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shilling a day for working at the fortifications of Louisbourg while he was governor of the town, and which has been continued in this province ever since.
“Some of the regiments of this army have 3 or 4oo men eat up with the scurvy. All of them that are wounded or hurt by accident run great risk of their lives from the corrupted state of the blood, so your Lordship may rest assured that the enterprize of Louisbourg will cost a multitude of men, as contemptibly as the mareschal treated that subject. There is not an ounce of fresh beef or mutton contracted for even for the sick and wounded, which besides the inhumanity, is both impolitick and absurd. Mr. Boscawen, indeed has taken the best precautions in his power by ordering 6oo head of live cattle for the fleet and army the moment he arrived. The curious part of this barbarity is that the scoundrels of contractors can afford the fresh meat in many places and circumstances as cheap as the salt. I think our stock of provisions for the seige full little, and none of the medicines for the hospitals are arriv'd, no horses or oxen for the artillery, &c.
“Too much money and too much rum necessarily affect the discipline of an army. We have glaring evidence of their ill consequences every moment. Serg'ts. drunk upon duty, 2 centries upon their posts and the rest wallowing in the dirt. I believe no nation ever paid so many bad soldiers at so high a rate. My Lord Loudoun whose management in the conduct of affairs is by no means admir’d, did adhere so litterally and strictly to the one, two and the firing by the impracticable chequer, &c. that these regiments must necessarily be cut off one after another unless they fall into some method more suited to the country and to the kind of enemy they have to deal with.
“I expect to be attak'd upon the march by the Mickmacks Abenaquis and Canadians. I have made the best preparations in my power, and that the time permits to beat 'em off, but I can't be sure that we shan't presently run into confusion and be very ill-treated, altho' I have with me some of the best of our battalions.
“Our cloaths, our arms, our accoutrements, nay even our shoes and stockings are all improper for this country. Ld. Howe is so well convinc'd of it that he has taken away all the men's breeches.
“There are in America three or four excellent men in their way. Bradstreet for the Battoes and for expeditions is an extraordinary man; Rogers is an excellent partisan for 2 or 3oo men, and young Clarke under my Lord Howe, whom nature has form'd for the war of this country, will make a good figure as an engineer for the field.
“One of our engineers, Green, is sick upon the continent, and instead of Matt. Clarke and Gordon, who I suppose were far off, we have got two boys, Montresore and Williamson, and to make up the 3oo artillery we must carry off all that are here. Among the officers of the infantry we have pick’d six or seven assistant engineers enough to make out three brigades, six in each, besides the active Bastide and Major Kellar. Delaune and Cardin would be more useful here than can be conceived. We want just two such men to throw into the light infantry, and we want grave Carleton for every purpose of the war. Anstruther's regiment is sickly, and two or three of the ships are in so terrible a condition that they are hardly fit for sea.
“I am told that a certain Lt. Colonel of this army drew up a kind of representation and gave it to Col. Monro (signed by others I suppose as well as himself) setting forth the condition of the Fort William Henry; how incapable it was of further resistance, and giving it as their opinion that Col. Monro had made a very good defence and might with honour capitulate, &c., &c. But Cunninghame can tell you more of the matter.”
1758 May 30th. “On board the Ludlow Castle at sea.” James Cuninghame to Lord George Sackville. Extract. “During the recess their stay at Halifax afforded them, the generals did not fail to accustom the troops to what they were soon to encounter. Some military operations were Dayly carried on. They frequently landed in the boats of the transports, and practised in the woods the different manuvres they were likely to act on the Island of Cape Breton. In all these operations you may imagine that Gen1. Wolfe was remarkably active. The scene afforded scope for his military genius.”
General Wolfe to Lord George Sackville
“Amherst will tell your lordship the history of the seige (of Louisbourg). It turned out much as I expected in almost every particular. We treated the town with shot and shells, made a breach in the Bastion Dauphin, got the scaling ladders and everything ready for a general assault, and should have cut 'em to pieces in 24 hours if they had not surrender'd. Three of their men of war were burnt by an accidental shot that is supposed to have struck upon iron and fir’d some powder between decks. The other two were boarded by the boats of the fleet with incredible audace and conduct, and taken under the guns and within the reach of the musquetry of the ramparts. All the five were disabled before these accidents happen'd. They had a numerous garrison, but ill-regulated and ill-conducted. There appeared very little judgment and still less spirit in their defence. Our landing was next to miraculous. In all rencounters since the day we came ashoar the enemy has been worsted, or as they call it—ils se sont battu en retraite. Our trenches were carried within 40 or 50 yards of the glacis without mantelets, blinds,
“If the whole fleet of France had been in the harbour (with a superiority without, bien entendu) they would have been all destroy'd, contrary to the opinion of most people here, sea and land, who had a terrible notion of their broadsides. By augmenting the artillery upon the shoar in proportion to their numbers we could n't fail of success.
“The French had 12 great mortars in readyness to bombard our fleet if they had come into the harbour, notwithstanding which the place in its best condition is not tenable against a squadron of men-of-war, and on the land side 'tis an affair of ten days to people that knew the country.
“The French have lost a considerable number of men and we on the contrary have suffered very little, so little that if we are carried directly to Quebec, notwithstanding the time of year, I am persuaded we shall
“Murray, my old antagonist, has acted with infinite spirit. The publick is indebted to him for great services in advancing by every method in his power the affairs of this seige. Amherst no doubt will do him all manner of justice, and your lordship will get him a regiment or the rank of colonel. Little Smith, your acquaintance, has been with me the whole seige (for I have had the honour to command a detached corps posted from the Light House to the Baruchois). He is a most indefatigable, active, spirited man and has a just claim to your favour and friendship. He is slighthy wounded with a musket ball, but will soon be well.
“The Highlanders have behaved with distinction, their company of Grenadiers has suffered, 3 of the officers kill'd and the fourth dangerously wounded. Amherst's regt. lost twenty or two and twenty Grenadiers the day we landed, most of them were drowned. I wouldn't recommend the Bay of Gabarouse for a descent, especially as we managed it.
“Your lordship will have heard the story of my Lord Dundonald's surprize, defeat, and death. Whitmore's Grenadiers took satisfaction for the affront that was put upon us by the neglect of this young officer and beat the French back into the town with loss. Our troops scalped an Indian Sachem the day we landed, and have killed some few of the black tribe since. They are intimidated and scarce dare appear before the most inconsiderable of our parties.
“The Admiral and the General have carried on public service with great harmony, industry, and union. Mr. Boscawen has given all and even more than we cou’d ask of him. He has furnish'd arms and ammunition, pioneers, sappers, miners, gunners, carpenters, boats, and is I must confess no bad fantassin himself, and an excellent back-hand at a seige. Sir Charles Hardy too in particular, and all the officers of the navy in general, have given us their utmost assistance with the greatest cheerfulness imaginable, I have been often in pain for Sr. Charles's squadron at an anchor off the harbour's mouth. They rid out some very hard sales of wind rather than leave an opening for the French to escape, but notwithstanding the utmost diligence on his side, a frigate found means to get out and is gone to Europe chargé de fanfaronades. I had the satisfaction of putting 2 or 3 haut-vitzer shells into his stern, and to shatter him a little with some of your lordships 24 pound shot before he retreated, and I much question whether he will hold out the voyage.
“The French troops and Marine se sentent un peu mortifié de leur disgrace, and think the terms hard that are imposed upon them. This blow well followed will give a blow to the American War, and tho’ I am
neither inhuman nor rapacious, yet I own it would give me pleasure to see the Canadian vermin sack'd and pillaged and justly repaid their unheard of cruelty. If my lady George knew my sentiments homme brutal et sanguinaire / she would cry. If his Majesty had thought proper to let Carleton come with us as enginier and Delaune and 2 or 3 more for the light foot, it wou'd have cut the matter much shorter, and we might now be ruining the walls of Quebec and compleating the conquest of New France. So much depends upon the abilities of individuals, in war that there cannot be too great care taken in the choice of men for the different office of trust and importance.
“Before I finish my letter it may not be amiss to observe that to defend the Isle Royale it is necessary to have a body of 4 or 5 thousand men in readyness to march against whatever force of the enemy attempts to land. In short there must be an army to defend the island; the reinforcement (to form a corps for this purpose jointly with the Garrison) should be sent in May and carried off in October. We must not trust to the place, or to any of those batteries now constructed for the defence of the harbour. When the ground is surveyed I shall do myself the honour to point out to your Lordship some proper spots for the construction of new batteries which may be done in ten days with fascines and be much stronger than any of those constructed with masonry. We have a report among us that my Lord Howe is killed. I will not believe such bad tidings. That brave officer will live, I hope, to contribute his share of courage and abilities to support our reputation and carry on our affairs with success.
“Whitmore is a poor, old, sleepy man, Blakeney lost St. Phillips by ignorance and dotage. Take more care of Louisbourg if you mean to keep it.
“The fascines and gabions made at Halifax were articles of the last degree of extravagance and bad economy, in the stile of that colony; but in other respects this must have been the cheapest seige that ever was carried on. The soldiers work'd with the utmost chearfulness, and upon one occasion several women turn'd out volunteers to dragg artillery to the batteries. If the enemy had waited for the assault they would [have] paid very dear for their presumption. The men were animated with perfect rage against 'em, and asked impatiently when we were to storm the town.