiments of French soldiers, numbering 3,359 officers and men, who embarked at Brest at the end of April, 1755., on board the fleet of Admiral de la Motte. This fleet, consisting of fourteen line-of-battle ships, four frigates, and numerous trans-ports bearing supplies, had a long and hazardous passage. In June, three of the battleships, which had separated from the others, were attacked off Cape Race by an English fleet, two being captured, while the third escaped into Louisbourg. The remainder of the squadron arrived safely at Quebec in the month of July. With the reinforcements came the new Governor, Pierre de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal, who had been appointed to succeed Duquesne.

At a council of the English colonial governors, attended by General Braddock, as well as by a number of the Iroquois chiefs, it was determined to despatch four expeditions: one to expel the French from those portions of Acadia still in their possession—the Isthmus of Chicgnecto and what is now the southern part of New Brunswick; another to the Ohio valley; a third against Fort Niagara; and a fourth in the direction of Lake Champlain, to capture the position at Crown Point.

Massachusetts furnished 600 or 700 troops and a sufficient number of small transports to act against Acadia in conjunction with the forces already in Nova


Previous Index Next