Murray at once rushed to the attack. His light troops on the right flank met with marked success, but got into a position which prevented the troops next in line from sup-porting them, or satisfactorily protecting themselves. The result was some confusion, which necessitated a re-arrangement of that part of the line. A somewhat similar situation developed on the left, and the resulting unsteadiness led to a retirement. The ground was still covered with snow in the hollows, and elsewhere was soft and muddy. Some of the guns stuck, and the soldiers, weakened by sickness, were unable to extricate them, and spiked and abandoned them. The retirement became a disorderly retreat, and the French followed in pursuit until the British had gained the protection of the block-houses which formed outposts of the city defences. The loss of the British in this action was 1,124 killed, wounded, and missing, while the loss of the victorious French was about 1,700 killed and wounded, including 110 officers of the regular troops. This action had a very depressing effect upon the British garrison, and some insubordination was manifested. But when Levis failed to follow up the success he had obtained, the spirits of officers and men rapidly recovered.
The evening after the action, the French ships which had escaped up the St. Lawrence and had wintered at Sorel and other points, appeared above Quebec and anchored off Wolfe's cove, while Levis proceeded to bombard the city; reinforcements, guns, and ammunition being transported up the heights by the very path by which Wolfe's army had ascended.
On May 9th, a British war vessel, the frigate Lowestoffe, arrived at Quebec, followed on the 16th by several others. Immediately, a line-of-battle ship, the Vanguard, and two frigates, worked up the river past the city with the tide, and captured the French shipping in Wolfe's cove. Drifting back with the ebbing tide, the captain of the Vanguard brought an enfilading fire on the French trenches. Levis now saw that his position was no longer tenable, and,