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82   MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

communications with Amherst, and of providing a place of refuge in case of need. From Oswego, Prideaux con-ducted his troops in bateaux and canoes along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Arriving at Fort Niagara on July 5th, he immediately laid siege to the place. On July 19th, General Prideaux was killed in the trenches by the premature explosion of a shell from one of his own guns, and the conduct of the siege devolved upon Sir William Johnson. The French commandant, Captain Pouchot, had previously asked the commanders of the French forts lying between Lake Erie and the Ohio valley to send a force to his relief. They complied, and a few days after Prideaux's death a considerable body was advancing against the English troops before Niagara. Johnson, leaving enough men to guard his batteries, took his regulars and Indians to meet these new enemies, and on July 24th succeeded in defeating them. On the following day Pouchot, realizing the hopelessness of his position, surrendered. The capture of Fort Niagara involved the easy capture of the other French forts by General Stanwix.

It is now time to consider the most important operation of this widespread campaign, the attack on Quebec. The naval force destined for the reduction of Quebec consisted of a fleet of fifty vessels, including twenty-two men-of-war, of from fifty to ninety guns each, five frigates, nineteen sloops-of-war, and seven or eight cutters, together with a considerable number of transports, store-ships, etc., under Admirals Saunders, Holmes, and Durell. The fleet conveyed 7,600 soldiers and 1,000 marines, commanded by Major-General James Wolfe. This force consisted of three brigades under Brigadier-Generals Monckton, Townshend, and Murray, respectively, and included eight full regiments, the 15th, 28th, 35th, 43rd, 47th, 48th, 58th and 78th, two battalions of the 60th, or Royal Americans, and companies of light infantry, rangers, and grenadiers, as well as corps of artillery and marines.

Durell advanced up the St. Lawrence some time before Saunders and Holmes, and stationed his squadron off


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